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The Evening Brief: March 15, 2013

Your evening reading: Democrats raising money off Cruz's exchange with Feinstein; state lawmakers close to deal on ethics bill; Republican senator challenging party on taxes

Texas Democrats elected their first Hispanic party chairman, Gilberto Hinojosa, on June 9, 2012.


•    Democrats raise cash off Ted Cruz gun control lecture of Dianne Feinstein (The Dallas Morning News): "Sen. Ted Cruz’s prosecutorial approach to a senior colleague yesterday at a debate over her proposed assault weapons ban made headlines. And it’s given Texas Democrats fresh ammunition to prod donors to crack open their checkbooks. … 'Cruz is setting new records for crazy,' the Texas Democratic Party chairman, Gilberto Hinojosa, wrote today in an email to potential donors. 'If Cruz and his crazy don’t represent you, DONATE TODAY to support our efforts.'"

•    Texas prisons install equipment to block calls, texts from inmates’ illegal cellphones (The Associated Press): "The nation’s largest state prison system is turning to electronic weaponry to combat the persistent headache of illegal cellphones smuggled to inmates."

•    Pet euthanasia bills up for Senate, House hearings (Houston Chronicle): "Twin bills up for consideration next week in state House and Senate committees would eliminate carbon monoxide as a method of euthanizing dogs and cats in Texas shelters. HB 858, authored by state Rep. Eddie Lucio III, D-Harlingen, would make injection of sodium pentobarbitol the sole method available for veterinarians putting animals to sleep."

New in The Texas Tribune

•    Lawmakers Close to Compromise on Disclosure Bill: "Weeks after freshman state Rep. Giovanni Capriglione was scolded over an ethics bill he brought before the powerful House State Affairs Committee, the lawmaker said he has found middle ground with the legislators who rebuked him."

•    GOP Senator Challenging His Party on Debt, Taxes: "State Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, is engaged in a long-term campaign to convince his fellow legislators that the state's bond debt is an urgent problem and that tax increases are part of a conservative solution."

•    Texas Democrats Dream of the Wild Blue Yonder: "The organizers hoping to make Texas a safe place for Democrats to run for office will know how they're doing by how their volunteers answer a simple question: Would they let a friend run as a Democrat, or would they advise against it?"

•    Gallego to GOP: Sequester Hurts Border Security, Economy: "U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego is taking his GOP colleagues to task on sequestration. In a letter, the freshman congressman tells border hawks they can’t be for the continued sequester and for increased border security at the same time."

•    Austin Clinic Tests Effectiveness of Coordinating Care: "A pilot program at Dell Children's Medical Center in Austin hopes to show that coordinating care for medically needy children improves the quality of care and reduces costs."

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