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The Evening Brief: Nov. 5, 2012

Your evening reading: what to watch for on Tuesday; early voting total in Texas down from 2008; attorney general rules employers can't restrict handguns in cars

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New in The Texas Tribune:

•   What Should Texans Watch For on Tuesday?: "There probably won't be any surprises when it comes to the presidential race in Texas. But there are still some questions that Texas political observers are eager to see answered on Election Day. Here are four things to watch for."

•   Ruling: Employers Can't Use Penal Code to Restrict Handguns in Cars: "A law passed last year allows licensed employees to keep concealed handguns in their vehicles while on employer property, and the employer cannot use the penal code to circumvent the law, according to an opinion from the attorney general's office Monday."

•   Ken Anderson Responds to State Bar's Ethics Filing: "Williamson County State District Judge Ken Anderson argues that time has run out on claims that he violated ethics rules during the 1987 prosecution that led to the wrongful conviction of Michael Morton."

•   College Funding Turns on Definition of "Provide": "The state of Texas used to cover half of the costs of higher education at state colleges and universities. Now it's around 13 percent at the University of Texas at Austin and 22 percent at Texas A&M University in College Station. So is the state providing for the sort of education championed in the Texas Constitution?"

•   Science and Politics — and Partisans: "An endorsement by the most famous political independent in the country highlights a political fault line: the partisan division over the usefulness of science in policy making."

Culled:

•   Early voting down statewide in Texas (The Associated Press): "More than 150,000 fewer Texans voted early this year than in 2008, according to the Texas Secretary of State’s office, and that might signal a lower turnout overall. The percentage of registered voters casting their ballots early dropped from 42 percent in 2008 to 39.3 percent in 2012. But that is still a big percentage compared to 2004, when 29.6 percent voted early."

•   T. Boone Pickens: Why I'm supporting Romney (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette): "The good news: We've now seen both President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney step forward with energy plans. I've carefully reviewed them both, and ultimately, Mitt Romney's policies are better. He has proposed a detailed plan that will create jobs, make the country safer, and jump-start our economic recovery."

•   Perry May Reign in Senate If Democrat Out, Dead Man Wins (Bloomberg Businessweek): "Governor Rick Perry’s party, which controls both legislative houses, may be able to ram through his priorities over Democratic senators’ objections for weeks or months, if Republican Mark Shelton beats Davis, 49, and Mario Gallegos, a Houston Democrat who died in office Oct. 16, wins posthumously."

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