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The Evening Brief: Nov. 18, 2013

Your evening reading: UT student group's mock immigration sting creates furor; Perry repositions himself in national conversation; Dewhurst wants to keep high-risk insurance pool open

University of Texas at Austin students pass by the Main Building on their way to and from classes.

New in The Texas Tribune

•    Conservative Group to Hold Mock Immigration Sting at UT: "Lorenzo Garcia, chairman of UT's YCT chapter, said Wednesday's event is not intended to instill anger or promote prejudice, but instead to educate college students about a serious issue. ... But Garcia's own affiliations have raised eyebrows among Texas Democrats. He was formerly a paid field representative for GOP gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott."

•    (Re)Introducing the Governor of Texas: "Rick Perry is in transition again, wearing glasses, playing the elder and running just a tiny bit to the left of Ted Cruz and a notch or two to the right of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. In a surprising twist, he looks like a conservative establishment candidate as the jockeying begins for the 2016 presidential race."

•    Dewhurst Wants Closure of High-Risk Insurance Pool Postponed: "Amid ongoing technical issues with the federal health insurance marketplace created under the Affordable Care Act, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is urging state officials to postpone the planned Jan. 1 cancellation of the state’s high-risk insurance pool, which provides health coverage to some of the state’s sickest residents."

•    Lisa Fritsch Now Biggest Small Fish in GOP Race: "She is barely a blip in the polls, and the odds of her securing the Republican nomination for Texas governor are viewed as vanishingly small. But Lisa Fritsch, a conservative activist, author and former radio show host, suddenly has bragging rights among second-tier candidates trying to make a respectable showing against the overwhelming primary favorite, Attorney General Greg Abbott."


•    UT club’s ‘catch an immigrant’ game ‘out of line,’ Powers says (Austin American-Statesman): "A student group at the University of Texas is planning to hold what it is calling a 'Catch an Illegal Immigrant' game on Wednesday. UT President Bill Powers thinks it’s a bad idea. ... Powers is suggesting that the group find another way to make its point. 'The proposed YCT event is completely out of line with the values we espouse at the University of Texas at Austin,' Powers said in a statement."

•    Dems tie “Catch an Illegal Immigrant Game” to Abbott campaign (Houston Chronicle): "Democrats are pouncing on word that a conservative student group at the University of Texas is organizing a 'Catch an Illegal Immigrant Game' by linking the divisive event to Greg Abbott’s gubernatorial campaign."

•    Abbott campaign: A vote for Wendy Davis is a vote to expand Obamacare in Texas (Houston Chronicle): "Attorney General Greg Abbott’s campaign for governor acknowledged that the federal health care reform law 'will surely not be on Vice President Biden’s agenda' as he visits the Port of Houston, but it nevertheless prompted the Republican to release a web video on the topic."

•    George W. Bush on Keystone XL: ‘Build the Damn Thing’ (National Review): "President Bush called for building the Keystone XL pipeline last Thursday during a luncheon with energy executives in Pittsburgh. 'I think the goal of the country ought to be, ‘How do we grow the private sector?’ That ought to be the laser-focus of any administration,' Bush said at the DUG East conference, where he was the luncheon’s keynote speaker. 'And therefore, once that’s the goal, an issue like Keystone pipeline becomes a no-brainer.'”

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Health care Politics David Dewhurst Greg Abbott Rick Perry Ted Cruz