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The Evening Brief: Oct. 23, 2013

Your evening reading: closing arguments made in abortion law trial; lite guv candidate Patrick promises to cut property taxes; new Times profile shines spotlight on Mrs. Ted Cruz

Citizens on both sides of the abortion debate crowd the Capitol rotunda as Senators debate the bill inside the chamber on July 12th, 2013.

New in The Texas Tribune

•    Final Arguments Made in Case on Abortion Regulations“'The result is much more obvious to each side than it is to me,' said U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel, who is presiding over a case in which the abortion providers’ attorneys are seeking to block two of the provisions state lawmakers approved in July. 'I recognize the clock is ticking toward October the 29th. I think both sides raised strong issues, and I will get a final judgment out as quickly as I can get a final judgment out.'”

•    In New TV Spot, Patrick Says He'll Cut Property Taxes: "In the second TV ad of his campaign for lieutenant governor, state Sen. Dan Patrick promises to cut property taxes for all Texans and eliminate tax increases for senior citizens. He also highlights a vote he took against the state's budget during the last legislative session. 'The only thing you need to know about the lieutenant governor’s current budget is every Democrat praised and voted for it,' he says. 'As a conservative Republican, I didn’t.'"

•    Republican Linda Vega Will Run for Cornyn's Senate Seat: "Republican attorney and activist Linda Vega will run in the GOP primary for the U.S. Senate seat held by John Cornyn. During a Tuesday announcement five months ahead of the March primaries, Vega said she will push for limited government and the fight against excessive government spending."

•    Republican Chart Westcott Launches Bid for Texas House: "Republican Chart Westcott on Wednesday officially launched his campaign to replace state Rep. Dan Branch, R-Dallas, in House District 108. Branch is one of three candidates running for attorney general. Westcott, a member of the Texas Real Estate Commission, touts his conservative platform and bashes Congress and the Obama administration in the video announcement."



•    A Wife Committed to Cruz’s Ideals, but a Study in Contrasts to Him (The New York Times): "Mrs. Cruz, both personally and professionally, is a complex study in contrasts to her husband. She describes herself as instinctively collaborative, and her husband as a man of big, fearless ideas — a seemingly polite way of saying that, yes, Mr. Cruz breaks a few pieces of china every now and then."

•    No GOP backers for Dem immigration bill, despite McCaul security plan (The Dallas Morning News): "While Democrats promote an immigration bill as a bipartisan solution, Rep. Michael McCaul — whose border security plan is a part of that bill — said his fellow Republicans won’t accept it. 'Our side won’t support the comprehensive bill,' said McCaul, R-Austin, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee in a separate interview Tuesday night. 'We want to take this methodically.'”

•    White House deploys aides to Texas in ‘grassroots’ Obamacare push (The Dallas Morning News): "Texas will soon be ground zero for a White House push to jump-start enrollment in the new online health insurance marketplaces. With the debut marred by computer glitches, the president is deploying top aides and cabinet secretaries to 10 cities with the highest rate of uninsured residents – including Dallas, Houston and San Antonio."

•    States' Refusal To Expand Medicaid May Leave Millions Uninsured (NPR): "President Obama on Tuesday appointed one of his top management gurus, Jeffrey Zeints, to head the team working to fix what ails, the troubled website that's supposed to allow residents of 36 states to enroll in coverage under the Affordable Care Act. But even if the team gets the website working as it should, millions of Americans may still log on to discover that they aren't eligible for any health coverage at all. And that won't be due to any technical glitch. It's because their state has decided not to expand its Medicaid program."

•    Gov. Perry ‘all about accepting all the blessings I can get from the Lord’ (San Antonio Express-News): “'I think that’s the real exciting part, that’s the real beauty of what Texas A&M is putting forward, is this campus where Muslims and Jews and Christians have the opportunity to study together,' Perry said. 'I think we’re all agreed there may be disagreement on the Palestinian situation, but I think we can all agree on the fact that when we study together, when we do business together, our opportunities to live peacefully together are substantially increased.'”

•    Former UT lawyer testifies about forced resignation (San Antonio Express-News): "UT Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa advised former general counsel Barry Burgdorf that Regent Wallace Hall was 'unhappy' with his report on the law school foundation, which failed to blame UT president Bill Powers, and advised him to resign, Burgdorf testified before a legislative committee today."

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Health care Politics Dan Patrick Michael McCaul Rick Perry Ted Cruz