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The Evening Brief: July 25, 2012

Your evening reading: Palin, Santorum to campaign for Cruz; runoff turnout strong so far; House passes Paul's "Audit the Fed" bill

Former presidential candidate Rick Santorum at the state Republican convention on June 8, 2012.

New in The Texas Tribune:

•  Palin Among Major Names Coming to Texas for Cruz: "In the final days of the Republican primary runoff between Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz, major conservative leaders are coming to Texas to rally support for Cruz. FreedomWorks, a Washington, D.C.-based conservative group chaired by former Texas Congressman Dick Armey, will hold a rally in Dallas on Thursday evening featuring Cruz, Armey, radio pundit Glenn Beck, and U.S. Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah. The next day, the Cruz campaign has scheduled a get-out-the-vote rally in The Woodlands featuring former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, R-South Carolina. Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania is also planning to campaign with Cruz over the weekend ahead of Tuesday's runoff, according to ABC News."

•  Interactive Map: Texas DPS Office Locations: "If preclearance for the state’s voter ID law is granted, the state has promised to issue free 'election identification certificates,' forms of photo ID for use only in voting. But some argue that Texas voters could have a tough time reaching the Department of Public Safety offices to get those IDs. Take a look for yourself at our interactive map of the all the open and closed DPS offices in the state.





•  Guest Column: How Conservative is David Dewhurst?: "The state's lieutenant governor has clearly sided with and protected the Republicans in the Texas Senate, but has he presided as a conservative? That's in the eye of the beholder."


•  It’s early but first two days’ turnout in top 10 counties suggests voter interest in GOP runoff pretty strong (The Dallas Morning News): "Two days of early voting for Tuesday’s GOP runoff election in urban counties of Texas has yielded more than twice as many votes as it did last spring. Figures released by Texas Secretary of State Hope Andrade’s office on Wednesday — and crunched by The Dallas Morning News to get comparables — show that in the 10 counties with the most registered votes, 31,622 votes were cast on Monday; and on Tuesday, 36,255. Rewinding the videotape and getting out our calculator, we see that the comparable numbers for the 10 counties were 15,228 and 15,301, respectively, on May 14 and May 15."

•  Runoff voter turnout is way above projections in San Antonio (San Antonio Express-News): Apparently Bexar County voters have forgone the trip to Aspen or Telluride this year, and are turning out in droves to vote early in the upcoming runoff election. During the first two days of early voting, more than 14,000 people have cast a ballot, about four times as many as the county elections department had expected. 'This is really terrific,' said Jacquelyn Callanen, the Bexar County Elections Administrator. 'We’re going to to exceed everything we expected.'"

•  House OKs Ron Paul’s ‘audit the Fed’ bill (Politico): "The House voted for an audit of the Federal Reserve Wednesday, handing Rep. Ron Paul a symbolic victory in his long crusade against the central bank."

•  Dewhurst airs final ‘contrast’ ad (The Dallas Morning News):"This ad by Senate GOP runoff hopeful David Dewhurst, which began airing Wednesday, packs a lot into a visually very clean attempt by the lieutenant governor to summarize his race with former state Solicitor General Ted Cruz. The punch line tells it all: Male Announcer: Dewhurst. Conservative. Texas. Results. Female Announcer: Cruz. Typical. Washington. Lawyer."

•  Dewhurst dismisses Cruz’s support from U.S. senators (Houston Chronicle): "Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst — talking with reporters Wednesday after recognizing firefighters at a Fort Worth station — dismissed Freedomworks’ upcoming tea party rally that will feature speakers including his rival for the GOP nod for U.S. Senate, Ted Cruz. Dewhurst described such support for Cruz as coming from 'Washington insiders' and 'Washington special interests.' Noting that Cruz often cites his support from several United States senators, Dewhurst contended that they are 'all from states that are not as conservative as Texas, all from states that have not done as well as Texas is doing.'"

•  Drought to Drive Up Food Prices Next Year, U.S. Says (The New York Times): "The worst drought in the United States in nearly a half-century is expected to drive up the price of milk, beef and pork next year, the government said Wednesday, as consumers bear some of the brunt of the sweltering heat that is driving up the cost of feed corn."

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