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The Midday Brief: Dec. 19, 2011

Your afternoon reading: Democrats grasping for U.S. Senate candidate; Gingrich planning new wave of Iowa ads; parsing Paul's Iowa chances

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Your afternoon reading:

  • "Democratic officials said they remained hopeful they would find a first-tier contender by today’s filing deadline. 'Politics abhors a vacuum. Someone will step forward,' said Jeff Crosby, a longtime Democratic consultant. 'Someone will step in; who, I don’t know.'" — Democrats desperately seeking Senate candidate after Sanchez quits race, Texas on the Potomac
  • "Newt Gingrich is planning a new wave of television ads in Iowa this week that will kick off an air campaign running through the Jan. 3 caucuses, a political media-buying source tells POLITICO." — Newt plans new wave of Iowa TV, Politico
  • "Fifteen days out from the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses there’s one question on the collective mind of the political world: Can Ron Paul actually win? … That Paul will take one of the top three spots is beyond question. What even the most veteran Iowa operatives acknowledge they don’t know is whether he will win, place or show." — Can Ron Paul win Iowa? Yup., The Washington Post
  • "State Rep. Joe Driver, R-Garland, received a sentence of five years of deferred adjudication for the third-degree felony of double-billing his campaign account and Texas taxpayers for travel expenses and pocketing the money." — Judge gives state Rep. Joe Driver recommended sentence, Postcards
  • "It's fair to call 75205, the zip code for most of Highland Park, the most enthusiastically Republican enclave in the country. Among the two-dozen zip codes that donated the most money to candidates and political parties last year, 75205 gave the highest share—77 percent—to Republicans, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. It also gave Republicans more hard cash, $2.4 million, than all but four other zips nationwide. Affluent, insular, and intensely sure of itself, Highland Park is the red-state counterpart of, say, Berkeley." — Inside The 1 Percent's Texas Enclave, Mother Jones

New in The Texas Tribune:

  • "In January, Texas will adopt a statewide building code that should cut the energy consumption of new single-family homes by more than 15 percent — and big cities like Houston are jumping even further ahead." — Building Codes to Tighten Across Texas
  • "For this week's nonscientific survey of governmental and political insiders, we asked about the mess with the Texas primaries — whether split primaries are a good idea and who might benefit." — Inside Intelligence: About Splitting Primaries...

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