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The Evening Brief: Feb. 20, 2013

Your evening reading: Florida governor, a Perry ally, agrees to Medicaid expansion; Laura Bush asks to be removed from gay marriage ad; Perry trying to lure Colorado ammo maker to Texas

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•    Florida Gov. Rick Scott agrees to expand Medicaid coverage (Politico): "Florida Gov. Rick Scott — a fierce foe of Obamacare who fought it all the way to the Supreme Court — on Wednesday announced that he would accept the Medicaid expansion under the health law. He is the seventh GOP governor to do so — and arguably the biggest political symbol of grudging Republican acceptance that Obamacare is the law of the land."

•    Former first lady Laura Bush asks to be removed from newly launched pro-gay marriage ad campaign (The Dallas Morning News): "Former first lady Laura Bush is asking a pro-gay marriage group to remove her likeness from a national television, newspaper and online advertising campaign that launched this week. The Respect for Marriage Coalition, co-chaired by the Human Rights Campaign, kicked off a $1 million media campaign Wednesday with ads that use news clips of Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney, President Barack Obama and others talking about gay marriage."

•    Rick Perry wants Colorado gun magazine maker to move to Texas (The Daily Caller): "Texas governor and former GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry is rolling out a Texas-sized red carpet for Magpul Industries, the Colorado gun-parts manufacturer that has vowed to find greener pastures if a bill banning high capacity ammunition magazines, like those that Magpul makes, becomes law."

•    Steve Stockman tries to build pressure on Boehner to block any gun control votes (Houston Chronicle): "Texas Rep. Steve Stockman is teaming up with Georgia colleague Paul Broun to rally the troops against gun control. The Republican congressmen from Friendswood and his Georgia ally drafted a letter that is circulating among their colleagues calling on Speaker John A. Boehner to refrain from considering any gun legislation unless it has garnered the support of a majority of House Republicans."

•    'Friends of Hamas': My role in the birth of a rumor (New York Daily News): "The revelation could have doomed President Obama’s nomination of Chuck Hagel to be secretary of defense: He gave a paid speech to a group called 'Friends of Hamas.' Fortunately for Hagel, this claim, which galloped across the Internet, was bogus. I know, because I was the unwitting source."

New in The Texas Tribune

•    Interfaith Groups Rally for Medicaid Expansion: "Despite Gov. Rick Perry's unwavering position, interfaith groups and Democrat state legislators rallied on the Capitol steps on Wednesday in support of expanding Medicaid to impoverished adults, as directed by federal health reform."

•    Austin's Strama, Mulling Mayoral Bid, Won't Seek Re-election: "Austin Democrat Mark Strama won't seek re-election to a sixth term in 2014, and he said he is thinking about running for mayor."

•    Seliger Files Bill to Curb Regent "Micromanagement": "Senate Higher Education Committee Chairman Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, filed a bill on Monday aimed at improving transparency for university system regents and curbing what he called 'micromanagement.'"

•    Dewhurst, Straus to Renew Higher Ed Oversight Committee: "The Joint Oversight Committee on Higher Education Governance, Excellence and Transparency, created in 2011 amid controversy surrounding the leadership of university system regents, will be renewed this session."

•    Meth Seizures Increase on Texas-Mexico Border: "Seizures of methamphetamine surged by more than 100 percent on the Texas-Mexico border’s largest inland port in 2012, despite ongoing efforts by the Mexican government to curb illegal activity there. Drug enforcement officials say that shipments of the narcotic are unlikely to ebb even if they ratchet up targeted efforts against such shipments."

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