The Big Conversation:
After a sluggish few months on the campaign trail, Ron Paul today returns to his roots.
Following a swing through California, which votes June 5, Paul will embark on a three-day tour of Texas, his home state, holding town hall events at Texas A&M University in College Station today, at Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth on Wednesday and at the Main Plaza in San Antonio on Thursday.
The events, according to his campaign website, have been organized by Youth for Ron Paul, and the congressman hopes to rally those young supporters before Texas' May 29 primary. As NBC News reported last week, Paul has stepped up his campaign efforts in the past week, trying to make a play for delegate-rich California and Texas by appearing primarily at college campuses before students leave for summer vacation.
The campaign has scheduled six rallies at Texas universities, NBC reported, and has begun adding staff to help with the operation. Paul, from Lake Jackson, will also speak at five state conventions and will go on the air this week in the state with a Texas-themed ad that his campaign released this morning:
“Ron Paul is competing hard in his home state of Texas, and we expect that Texas conservatives will reject flip-flopping Massachusetts moderate Mitt Romney and the debt ceiling raising fiscal liberal Rick Santorum," Paul campaign chairman Jesse Benton said in a statement, adding, "Texas voters will be reminded that Ron Paul is the only Texan in the race, the only veteran in the race, and the only real conservative in the race."
- A new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that employment and wages rose faster in Texas than in the U.S. during the 12-month period that ended in September, according to The Dallas Morning News. Employment rose 2.7 percent in Texas, compared with 1.6 percent nationally, while wages in Texas rose 6.2 percent in Texas, compared with 5.3 percent nationally.
- Faced with state-imposed budget cuts and growing concerns over college costs, University of Texas President Bill Powers has assembled a 13-member committee made up of corporate executives from across the U.S. to suggest ways for UT to improve efficiency and reduce costs. As the Tribune's Reeve Hamilton reports, Powers expects the committee to avoid the sorts of higher education reform recommendations offered last year by a conservative think tank that sparked heated debate in 2011.
"Hard work beats daddy's money." — Tea Party leader and former congressman Dick Armey to the San Antonio Express-News on the U.S. Senate race matchup between Ted Cruz and David Dewhurst. A spokesman for Dewhurst, whose father was killed by a drunk driver when Dewhurst was 3, has called on Cruz to repudiate Armey's comments.
- Racial remarks land Houston-area justice of the peace in trouble, Houston Chronicle
- Team of Hope, Gone in City of Violence, The New York Times
- Video: Is State System Helping Failing Districts?, The Texas Tribune