The Evening Brief: Texas Headlines for Sept. 19, 2012

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder speaking at the University of Texas LBJ Presidential Library on Dec. 13, 2011.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder speaking at the University of Texas LBJ Presidential Library on Dec. 13, 2011.

Culled:

•   2 out at Justice Department after Fast and Furious internal report criticism (Politico): "An internal Justice Department investigation into the Operation Fast and Furious scandal singles out 14 different officials for criticism and possible disciplinary action. But a report out Wednesday found no evidence that the department’s top leaders knew about the gun-walking aspect of the operation when it was under way."

•   Cornyn says Fast and Furious report ‘does not reflect well’ on administration; Perry calls for Holder’s ouster (Houston Chronicle): "Texas Gov. Rick Perry: 'If a member of the Attorney General’s inner circle had the knowledge and power to stop Fast and Furious, the Attorney General had the knowledge and power to stop it. The only other possibility is that he is incompetent. In either event, for the sake of the country, he must go.'"

•   Supreme Court won't block Texas voting map (Reuters): "The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to postpone Texas' congressional elections, rejecting a claim by a Hispanic civil rights group that an interim court-drawn map discriminated against minorities. Without comment, the court rejected an appeal by the League of United Latin American Citizens to the map, which had been drawn up by a three-judge federal court panel in San Antonio."

•   Ted Cruz declines invitation for Houston debate; only two Senate face-offs are in Dallas (Houston Chronicle): "Two days after agreeing to a second debate with Paul Sadler in Dallas, Ted Cruz’s campaign today declined an offer from Houston-based public broadcasting station KUHT Channel 8 to participate in a senatorial debate in Texas’ most populous city."

•   Gallego Narrowly Leads Canseco in Texas's 23rd District (National Journal): "A poll conducted by Democratic-aligned outside groups shows freshman Rep. Quico Canseco, R-Texas, trailing Democratic state Rep. Pete Gallego in a close campaign for Texas's 23rd Congressional District. Gallego holds a narrow lead over Canseco, 43 percent to 38 percent, with the remainder of the electorate undecided in a survey released Tuesday and conducted for the League of Conservation Voters and the Sierra Club. LCV endorsed Gallego and spent on his behalf during his primary, including running television ads. The survey was conducted by Anzalone Liszt Research, which interviewed 500 likely voters in English and Spanish from Sept. 12-17. The poll has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 4.4 percentage points."

•   Texas town's rental ban gets second hearing (The Associated Press): "A Dallas suburb asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to uphold an ordinance that would ban illegal immigrants from renting homes in the town. The full 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to rehear the case after a three-judge panel from the court ruled in March that Farmers Branch's ordinance is unconstitutional and impermissibly interferes with the federal immigration system."

•   Perry: Church and state separation is the devil’s work (The Dallas Morning News): "Rick Perry, speaking on a conference call with Christian conservatives Tuesday, called the separation between church and state a false premise that is advanced by the devil. He also said that the Obama Administration and court system are working to remove religous references from the American way of life and that is it up to 'Christian warriors, Christian soldiers,' to prevent it from happening."

•   Dallas Copes With Unpredictability of West Nile Virus (The New York Times): "Here in Dallas County, the West Nile outbreak’s hardest-hit county in the United States, a few missed pumps of bug spray can haunt the relatives of those who die from the virus."

New in The Texas Tribune:

•   Wainwright to Resign From Texas Supreme Court: "Texas Supreme Court Justice Dale Wainwright is resigning at the end of the month to join an Austin law firm, the court announced Wednesday."

•   John Montford: The TT Interview: The former prosecutor, state lawmaker, Texas Tech chancellor and AT&T executive talks about his latest initiative to make casino gambling legal in Texas. 

•   Questions About Old Blood May Have Implications for DNA: "Harris County says it is running out of room to store blood in closed investigations. The district attorney is asking the attorney general to allow courts to order the destruction of old evidence. Some worry that could set a dangerous precedent."

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