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The Midday Brief: June 16, 2011

Your afternoon reading: Republicans reverse Democrats' Rainy Day win; the Ten Best/Worst writers explain themselves; Perry polling in single digits in Texas survey

State Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, on June 16, 2011

Your afternoon reading:

  • "With this, our twentieth effort at compiling a Best and Worst list, we faced a difficult task: How do you select the ten best legislators when the worst seemed to prevail at every turn? It was not a session for big ideas — the budget battle and, to a lesser extent, redistricting sucked the air out of almost every other debate. But there was important work being done in quiet corners of the Capitol, in the meeting rooms where members who strive for good government and fairness work hard to bring competing interests to the table and hammer out thoughtful public policy. On the budget, we have tried to recognize the members who made the best of a bad situation. And the worst? As usual, they picked themselves." — The Best & Worst Legislators 2011, Texas Monthly
  • "Republicans again tried to take away a Democratic victory today. This time, Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford, was successful as he pushed for a motion to instruct conferees to strip the spirit of an education-related amendment by Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, from Senate Bill 2, a key state budget bill." — Republican tries to undo education amendment by Austin rep, Postcards
  • "For a conservative Texan seeking national office, it could hardly get better than this: In a recent 48-hour span, Ted Cruz, a candidate for next year’s Republican Senate nomination for the seat being vacated by Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison, was endorsed by the Club for Growth PAC, FreedomWorks PAC, talk-radio host Mark Levin and Erick Erickson of And Cruz’s most conservative potential rival for the nomination decided to seek a House seat instead." — In Ted Cruz, a candidate as good as it gets, The Washington Post
  • "The Massachusetts labor market deteriorated less than in Texas from 2008 to 2010, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Massachusetts was the fourth most-friendly state for employment in the period, the data show. Texas, where Republican Governor Rick Perry has touted his state’s title as Chief Executive magazine’s best for business, was sixth." — Massachusetts Beats Texas as Unemployment Rises Less in Ranking, Bloomberg

New in The Texas Tribune:

  • "Likely voters in Texas approve of President Barack Obama almost as much as they approve of Gov. Rick Perry, according to the third and final release of poll results from the Texas Lyceum, a nonprofit, nonpartisan group of civic leaders." — Poll: Obama Almost as Popular as Perry in Texas
  • "At this morning's TribLive conversation, the authors of Texas Monthly's biennial Best and Worst Legislators story, senior executive editor Paul Burka and senior editor Nate Blakeslee, explained why they took the unusual step of including a member of the leadership, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, on the Ten Worst list." — TribLive: Why Dewhurst Made the Ten Worst List

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