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The Evening Brief: July 18, 2012

Your evening reading: new ads go after Cruz's ties to client involved in corruption scandal; Governor's Mansion restoration complete; Adelson aiding Dewhurst

Ted Cruz at the JW Marriott hotel in Houston on May 29, 2012.

New in The Texas Tribune:

  • Dewhurst, Super PAC Target Same Cruz Client in New Ads: "Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and an independent Super PAC supporting his bid for an open U.S. Senate seat are both out with new ads focusing on former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz's connection to a Pennsylvania developer embroiled in a judicial corruption scheme."

The Dewhurst campaign's new radio ad, called "Cash for Cruz":

The Super PAC's ad, called "No Principles":

  • Years After Arson, Governor's Mansion Restoration is Complete: "Four years after an arsonist nearly burned down the Texas Governor’s Mansion, Gov. Rick Perry and his wife Anita stood a few feet from its iconic front porch and announced Wednesday that a painstaking restoration of the 156-year-old structure is complete."
  • Texas Weighs State-Based Alternative to GED Exam: "Because of concerns over a partnership between the national organization that develops the GED and Pearson, a for-profit, London-based testing company, Texas may create its own high school equivalency exam."
  • Williams, Riddle Vie for GOP Votes in CD-25: "For the majority of Republican voters in the district, neither Roger Williams nor Wes Riddle was their first choice, leaving both candidates a lot of ground to cover and a lot of convincing to do before the July 31 runoff."
  • HD-114 GOP Runoff Hopefuls Diverge on Strategy: "In HD-114, which includes North Dallas and Lake Highlands, the candidates in the runoff for the Republican nomination are taking different approaches in their bids to replace Rep. Will Hartnett."

Culled:

  • Casino billionaire comes to the aid of David Dewhurst in his Senate bid (The Dallas Morning News): "Las Vegas casino magnate and big-time Super PAC donor Sheldon Adelson has come to the rescue of David Dewhurst’s Republican Senate campaign. Adelson, the CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corp., was a major backer of Newt Gingrich in his failed presidential bid. He has contributed $250,000 to the pro-Dewhurst SuperPAC the Conservative Renewal committee. That accounted for most of the $280,000 the PAC raised in May and June, according to the latest filing with the Federal Election Commission."
  • Texas banking on $5 billion more in state revenues (Austin American-Statesman): "At least $5 billion in unanticipated revenues will flow into Texas’ state coffers during the current two-year budget, according to new figures from the comptroller’s office. Comptroller Susan Combs on Wednesday released updated details of how much money Texas is expected to collect in taxes and fees in fiscal year 2013, which begins on Sept. 1. The report, prepared as Texas seeks $9.8 billion in short-term loans, indicates that the state will bring in about $2 billion more than she previously estimated."
  • Businesses Will Push Perry to Rethink Medicaid Expansion (Kaiser Health News): "The same day last week that Perry said expanding Medicaid would be like 'adding a thousand people to the Titanic,' WellPoint Inc. disclosed an agreement to buy Texas’s biggest Medicaid managed care company for $4.9 billion. The purchase of Amerigroup, which operates in 12 other states besides Texas, is WellPoint’s attempt to cash in on the health act’s addition of 17 million Americans to Medicaid, the state and federal program for the poor."
  • Cornyn sees “very competitive” Senate race, likely bump for David Dewhurst over Ted Cruz from Tom Leppert endorsement (The Dallas Morning News): "Sen. John Cornyn said the endorsement former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert gave Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst last night will help in the July 31 runoff against Ted Cruz. He’s just not sure how much. 'Mayor Leppert received a substantial vote, and that certainly helps the lieutenant governor,' Cornyn said this afternoon on his weekly call with Texas reporters. 'It’s going to be who’s most highly motivated to vote,' he added."
  • Obama opens up massive 48-point lead among Latino voters (Houston Chronicle): "A nightmare scenario for Republicans is playing itself out. In sloooooooow motion. A new poll of Latino voters released today shows that President Barack Obama has opened up a nearly fifty percentage point lead over Republican Mitt Romney in the race for the White House, 70 percent to 22 percent."

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