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The Evening Brief: Feb. 13, 2012

Your evening reading: Abbott says Doggett district may prevent redistricting compromise; Texas Democratic Party urges Perry to call special session on school funding; Shapiro says TEA has authority to waive testing requirement

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett shows state district map.

Your eyes aren't deceiving you: The Midday Brief has become The Evening Brief, which will appear on the site at 5 p.m. every weekday. The change, though minor, will hopefully offer a more comprehensive — and, when pertinent, more multimedia-heavy — look at the top afternoon headlines of the day. Suggestions? Email me at


  • AG: Doggett’s district could be sticking point in redistricting case (Austin American-Statesman): "Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott signaled in a court filing today that U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett’s district could be the sticking point that could prevent a compromise in the ongoing redistricting fight. The congressional redistricting maps drawn by the Legislature last year — and defended by Abbott — divides Travis County into five congressional districts, up from three now."
  • Texas Democrats urge Perry to call special (school funding) session (Houston Chronicle): "The Texas Democratic Party has joined several others groups in calling on Gov. Rick Perry to call a special legislative session for lawmakers to deal with school funding. … The State Democratic Executive Committee of the Texas Democratic Party unanimously passed a resolution Saturday asking Perry to call the Legislature into immediate special session in order to restore funding to public education."
  • Obama would cut funds to defray jail costs for illegal immigrants (The Dallas Morning News): "President Barack Obama's 2013 budget proposal includes a $170 million cut to a program that helps Texas and other states cover jail costs for illegal immigrants. The State Criminal Alien Assistance Program would be cut from $240 million to $70 million under Obama's plan, in one of many ways that federal austerity hits state and local budgets.
  • Texans Are Baffled by the Keystone Decision, by Rick Perry (The Wall Street Journal): "It seems unimaginable, yet President Obama refused Trans-Canada's request to run its pipeline across the border from Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast. This extensive pipeline holds the potential of moving up to 830,000 barrels of crude oil per day—including oil produced in North Dakota and Montana—to refineries here in Texas. Translated into job numbers, that's up to 20,000 direct jobs and estimates of up to hundreds of thousands of indirect jobs created by this $7 billion project."
  • Ron Paul still waiting for elusive first victory (The Washington Post): "Rep. Ron Paul’s (R-Texas) campaign may have blown its best chance at winning a state in the Republican presidential contest last week in Maine.  But there will be other opportunities in the weeks ahead. … The campaign’s top hopes appear to be in caucuses held in Washington state on March 3 and those held in Alaska, North Dakota and Idaho on Super Tuesday on March 6."

New in The Texas Tribune:

  • Linbeck Part of Super PAC Taking Aim at Incumbents: "Houston construction mogul Leo Linbeck III and more than a dozen Texas donors have started a now-$1.8 million Super PAC aimed at shaking up the country's political primaries — and targeting longtime incumbents of both parties. In Texas, the Campaign for Primary Accountability will support the primary opponents of U.S. Reps. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Dallas, and Silvestre Reyes, D-El Paso."
  • With Redistricting, It's Inside Baseball, Football: "Not everything in redistricting is about politics. Some of it's about getting a good seat in the office. Some is about getting good seats when you're not at the office. Attorney General Greg Abbott and U.S. Rep. Joe Barton have had a back-and-forth over Cowboys Stadium and Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, which sits next to it."

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