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The Evening Brief: Oct. 11, 2012

Your evening reading: Davis, Shelton clash in fiery debate; state senator to keep fighting in-state tuition for illegal immigrants; Gohmert calls Romney a "people pleaser" who will need guidance

State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, debates state Rep. Mark Shelton, R-Fort Worth, in the matchup for Senate District 10.

New in The Texas Tribune:

•   Storify: Davis, Shelton Tussle in First SD-10 Debate: "In their first debate in a nail-biter of a state Senate race, incumbent Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, and state Rep. Mark Shelton, R-Fort Worth, traded barbs on legislative ethics in a spirited debate on everything from school financing to federal health reform."

•   Birdwell Will Continue Fight Against In-State Tuition for Immigrants: "Despite Gov. Rick Perry's prediction that no such bill would reach his desk, state Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, said he intends to continue his effort to end the state's policy of offering in-state tuition to some illegal immigrants."

•   Republican Lawmaker Faults Practice of Dipping Into State Pensions: "State Rep. Kenneth Sheets, R-Dallas, has become the first GOP lawmaker to openly disparage other elected officials for collecting a state pension while receiving a government salary for their elected position."

•   PAC Uses Football to Target Voucher Proposals: "As they prepare for a battle over school vouchers during the next legislative session, a liberal advocacy group is calling attention to a program that few thought was under immediate threat in Texas: high school football. In a video called 'Will Our Friday Night Lights Go Out,' released Thursday — which features actors Aaron Spivey-Sorrells and Jonathan Palafox from the television show Friday Night Lights — Progress Texas PAC urges Texans to fight school voucher programs."

•   Interactive Map: Viewing Presidential Contributions by ZIP Code in Texas: With less than a month to go in the presidential election, we have updated our interactive map of Texas donors to presidential candidates by ZIP code. From contributors who have given at least $200, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has collected $20 million to President Obama's $13.9 million.

•   Study: Women to Lose Care if State Nixes Planned Parenthood: "A state-funded Women's Health Program that excludes Planned Parenthood won't be able to provide the same level of care as the current system, according to a new study from George Washington University."

•   Mexican Military Seen as Best Option Against Cartels: "Despite widespread criticism of the Mexican military south of the Rio Grande, its soldiers remain the best suited for taking on the cartels, according to a number of observers north of the border."


•   Texas Republican: 'People pleaser' Romney needs guidance on GOP agenda (The Hill): "Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) described Republican nominee Mitt Romney as a 'people pleaser' who will need continued guidance to follow conservative principles if he is elected president. … 'The good news is, Mitt Romney is a people pleaser. The bad news is, Mitt Romney is a people pleaser,' Gohmert said. 'And so that means come January, everybody across the country is going to have to make sure that we let him know: this is what America believes in, this is what you said you would do, and we expect you to do it.'"

•   Can Dems Flip the Suburbs? (The Austin Chronicle): "When the GOP-dominated Legis­lat­ure gerrymandered the state House maps last year, Republicans were trying to strengthen all their holdings. But two Austin-area Demo­crats believe the GOP overreached – and they see public education as the wedge issue that could flip seats."

•   Liberty Institute launches 'Texas Values' group (Houston Chronicle): "Liberty Institute has launched Texas Values, a new Texas-focused effort, dedicated to the preservation of Texas’ most precious values — faith, family, and freedom. Texas Values is dedicated to preserving and advancing a culture of family values in the state of Texas. Texas Values actively stands for biblical, Judeo-Christian values by ensuring Texas is a state where religious liberty flourishes, families prosper, and every human life is valued. Jonathan Saenz, who, since 2005, was an attorney and legislative director for Liberty Institute, will serve as president of Texas Values."

•   New York Times Reporters Detained Covering Keystone XL Protests in East Texas (StateImpact Texas): "Joining the ranks Wednesday were two reporters covering the protests for The New York Times. Reporter Dan Frosch and an unnamed photographer accompanying him were covering a protest on private land yesterday when they were handcuffed and detained by a security guard for TransCanada (the Canadian company behind the pipeline) and local police."

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