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The Brief: April 3, 2014

A gunman killed three fellow soldiers and later killed himself Wednesday afternoon at Fort Hood, an incident which invariably brought back memories of the mass shooting on the military base in November 2009 that claimed 13 lives.

Fort Hood military post located outside of Killeen, Texas

The Big Conversation

A gunman killed three fellow soldiers and then himself Wednesday afternoon at Fort Hood, an incident that invariably brought back memories of the mass shooting on the military base in November 2009 that claimed 13 lives.

The Austin American-Statesman reported that the shooter — identified as Ivan Lopez by U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin — used a pistol that hadn't been registered with post authorities. Lopez, it was reported, was suffering from mental and behavioral health issues. He also "had served in Iraq for four months in 2011 and had arrived at Fort Hood in February from another military installation in Texas."

Initial indications did not point to terrorism, reported The Dallas Morning News, although the base's senior officer told the press that "the attack is still under investigation and nothing has been ruled out."

Word of the shooting quickly spread across the country, prompting reaction from national leaders like President Barack Obama, who described himself as "heartbroken." Gov. Rick Perry made a reference to the previous Fort Hood tragedy in his reaction. "Fort Hood has proven its resilience before, and will again," Perry said. "The thoughts and prayers of all Texans are with everyone affected by this tragedy."

The Day Ahead

•    The House Economic and Small Business Development Committee holds an interim hearing at 10 a.m. in the Capitol Extension to look at how the state compares in attracting venture capital dollars. (agenda)

Today in the Trib

Cyber Crimes Efforts Abbott Touts Began Under Predecessor: "Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott often touts the work of his office’s Cyber Crimes Unit, which he established. A review of the unit’s history found that its work extends beyond Abbott’s tenure as attorney general."

Force Against Texas Inmates on the Rise: "The population in Texas prisons dropped from 2005 to 2013, but statistics from the corrections agency show that officers are using “major” force against inmates more often."

Federal Contribution Limits Drift Toward Texas: "Take a look at how Texas' campaign finance system compares to the federal campaign finance system, and see how political contribution laws differ from state to state."


Supreme Court strikes down aggregate campaign giving limits, Politico

Power Surge for Donors, The New York Times

Hasen: The subtle awfulness of the McCutcheon v. FEC campaign finance decision: The John Roberts two-step, Slate

New lawsuit targets Texas abortion law, Austin American-Statesman

Appeals court: 1 Texas execution back on schedule, The Associated Press

Sen. Ted Cruz tells Liberty University students to stand up for religious freedom, Washington Times

Cruz hits pay dirt on book deal, San Antonio Express-News

Perry to help look for MIAs in western Pacific, Houston Chronicle

Quote to Note

“We hate it. We were joking around with the partners today: Guess my kids are going to community college. There is going to be no end in sight. Campaigns now will take as much as you will give.”

— Manuel Ortiz, a lobbyist at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, on the expected increased pressure on donors in the aftermath of Wednesday's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that knocked down aggregate limits on giving to federal candidates and parties

News From Home

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Trib Events for the Calendar

•    A Conversation With Mike Collier, Candidate for State Comptroller at the Austin Club, 4/17

•    Slate's Live Political Gabfest in Austin at Scholz Garten, 4/23

•    A Conversation With Rep. Dan Branch, Candidate for Attorney General at the Austin Club, 5/8

•    A Conversation with U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway at Midland College in Midland, 5/13

•    A Conversation With Steve Patterson, UT Men's Athletic Director at the Austin Club, 5/15

•    A Conversation With Sen. Glenn Hegar, Candidate for State Comptroller at the Austin Club, 5/29

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

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Health care Politics Greg Abbott Michael McCaul Rick Perry Ted Cruz