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The Evening Brief: Jan. 30, 2013

Your evening reading: if Perry seeks re-election, Abbott won't run against him, governor says; poll shows Texans supportive of assault weapons ban, divided on Cornyn; Dell foundation to donate $50 million for UT medical school

Attorney General Greg Abbott, Gov. Rick Perry, state Rep. Senfronia Thompson and Department of Public Safety chief Steve McCraw at the signing of House Bill 3000 on May 25, 2011.


•    Perry to News 8: Abbott won't run for governor if I do (WFAA-TV): "In an exclusive interview Wednesday, Gov. Rick Perry said Attorney General Greg Abbott has told him he won't run against him in next year's GOP primary should Perry seek reelection. A spokesman for Abbott's campaign has yet to respond to questions about such a deal between the two Republican heavyweights of Texas politics and state government."

•    Texans support assault weapons ban, mixed on Cornyn (Public Policy Polling): "49% of Texas voters support an assault weapons ban to just 41% opposed to it. Most Democrats support it, independents favor it by a 53/34 margin, and even among Republicans 23% support it. We've found support for the assault weapons ban everywhere we've polled it, but it's particularly striking to see that voters favor it in a pro-gun, anti-Obama state like Texas. 10 years into his time in the US Senate, John Cornyn is still a blank slate to a surprisingly large percentage of Texas voters. They're closely divided on his job performance with 34% of voters approving of him and 36% disapproving, with 30% not having an opinion either way."

•    Sen. Ted Cruz shows pistol grip to rebut call for assault weapon ban (The Dallas Morning News): "Texas Sen. Ted Cruz displayed a flair for showmanship this afternoon at the Senate’s gun violence hearing as he sought to puncture the argument for a proposed ban on assault weapons. 'What it bans, I would suggest to you, are scary looking guns,' he said."

•    Sen. Cornyn keeps working to defeat Hagel nomination (The Dallas Morning News): "Texas Sen. John Cornyn kept up his drumbeat today against the nomination of Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense, a day before the former Nebraska senator’s confirmation hearing. 'If you believe that Iran should have a nuclear weapon and that the United States can contain it, if you believe we should negotiate with terrorist groups like Hamas, and if you believe we should reduce our nuclear arsenal to zero and the rest of the world will follow, then Chuck Hagel is the Secretary of Defense for you,' Cornyn told Texas reporters on his weekly call."

•    Dell family foundation to donate $60 million for UT medical school, local health care (Austin American-Statesman): "The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation has pledged to donate $50 million to a planned medical school at the University of Texas and $10 million to improve access to local health care and the quality of that care."

New in The Texas Tribune

•    U.S. Rep. Roger Williams Slams Obama on Gun Policy: "At an Austin gun shop, U.S. Rep. Roger Williams voiced his support for the Second Amendment and criticized what he called the Obama administration's superficial response to recent mass shootings."

•    Hygiene Products Running Low in Prisons as State Contracts Lapse: "Texas prisons are running low on hygiene products that are not considered necessities for inmates, including toothpaste and deodorant. Family members and inmates are frustrated as state officials try to find a contractor."

•    Senate Finance Committee Tackles Health Budget: "The Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday opened its discussion on how to finance the state's health budget by considering the impact of cost containment initiatives and how to proactively curb Medicaid fraud."

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