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The Brief: Jan. 22, 2014

The fallout continues from the Sunday story in The Dallas Morning News on discrepancies in Wendy Davis' accounting of her early life.

State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, at The Texas Tribune Festival on Sept. 29, 2013.

The Big Conversation

The fallout continues from the Sunday story in The Dallas Morning News on discrepancies in Wendy Davis' accounting of her early life. Here's a roundup of some of what was printed on Tuesday:

•    "Until now, not one of her often bitter political opponents ever asked whether she was truly a 'single' teen mother in 1982 or only 'separated' from her husband. Nor did anyone criticize her parenting of two daughters or air allegations from a divorce," wrote the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Bud Kennedy in a column. "Now, she’s important enough for reporters to double-check facts in her still-too-vague campaign biography and for national Republican bloggers to rise up in finger-shaking condemnation."

•    "Truth is, it would happen if any of us aimed to define ourselves. Life is complicated. It's not a tidy little bio on a website, or a focus-grouped message or a sappy sunlit candidate-approved TV ad. The stories we get in politics are never pure," the Houston Chronicle's Lisa Falkenberg wrote in a column. "They're told either in the best light, or the worst, depending on which side is doing the telling. No, outright lies aren't acceptable. They're not a sign of good character. But there doesn't appear to be any evidence, yet, that lying was Davis' intention here."

•    "The fuller picture is far more complicated and less useful as a political narrative. Still, it was good to see Davis, a state senator from Fort Worth, take responsibility for the need to 'be more focused on the detail' of her story," The Dallas Morning News wrote in its editorial. "No one is disputing that Davis worked hard for years and overcame obstacles that few people manage to overcome — single mothers especially. Davis deserves credit for that. And she’s right that a single mother’s story of struggle is one that millions of women can identify with. Regardless of their demographic, Texans want candidates for major office to be ready to step away from the window dressing and present their unvarnished selves to voters."

Today in the Trib

Hispanic Republicans Look Past Primary Elections: "With most candidates' campaigns for the March primaries in full swing, Hispanic Republicans trying to increase their numbers in the state House are mostly looking past the primaries. Their main fight is in November."

San Antonio Seeks Ownership of its Wastewater: "A bid by San Antonio's water utility to declare ownership of the sewage it treats and releases has sparked a regional tug of war — one that could become more common as Texas' thirsty water users struggle to protect their supplies."

Border Reps Split on Using Drones for Security: "Texas' recent designation as one of six test states for a federal project that seeks to expand the use of drones is spotlighting how far apart border lawmakers are on using more unmanned aircraft for border security."

Texas Finalizes Rules for Health Care Navigators: "The Texas Department of Insurance on Tuesday issued state regulations for health care 'navigators,' the workers who assist people seeking health insurance in the federal marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act."


Bresnen vs. MQS: the Texas ethics throwdown, San Antonio Express-News

Texas school finance trial resumes, Austin American-Statesman

Stockman's campaign files amended, Houston Chronicle

Garcia: Abbott's 'new' BRAC plan looks familiar to Van de Putte, San Antonio Express-News

North Texans to Texas Railroad Commission: Stop the ‘Frackquakes’, Texas Observer

Tea Party Tests Its Might in Texas by Opposing Conservative Rep. Pete Sessions, The Daily Beast

UT names first dean of Dell Medical School, Austin American-Statesman

Quote to Note

“If this involved a man running for office, none of this would ever come up. It’s so sad. Every time I ran, somebody said I needed to be home with my kids. Nobody ever talks about men being responsible parents.”

— Former Fort Worth City Councilwoman Becky Haskin on the scrutiny this week of Wendy Davis, her former colleague

News From Home

As part of our commitment to transparency, we're putting our code of ethics to paper. Also, we have a created a standalone corrections page. Both can be accessed from our home page as well.

Trib Events for the Calendar

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

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

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

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

•    Reps. Joe Deshotel and Allan Ritter at Lamar University in Beaumont, 2/19

•    Texas Tribune Festival On the Road at The University of Texas El Paso for a daylong symposium on demographic change, 2/27

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

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Explore related story topics

Health care Politics Greg Abbott John Cornyn John Smithee Kel Seliger Pete Sessions Wendy Davis