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The Midday Brief: Dec. 13, 2011

Your afternoon reading: in video, Perry says he has momentum; ESPN commentator Craig James to enter U.S. Senate race; FreedomWorks planning "call day" for Cruz

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Your afternoon reading:

  • "Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. is expected to enter the turbulent political waters of voting rights on Tuesday, signaling that the Justice Department will take an aggressive stance in reviewing new laws in several states that civil rights advocates say are meant to dampen minority participation in the national elections next year. … A draft of Mr. Holder’s speech urges Americans to 'call on our political parties to resist the temptation to suppress certain votes in the hope of attaining electoral success and, instead, achieve success by appealing to more voters.'" — Holder Speech to Fault New Restrictions in Voting Laws, The New York Times
  • "Former SMU standout Craig James will file his candidacy for the U.S. Senate by Thursday's deadline, according to sources close to his developing campaign." — Craig James expected to run for Senate, Trail Blazers
  • "FreedomWorks, led by tea party godfather Dick Armey, the former House majority leader from suburban Dallas, created a 'super PAC' this fall that is enlisting idle conservative activists from states with no hot congressional races to do some dialing for Texan Ted Cruz. 'We're doing a big web campaign of support using that ad,' said Ryan Hecker, chief operating officer of the FreedomWorks for America super political action committee, referring to the above, 73-second Internet ad." — Armey's FreedomWorks Super PAC plugs 'call day' for Cruz, Trail Blazers
  • "Ron Paul is the wild card in the Republican presidential deck—and that makes him one of the most important cards of all right now. … If Mr. Paul does well in Iowa, he could so muddy the waters that there is no clear winner. An inconclusive outcome would be a boon for Mr. Romney, who hasn't done all that well in Iowa, and who is counting much more heavily on winning the New Hampshire primary a week later. A murky Iowa result would reduce any momentum the upstart Mr. Gingrich might enjoy heading into New Hampshire." — Paul Could Lead From Behind, Wall Street Journal
  • "Donald Trump has bowed out of moderating the Newsmax debate in Iowa later, announcing his decision in a statement saying he will not give up the option of running for president as an independent. Trump: 'The Republican Party candidates are very concerned that sometime after the final episode of The Apprentice, on May 20th, when the equal time provisions are no longer applicable to me, I will announce my candidacy for President of the United States as an Independent and that, unless I conclusively agree not to run as an Independent, they will not agree to attend or be a part of the Newsmax debate scheduled for December 27, 2011.'" — Trump debate appearance canceled, Politico

New in The Texas Tribune:

  • "In his latest ad, set to air beginning today in Iowa, Rick Perry decries the unwillingness of Washington insiders to tell 'politically correct' truths." — In New Ad, Perry Touts Truth-Telling
  • "Voters in Iowa are running out of time for browsing the candidates as the Jan. 3 caucuses draw nearer. Gov. Rick Perry is hoping to give them another good look as he travels the state on an old-fashioned bus tour. Over the next three weeks, Perry will work to win over Iowans and keep his struggling campaign afloat." — Perry Ground Game: An Old-Fashioned Bus Tour
  • "Rules requiring disclosure of chemicals used in the controversial hydraulic fracturing process will take effect in Texas in February, oil and gas regulators decided on Tuesday. Environmentalists and industry praised the commission's speed." — Fracking Disclosure to Start in February

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