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The Evening Brief: Feb. 20, 2012

Your evening reading: Craig James touts Santorum surge; Paul raised $4.5 million in January; PayPal mogul donates millions to Paul Super PAC

Former ESPN analyst Craig James at a U.S. Senate candidate debate in Austin on Jan. 12, 2012.

Culled:

  • James plays up Santorum's supposed surge in Texas (The Dallas Morning News): "Senate Republican candidate Craig James wants you to know that, of the Republicans chasing Texas' open Senate seat, he alone had the nerve to endorse someone in the presidential race after Gov. Rick Perry dropped out. And he's pretty happy, thank you, about his choice: Rick Santorum. Santorum has moved ahead of Mitt Romney in some national polls of Republican voters, and is 'connecting with voters in Texas' and 'is the true conservative alternative to Barack Obama,' James said Monday, citing an internet poll of some Texans who agree to be polled.'"
  • Ron Paul raised $4.5 million in January (The Washington Post): "Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) continues to raise money at a strong clip in the 2012 presidential race, pulling in $4.5 million in January, according to a person close to Paul’s campaign who divulged the information only on the condition of anonymity. The fundraising number, which the campaign will announce later today, shows the Texas congressman increased his fundraising pace slightly as the actual contests began. Paul raised $13.3 million in the fourth quarter, which was second-best clip in the GOP presidential race behind Mitt Romney."
  • PayPal co-founder donates millions to Ron Paul super PAC (CNN): "Silicon Valley renaissance man Peter Thiel donated another $1.7 million in January to a super PAC that backs Ron Paul, according to disclosure documents filed Monday. The PayPal co-founder donated $1 million on January 3, and followed that up 10 days later with an additional $700,000 gift."
  • Eagle Forum takes on Harmony charter schools (Houston Chronicle): The Texas chapter of the Eagle Forum wants state lawmakers to pass legislation requiring all charter school operators to be U.S. citizens. With 38 campuses, Harmony has become the state’s largest charter school system. Harmony is owned and operated by Turkey citizens and supporters. “Thousands of American children are becoming sympathetic to the Turkish way of life,” MerryLynn Gerstenschlager told the House Public Education Committee last week.

New in The Texas Tribune:

  • Sullivan Gets His Message Across, Loud and Clear: "Michael Quinn Sullivan's guerrilla politics irritate some of the state's leaders, but he's succeeded at what he set out to do: He's got their attention. It's not that he has a huge operation, especially in comparison with other political institutions in the field. But he's not afraid of confrontation or being directly involved in campaigns."

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