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The Evening Brief: Nov. 12, 2012

Your evening reading: Texas secession petition draws enough signatures for White House review; lawmakers begin filing bills for 2013 session; Cruz says Texas could turn blue

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New in The Texas Tribune:

•   Petitioners Renew Talk of Texas Secession: "A petition calling for Texas to 'peacefully' withdraw from the United States of America was filed on a White House website Friday. It already has enough signatures to warrant an official response."

•   Despite "Green" Label, Austin a Growing Oil Hub: "Despite its 'Keep Austin Weird' slogan and passion for clean energy, Austin is increasingly attracting oil and gas companies thanks to its entrepreneurial bent and reputation as a fun place to live."

•   Two Faces of the Republican Party: "The state's top two legislative leaders reflect the split in the Texas and national GOP — between populist conservatives on one hand, and mainline, old-school Republicans on the other. David Dewhurst and Joe Straus might as well be the Republican Party in miniature."


•   The Party Next Time (The New Yorker): "As a senator from Texas, the largest and most important state in the Republican firmament, Cruz has a special role in the post-Romney debate. At the Presidential level, Texas has thirty-eight electoral votes, second only to California, which has fifty-five. It anchors the modern Republican Party, in the same way that California and New York anchor the Democratic Party. But, Cruz told me, the once unthinkable idea of Texas becoming a Democratic state is now a real possibility."

•   Texas lawmakers file bills for 2013 session (The Associated Press): "Texas lawmakers began filing bills Monday before the 2013 legislative session. Many of the proposed laws were familiar reruns, but others will set the tone for politics next year. … Public schools will be a hot topic next year, with many lawmakers clearly unhappy about funding and a new testing regimen called STAAR. Rep. Dan Flynn, R-Canton, proposed a moratorium on testing through 2015. Four other lawmakers also filed bills to change the high-stakes system that many parents feel is unfair and too difficult."

•   Texting and driving ban back for 2013 legislative session (The Dallas Morning News): "Multitaskers beware, a familiar bill to ban texting while driving was filed today by former House Speaker Tom Craddick in advance of the upcoming legislative session. The bill rehashes Craddick’s attempt to ban texting and driving last session, which passed the Legislature but was vetoed by Gov. Rick Perry, who said that although texting and driving is 'reckless and irresponsible,” the bill “is a government effort to micromanage the behavior of adults.'"

•   Texas 130 sees first death in 85-mph zone (San Antonio Express-News): "A driver was killed on the Texas 130 toll road Sunday afternoon, in what is believed to be the first fatality on the corridor's new segment since it opened last month. The new Texas 130 segment, which stretches from south of Austin to Interstate 10 in Seguin, boasts an 85 mph speed limit — the fastest in the country."

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