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The Evening Brief: Dec. 5, 2013

Your evening reading: Pauken leaves governor's race; GOP men get lessons on how to run against women; Republicans on the trail talk about fixes to Affordable Care Act

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New in The Texas Tribune

•    Tom Pauken Withdraws From Governor's Race: "Tom Pauken said on Thursday that he wouldn't file for the GOP primary for governor, explaining that the difficulties of running against the best-funded statewide candidate in the state would be too great."

•    Loftin to Become Chancellor of University of Missouri: "In July, he announced his intention to step down in January 2014. At the time, he signaled an intention to remain in College Station serving as a tenured faculty member and launching a new institute within the engineering department at the university."

•    Most Statewide Candidates Won't Release Tax Returns: "Of the 48 statewide candidates across three parties who have filed for or say they are running for major statewide office — governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, comptroller, land commissioner, agriculture commissioner and railroad commissioner — 10 released their last three tax returns at the Tribune's request."

•    Governor's Race Draws Spotlight on Red Light Cameras: "More than a decade after Texas cities began installing red light cameras at major intersections, the controversial traffic enforcement tool is emerging as a point of debate in the 2014 race for Texas governor."

•    Polling Center: Obama Weighs Heavily on Texas Democrats: "Results from five years of University of Texas/Texas Tribune polling of Texans’ approval of Obama suggest that constant criticism of the president is unlikely to trigger much backlash among moderates and even Democrats."

Culled

•    GOP men tutored in running against women (Politico): "The National Republican Congressional Committee wants to make sure there are no Todd Akin-style gaffes next year, so it’s meeting with top aides of sitting Republicans to teach them what to say — or not to say — on the trail, especially when their boss is running against a woman."

•    State conservative groups plan US-wide assault on education, health and tax (The Guardian): "Conservative groups across the US are planning a co-ordinated assault against public sector rights and services in the key areas of education, healthcare, income tax, workers' compensation and the environment, documents obtained by the Guardian reveal.

•    Ted Cruz To ALEC: 'Stand Your Ground' Against Dick Durbin (Huffington Post): "Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Thursday strongly defended the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council, telling attendees of the group's policy summit that they can't let criticism get them down."

•    Study: Refusal to expand Medicaid is costing Texas billions (The Dallas Morning News): "Texas would forfeit $9.6 billion of federal Medicaid matching funds in 2022. That’s one-fourth of what the federal government expects to spend on defense contracts in the state that year, the study said."

•    Republican candidates shift their messages on Obama healthcare law (The Hill): "In a significant development, GOP candidates have embraced a concept that was unthinkable a year ago: fixing President Obama’s landmark law. Others, meanwhile, have offered replacement healthcare plans."

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