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The Evening Brief: Aug. 19, 2013

Your evening reading: Santorum, Hotze endorse in attorney general's race; Cruz releases birth certificate to The Dallas Morning News; Perry to headline California Republican Party convention

Former U.S. Sen. and presidential candidate Rick Santorum visits Texas House members on July 11, 2013.

New in The Texas Tribune

•    Video: Paxton Campaign Gets Boost From Santorum: "Rick Santorum is backing state Sen. Ken Paxton's bid for attorney general. In a video endorsement, the former presidential contender said Paxton has a record of standing up to members of his own party 'when they wander off the conservative line.'"

•    For Tweeting Candidates, a Campaign Risk: "Greg Abbott's online appreciation for a supporter's tweet on Sunday night — one that called state Sen. Wendy Davis an 'idiot' and a 'Retard Barbie' — highlights the high-risk, high-reward proposition of letting candidates handle their own social media."

•    Abbott: MALC Attorney's Actions "Unethical": "Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and the Mexican American Legislative Caucus are sparring again over voter ID. This time, it’s Abbott’s turn to accuse the group of trying to suppress the vote."

•    In Absence of TRBs, Universities Delaying Improvement Plans: "Following yet another legislative session without tuition revenue bonds since the last round was authorized in 2006, many universities — especially smaller, regional ones — are delaying their projects."

•    Plan to Convert Paved Roads to Gravel Begins Despite Local Concerns: "Lawmakers and rural residents worry unpaved roads will create safety hazards and reduce property values. But the Texas Department of Transportation says converting paved roads to gravel is the only safe plan it can afford."


•    Attorney general candidates battle with big-name endorsements (San Antonio Express-News): "State Sen. Ken Paxton, R-McKinney, released an endorsement video featuring former presidential candidate Rick Santorum while Barry Smitherman, chairman of the Railroad Commission, announced the support of Dr. Steve Hotze, a Houston physician and talk show radio host who has bankrolled many of the state’s top Republican leaders."

•    Rick Perry to headline California GOP convention in October (The Washington Post): "Seemingly ready and raring for a second shot at the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has accepted the top speaking slot at the California Republican Party’s fall convention in Anaheim this fall."

•    Ted Cruz birth certificate. Canadian citizenship questionnaire. (The Dallas Morning News): "Today’s front page story explores what it means to be born in Canada to an American parent in 1970, as Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was. Bottom line, Canadian legal experts say: dual citizenship, a conclusion that Cruz thus far has not taken issue with. … Cruz was kind enough to release a copy of his Canadian birth certificate to The Dallas Morning News."

•    Judge appoints special prosecutor in Perry complaint (The Associated Press): "A state judge has appointed a San Antonio attorney to act as a special prosecutor to investigate an ethics complaint against Gov. Rick Perry. District Judge Robert Richardson announced Monday that Mike McCrum would look into a complaint filed by Texans for Public Justice against the governor. The watchdog group says Perry abused his power by threatening to cut funding to the Public Integrity Unit if Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg didn't resign."

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