The Big Conversation
News reports on Tuesday evening that the famously tough-on-immigration lite guv candidate Dan Patrick employed undocumented immigrants at his sports bar in the 1980s had a couple of his rivals condemning him but also had Patrick complaining of dirty politics.
The reports filed by Bob Garrett and Terrence Stutz of The Dallas Morning News and Ted Oberg of KTRK-TV were based on an interview with Miguel Andrade, who said he was one of four undocumented workers he knew at Patrick's sports bar. It was also reported that an investigator hired by the campaign of lite guv candidate Jerry Patterson had tracked down Andrade.
The timing of the news, which arrived at the end of the first day of early voting and two weeks before primary day, means it could alter the dynamics of the campaign's closing days. Social media lit up after the two news reports' release:
— Todd Staples (@Todd_Staples) February 19, 2014
My opponents are all talk on illegal immigration. @Todd_Staples supported healthcare , instate tuition, & drivers licenses 4 illegals.— Dan Patrick (@DanPatrick) February 19, 2014
The Day Ahead
• Reps. Joe Deshotel, Allan Ritter and James White sit for a TribLive conversation at Lamar University in Beaumont. The Tribune will livestream the event beginning at noon.
• Candidates out on the hustings during early voting today include GOP gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott in Tyler and Sugar Land, GOP lite guv candidate Jerry Patterson in Richardson and Frisco, and GOP lite guv candidate Todd Staples in Dallas and Lubbock.
Today in the Trib
Sources: Perry Backing Janek for UT Chancellor: "Gov. Rick Perry is quietly lobbying for Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Kyle Janek to be the next chancellor of the University of Texas System."
Senate Hearing Will Assess Progress on Women's Health: "State senators will hold a hearing Thursday to assess Texas’ efforts to expand access to women’s health services across the state. Abortion rights advocates say an essential issue has been left off the agenda."
Rove Connections Turn Into Political Ammunition: "The Fox News pundit and famed political consultant has become fodder in Texas for both Democrats and Republicans in this year's elections."
Campaign Finance Database Updated With Pre-Primary Data: "The Tribune's campaign finance database has been updated to include the latest contribution and expenditure information. Use this tool to look up candidates' cash totals and to see who is funding them."
New in Texas Weekly
News App: Endorsements Explorer: "As candidates pile up endorsements from political groups and newspapers, you need a scorecard to keep up. Here you go: Filter by candidate, race or endorsing group. We'll be constantly updating this tool; if you see a hole, let us know and we'll fill it." ($)
Abbott welcomes Nugent but ducks divisive remarks, The Associated Press
Kennedy: In Denton, Abbott’s rally suffers from too much Ted, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Senate candidate criticized for 2000 talks with Taliban, The Dallas Morning News
Immigration reform fast becoming nothing but a memory, Houston Chronicle
Scene of Fort Hood mass shooting demolished, Austin American-Statesman
Next Up: TV Ads Just For You, Dear Voter, The Associated Press
No, Primaries Aren’t Destroying Politics, Politico
Quote to Note
"When you're looking for votes, it's always good to hunt where the ducks are. And, right now, the ducks are watching the Olympics."
— Political strategist Mark McKinnon, on the strategy of politicians buying ad time during the quadrennial global sporting event
Trib Events for the Calendar
• Texas Tribune Festival On the Road at the University of Texas El Paso for a daylong symposium on demographic change, 2/27
• Live Post-Primary Election TribCast at the Austin Club, 3/5
• A Conversation With Sen. Wendy Davis, 2014 Democratic Candidate for Governor, at Stateside at the Paramount, 3/6
• A Conversation With Sen. Charles Schwertner and Reps. John Raney and Kyle Kacal at Texas A&M University in College Station, 3/27
• A Conversation with U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway at Midland College in Midland, 5/13
• Save the date for the 2014 Texas Tribune Festival: 9/19-9/21