The Big Conversation
Ahead of a possible vote on impeachment on Monday, members of the House select committee investigating UT System Regent Wallace Hall appear split on how to proceed.
Panel co-chair Dan Flynn, R-Van, has concluded that Hall's activities don't merit impeachment, he wrote to his fellow members. Those communications were obtained by a couple of media outlets, including the Tribune on Thursday. In place of a vote to impeach, Flynn is urging the UT System to make changes in its governance, reported the Tribune's Reeve Hamilton.
"He also suggested that the committee issue a strong letter of censure to Hall calling for his resignation and that it send a letter to Gov. Rick Perry asking him to seek Hall's resignation," Hamilton wrote. "He further suggested that the committee issue a statement saying it may vote on impeachment if, by a certain date, changes haven't been made and Hall hasn't resigned — and that, in that case, the UT System would get stuck with the bill for impeachment proceedings."
Flynn's recommendations did not go over well with Eric Johnson, D-Dallas, another member of the panel, who suggested that a vote on impeachment be delayed until Travis County prosecutors have finished work and the select committee has issued a final report. Another panel member, Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, told The Dallas Morning News' Christy Hoppe the committee must finish its work and make a recommendation. “It is to look at the facts and omissions of Wallace Hall," he said, "and determine whether they rise to the level of an impeachable offense.”
The Day Ahead
• The women at the top of the Democratic ticket, Wendy Davis and Leticia Van de Putte, are among the guests at the Texas Democratic Party's Lyndon B. Johnson dinner in Austin on Friday night.
• Voters in Senate District 4 in Southeast Texas go to the polls on Saturday to select their new state senator. Four Republicans are competing in the special election to fill the unoccupied seat vacated by Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, in October.
• Sunday is Mother's Day.
Today in the Trib
"Bernie" Movie Leads to Bernie's Freedom: "Filmmaker Richard Linklater always thought life in prison was too harsh for Bernie Tiede, the East Texas mortician who murdered his 81-year-old companion. Linklater only dreamed his movie would lead to Tiede's early release."
Proposed Border Rail Project Gets Mixed Reviews: "As Mexican officials contemplate relocating a major railway that connects the state of Chihuahua to Texas, trade experts in El Paso have mixed reviews on whether the investment is needed immediately."
What's the Magic Number on Texas' Water Needs?: "How much water does the state need in the coming decades? It depends on whom you ask. State water planners say that Texas needs 2.7 trillion more gallons of water a year by 2060. But some water law and planning specialists say that figure is far too high."
Kennedy: From showbiz to statewide office: Patrick or ‘Pappy’?, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
State Rep. Naomi Gonzalez released from jail after 6 days, Austin American-Statesman
McNeely: Tax glitch, Hegar, made Collier run, Longview News-Journal
Illinois museum has Santa Anna’s leg, and Texas site wants it, The Dallas Morning News
FEC allows bitcoins in campaigns, The Hill
RNC clamps down on 2016 primary debates, Politico
Quote to Note
“I want a thoughtful conversation, not an opportunity for folks auditioning for their next gig on Fox News.”
— Colorado GOP Chairman Ryan Call on his expectations for 2016 GOP presidential primary debates
News From Home
• It's Day 5 of the Texas Tribune's Spring Member Drive. Through statewide reporting, interactive data applications, a suite of topic-specific newsletters and free events, we're empowering Texans with the tools they need to help shape the future of our state.
Trib Events for the Calendar
• 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
• The Texas Tribune Festival runs from Sept. 19-21 at the University of Texas at Austin, tickets on sale now
Disclosure: The University of Texas at Austin is a corporate sponsor of The Texas Tribune. Rusty Hardin was a major donor to the Tribune in 2012 and 2013. Accenture was a corporate sponsor in 2011, 2012 and 2013. A complete list of Texas Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.