New in The Texas Tribune:
- Rep. J.M. Lozano Confirms Plans to Switch to GOP: "Freshman state Rep. J.M. Lozano, D-Kingsville, will announce this week that he will join the Republican Party. He said that his decision is based, in part, on the new makeup of his district, whose constituents he said are in line with Republican values."
- Interactive: What Does My District Look Like?: "Lawmakers don’t have to be fair. If they did, the court would have repaired the damage. It’s just that the law doesn’t protect geography as carefully as it protects minorities."
- In Redistricting, Race is the Limit to GOP Majority: "Texas Republicans grabbed just about every seat that wasn't protected by the Voting Rights Act. Democrats either have to find more voters or be forced to continue relying on ethnicity to protect the seats they still have."
- Inside Intelligence: About Those Political Plans...: "For this week's nonscientific survey of our political and governmental insiders, we asked who would win a fantasy matchup between Rick Perry and Greg Abbott, whether there will be a runoff in the Senate race, and who'll be the next Railroad Commissioner."
- How many Romneys are voting for Ron Paul? (Christian Science Monitor): "In two releases sent earlier today (Monday), the Paul campaign champions six members of the Romney clan who have endorsed his candidacy. (After an initial release touting five Romney backers, a second release noted a sixth, previously unaccounted for Romney.) Three of those will speak as surrogates for the Paul campaign as Idaho voters go to the polls on Super Tuesday. One is 'currently phone banking' at Congressman Paul’s , Idaho headquarters."
- Barbara Bush bashes 2012 presidential hopefuls in first ladies conference (The Dallas Morning News): "The 2012 presidential campaign may have eight months to go, but former first lady Barbara Bush has already given it a bad review. 'I think it’s been the worst campaign I’ve ever seen in my life,' she said Monday at Southern Methodist University during a conference on the influence of the nation’s first ladies. 'I hate that people think compromise is a dirty word. It’s not a dirty word,' she said."
- Rush Limbaugh responds to Sheila Jackson Lee, gives her his phone number … if she dares to call (Houston Chronicle): "This could be a heavyweight rhetorical match-up. Rush Limbaugh vs. Sheila Jackson Lee. Jackson Lee, the Houston congresswoman with an advanced vocabulary and strong liberal views, challenged Limbaugh, the conservative talk show host with a coarse vocabulary and a problem with women, to invite her onto his radio show. Limbaugh accepted and gave her his number."
- Blue Cross files protest over loss of state health plan contract (Austin American-Statesman): "Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas has filed a formal protest with the Employees Retirement System of Texas claiming the competitive process for awarding a $205 million health plan administration contract was flawed."