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The Midday Brief: Dec. 16, 2011

Your afternoon reading: parties agree to April 3 primary date; Perry "retires" early to collect pension pay; state unemployment rate drops

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New in The Texas Tribune:

  • "Gov. Rick Perry has finally retired, but it's not what you think: The governor has officially retired as a state employee, but gets to keep working as Texas governor. The maneuver, perfectly legal according to his campaign, has dramatically boosted his take-home pay." — Perry "Retires" to Boost Pension Pay
  • "Texas Democrats and Republicans agreed to hold unified primary elections on April 3, avoiding the costs and confusion brought on by litigation over new political maps for congressional and legislative districts." — Political Parties Agree to April 3 Primaries

Your afternoon reading:

  • "In 2012, courtesy of a group called Americans Elect, some lucky independent candidate will have the chance to enter the race all but guaranteed nationwide ballot access. And as that fact — or threat — has begun to dawn on the Democratic and Republican establishments, it is setting off new chatter about the prospect for a high-profile unity ticket, or at least about someone emerging to play the role of national gadfly and potential spoiler for one party or the other." — Centrist Group Clears Path for a Third-Party Ticket, The New York Times
  • "Assuming that the Evangelical vote remains splintered among them, it is Paul who would be helped most of all — since that would drain support from Gingrich, do nothing to help Romney (whose hard ceiling is presumed to be somewhere south of the 25 percent he amassed in 2008), and do nothing to hurt Paul, whose combination of money, organization, and die-hard support is causing many of those same Iowa sharpies to start calling him (quietly) the favorite to win the caucuses." — Heilemann: Could Evangelicals Deliver an Ironic Ron Paul Victory in Iowa?, New York

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