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The Brief: Oct. 9, 2015

The former Democratic gubernatorial candidate confirms that she's working on a pilot for a show that would be loosely based on her life.

Despite a double-digit shortfall in most early polls, Democratic candidate Wendy Davis predicts victory in the race for Texas governor on Oct. 22, 2014.

The Big Conversation

News items about a former governor and a former candidate for governor made a big splash online overnight Thursday.

Former Democratic nominee for governor, Wendy Davis, confirmed to The Dallas Morning News' Bobby Blanchard that she's working on a pilot for NBC loosely based on her life.

“It is loosely based on my personal experience,” Davis told Blanchard. “It is not an autobiographical tale.” She added that no decision has been made on who would play the character based on her.

And former Gov. Rick Perry figures prominently in a story from the Austin American-Statesman's J. David McSwane on a secretive company that has been seeking meetings with government agencies. McSwane reported that the company appears to be interested in creating web and phone apps for state agencies.

Perry, McSwane reported, helped arrange a meeting between the company, GovWhiz, and the leadership of the Texas Lottery Commission. Two other former Perry administration officials, Karen Robinson and Kathy Walt, lobby for the company.

Drawing the most attention, though, is the company's secrecy. The company's founder and CEO told McSwane, "We’re deep in stealth mode and will continue to be so for a long time.” And then there was this unusual exchange at the company's offices:

A visit to the company’s office at 1115 San Jacinto Blvd., across the street from the Capitol, also produced few answers.

A man answered a knock at the door and introduced himself as John, saying he wouldn’t identify himself further.

“I’m not telling you. Let’s see how good of a reporter you are,” he said.

He was John Claybrook, who made national news in 2013 when he, as student body president at Texas A&M University, vetoed a student government bill that would have allowed students to opt out of fees allocated to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender services.

Trib Must Reads

GTT: More Foreign Migrants Make Their Way to Texas, by Alexa Ura and Jolie McCullough – Thousands of migrants born in other countries continue streaming into Texas, but lately more of them are Asian and have lived somewhere else in the country first, usually California or Florida, according to a new analysis by the state demographer.

Analysis: A Defense, but Where's the Threat?, by Ross Ramsey - State leaders are sending a signal that lawmakers are going to continue walking the margins between church and state, and religion and politics, through another election and legislative cycle.

Aide: Cruz Raised $12 Million in Third Quarter, by Patrick Svitek – Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign raised $12.2 million in the third quarter of this year, an aide to the Texas senator said late Thursday.

Texas Sues Volkswagen Over Emissions Cheating, by Kiah Collier and Jim Malewitz – Following in the footsteps of Harris County and the city of Dallas, the state announced Thursday it is suing Volkswagen in connection with the German automaker's admitted use of software that allowed its vehicles to circumvent emissions limits.

Sources: Flores, Conaway Weighing Bids for U.S. House Speaker, by Abby Livingston – Sources told the Tribune that U.S. Reps. Bill Flores, R-Bryan, Mike Conaway, R-Midland, are considering bids for the gavel after U.S. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy withdrew from the speaker’s race on Thursday.

Religious Liberty, Ethics on Senate To-Do List, by Patrick Svitek and Alexa Ura – Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Thursday began to detail interim charges for the Texas Senate, signaling he would like members to revisit some unfinished business from the most recent legislative session.


Texas to See an Influx of Released Federal Inmates, The Washington Post

Death row in Texas gets its first new inmate of the year, The Associated Press

Texans to decide whether to update their aging constitutionFort Worth Star-Telegram

Kirk Watson steps down as Democratic leader, Austin American-Statesman

University of Texas Professor Quits Over Concealed Carry LawTime

Texas Republicans look to their own for next Speaker, reigniting Hensarling rumors, The Dallas Morning News

Texas has most drug offenders scheduled for releaseSan Antonio Express-News

Williams to Texas schools: Prepare for the worst on No Child Left BehindHouston Chronicle

Quote to Note

"Personally, I think we're giving the Sooners too much of an incentive! #TXBBQ>OKBBQ"

— State Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth, tweeting about the bet between Gov. Greg Abbott and Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin on the outcome of Saturday's Red River Rivalry. Barbecue from Geren's restaurant — Railroad Smokehouse BBQ — was staked by Abbott.

Today in TribTalk

Textbook Controversy was a Mistake Not Whitewashing, by Thomas Ratliff – One mistake is too many, and we want to do whatever we can to avoid this kind of mistake in the future. But when they happen, and they will, the important thing is to fix it, learn from it, own it and move forward. 

History Must be Written in Pen, by Roni Dean-Burren – The history of this country is a pen. It is heavy with atrocities. Then there's pencil history – history lite. It seeks to record the same narratives as pen history, but not as heavily. That is what McGraw-Hill attempted to do when they made their nuanced word choice in their World Geography textbook.

News From Home

•    Check out "God & Life" — part 3 of our "God & Governing" documentary-style series — to see how lawmakers' personal faith guides the fights over abortion and the death penalty in the Texas Legislature.

•    The Texas Tribune Fall Member Drive kicks off today and runs through Sunday, October 18. We’re raffling two tickets to The Texas Tribune Festival and private opening night reception. The winner will be announced Wednesday, so join today to be automatically entered for your chance to win!

•    Tune in for the latest episode of The Ticket, a co-production of the Tribune and KUT. Jay Root and Ben Philpott revisit Bernie Sanders' years as mayor of Burlington, Vt., and talk to UT-Austin pollster Jim Henson on the Sanders surge.

Trib Events for the Calendar

•    A Conversation with Political Commentator Paul Begala on Oct. 15 in Austin

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

•    The Texas Tribune Trivia Night on Oct. 18 in Austin

•    A Conversation with Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan Hecht on Oct. 29 in Austin

•    A daylong higher education symposium on Nov. 16 at Baylor University in Waco

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