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The Midday Brief: Feb. 8, 2012

Your afternoon reading: resurgent Santorum visits North Texas; state sales tax collections beat expectations; Cornyn says "careless rhetoric" on immigration has hurt Republicans

Rick Santorum leaving the USS Yorktown after a campaign stop in Charleston, S.C., on Jan. 17, 2012.

Your afternoon reading:

  • "Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum wasn't shy about his faith Wednesday morning, telling a church full of pastors about his personal faith journey — and how it is impacting his presidential campaign. Santorum arrived in Texas after big victories in presidential nomination contests in Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado last night. He's here to garner support and raise campaign cash after hauling in $400,000 in the last two days." — GOP candidate Rick Santorum tells pastors he's a man of faith, and reason, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

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  • "Texas’ sales tax collections topped $2 billion in January, crossing that threshold the second time in three months. Stemming from sales in December, the collections were up 9.5 percent over the same month a year ago, Texas Comptroller Susan Combs reported on Wednesday." — Texas sales tax still exceeding expectations, Austin American-Statesman
  • "Three weeks after Gov. Rick Perry dropped his presidential bid, Texas Sen. John Cornyn said Perry's reputation is fine and can get even better if he devotes himself to running the state. … He weighed in Wednesday on one point, saying the 'careless rhetoric' he's heard candidates use when it comes to immigration has hurt the party's outreach with Hispanics. 'I don't think the rhetoric has been particularly helpful. And this is an area that concerns me a lot,' said Cornyn, the party's chief Senate campaign strategist. 'About one-third of my constituents are Hispanic. Every legal immigrant and every legal citizen in Texas has a friend or family member who they immediately think of when they hear some of the careless rhetoric tossed around. So I think this is an area where we have a lot of work to do.'"Cornyn: Perry has nothing to be embarrassed about but others' "careless rhetoric" on immigration hurts GOP, The Dallas Morning News
  • "In most cities, companies are holding tight, mothballing office expansions and delaying new hires. But not in Houston.  Powered by a rise in oil prices and a shale exploration boom, Houston is the first major metropolitan region to regain all the jobs it lost in the recession. The region added about 76,000 jobs last year, according to the Texas Workforce Commission, and is on pace to pick up tens of thousands more this year." — Energy Spurs a Recovery in Houston, The New York Times

New in The Texas Tribune:

  • "In a political season that has revolved around questions of transparency and fiscal integrity, lawmakers in the U.S. House are getting ready to vote on the STOCK Act. But many of them — including several from Texas — are still under scrutiny." — Lawmakers Scrutinized as STOCK Vote Approaches
  • "When the University of Texas System regents meet in San Antonio today and Thursday, accountability will be back on the agenda, in the form of more frequent performance reviews for tenured professors and criminal record checks for certain employees." — UT Regents May Step Up Scrutiny of Professors

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