Skip to main content

The Brief: Sept. 24, 2014

The special prosecutor overseeing the criminal case against Gov. Rick Perry let his frustration be known on a request by Perry's attorneys to excuse him from appearing at an Oct. 13 pre-trial hearing.

Houston attorney Tony Buzbee, who leads Gov. Rick Perry's legal team, explains the felony indictments on August 18, 2014.

The Big Conversation

The special prosecutor overseeing the criminal case against Gov. Rick Perry let his frustration be known on a request by Perry's attorneys to excuse him from appearing at an Oct. 13 pre-trial hearing.

“He's asking for special favors, and as far as I'm concerned, he's not entitled to it,” Michael McCrum told Peggy Fikac of the San Antonio Express-News. He added, "I've never seen a defendant make such a mockery of our system of justice."

The Austin American-Statesman's Tony Plohetski reported that Perry's attorneys were asking to have the governor excused because he was scheduled already to be in Europe.

Tony Buzbee, who is leading Perry's legal team, was quick on Tuesday to shoot back. He told Plohetski, “I am unsure of Mr. McCrum’s motives in insisting on Gov. Perry’s appearance at routine status conferences where no evidence will be taken. ... Mr. McCrum is a criminal defense attorney who daily represents a wide range of alleged criminals. He knows appearance at such routine hearings is typically waived by the prosecutor.”

McCrum, though, told Plohetski that "he would attempt to work" around Perry's travel schedule, which is expected to be full over the coming months as he travels around the country and abroad to lay the groundwork for a possible run for the White House in 2016.

The Day Ahead

•    U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, sits down for a conversation on immigration reform, border security and congressional gridlock at the UTSA Downtown Campus in San Antonio. For those unable to attend, we will livestream the event at noon.

•    The Senate Finance Committee meets at 10 a.m. in the Capitol Extension to take testimony from the Legislative Budget Board on the major cost drivers in the state budget. (agenda)

•    The House Public Health Committee meets at 9 a.m. in the Capitol Extension to address an interim charge on the exchange of electronic health information in the agencies at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. (agenda)

•    The House Select Committee on Economic Development Incentives meets at 10 a.m. at the University of Houston to discuss energy and private space incentives, freeports and the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas. (agenda)

•    The House Culture, Recreation & Tourism Committee meets at noon in the San Jacinto Monument in LaPorte to get an update on the Battleship Texas and discuss the commercial oyster industry and seagrass protection. (agenda)

•    Democratic candidates for governor, Wendy Davis; lieutenant governor, Leticia Van de Putte; and attorney general, Sam Houston, are confirmed to speak at the Texas Disability Issues Forum, scheduled for 9 a.m. in Austin.

•    The Texas Association of Business hosts a pre-K education conference in Austin, beginning at 10 a.m. 

Trib Must-Reads

Regulators Weigh Plan for Northeast Texas Reservoir, by Neena Satija

Perry Not First to Link Abortion Regs, Rivers Death, by Aman Batheja


Wendy Davis and Greg Abbott clash over abortion and other women's issues, The Dallas Morning News

State halts project over cost, 'cozy' relationship with vendor, Houston Chronicle

Eagle Ford had an $87 billion economic impact in 2013, San Antonio Express-News

UT-Austin will admit larger ratio of top students, Houston Chronicle

State comptroller criticizes wind power subsidies, Austin American-Statesman

Kennedy: Leader against abortion is under attack from the right, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Google severs ties with conservative group over climate change stance, Los Angeles Times

Quote to Note

“If it passes in Denton, I feel very confident that there will be legislation — in fact, I’ll probably file it myself — to prohibit cities from total bans on fracking.”

— State Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford, on what he plans to do if Denton residents vote to ban hydraulic fracturing in their town.

Today in TribTalk

Why Texas women have turned away from Democrats, by Cari Christman

Trib Events for the Calendar

•    A Panel Discussion on Demographic Change and the Digital Divide, on Sept. 30 at LBJ School of Public Affairs in Austin

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

•    A Panel Discussion on Changing Population, Changing Health Care, on Oct. 6 at Rice University's Baker Institute in Houston

•    A Conversation With Sam Houston, 2014 Democratic Nominee for Attorney General, on Oct. 16 at The Austin Club

Texans need truth. Help us report it.

Yes, I'll donate today

Explore related story topics

Energy Environment Health care Higher education Politics Greg Abbott Henry Cuellar Phil King Rick Perry Wendy Davis