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The Evening Brief: Aug. 1, 2012

Your evening reading: deciphering Cruz's victory; Sadler nabs a sliver of the spotlight; Chick-fil-A "appreciation day" draws crowds in Texas

Adviser Jason Johnson (right) helped former Solicitor General Ted Cruz rise from underdog to champion in the 2012 Republic...

Culled:

•   A Tea Party Intellect From Texas, Poised to Join the Senate (The New York Times): "Mr. Cruz’s victory in November is all but assured in this heavily Republican state and marks a shift to the right in the already-conservative party here. Political elders and experts who have watched him during his time here as state solicitor general and on the campaign trail predict that he will be an intellectual force in the Congress on behalf of Constitutional limits on federal power. He is expected to join Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina and other Tea Party icons as an uncompromising irritant of mainstream Republicans and Democrats alike."

•   Questions about the qualifications of Ted Cruz, the GOP's newest star (Los Angeles Times): "Ted Cruz, the Republican Party’s newest star, hasn’t even officially won his seat in the U.S. Senate, and already there is speculation about a run for something bigger in 2016. But could the circumstances of his birth get in the way?"

•   Sen. John Cornyn confident he’ll get Ted Cruz’ backing for whip (The Dallas Morning News): "With Ted Cruz all but certain to join him in Washington next January, Sen. John Cornyn predicted he’ll work smoothly with Texas’ next junior senator. 'This is a major victory for Ted Cruz, and a real upset,' Cornyn said on his weekly call with Texas reporters, saying Cruz had 'inspired people across the state' in his win over Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst on Tuesday night."

•   Texas’s Ted Cruz gives tea party a Madisonian flair (The Washington Post): "Ted Cruz’s victory in Tuesday’s Texas Republican runoff for the U.S. Senate nomination is the most impressive triumph yet for the still-strengthening tea party impulse. And Cruz’s victory coincides with something conservatives should celebrate: the centennial of the 20th century’s most important intraparty struggle. By preventing former president Theodore Roosevelt from capturing the 1912 Republican presidential nomination from President William Howard Taft, the GOP deliberately doomed its chances for holding the presidency but kept its commitment to the Constitution."

•   The Texas Democrat Who Aims to Beat Ted Cruz (Bloomberg Businessweek): "The Tea Party has toppled another mainstream Republican, this time in Texas. Lost in much of the coverage of the primary contest between Houston attorney Ted Cruz and Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst was the November general election, which will feature a real, live Democrat. The assumption behind the media oversight, of course, is that with Texas about the reddest of the crimson states, a Democrat running for national office had better just do it as cheaply and as graciously as possible before his inevitable loss, given the party’s 18-year losing record in elections for statewide offices. Paul Sadler, the oilman’s son who is opposing Cruz in November, wants to hear none of that talk."

•   Crowds flock to Chick-fil-A to back anti-gay marriage view (Houston Chronicle): "On Wednesday, Chick-fil-A's chicken sandwich might be the most controversial thing to eat. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Baptist minister, declared it national 'Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day,' after the chicken chain came into the spotlight with its owner's comments on gay marriage last month. Reports around the Houston area said they saw crowds and lines surrounding restaurants around the city."

•   Matt Angle fined for campaign finance reporting violations, says “technical errors” were not deliberate (Texas Watchdog): "The Texas Ethics Commission has fined Matt Angle, former head of the Texas Democratic Trust, $5,000 for failing to disclose a $50,000 political contribution and the recipients of more than $370,000 in political reimbursements, most of them to his own consulting firm.

New in The Texas Tribune:

•   With Runoffs Complete, the November Ballots Are Set: "The primaries and the runoffs and the state conventions are now behind us, and the ballots for November are set. Here are our updated election brackets, including the latest results, showing the matchups on the general election ballot."

•   A Solution for Texas' Power Problems: Saving Electricity at Peak Times: "A small number of Texas homeowners are signed up to help the electric grid when it is strained, by allowing their air conditioners to cycle off briefly during the hottest afternoons. It’s a concept that regulators in Austin are eager to spread."

•   A&M System Chancellor to Announce New Research Fund: "Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp on Thursday will announce plans to earmark millions for recruiting and hiring to researchers at Texas A&M and Prairie View A&M University."

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