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The Evening Brief: March 30, 2012

Your evening reading: Texas Republican Party proposes presidential debate; Perry's campaign security costs still mounting; Justice Department targeting lawmakers' communications over voter ID

The set at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H. on Oct. 10, 2011, the night before Rick Perry's fourth Republican presidential debate.

New in The Texas Tribune:

  • Texas GOP Pursuing Presidential Debate: "The Republican Party of Texas is making plans to host a presidential debate in Texas before the May 29 primaries. Party chairman Steve Munisteri announced Friday that all the major candidates except Mitt Romney have accepted the invitation."
  • Perry's Campaign Security Costs Go Up — Again: "Gov. Rick Perry’s presidential odyssey ended in January, but the bills for the security force that protected him on the campaign trail keep pouring in, boosting the pricetag to almost $3 million so far. The Department of Public Safety released new figures Friday for the travel expenditures incurred by his security detail. The department added more than $900,000 to the amounts it had previously released, accounting for travel vouchers that were submitted since the last report about three months ago."
  • Texas Economy Gains Jobs, Even in Government: "The Texas economy continued its upward climb in February, gaining 27,900 jobs while the unemployment rate dropped slightly, from 7.3 percent to 7.1 percent. Even government jobs grew."
  • T-Squared: More Bang For Your Texas Weekly Buck: "This week's issue of the premium newsletter includes several new features intended to amp up the exclusivity and spin the public policy and politics news forward a few extra rotations. You. Must. Subscribe."


  • President Obama endorses Eddie Bernice Johnson for Congress (The Dallas Morning News): "Talk about heavyweight support. On Friday President Barack Obama endorsed longtime Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson's bid for reelection. 'Congresswoman Johnson is a tireless champion for all of the (District 30) middle and working-class families,' Obama said via a statement released by Johnson's campaign. 'We've worked hard these last three years to bring meaningful, positive change to our nation.'"
  • Familiar TaxMasters pitchman — and major Perry donor — convicted of cheating customers (The Dallas Morning News): "The familiar bearded TV pitchman for TaxMasters — Patrick Cox — was convicted today of defrauding customers and ordered to pay $195 million. Cox is a major contributor to Gov. Rick Perry, donating $100,000 to the Republican governor's reelection campaign in 2010. In his prolific television commercials, Cox promises that TaxMasters will help people resolve their tax problems with the IRS."

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