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The Brief: Jan. 16, 2014

Land commissioner candidate George P. Bush has some pointed words for fellow Republicans who denigrate Hispanics.

George P. Bush, a founding member of the Hispanic Republicans of Texas, at the Austin Club on March 1, 2012.

The Big Conversation

Land commissioner candidate George P. Bush has some pointed words for fellow Republicans who denigrate Hispanics.

“If we're going to be successful and be considered credible in the Hispanic community, we’ve got to denounce some of the ignorant statements that are made about Hispanics and the contributions we make," he told the Tribune's Alexa Ura. His comments come on the heels of a controversial statement on the Denton County Republican Party's website that referred to the expected Democratic top of the ticket as “Abortion Barbie with Hispanic Sen. Leticia Van de Putte as her running mate.”

Bush's decision to speak out on the matter is significant because of his family name, his ethnic background (his mother is from Mexico) and his role in pushing his party to be more welcoming to Hispanics. Those actions included his decision to co-found the political group Hispanic Republicans of Texas. In an appearance in Corpus Christi on Wednesday, Bush said, “For me and my family, it’s not Hispanic outreach. It’s Hispanic inclusion.”

The Day Ahead

•    UT-Austin President Bill Powers and Texas Association of Community Colleges President Rey Garcia will be among the college and university presidents and leaders attending a White House event on expanding college opportunity.

•    Attorney General and GOP gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott is in Lubbock to host an education roundtable.

•    A candidate forum in Montgomery jointly hosted by the Lake Conroe Area Republican Women and the North Shore Republican Women will have three of the four candidates for lieutenant governor, per a statement from Todd Staples, one of the forum participants. Candidates for attorney general, comptroller, land commissioner and agriculture commissioner are also expected to attend.

Today in the Trib

Edwards Aquifer Plan Gets High Honor at Turbulent Time: "A plan meant to balance the needs of the Edwards Aquifer's 2 million water users with those of threatened species will receive a national award Thursday, but the state's severe drought could hinder the plan's success."

UT System Launches Interactive Salary and Debt Database: "Touting it as a first-of-its-kind higher ed gadget, the UT System on Thursday launched a new interactive website that includes salary and debt information for graduates after one year and five years in the workforce."

Report: Regent Didn't Violate Student Privacy Laws: "After reviewing University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall's handling of information that may be confidential under federal student privacy laws, outside lawyers for the system concluded that no prosecution was warranted."

Davis Reports $1 Million Donation: "Democrat Wendy Davis got several huge contributions in her race for Texas governor, including a $1 million donation from an Austin doctor."


Dewhurst outraises challengers in campaign reports, Houston Chronicle

Kibbe: Grassroots trumps big money in ‘new politics’, The Hill

Kennedy: Republicans campaign against ‘Obama and Wendy,’ or is it the other way around?, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Inside the House GOP's immigration push, Politico

Democrats seek to block Texas' resistance to Obamacare, Houston Chronicle

Mac Thornberry eyes promotion to Armed Services chairman, The Dallas Morning News

After Flurry of Changes, Some States Ease Up, The New York Times

Quote to Note

“They need some basic plumbing lessons.” — U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Tyler, on judges who have ruled in favor of same-sex marriage

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Trib Events for the Calendar

•    Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, candidate for lieutenant governor, at the Austin Club on 1/16

•    A Conversation on Our Nation's Future Featuring U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan in San Antonio on 1/23

•    Comptroller candidate Debra Medina at the Austin Club on 1/30 

•    Sen. Leticia Van De Putte, candidate for lieutenant governor, at the Austin Club on 2/6

•    Sen. Kel Seliger and Reps. John Smithee and Four Price at West Texas A&M in Canyon on 2/7

•    Save the date for the 2014 Texas Tribune Festival: 9/19-9/21

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Health care Politics David Dewhurst Four Price George P. Bush Greg Abbott John Smithee Kel Seliger Mac Thornberry Pete Sessions Wendy Davis