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The Midday Brief: Dec. 5, 2011

Your afternoon reading: Gingrich joins Paul/Trump spat; new early-state ads for Paul and Perry; black lawmakers object to redistricting talk

Mitt Romney, Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich at the Republican presidential debate at Dartmouth College on Oct. 11, 2011.

Your afternoon reading:

  • "After a nearly hour-long meeting at Trump Tower, Donald Trump and Newt Gingrich emerged for a joint news conference, during which the former House speaker defended The Donald from slams from Ron Paul that Trump moderating a debate would create a 'circus' atmosphere. … A senior Paul campaign source emails to push back, and hard. … 'While those of us in the Paul camp might disagree with Newt Gingrich about whether Donald Trump is the right man to host a serious political debate, we do agree New York is a wonderful place to go at Christmas. We are sure two average Americans like Speaker Gingrich and Donald Trump will have a wonderful time picking out gifts for their wives. We suggest a place called Tiffany's, we hear it is quite nice this time of year and given their celebrity status they can probably get special deals and $500,000 lines of credit.'" — Newt Gingrich defends Donald Trump from Ron Paul, Politico
  • "Ron Paul’s campaign is going up with its latest catchy ad, titled 'Big Dog,' targeting voters in Iowa and New Hampshire with the message that most politicians end up 'whimpering like little Shih Tzus' when it’s time to cut spending – but not Paul. … And the Rick Perry super PAC, Make Us Great Again, is going up in Iowa and South Carolina with this new ad, 'Elites.'" — Ad watch: 'Big Dog' and the anti-elitist, Politico
  • "Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has surged into the top spot a month before the Iowa caucuses, according to two new independent polls released over the weekend. And, a look inside the numbers suggests Gingrich’s ceiling in the Hawkeye State is high, suggesting he may well be stronger than even his current lead indicates." — Newt Gingrich’s high Iowa ceiling, The Fix
  • "Contending that African Americans have been an afterthought during the contentious year-long redistricting process, four Houston lawmakers on Monday voiced their objections to the interim legislative map a three-judge panel drew last week. 'A lot of emphasis over the past year, even up to now, has been focused on redistricting’s impact on Republicans and Democrats and Hispanics with their increasing population,' said State Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, chairman of the Texas Legislative Black Caucus, 'but what we have concluded is that there’s not enough talk and conversation and debate with respect to the impact that redistricting will have on African Americans.'" — African-American lawmakers don’t like legislative map, Texas Politics
  • "Many cities across the United States have said 'enough' to the protests associated with the Occupy Wall Street movement. New York City, Philadelphia and Los Angeles have cracked down on the protesters taking up their public spaces, often sending in squads of police and municipal workers to shut down their encampments. That's not the case in Austin, where city officials say there are no immediate plans to clear out the protesters who have taken up residence at City Hall plaza since Oct. 6." — Where does Occupy Austin go from here?, Austin American-Statesman

New in The Texas Tribune:

  • "Voters choose dozens of important state officials without knowing a thing about them. So they rely on other cues — like political affiliations, pleasing names and who knows what else." — At Election Time, It's "Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Vote"
  • "David Leebron of Rice University is the state's highest-paid president of a private college, pulling down more than $1.5 million in 2009, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education. Five other private college or university presidents in Texas made more than $800,000." — For Some University Presidents, It Pays to Be Private

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