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The Evening Brief: March 19, 2012

Your evening reading: Perry's Facebook page bombarded over family planning cuts; joke between friends could end up before Texas Supreme Court; Paul immune to money woes?

Gov. Rick Perry speaks at Williamson County Republican dinner in Round Rock, his first public speech since leaving the presidential race.


  • Women Have Covered Rick Perry's Facebook Wall With Questions About Menstruation (Business Insider): "Women aren't too happy with Rick Perry's stance on family planning funding. Today, they let him know the best way they could, with some well-directed Internet snark. Posts asking Perry's advice about everything from menstruation to menopause flooded the governor's Facebook wall this morning. They've since been taken down, and new posting has been disabled, but screenshots document the whole episode."
  • Joking between friends becomes Texas Supreme Court case (Fort Worth Star-Telegram): "Bennie Dale Morris used to be a regular at Frank's Place — eating meals and drinking coffee several times a day at the smoke-filled cafe — until the restaurant owner's joking around got a little too personal. In fact, Morris and longtime restaurant owner Phong Van Meter, who used to be friends, are now in a classic he-said, she-said legal standoff with First Amendment implications that may wind up before the Texas Supreme Court. At issue is whether her loud jokes in front of customers, in which she is accused of implying that Morris is gay — a suggestion that he and his friend vehemently deny — went too far."
  • Is Ron Paul running into money problems? (Christian Science Monitor): "Is Ron Paul running into money problems? … Fear not, Paulites! We think Representative Paul will cruise easily toward the GOP convention in August, if that’s what he wants. … First of all, January was a big month. It was crammed with big primaries and tempting caucuses. Paul won’t have to spend $5 million each month down the road to keep up the same level of activity. Second, the Paul campaign is leaner than your average presidential bid. It’s certainly more efficient than the Romney machine."
  • Hampton will be on ballot, party rules (Austin American-Statesman): "The state Democratic Party has certified Austin lawyer Keith Hampton as a candidate for presiding judge on the state’s highest criminal court. In a challenge filed the day before the March 9 candidate filing deadline, Hampton’s Republican opponent, incumbent Presiding Judge Sharon Keller, claimed irregularities on several petitions should have invalidated the forms. As a result, Keller said, Hampton failed to collect enough valid signatures — 50 in each of the state’s 14 appellate court districts — to be placed on the November ballot."

New in The Texas Tribune:

  • Plenty of Primary Races Are Lacking Big Drama: "Elections aren't as competitive as they look. Most attention is on the races that either have a lot of candidates or are really close for other reasons. But lots of elections are decided quietly, without drama. Now that Texas candidates have filed for the primaries, it's clear that half of these contests aren't contests at all."

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