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The Brief: July 24, 2014

The Rick Perry Presidential Watch has revved up in a big way.

The empty stage at the West Des Moines Sheraton after Rick Perry announces that he'll return home to Texas to reassess his presidential campaign after finishing fifth in the Iowa caucuses on January 3, 2012.

The Big Conversation

The Rick Perry Presidential Watch has revved up in a big way. The latest news there is that the Texas governor will spend another weekend in Iowa soon for a set of appearances before Republican and conservative groups.

Des Moines Register political reporter Jennifer Jacobs wrote on Wednesday that Perry will be in Iowa, the site of the influential presidential caucuses, on Aug. 9-12. Among the highlights are a headlining speech at the Aug. 11 Story County GOP Dinner and an Aug. 9 appearance in Ames at a summit of Christian conservative activists. A full roster of GOP 2016 presidential hopefuls are expected at the latter event, including U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

Jacobs noted that Perry was just in Iowa over the weekend to, as the Washington Post put it, "rave reviews from local conservatives." The Dallas Morning News' Wayne Slater suggested on Wednesday that the visit could end up being a good gauge of the conservative grassroots' approval of Perry's recent get tough stance on border security.

Perry, meanwhile, spent Wednesday defending his decision to send up to 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border to back up existing border security efforts by the DPS. One of his critics, U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, had accused Perry of militarizing the border with his deployment of Guard troops.

In a letter to Castro obtained by the Houston Chronicle, Perry wrote, “Your comments indicated a basic misunderstanding about the very positive role the Guard will play in tackling the border security crisis. ... The Texas National Guard is made up of our friends, our brothers, our sisters, our mothers, and our fathers. They are our neighbors from around the state, and they care deeply about the safety of our communities.”

The Day Ahead

•    The House Select Committee on Child Protection meets at 10 a.m. in the John H. Reagan Building to discuss ways to strengthen the foster care and CPS system in the state. It is the first legislative hearing to convene since news of the drowning of two foster children earlier this month. (agenda)

•    The Joint Interim Committee to Study Human Trafficking meets at 10 a.m. in La Joya to hear ideas on how to combat human trafficking along the Texas border. (agenda)

Trib Must-Reads

Texplainer: Does AP U.S. History Contain Common Core?, by Morgan Smith

Study: Gay Marriage Would Boost the Texas Economy, by Edgar Walters


States Against E.P.A. Rule on Carbon Pollution Would Gain, Study Finds, The New York Times

Granger calls for ‘compassionate but tough solutions’ to border crisis, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Cruz warns House colleagues: Don’t let Democrats fool you, The Hill

Insurers owe millions in refunds to Texas policyholders, Austin American-Statesman

Drivers in Dallas, across state pay price for aging highways, The Dallas Morning News

Texas lawmaker wants legal ruling on slot-machine like devices, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Lawmakers wrangle over state’s incentives policies, Austin American-Statesman

After death of Texan in Gaza, lone soldiers continue fight, Houston Chronicle

Quote to Note

“We need our borders protected. We need a lot of things, but what we don’t need is more people at the trough. These people are not coming in with a good, Christian heart. Most of them are criminals, anyway.”

Thomas Rolland, during a constituents meeting with state Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview, where the conservative lawmaker was criticized for his call for compassion for unaccompanied migrant children coupled with stiffer border security

Today in TribTalk

Crossing the border into 2016, by Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

Trib Events for the Calendar

•    The Texas Tribune Festival runs from Sept. 19-21 at the University of Texas at Austin. The next round of participants has now been announced, a list headed by Dan Patrick, state Rep. Sarah Davis and Houston ISD Superintendent Terry GrierAct now!

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Explore related story topics

Health care Politics Dan Flynn Joaquin Castro Kay Granger Rick Perry Ted Cruz