The Big Conversation
Now that Rick Perry is officially in the 2016 race for president, the next trick is to stay in the race. It's a crowded field and the biggest challenge over the next few months could well be keeping his head above water until a few of the pretenders exit the pool.
The Tribune's Ross Ramsey offers three tips for Perry to keep in mind:
• "Stay in the race while the herd thins": As opposed to the last time around, Perry doesn't enter this race as one of the big favorites. That's not necessarily a bad thing, according to Ramsey. "Big money will land later, when the pack has thinned to a half-dozen or fewer candidates — by the time the actual voting starts, in other words. One of Perry’s tasks is to get into that final handful. He doesn’t have to win yet, or even dominate. Just stay alive. The money will follow."
• "Get rid of those pesky prosecutors": In an ideal world, Perry and his camp would have figured out by now how to resolve that pending abuse-of-power indictment that's been hanging out there since last summer. That, of course, hasn't happened. And, according to Ramsey, it only stands to become a bigger problem as he becomes a bigger player in the race for the nomination. "The better he does, the bigger the indictment obstacle becomes. It’s a bother now. It’s a potential deal-breaker if he becomes a real contender."
• "Land some debate real estate": The fact that the first GOP debates won't feature all the candidates is provoking anxiety among many campaigns bumping around the middle of the field. Perry is one of those "on the bubble" candidates. "Perry doesn’t have to lead the pack," Ramsey writes, "but he has to get on stage or he’ll find himself sitting in a green room with permanent also-rans like Donald Trump."
Perry's Pitch: Governors Make Better Presidents, by Patrick Svitek — Launching his presidential bid, former Gov. Rick Perry warned of the perils of electing young, grandstanding U.S. senators to the nation's highest office. The dart was aimed at more than one target, and looks to be a centerpiece of the Perry campaign.
Analysis: Taking Stock of the Ethics Session, by Ross Ramsey — The governor asked lawmakers to put ethics reform at center stage this year. They filed bills. They even voted in favor of some strong restrictions on lobbyists' and officeholders' official behavior. But most of it never got to Greg Abbott's desk.
Trade Deal Squeezes Texas Congressional Democrats, by Abby Livingston — Texas Democrats in the U.S. House face an agonizing choice: oppose a sweeping trade measure and deep-six President Obama’s economic legacy, or support it and antagonize labor, one of the largest financial constituents in the party.
Clinton Caps Two Days in Texas With Houston Speech, by Morgan Smith — Accusing Republicans of a systematic effort to undercut voter access to the ballot box, Hillary Clinton in Houston on Thursday called for expansive reforms to U.S. election laws.
Prosecutors Could Have More Time in Paxton Case, by Matthew Watkins — As an inquiry broadens into whether Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton violated securities law, a special prosecutor involved in the investigation indicated Thursday that he might have more time to pursue the issue than previously expected.
EPA Finds No "Widespread" Fracking Effects on Water, by Jim Malewitz — A draft report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finds no evidence that hydraulic fracturing has “led to widespread, systemic impacts” on the nation’s drinking water supplies, though the practice has harmed water in some cases.
Abbott Signs Higher Ed Bill Ending Fund Touted by Perry, by Aman Batheja — Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill Thursday that eliminates a controversial startup investment fund long touted by his predecessor, Rick Perry. The legislation directs much of the fund's money to a new researcher recruitment effort.
"It's Time," Perry Says in Announcing 2016 Candidacy, by Matthew Watkins — Standing in front of a big white cargo plane with a new "Perry for President" logo, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry made official what he has been hinting for some time: He's running for president in 2016.
Pro-Perry Super PAC to Go on the Air in Iowa, by Patrick Svitek — A super PAC supporting Rick Perry's presidential campaign is wasting no time going on the air in early-voting Iowa, launching the first major ad buy of its kind for the primary season.
Who's Who in Rick Perry's Inner Circle, by Patrick Svitek — A mix of veteran hands and relative newcomers are set to help former Gov. Rick Perry as he launches his second bid for the White House.
8 Things to Know About Rick Perry, by Abby Livingston — As Rick Perry announces his second run at the GOP presidential nomination, here are the eight things to know about him.
The Day Ahead
• Gov. Greg Abbott signs legislation this morning in San Antonio aimed at improving health care and employment opportunities for veterans.
• GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz meets with North Carolina Republican Women in Raleigh, N.C. The next day, he keynotes a North Carolina GOP luncheon in Raleigh.
• GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry on Saturday rides from Perry, Iowa, to U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst's "Roast and Ride" fundraiser in Boone.
Rick Perry Will Not Be Outworked in 2016, U.S. News & World Report
As Republican Debates Near, Candidates Vie to Make Cut, The New York Times
In announcing for president, Perry lets America see him sweat, Austin American-Statesman
Texas TV and film incentive program facing deep cuts, Austin American-Statesman
Garcia: Texas House says goodbye to Average Joe, San Antonio Express-News
Quote to Note
“That old phrase about, you only get one chance to make a first impression — he made a terrible first impression, and it has stuck, and there is nothing fair about politics. The fact of the matter is, he’s remembered for ‘oops.’”
— Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics on perhaps the biggest challenge facing Rick Perry as he launches a second bid for the White House
Today in TribTalk
The 84th session: What might have been, by Ann Beeson — Hard work and leadership prevented my worst nightmares about the 2015 session from coming true, but lawmakers still failed to deliver the policy solutions that Texans need.
News From Home
• The latest episode of The Ticket, a co-production of the Tribune and KUT is out. With Rick Perry jumping into the GOP race, we talk with Opportunity and Freedom super PAC co-chair Ray Sullivan about Perry's chances in his second run, and we analyze the Ben Carson campaign.
• For five months, you've watched lawmakers spar, shout and lob parliamentary bombs. But how well do you really know the members of the Texas Legislature? Take our Senate quiz and our House quiz to find out.
Trib Events for the Calendar
• A Conversation With House Speaker Joe Straus on June 9 at The Austin Club
• A Conversation About Texas Monthly's Best and Worst Legislators 2015 on June 18 at The Austin Club
• A Conversation About Health Care and the 84th Legislature on June 24 at UT Health Science Center San Antonio
• The Texas Tribune Festival on Oct. 16-18 at the University of Texas at Austin