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The Midday Brief: Dec. 12, 2011

Your afternoon reading: Paul goes after Gingrich again in web video; Straus draws primary challenge; Perry calls Solyndra a country

House Speaker Joe Straus, supported by Republican members, discusses the successes and shortcomings of the 82nd regular legislative session that adjourned sine die May 30, 2011.

Your afternoon reading:

  • "The Supreme Court’s decision late Friday to hear arguments on the issue on Jan. 9 has turned the boundaries of Congressional and State Legislature districts — the basic blueprints of Texas politics — into a great unknown. Until the justices determine the legality of the two dueling sets of maps, much of the political machinery for both Democrats and Republicans has been thrown into limbo. The uncertainty, and a dissatisfaction over the shape of political districts, has led some incumbents to not seek re-election, put some campaigns on hold, altered the dynamics in numerous races and left donors baffled about whom to contribute to and when." — Texas Elections Are in Limbo Over Redistricting Issue, The New York Times
  • "Mitt Romney, who just a month ago had hoped to seal the GOP presidential nomination with Florida’s primary on Jan. 31, tells POLITICO that he now foresees an epic fight with Newt Gingrich that could last through the California primary on June 5. Asked if the former House speaker is the front-runner, Romney replied bluntly: 'He is right now.'" — Mitt Romney on Newt Gingrich: He's the front-runner, Politico
  • "San Antonio businessman Matt Beebe plans to announce today that he will challenge Texas House Speaker Joe Straus in the Republican primary for House District 121. 'It’s time that the constituents of House District 121 had a true conservative represent them in Austin,' says Beebe, 38." — Straus draws a primary challenger, Austin American-Statesman
  • "Ron Paul ups his attacks on Newt Gingrich in a new web video that calls the former House Speaker a 'career politician' and accuses him of 'serial hypocrisy.' The 2-minute video, which sports a futuristic look and lots of annoying sound effects, runs through a montage of negative clips and videos of Gingrich. It charges Gingrich with 'selling access' and highlights some of his flip-flops." — Ron Paul bashes Newt Gingrich as a 'career politician' in new web video, The Dallas Morning News
  • "Rick Perry mistakenly called Solyndra, the failed California solar-panel maker, a country during a campaign speech in Iowa. … 'No greater example of it than this administration sending millions of dollars into the solar industry, and we lost that money,' Perry said. 'I want to say it was over $500 million that went to the country Solyndra.'" — Rick Perry mistakenly calls Solyndra a country, Houston Chronicle

New in The Texas Tribune:

  • "One question has dominated education conversations in Texas since even before the 2011 legislative session and budget slashing began: How will public schools be affected? The answers are many and varied." — Measuring the Impact of Historic Education Cuts
  • "For this week's nonscientific survey of politics and government insiders, we asked about the early presidential primaries, who'll be the Republican nominee, and who the insiders think will be sworn in as president in 2013." — Inside Intelligence: About Those Primaries...
  • "Rep. Scott Hochberg is good at a couple of the most important issues lawmakers will tackle in 2013: school finance and school curriculum. But he's bailing out of the Texas House after 20 years. The longtime lawmaker, though, plays down his role: 'Holes in the Legislature are kind of like holes on the beach. They fill up pretty quickly.'" — Hochberg's Exit Leaves a Hole in the House

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