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The Brief: July 14, 2015

Gov. Greg Abbott's push to lure New Hampshire businesses to Texas is helping Granite State Republicans with their arguments against their Democratic governor's policies.

Gov. Greg Abbott signs several higher education related bills into law on June 4, 2015. He also praised state Sen. Judith Zaffirini, left, for her work in the most recent legislative session on education issues.

The Big Conversation

Gov. Greg Abbott isn't the only out-of-state Republican making a push in New Hampshire, although he's doing it for a different reason.

Other Republicans have flooded the primary state for their 2016 campaigns, but Abbott's interviews with New Hampshire media have focused on his effort to lure the state's businesses to Texas.

With that effort, he's also boosting arguments against the Democratic governor there, Maggie Hassan, who could challenge Republican Kelly Ayotte for her U.S. Senate seat in 2016. And as the Tribune's Patrick Svitek reports, Abbott has a key connection to the Granite State:

Amid the media blitz, it has not gone unnoticed that Abbott's top adviser — and the engineer of his landslide victory last year — is Dave Carney, a New Hampshire-based GOP strategist who also worked with former Gov. Rick Perry. Carney also serves as the top operative in New Hampshire for Commitments Kept N.H., a multimillion project of a conservative super PAC geared toward getting a head start on Ayotte's re-election. 

Since May, the super PAC, the Ending Spending Action Fund, has disclosed paying tens of thousands of dollars to Norway Hill Associates, the Hancock, N.H.-based firm led by Carney, who has previously worked for the fund. Federal Election Commission records list the firm's work as "direct voter contact" and "research" in support of Ayotte.

Abbott, who is in New York today meeting with business leaders, hasn't visited New Hampshire yet, and his office wouldn't say whether he plans to.

Trib Must-Reads

In Pristine Big Bend, a Pipeline Could Run Through It, by Jim Malewitz (with slideshow)— Companies run by two billionaires are teaming up to build a 143-mile pipeline to carry natural gas through the Big Bend region and into Mexico.  An unlikely coalition of environmentalists, landowners and others is fighting to thwart the project.

Scientology Group Urged Veto of Mental Health Bill, by Morgan Smith — After a Church of Scientology-backed group helped organize a campaign against it, Gov. Greg Abbott vetoed legislation that would have given Texas doctors more power to detain mentally ill and potentially dangerous patients, according to records obtained by The Texas Tribune.

Rusk County Clerk Resigns Over Gay Marriage Ruling, by Liz Crampton — The Rusk County Commissioners Court on Monday formally accepted the resignation of County Clerk Joyce Lewis-Kugle, apparently the first Texas elected official to quit office rather than abide by the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage.

George P. Bush to Co-Chair Young Donor Effort for Dad, by Patrick Svitek — Land Commissioner George P. Bush is upping his involvement in his father's presidential bid, joining a donor drive aimed at young Republicans.

The Day Ahead

•    Gov. Greg Abbott continues a two-day swing in New York, where he's highlighting Texas' "open and flourishing business climate."

•    A 10 a.m. news conference in Dallas calling for "mass civil disobedience" following the same-sex marriage ruling will include Steve Hotze of the Campaign for Texas Families and Bill Owens of the Coalition of African American Pastors.


Despite law, regulators didn’t refer Ken Paxton case to prosecutors, Austin American-Statesman

N.Y. Times stands by Ted Cruz decision, Politico

New nonprofit from Cornyn allies to give cover to Senate Republicans, Politico

Rick Perry pledges unwavering support for Israel, Des Moines Register

Jade Helm 15 starts Wednesday, San Antonio Express-News

Migrant moms, children being freed from detention, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Confederate symbols at Texas schools come under scrutiny, The Associated Press

Chasnoff: Monuments venerate history best left remembered, San Antonio Express-News

Little discussion over Bastrop County Confederate monument, Austin American-Statesman

Grand Prairie expected to settle Voting Right Act lawsuit filed by Hispanic resident, The Dallas Morning News

Texas judge asks same sex-couples to sign form acknowledging he disapproves of same-sex marriage, Houston Chronicle

Interpreters have one of the most exhausting jobs in the courthouse, San Antonio Express-News

Quote to Note

"I disagree with tenor of Donald Trump, but the fact is, he has pointed out a great frustration that Americans have, and that is Washington, D.C. has not done its job to secure the border."

— Gov. Greg Abbott speaking on "Fox and Friends" on Donald Trump's recent comments on Mexican immigrants

Trib Events for the Calendar

•    The Texas Tribune Festival on Oct. 16-18 at the University of Texas at Austin

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