New in The Texas Tribune
• Cornyn Touts "Big Tent" GOP With Perry: "U.S. Sen. John Cornyn spoke to a crowd of supporters at Austin’s Scholz Garten about the need for Republicans to unite against the threat posed by Democrats, rather than fighting one another. 'We need to say we’re the party of the big tent. ... We’ve got libertarians, we’ve got social conservatives, we’ve got the Tea Party, the establishment,' Cornyn said."
• Abortion Opponents Draw Attention to Remaining Clinics: "As U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia weighs Texas abortion providers’ request to reinstate an injunction on strict abortion regulations that took effect in November, abortion opponents are calling attention to the availability of abortion procedures across the state, hoping to prove new regulations haven't created an undue burden on women."
• With Moratorium Lifted, CPRIT Looks Toward Its Future: "More than 10 months after state leaders halted grant operations at the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas amid allegations of cronyism and misspent money, the state’s $3 billion enterprise is getting back to the business of fighting cancer — with restructured leadership."
• A Crowded Field Makes It Hard to Get Noticed: "Breaking out is hard to do, and breaking out of the political crowd could be particularly hard for Texas Republicans in early 2014. With a stuffed ballot — more than a dozen candidates are in the top four races alone — it will be expensive and difficult to win any real attention from voters."
• Women Taking Over Farms Learn the Lay of the Land: "The number of women running farms in Texas and across the country is growing, though women are still a minority. 'We’re sort of the changing face of agriculture,' said Nancy Farrington, 61, of Amarillo, an Annie’s Project participant, fourth-generation landowner and retired teacher, referring to women in general. 'I’m never going to ride, rope or get on a tractor with the crop, but as the landowner I want to have a business knowledge.'”
• Ken Anderson released from Williamson County jail (Austin American-Statesman): "Former prosecutor Ken Anderson was released from jail today after serving just half of his 10-day sentence for contempt of court in connection with the wrongful conviction of Michael Morton. Anderson already had one day of credit for time served before he began his sentence Tuesday."
• Cornyn: Republicans must show they are ‘responsible adults’ and will govern if elected (Houston Chronicle): "U.S. Sen. John Cornyn – bedeviled by some in the tea party who’d prefer him to be more Ted Cruz-like – said Friday Republicans must prove they can govern like ‘responsible adults’ and be a big-tent party welcoming a variety of people who share their principles."
• Rick Perry offers John Cornyn a ringing endorsement for re-election (Austin American-Statesman): "Gov. Rick Perry Friday offered a ringing endorsement of Sen. John Cornyn’s bid for a third term, describing Cornyn as the 'epitome' of who ought to be representing Texas in D.C., and effectively ending a season of speculation about whether the two-term senator might face a serious challenge from the right."
• Gallego, Vela break from party, vote to fix health care law (The Dallas Morning News): "Two Texas Democrats, Reps. Pete Gallego of Alpine and Filemon Vela of Brownsville, broke ranks today to support a GOP plan to fix problems with the Affordable Care Act. ... The two Texans joined 37 other Democrats. The bill passed 261-157, with only four Republicans — none from Texas — breaking ranks."
• Obama offers health fix, but impact here unclear (Houston Chronicle): "It's unclear how many Texas plans have been canceled and whether insurers will reinstate them. Companies that make up more than half of the state's health insurance market, including Blue Cross and Blue Shield Texas, Aetna and Humana, said they were weighing their options. Blue Cross Blue Shield spokeswoman Margaret Jarvis said the company would 'comply with any new requirements' but didn't say whether any canceled policies would be reinstated."
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