The Evening Brief: Oct. 24, 2013
Your evening reading: gubernatorial hopefuls both favor Prop 6; Davis calls insurance exchange problems "inexcusable"; yet more NSA surveillance revelations
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• Davis, Abbott Express Support for Proposition 6: "Gubernatorial candidates Greg Abbott and Wendy Davis are throwing their support behind the constitutional amendment that would fund projects designed to help the state meet its growing need for water."
• Polling Center: In Vote, Opposition Isn't Overflowing: "Some opponents of Proposition 6, the ballot measure designed to bankroll the State Water Infrastructure Fund for Texas, have suggested that there is a wellspring of opposition to be mobilized that will join activists of the left and right in opposition to that proposed constitutional amendment. The University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll, however, provides no evidence of such a left-right coalition of skeptical environmentalists and tight-fisted Tea Partiers — or, at least, no evidence of a consequential one."
• Feds Approve Conservation Plan for Rare Bird: "The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has put its stamp of approval on a plan that Texas and four other states have worked on for years to protect the lesser prairie chicken, a rare bird whose future has been threatened by economic development — especially oil and gas drilling — in West Texas and the Panhandle."
• For Winner of HD-50 Race, a Head Start in the Lege: "Whoever wins the House District 50 special election in Travis County next month will have to start campaigning all over again for the March primary. But the victor will enter the race next year with a key advantage: four months of incumbency."
• Border Officers See Hope in Reduced Juvenile Offenders: "It’s marijuana harvest season in Mexico, and Bruce Ballou knows what that can mean for his team of juvenile probation officers: another round of teenage drug mules caught with hundreds of pounds of pot."
• Wendy Davis says Obamacare computer glitches “inexcusable” (The Dallas Morning News): "Wendy Davis said Thursday she was troubled by the disastrous computer glitches that have spoiled the debut of the new Affordable Care Act. 'It’s inexcusable,' the Texas candidate for governor said in an interview. 'What I worry about is that people who trying to participate will not go back again.'”
• Nigerian ambassador demands Cruz apology (Politico): "The Nigerian ambassador to the United States on Thursday decried Sen. Ted Cruz’s joke earlier this week that 'Nigerian email scammers' built the government’s health care exchange website, saying his comments are offensive and demanded an apology. Ambassador Ade Adefuye told POLITICO that Nigerians are 'disappointed and shocked' by Cruz’s comments."
• In hearing, a startling agreement on who to blame for HealthCare.Gov (The Washington Post): "Everyone at the Energy and Commerce hearing this morning came to an agreement on who caused the problems with HealthCare.Gov: Somebody else. 'Our portion of the application worked as designed,' CGI Federal Vice President Cheryl Campbell testified. ... The hearing room, even four hours into testimony, was packed and standing-room only. When CGI's Campbell took a five-minute bathroom break, a pack of a half-dozen cameras followed her up and down the hallway."
• NSA monitored calls of 35 world leaders after US official handed over contacts (The Guardian): "The National Security Agency monitored the phone conversations of 35 world leaders after being given the numbers by an official in another US government department, according to a classified document provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden."
• Harry Reid Told Caucus That Pete Sessions Was Behind Obama Insult, Senators Say (The Huffington Post): "Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told his Democratic caucus last week in a private meeting that a top House Republican said to President Barack Obama, 'I cannot even stand to look at you,' according to two Democratic senators who were present. ... Reid then told the caucus about the incident on Tuesday and named Sessions, according to one of the two Democratic senators who spoke to HuffPost."
• Sen. Graham’s campaign donors include President George W. Bush (The State): "U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham’s campaign contributors include former U.S. President George W. Bush. Bush contributed $5,000 to Graham’s campaign, according to his most recent campaign finance report filed Oct. 15 for July through September."
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