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The Evening Brief: Feb. 22, 2012

Your evening reading: Perry knocks Santorum ahead of debate; Texas Democrats launch "Truth Team"; Leppert defends marching in gay pride parades

Gov. Rick Perry with wife Anita at a Williamson County Republican dinner in Round Rock, his first public appearance since leaving the presidential race.


  • Rick Perry pre-debate shot: Santorum's weak on states rights (The Dallas Morning News): "Rick Perry took a shot at Rick Santorum prior to tonight's GOP debate, saying the former Pennsylvania senator is 'weak on the 10th Amendment' and lacks the instinct to go after big spending in Washington. In an interview, Perry touted Newt Gingrich as the best Republican in the field to be the party's nominee for president. Perry said of Santorum, 'He thinks that Washington needs to be making a substantial amount of those decisions' regarding spending and federal oversight of education, environment and health care decisions better left to the states.'"
  • Julian Castro and Charlie Gonzalez named national Obama campaign co-chairs (San Antonio Express-News): "San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and U.S. Rep. Charlie Gonzalez have been named national co-chairmen for the Obama for America campaign to re-election the president. Castro and Gonzalez, both San Antonio Democrats, were among 30 leaders nationally that the campaign has designated to advise the re-election effort and mobilize voters in all 50 states."
  • Emails spread false information about voter registration (Austin American-Statesman): "Central Texas elections officials are warning against a rash of emails spreading false information about voter registration — an already confusing issue for many because of an ongoing battle over redistricting that has delayed every step in the election process. The emails claim that voter registration certificates expired at the end of last year and that residents hoping to have a say in the election need to get registered quickly."

New in The Texas Tribune:

  • State Seeks Gag Order in 1986 Murder Case: "A Williamson County judge will consider silencing parties to the murder case against Mark Alan Norwood. He is charged with the 1986 beating death of Christine Morton, whose husband spent nearly 25 years in prison for the crime."
  • LCRA Passes Water Plan for Lakes: "On Wednesday, the LCRA's board of directors voted to pass the water management plan for the Highland Lakes. The plan now goes to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for final approval."
  • Updated Map: Federally Funded Family-Planning Providers in Texas: Amid massive state budget cuts, the number of family-planning contractors statewide continues to fall off, from 71 agencies in 2011 to 41 now. Use this interactive map to see which Texas family-planning clinics received funding in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

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