The Big Conversation
What was originally planned for today as the first head-to-head encounter of the Republican runoff race for lite guv will now be a solo appearance by David Dewhurst. His opponent, Dan Patrick, announced late Monday afternoon that he was withdrawing from the debate hosted by The C-Club in Houston.
The reason cited by Patrick was the fact that The C-Club had intended to close the debate to the press. "I appreciate the 'C' Club as an organization, and their members individually. I have had the pleasure of addressing this organization as their luncheon speaker in the past, and hope to have that same opportunity again,” said Patrick in a statement. “But debates among major candidates for statewide office are simply not done in private."
The closed-door nature of the forum was first reported on Friday by The Dallas Morning News' Bob Garrett. Coverage on Monday focused on Patrick's calls to open up the forum to press coverage. Garrett and The Texas Tribune's Morgan Smith both reported that The C-Club's president, David Peacock, believed that the candidates had been told the event would be private when they agreed to appear.
Smith reported that the Patrick campaign had "failed to discuss the ground rules for press access" when it accepted the invitation, said Patrick consultant Allen Blakemore. "I accept responsibility for that failure," Blakemore said. A couple of other forums between the two candidates for later in the week are in the works.
The Day Ahead
• State Rep. Jason Villalba, R-Dallas, will make a couple of appearances in San Antonio to talk about the importance of appealing to Hispanic voters for the long term survival of the Republican Party.
Today in the Trib
In Texas, a Push to Get Young Adults Enrolled in ACA: "With Obamacare enrollment among 18- to 34-year-olds lagging behind expectations nationally, pro-reform groups are targeting Texas in an effort to up their numbers."
Appeals Court to Weigh Value of Forensic Evidence: "The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals will hear arguments Wednesday in a case that could determine how courts across the state apply a new law that allows courts to consider changing scientific evidence."
Regulations Could Harm Texas' Bid for Tesla Plant: "Tesla, a manufacturer of high-end electric cars, has named Texas one of four finalists to house its planned $5 billion lithium-ion battery factory. But the state's strict auto dealership laws could hurt its chances, company officials say."
Lawmakers want answers about UT System Chancellor's resignation, San Antonio Express-News
No money is no problem for Democrat Jim Hogan in Texas agriculture commissioner race, The Dallas Morning News
GOP zeal to avoid money frenzy could boost Dallas’ convention bid, The Dallas Morning News
Cruz: Install missiles in Eastern Europe, The Washington Post
4 refiners fight bid to export U.S. oil, Houston Chronicle
Not in their back pasture, San Antonio Express-News
Quote to Note
"[Rick] Perry is without doubt a much better politician than the bumbler who came across in 2012. ... The GOP presidential contest is so wide open, two years before the nominating battle begin, that no high-ranking, ambitious officeholder should be ruled out."
— Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, on Gov. Rick Perry's chances for a second act on the presidential stage
Trib Events for the Calendar
• A Conversation With Kinky Friedman, Candidate for Ag Commissioner at the Austin Club, 3/20
• 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 Mike Collier, Candidate for State Comptroller at the Austin Club, 4/17
• 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