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The Brief: Dec. 1, 2014

A story published over the weekend gave details on Gov. Rick Perry's prep work this week and month for a possible second run for the White House in 2016.

Governor Rick Perry gives a rousing exit speech on election night Nov. 4, 2014.

The Big Conversation

A story published over the weekend by the D.C-based political news organization Politico gave details on Gov. Rick Perry's prep work this week and month for a possible second run for the White House in 2016.

"The small-group sessions kick off Tuesday and Wednesday in Austin with a pair of lunches and dinners held in the governor’s mansion wedged between policy briefings at the nearby office of Perry senior adviser Jeff Miller," wrote Kenneth P. Vogel of Politico. "In all, Perry’s team expects he will meet in person with more than 500 major donors and bundlers from around the country in December as well as a slew of operatives, Republican National Committee members and policy experts."

The meetings give some indication of the seriousness with which Perry views it necessary to rehabilitate his national image after his disastrous presidential run in 2012. But the Politico piece notes that Perry faces other challenges should he want to run again.

For one thing, Texas GOP donors could be drawn to give to candidates other than Perry this time, namely Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz. Also, Vogel reports that the pending felony indictments against Perry in connection with his veto of funding for the Travis County DA's public integrity unit have given donors pause.

And it remains to be seen whether Perry can fully recover from his annus horribilis of 2012. Vogel quotes one D.C. lobbyist as saying, "None of the D.C. lobbyist crowd who were supporting Perry in 2012 are planning to support him this cycle. ... He is a good guy, but Perry’s time has passed.” 

The Day Ahead

•    The Legislative Budget Board meets at 11 a.m. in the Senate Finance Committee hearing room to adopt the constitutional spending limit for the upcoming budget and to make necessary adjustments in the current budget to pay for the costs of placing additional Department of Public Safety personnel at the Texas-Mexico border. (agenda)

•    The Joint Partnership Advisory Commission meets at 1:30 p.m. in the Capitol Extension to discuss the Texas Facilities Commission. (agenda)

•    The Secretary of State will canvass the results of the Nov. 4 general election at 1:30 p.m. in the Texas Capitol.

•    State Reps. Myra Crownover, Tan Parker and Ron Simmons join Tribune CEO and Editor-in-Chief Evan Smith for a conversation at Texas Woman's University in Denton previewing the upcoming 84th legislative session. We will livestream the noon event for those unable to attend in person.

Trib Must-Reads

End of School's Ban on Books Doesn't Mark Last Chapter, by Morgan Smith

New Culprit Threatens a Park's Rebirth Years After Fire, by Christine Ayala

Analysis: The Politics of the State Growth Rate, by Ross Ramsey

DuPont Says Plant Leaked 23,000 Pounds of Toxic Gas, by Jim Malewitz


Why a Texas budget battle is looming in a time of plenty, Austin American-Statesman

Abbott seeks new spending but wouldn’t raise tax revenue, The Dallas Morning News

Texas towns test oil and gas supremacy on fracking, The Associated Press

Texas health official who steered deals has ties to firm’s lobbyist, Austin American-Statesman

As Texas lottery grows, some study ending it, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Community braces for ex-Kaufman County JP's murder trial, The Dallas Morning News

Texas' rebooted cancer agency shifting priorities, Houston Chronicle

New Texas legislature may be surprisingly moderate, observers say, El Paso Times

G.O.P. Gains by Tapping Democrats’ Base for State Candidates, The New York Times

Quote to Note

“I asked an old lady who had known him well, and she said, 'He might have been a murderer, a robber and a thief, but he was good at heart.'”

Jack Skiles, author of a book on Judge Roy Bean, on the contradictory legacy of the quintessentially West Texas lawman

Today in TribTalk

The 2016 spotlight turns to Texas, by Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

Trib Events for the Calendar

•    A Conversation With Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst on Dec. 4 at The Austin Club

•    The Texas Tribune Festival presents a one-day symposium previewing the 84th Legislature on Dec. 5 at the Austin Community College Highland Campus in Austin

•    A Panel Discussion on the Transformation of Medical Education in Texas, on Dec. 9 at the UT Health Science Center in San Antonio.

•    Meet the New Guys: A Conversation With Incoming Members of the Texas Senate on Dec. 11 at The Austin Club

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Energy Environment Health care Politics Public education Greg Abbott Joe Pickett Rick Perry Ted Cruz