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The Brief: June 9, 2014

Post-convention analyses touch on the Cruz effect, the challenges in managing a political transition from Perry to Abbott as well as fissures that might be appearing within the party.

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas gives an impassioned speech to Republican delegates in Fort Worth on June 6, 2014.

The Big Conversation

Sifting through the post-GOP state convention coverage, here's some post-match analyses that caught our eye:

•    Politico's Katie Glueck focused on the star of the event in a piece called, tellingly enough, "Ted Cruz Country." “'What I am trying to do, more than anything else, is motivate and energize millions of grassroots activists in Texas and all around the country to stand up and demand we change course,' Cruz told POLITICO. The one big demand he faced in Fort Worth was to run for president.”

•    The Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Bud Kennedy caught up with Von Ormy Mayor Art Martinez de Vara, who aired his displeasure with the state party's decision to yank support for the guest worker program added to the platform in 2012. “'It’s the last gasp of a dying faction of the party,' he said after delegates voted roughly 60-40 to amend a compromise just finished that morning and replace it with an even more enforcement-minded version. 'If we let them dominate the party,' he said, 'they will drag it into extinction along with them.'”

•    The Dallas Morning News' Wayne Slater focused on what he said was the "real divide" exposed in the convention, "between Christian conservatives who have been dominant in recent years and 'liberty' groups with a more secular view — those who believe government should set a moral agenda and those who want as little government as possible."

•    And the San Antonio Express-News' Gilbert Garcia focused on the challenges facing Rick Perry in his attempts to ensure a seamless transition in the GOP's hold on the Governor's Mansion. "Perry wants to encourage voters to support (Greg) Abbott, at least partly because an Abbott victory in November over state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, is akin to a statewide endorsement of Perry's 14 years in the governor's office. On the other hand, as a likely 2016 presidential hopeful, Perry needs to put the emphasis on his own achievements. Abbott wants to acknowledge Perry's legacy and create a sense of continuity for Republicans, but he also needs to establish a governing identity of his own."

Today in the Trib

For Van de Putte, Surname Could Add to Challenge: "Political analysts say that state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte's prospects in her lieutenant governor race rely largely on a significant turnout from Hispanic voters in the general election. Could her last name impact her ability to motivate some of those voters?"

Charity Seeks to Educate Others On Mexican Bureaucracy: "Officials with a Texas-based nonprofit operating a binational charity learned a difficult lesson about running a facility in Juárez, Mexico. What happened to them, they said, could happen to others if they are unprepared."

Analysis: Texas Seen as "Kind of an Electoral Wasteland": "In the last two elections, Texas came in last or close to last among the 50 states in voter turnout. Some experts blame the lack of competition for the state's anemic voter engagement."


Fikac: Perry's all over, working it, as he eyes 2016, San Antonio Express-News

Behind the scenes of the state GOP fight on immigration, Austin American-Statesman

In the U.S. Senate, it's Ted Cruz, of counsel for the right, Houston Chronicle

New way of betting could boost Texas horse racing, but is it legal?, Austin American-Statesman

In Texarkana, Uninsured and on the Wrong Side of a State Line, The New York Times

State of Water: Texans learning to live with water scarcity, Corpus Christi Caller-Times

First take on prioritizing water projects, Houston Chronicle

NASA’s new rocket drives ambition, fuels doubt, Houston Chronicle

Quote to Note

"Lyndon Johnson once said he’d rather have people inside the tent pissing out. But [Cruz] seems to be inside the tent pissing in."

— Former Republican Capitol Hill aide John Feehery on Texas Sen. Ted Cruz's difficult relationship with his party's leadership

Today in TribTalk

Why 2014 will be different, by Jenn Brown: "I’ve met with thousands of people across Texas over the last year, and no matter where I’ve been, I always hear the same thing: They've had enough."

Trib Events for the Calendar

•    The Texas Tribune Festival runs from Sept. 19-21 at the University of Texas at Austin. Tickets are on sale now.

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Energy Environment Politics Greg Abbott Rick Perry Ted Cruz Wendy Davis