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The Brief: Sept. 4, 2014

In a blow to Texas pride, it appears that the Lone Star State has lost out to Nevada in the race to land Tesla Motors' $5 billion battery "gigafactory."

Entrepreneur Elon Musk talks to the Capitol press corps about his frustration in selling Tesla electric cars in Texas on April 10, 2013.

The Big Conversation

In a blow to Texas pride, it appears that the Lone Star State has lost out to Nevada in the race to land Tesla Motors' $5 billion battery "gigafactory."

Tesla wasn't confirming multiple news reports on Wednesday that Nevada would host the new facility. A press conference, though, has been announced for this afternoon in the state's capital of Carson City.

Texas was one of four states on the short list to land the factory. But, as the Tribune's Jim Malewitz reported, the Texas bid was hurt by one major factor. Tesla "had indicated that Texas’ long-standing state laws protecting auto dealerships – a challenge to Tesla’s business model – did not help the state’s case," Malewitz wrote. "A few other states restrict Tesla sales through franchise laws, but Nevada is not one of them."

Tesla CEO Elon Musk will still have a big presence in Texas with the announcement last month of the decision to build the Space X commercial space port on Boca Chica beach near Brownsville.

San Antonio had long been considered a strong contender to land the "gigafactory." The San Antonio Express-News' Patrick Danner and Greg Jefferson wrote that area officials had pieced together about $800 million in incentives. They also wrote that today's announcement might not be the final development.

They cited a report by The Associated Press that "a second site still would be prepared, in case Nevada is not able to deliver the incentives it has promised — or possibly to build a second factory."

The Day Ahead

•    UT System Regent Wallace Hall drops by The Austin Club for a TribLive conversation at 8 a.m. For those unable to make it, we will livestream the event.

•    Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis is on the campus of the University of Texas at San Antonio at noon as part of her five-city kickoff to the fall campaign.

•    The House Select Committee on Transportation Funding, Expenditures & Finance meets at 9 a.m. in the Capitol Extension. (agenda)

•    House Appropriations meets at 10 a.m. in the Capitol Extension to discuss the Speaker's Strategic Fiscal Review. (agenda)

•    House State Affairs meets at 10:30 a.m. in the John H. Reagan Building to look at planning for investment in future infrastructure and state agency procedures for awarding contracts. (agenda)

•    The House Higher Education and Human Services committees hold a joint hearing at 1 p.m. in the Capitol Extension on how to encourage more foster youth to take advantage of free tuition and fees at institutions of higher education. (agenda)

Trib Must-Reads

Farmers Ask Officials to Stop Rail Yard, by Bobby Blanchard

Corruption Case Casts Shadow Over Hidalgo County Race, by Julián Aguilar

Comptroller Study Shows Difficulty of Predicting Future, by Aman Batheja and Jessica Hamel

West Texas Solar Plant Comes Online, by Jim Malewitz


Internal poll: Abbott leads Davis by 18, Houston Chronicle

Abortion provider to open New Mexico clinic to serve Texans, Houston Chronicle

In day 2 of Texas voter ID trial, Austin lawyer says voter fraud rare, Austin American-Statesman

Perry leads Senate fundraising race with help from statewide PACs, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

House GOP moves toward Export-Import Bank deal, Politico

States that decline to expand Medicaid give up billions in aid, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

State study: consolidating school districts not worth it, San Antonio Express-News

Ted Cruz heads back to New Hampshire this weekend, The Dallas Morning News

Quote to Note

“There are more serious issues the candidates need to focus on.”

— SMU political science professor Cal Jillson on the latest controversy of the political silly season. This time, it's about the sincerity of Wendy Davis' loyalty to the Dallas Cowboys.

Today in TribTalk

Lt. gov. race a study in contrasts, by Mark P. Jones

Trib Events for the Calendar

•    A Conversation With Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa and Republican Party of Texas Chairman Steve Munisteri, on Sept. 10 at The Austin Club

•    The full program has been announced for the 2014 Texas Tribune Festival, Sept. 19-21.

Students at the Fest: Check out the full #TTFstudents program at the Tribune Festival featuring exclusive events, a private lounge and more. Register for just $50, or volunteer and attend for free!

•    A Conversation With U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, on Sept. 24 at the UTSA Downtown Campus in San Antonio.

•    A Conversation With Kathie Glass, 2014 Libertarian Nominee for Governor, on Oct. 2 at The Austin Club

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Health care Politics Public education Greg Abbott Jeb Hensarling Roland Gutierrez Ted Cruz Wendy Davis