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The Evening Brief: March 13, 2012

Your evening reading: Barton campaign exceeded limit in contribution to Gingrich; Rasmussen poll shows Romney and Santorum running even in Texas; RedState blogger hits Dewhurst over health care adviser

Rep. Joe Barton, R-Arlington, addresses BP chief executive Tony Hayward at an oil spill hearing in Washington.


  • Joe Barton goes (too) big for Gingrich (Politico): "In July, the congressional campaign of Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) made a $5,000 campaign contribution to Newt Gingrich’s presidential primary effort, federal records show. Just one problem: the legal committee-to-committee contribution limit is $2,000 per election, and the FEC is calling Barton on it. 'This was a mistake on our end and we should have recorded it as a $2,000 contribution to the 2012 primary election, and a $2,000 contribution to the 2012 general election,' The Congressman Joe Barton Committee Treasurer Kristin Barton wrote to the FEC in response to a recent inquiry, while also noting that Newt 2012 is refunding $1,000. 'We apologize for this mistake.'"
  • RedState's Erickson blasts Dewhurst for adviser's support of health mandate (The Dallas Morning News): "Conservative blogger Erick Erickson of RedState, who supports Ted Cruz in the Texas Senate race, has blasted frontrunning Republican David Dewhurst for his ties to a health care policy advocate who supports the federal health law's requirement that virtually all individuals obtain insurance coverage."
  • Texas GOP Primary: Romney 32%, Santorum 30%, Gingrich 19%, Paul 9% (Rasmussen Reports): "Looking down the road to one of the biggest delegate prizes of them all, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are in a near tie in Rasmussen Reports’ first look at the Texas Republican Primary. A new telephone survey of Likely Republican Primary Voters in Texas finds Romney earning 32% support to Santorum’s 30%. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich picks up 19% of the vote, and Texas Congressman Ron Paul runs fourth with nine percent (9%). Three percent (3%) like another candidate in the race, and seven percent (7%) are undecided."
  • Meyers backs down from primary challenge (The Dallas Morning News): "Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Sharon Keller will no longer face an in-house opponent to unseat her as the court's presiding judge. Judge Larry Meyers had long been readying a challenge against Keller in the Republican primary, saying he felt the court needed a change. Keller has served as presiding judge over the court for the past decade. Both had portrayed the upcoming primary has a friendly one with no hard feelings."

New in The Texas Tribune:

  • Special Prosecutor Appointed in Morton Case: "A Houston lawyer with a long list of high profile clients has been tapped to be the prosecutor in the court of inquiry into possible misconduct in the case of Michael Morton, who was wrongfully convicted of murder in 1987."
  • News App: The 2012 Election Brackets: "The candidates have filed for the May 29 primary elections. With all of the changes going on, it will help to have a scorecard. We've updated our election brackets to reflect the final filing period that closed on March 9 so that you can size up the competition and, as they become available, learn the results of the primaries, the runoffs and the general election."

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