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The Evening Brief: Sept. 11, 2012

Your evening reading: Sadler calls himself the "mainstream candidate"; Perry staffer named Railroad Commission executive director; Assange threatened to sue South by Southwest over documentary

Former state Rep. Paul Sadler, D-Henderson, during the 77th Texas legislative session in May 2001.


•   Paul Sadler calls Ted Cruz an extremist (San Angelo Standard-Times): "The extremism of U.S. Senate Republican candidate Ted Cruz is too much to bear, his opponent, Democrat Paul Sadler, said in a San Angelo visit Monday. Cruz would recklessly do away with federal departments such as the Energy, Commerce, Education and the IRS, and he believes the United Nations will in some measure take over the United States, Sadler said. 'I've got to get the message out of how extreme his position is,' Sadler said. 'I am the mainstream candidate.'"

•   Julian Assange threatened legal action over WikiLeaks documentary (The Guardian): "Julian Assange threatened legal action against a film festival in an attempt to pressure them not to show a documentary on the history of WikiLeaks. Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, threatened to sue the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in the United States if they broadcast the documentary, WikiLeaks: Secrets and Lies, earlier this year."

•   Karen Handel book: Karl Rove urged retreat on Planned Parenthood (Politico): "A tell-all book by a former official at Susan G. Komen for the Cure alleges that Karl Rove told the charity to reverse its decision to end its cancer screening funding of Planned Parenthood — raising eyebrows among conservatives who wanted Komen to stand firm amid the uproar. The book by Karen Handel, the former Komen vice president who resigned after the charity restored funding to Planned Parenthood, says Komen CEO Nancy Brinker told her that Rove said the organization should back down."

•   Gov. Rick Perry, in the Hot Seat at Ferrari Headquarters (The New York Times): "Perhaps nobody was better suited than Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, then, to get acquainted with a 730-horsepower Ferrari F12 Berlinetta or a 462-horsepower 458 Italia on Tuesday on Ferrari’s test track at Fiorano. Mr. Perry visited the track after meeting with Luca di Montezemolo, the Ferrari chairman, earlier in the day at the supercar manufacturer’s headquarters in Maranello."

•   Texas Gov. Rick Perry said American spirit "remains alive and well." (Fort Worth Star-Telegram): "Texas Gov. Rick Perry, in Italy on an economic development trip, sent out a statement Tuesday marking the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. 'Eleven years ago this morning, the hopes, dreams and lives of more than 3,000 individuals were taken during the most brazen and catastrophic terrorist attack the United States had ever seen,' Perry said in the statement. 'In the years since, their tales of loss, redemption and soul-stirring courage have inspired people around the world to live larger, more meaningful lives.'"

New in The Texas Tribune:

•   Perry Staffer Named Railroad Commission Executive Director: "Milton Rister, a former Republican political operative who is currently a member of the governor’s senior staff, will become the new executive director of the Texas Railroad Commission."

•   Legislator Wants to Reopen State Farm Investigation: "Following a report of a criminal investigation of State Farm over its handling of tens of thousands of insurance claims after Hurricane Ike, a Texas legislator wants the Texas Department of Insurance to reopen its investigation."

•   Interactive: Impact of Potential Federal Cuts to Food Stamp Benefits: "Nearly one in five Texas households struggled to afford healthy food in 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This interactive shows how many Texans would lose food stamp benefits if a proposed $16 billion cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is approved."

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