The Big Conversation:
Ron Paul's long-haul hunt for delegates may be futile. But to some degree, it may also be working.
Though Paul finished third in the Nevada caucuses and second in the Maine caucuses earlier this year, he won 22 of Nevada's 25 delegates and 21 of Maine's 24 delegates this weekend, effectively handing him victories in two states.
Paul supporters over the weekend also appeared to have dominated the nomination process for the slate of delegates that Iowa will send to the national convention, the Des Moines Register reports. Paul also won Louisiana's congressional district caucuses last weekend.
The effects of the wins remains unclear. As The Washington Post notes, Nevada delegates, for instance, will still likely be bound by state rules to vote for presumptive nominee Mitt Romney, who won the state's February caucuses.
But the victories appear to have given new life to Paul's long-term quest for delegates en route to the Republican National Convention. Though Romney claims a nearly insurmountable delegate lead, the Paul campaign, short of an outright victory, has hoped to rally support at local and state conventions to boost the influence the congressman will wield at the national convention.
And Paul himself appears confident of the strategy. The congressman attended a rally at the Texas Capitol on Sunday — attended by his son, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and U.S. Senate candidate Ted Cruz, for whom the Pauls voiced support — to drum up support ahead of the state's May 29 primary.
- Capping off a whirlwind week for Planned Parenthood in Texas, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday reversed the emergency stay it granted to the state of Texas on Tuesday, meaning that the state may not begin excluding Planned Parenthood clinics from the Women's Health Program. The state's Health and Human Services Commission said it would comply with the ruling, while Gov. Rick Perry's office said it would continue to fight Planned Parenthood. "Today’s developments do not change our concerted effort in coordination with Attorney General Abbott to defend the will of Texans and our state law, which prohibits taxpayer funds from supporting abortion providers and affiliates in the Women’s Health Program," Perry's office said in a statement.
- Housing reforms approved by Rick Perry late last year were intended to address growing concerns over housing concentration in low-income, minority areas and over how the state's housing agency distributed subsidies. But as the Tribune's Emily Ramshaw reports in collaboration with The Dallas Morning News' Rudolph Bush, the well-intended changes could mean fewer affordable housing developments in the state.
- Texas Democrats may be willing to open their wallets, but not so much in their home state. A Houston Chronicle analysis finds that of the $21 million Texas Democrats have donated to federal candidates or political committees for 2012 races, only $4.8 million — less than a quarter — has gone to Texas candidates. Texas Democrats, the Chronicle notes, have given about 30 times as much money to out-of-state Democrats — like U.S. Sens. Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan — as they have to Democratic candidates for the Texas Senate.
“If Mitt Romney wanted more delegates, his campaign would’ve spent one staff hour and one penny on it. They didn’t. There’s no conspiracy going on here. It’s called hard work. It pays off. If people don’t like it, they should get more motivated in four years.” — Monte Shaw, a member of the Iowa GOP delegate-selection committee, to the Des Moines Register
- Romo faces uphill challenge against bankrolled Doggett, San Antonio Express-News
- Travis County tends to pocket overpaid taxes, Austin American-Statesman
- Immigration Program Stands Out in Travis County Sheriff Race, The Texas Tribune