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The Evening Brief: Oct. 3, 2012

Your evening reading: agreement reached over dead-voter purge; Shelton calls for criminal investigation of Davis; Hutchison stumps for U.S. Senate candidate in North Dakota

Greg Abbott, then the state's attorney general, discusses Texas' lawsuit against federal health care reform on Jan. 31, 2011.

New in The Texas Tribune:

•   State, Voters Reach Deal in "Dead Voter" Lawsuit: "A lawsuit by four registered voters alleging that the state of Texas was violating their civil rights by purging them from voter rolls has been dropped after the plaintiffs and the state reached an agreement. … Lawyers for the plaintiffs won an injunction last month to stop the process after tens of thousands of letters were sent out, including many to voters who were still alive. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott sought to have the restraining order dissolved, however, and a hearing was scheduled for this week on the matter. After Wednesday’s agreement, however, the plaintiffs agreed to drop the suit after the state agreed that it would not purge voters if they failed to respond within the allotted time frame."

•   Shelton Requests Criminal Investigation of Davis and NTTA: "State Rep. Mark Shelton, R-Fort Worth, called for a criminal investigation into state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, on Wednesday in the latest development in this increasingly bitter race for Davis' Senate seat."

•   "Innocence Commission" Bill Poised to Return but Faces Uphill Climb: "State Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon plans to revive her efforts to create an 'innocence commission' to look into old cases of wrongful convictions. But she acknowledges that the legislation faces a difficult challenge."


•   Plaintiffs: Texas attorney general agrees to stop purge of voter rolls (The Associated Press): "The Texas attorney general agreed Wednesday to stop purging from the voter rolls the names of 81,000 people who are listed as possibly deceased, said attorneys for four living voters who made the list."

•   Senate Five: McCaskill surges, Allen falls (Politico): "More evidence the race for Kent Conrad’s open seat continues to be fought within the margin of error: The arrival of out of state senators on the stump. This morning, Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison joined GOP Rep. Rick Berg in Fargo to make a play for the female vote in his campaign against Democrat Heidi Heitkamp."

•   Restless Romney Braces For High-Stakes Debate (BuzzFeed): "Romney got virtually no sleep Monday night, an aide said, blaming a freight train that passed through a grade crossing near the hotel and blew its horn roughly every hour all through the night. The candidate's sleep deprivation so worried his staff that the campaign looked into switching hotels. The logistics were ultimately too tough, the aide said, and there was concern about how it would look. Campaign staffs carefully guard their candidates' sleep schedules. Tired candidates make mistakes: Barack Obama's campaign in 2008 kept him away from evening events for that reason, and the campaign this year of Texas Governor Rick Perry later blamed his off-kilter performances on undiagnosed sleep apnea."

•   Sadler grades his own debate: ‘Baylor defeats Harvard’ (The Dallas Morning News): "Talk about stepping on the ivy. Senate hopeful Paul Sadler’s campaign quickly — and predictably — declared the Democratic candidate the winner of Tuesday’s Belo Debate with Republican rival Ted Cruz. … I asked Rice University professor Mark Jones, who has been following the U.S. Senate race closely, to share his thoughts. He said Sadler 'presented himself as a very credible candidate, but one who at times came across as overly combative, dismissive and negative.'"

•   University of Texas to argue that it hasn't reached "critical mass" when it comes to affirmative action (The Associated Press): "So is this the 'critical mass' of minority students that U.S. Supreme Court narrowly endorsed in 2003 as an educational goal important enough to allow colleges to factor the race of applicants into admissions decisions? That question will be front and center Wednesday when a more conservative Supreme Court revisits affirmative action for the first time since that landmark case nine years ago involving the University of Michigan."

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