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The Brief: April 11, 2014

Solemn ceremony gave way to a little political sniping on the last day of the Civil Rights Summit in Austin.

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The Big Conversation

Solemn ceremony gave way to a little political sniping on the last day of the Civil Rights Summit in Austin.

The flare-up came shortly after President Barack Obama on Thursday delivered the three-day event's keynote address, which was attended by a number Texas politicians, including Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis. Following the speech, Obama and Davis met privately, during which they discussed the Voting Rights Act, her campaign said.

Republicans, as you might expect, seized on the brief meeting, which no cameras recorded.

"We can only assume President Obama and Senator Davis bonded over their shared support of Obamacare and limiting Second Amendment rights," said Matt Hirsch, a spokesman for Davis' Republican opponent, Greg Abbott, according to The Dallas Morning News.

Davis had previously said that she was "excited" to greet Obama at the event. Hirsch said the meeting took place "in secret," for which he accused Davis of committing "another flip-flop." 

The Day Ahead

•    Wendy Davis will appear at a campaign event with the Corpus Christi American Federation of Teachers at the Harvin Center at Del Mar College East Campus. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Today in the Trib

Giving Up on Red Tape, Doctors Turn to Cash-Based Model: "While efforts are underway to decrease Texas' rate of residents without health coverage, Texas is seeing an increase in primary care practitioners who are no longer accepting any forms of insurance."

Old Drilling Logs Help Researchers Map Brackish Water: "As drought grips most of Texas, researchers are combing the state's 1.5 million drilling records to map brackish water in the state's 30 aquifers — hidden resources that could help quench the state’s long-term thirst."

Analysis: Smitherman Lost, but Remains in the Game: "Railroad Commissioner Barry Smitherman lost his bid for attorney general, but he remains an oil and gas regulator and has sought industry help retiring campaign debts and perhaps landing a job."

Abortion Providers Petition 5th Circuit to Review Decision: "Abortion providers filed a petition on Thursday asking the full 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider the constitutionality of new abortion regulations passed by the Republican-led Texas Legislature in July."

Hardin: Impeachment Recommendations Up to Committee: "What the members of the legislative committee investigating a University of Texas System regent do with a report laying out four potential bases for his impeachment is 'entirely up to them,' the committee's special counsel said Thursday."

Polling Center: Threading the Needle on Education: "Education policy is usually a winner for Democratic candidates, but in Texas, things are more nuanced, especially when it comes to education spending. This year's race for governor race is a great example."


50 Years Later, Obama Salutes Effects of Civil Rights ActThe New York Times

George W. Bush: Education in America ‘not effectively equal’, Austin American-Statesman

Maroon bluebonnets run amok in Longhorn landHouston Chronicle

Hoping for Asylum, Migrants Strain U.S. Border, The New York Times

Can Houston Learn to Love Light Rail?, The Atlantic Cities

I-345 poised for fast-tracked studyThe Dallas Morning News

Drilling Frenzy Fuels Sudden Growth In Small Texas Town, NPR

Quote to Note

"Because of the Civil Rights Movement, because of the laws President Johnson signed, new doors of opportunity and education swung open for everybody. They swung open for you, and they swung open for me. And that's why I'm standing here today — because of those efforts, because of that legacy."

— President Barack Obama, speaking on the last day of the Civil Rights Summit at the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin

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 Panel Discussion on Keeping the Lights on in Texas at St. Mary's University in San Antonio, 4/29

•    The Texas Tribune Festival On the Road presents a one-day symposium on STEM Education at UT-Dallas, 5/5

•    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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