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The Evening Brief: July 31, 2013

Your evening reading: Cruz steps up effort to defund Affordable Care Act; Branch releases first campaign video; Zimmerman pulled over in Texas for speeding

Ted Cruz at the JW Marriott hotel in Houston on May 29, 2012.

New in The Texas Tribune

•    Cruz Calls on Grass Roots to Help Defund Affordable Care Act: "Despite resistance from congressional Republican leadership, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz is calling on grass-roots organizers to help in his fight to defund the federal Affordable Care Act."

•    Branch Releases First Campaign Video: "State Rep. Dan Branch, R-Dallas, has released his first web video in his campaign to become the next attorney general. Titled 'Come and Take It,' it highlights his desire to challenge what he calls 'an overreaching federal government.'"

•    Women's Health Coalition Concerned State Plan is Falling Short: "The Texas Women’s Healthcare Coalition has raised concerns that a bipartisan effort to restore access to family planning services by expanding a state-run primary care program isn’t shaping up as planned."

•    Student Leader Demands On-Campus Polling Place: "Priscilla Barbour, the president of Prairie View A&M University's student government association, is seeking something her predecessors were unable to get: a polling place on the historically black university's campus."

•    Restrictions to Increase as Edwards Aquifer at Near-Historic Low: "The Edwards Aquifer is the subject of new pumping restrictions that are being announced Wednesday. San Antonio's water utility, which relies significantly on the aquifer, says that the city can avoid further restrictions of its own if it follows the authority's guidelines."

Culled

•    Ted Cruz taunts fellow Republicans in Obamacare fight (Politico): "Ted Cruz is taking his hardball tactics to a whole new level. The Texas freshman senator and his senior aides are unleashing a barrage of attacks on their fellow Republicans for refusing to support their plan to choke off Obamacare as a condition for funding the government. Cruz’s chief of staff is lambasting fellow conservatives like Oklahoma’s Tom Coburn for serving in the 'surrender caucus.' His top political strategist has compared Mitch McConnell to Barack Obama. And the senator himself has said many Republicans are 'scared' to wage this fight."

•    Cruz uses upset anniversary to raise funds; so far, he’s mostly repaid self (The Dallas Morning News): "U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, who on Wednesday launched a 'money bomb' campaign fundraising effort pegged to the first anniversary of his dramatic upset victory in last year’s GOP Senate runoff, has mostly repaid himself with the money he’s raised while in office."

•    Reports: George Zimmerman, with gun in glove compartment, was pulled over for speeding in Forney (The Dallas Morning News): "Two weeks after a Florida jury found George Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter in the Fenruary 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin, Zimmerman was in Forney, being pulled over by police there."

•    The Texas Legislature’s Sexist Little Secret (The Texas Observer): "At a certain point, after enough of these run-ins—which included male staffers from both chambers, some of whom I knew to be married, hitting on me, making comments about my physical appearance, touching my arm—it finally occurred to me that, when I was at work, I was often fending off advances like I was in a bar. What surprised me was how many women who work in the Capitol—legislators, staffers, lobbyists, other reporters—felt the same way. Everyone, it seemed, had a story or anecdote about being objectified or patronized."

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