The Big Conversation
As national conventions for Republicans and Democrats draw closer, presidential candidates on both sides of the aisle are looking toward the general election and focusing on the next steps for their campaigns – including selecting a running mate.
On Sunday, Mark Cuban told NBC's "Meet the Press" that he has vice presidential aspirations for the upcoming election — for either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.
The Tribune's Jim Malewitz wrote that Cuban, "the outspoken billionaire entrepreneur, reality TV star" was approached by frustrated Republicans "about becoming a third-party alternative to Donald Trump, according to news reports, but the 57-year-old told Meet the Press host Chuck Todd that it was too late to launch a presidential campaign of his own."
Cuban said Trump's success on this national platform opens the door for other nontraditional candidates like himself, Malewitz wrote.
Although he offered criticisms of President Barack Obama's two terms in office, Cuban also said he would "absolutely" consider running with Clinton — "if she's willing to listen."
"The key would be that she'd have to go more to center,” Cuban said.
Trump also received renewed support from former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who confirmed rumors of his intentions to seek the vice presidency that emerged after he announced his endorsement of Trump. On Friday, the former presidential candidate said he would do what he can to help Trump win come the general election.
"I suspect I'm going to be helping him in a myriad ways – but if it's the vice presidency, if a cabinet position is where he needs somebody with my experience then I'm not going to go back to Texas and say, 'Aw shucks sir, I'm gonna go fishing.' I'm gonna go serve my country," Perry told CNN.
The Tribune's Patrick Svitek wrote that an endorsement from Perry is either hit or miss when it comes to luring support from Texas voters, although "Perry has emerged as prolific endorser on the state level, throwing his support behind at least 10 candidates for offices ranging from county sheriff to U.S. representative."
While several local candidates reported positive reactions to Perry's support, Svitek wrote that "not every candidate backed by Perry has a success story to share. Two candidates Perry endorsed in the March 1 primaries, Scott Fisher for Texas House and Michael Massengale for the Supreme Court of Texas, were unsuccessful."
"I think what makes Perry’s endorsement powerful is the fact that you have a lot of people with personal connections to the governor, and he seems to be willing to give it," said Ted Delisi, an Austin-based Republican strategist who once worked for Perry. "I don’t think it singlehandedly wins a race, but I suspect when we look back on these primaries, when we look at his win-lose record, I think he will have done well."
Trib Must Reads
Analysis: Attention Not Trickling Down to Texas Runoff Hopefuls, by Ross Ramsey – On the eve of election day in 22 state runoff races — 16 of them following the Republican primaries — Texas voters seem to be concerned with other things.
At the Top of Texas, Perryton Offers Lessons In Oil Bust Survival, by Jim Malewitz – Nearly three decades ago, Perryton's town-wide celebration for $20-per-barrel oil made news across the country, delivering a hopeful message to those mired in an oil bust. The Panhandle town faces a modern day oil bust, but residents are sure they'll stay on the map.
Cruz Campaign Ended Race in Healthy Financial Shape, by Patrick Svitek – As the end neared for Ted Cruz's presidential campaign, one problem it did not have was money, according to its latest finance report.
High Court Rules for Hospital in Missing Heart Case, by Edgar Walters – A Houston-area widow cannot sue a Texas hospital for malpractice over her husband’s death because his autopsy falls under a sweeping law that protects health care providers from lawsuits, the Texas Supreme Court has ruled.
Border Patrol Agent Indicted in Sweeping Drug Probe, by Jay Root – A U.S. Border Patrol agent has been indicted in a sweeping corruption probe into a drug ring that allegedly recruited law enforcement officials to steal dope from traffickers.
Mexico OKs "El Chapo's" Extradition to the U.S., by Julián Aguilar – Mexican cartel kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is one step closer to facing charges in the United States after Mexico’s secretariat of foreign relations said the Sinaloa cartel boss can be extradited.
Ex-Dukes Staffer: Lawmaker Sought Payment for Days She Wasn't at Capitol, by Terri Langford – A former staffer for state Rep. Dawnna Dukes has claimed the Austin Democrat sought reimbursement from the state for travel payments she was not entitled to, according to the Austin American-Statesman.
The Day Ahead
• The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Water and Rural Affairs meets at 11 a.m. in the Capitol extension to discuss ownership, production and transfer of surface water and groundwater in Texas.
• The House Committee on Agriculture and Livestock meets at 10 a.m. in the Capitol extension to discuss interim charges on policy changes for the state's agricultural industry, the impacts of windblown trash on agriculture and the appraisal of farm land for taxation issues.
• The House Committee on Environmental Regulation meets at 10 a.m. in the Capitol extension to address interim charges about regulatory schemes for household hazardous waste disposal and the effectiveness of current programs for scrap tire management and disposal methods.
• The House Committee on Urban Affairs meets at 10 a.m. at the Houston City Council Chambers to discuss whether changes are needed to existing low-income tax credit programs, housing programs and policies in compliance with federal fair housing rules and low-income housing in the state.
(Links below lead to outside websites; content might be behind paywall)
With Robert Morrow looming, Travis County GOP may limit his power, Austin American-Statesman
Texas police say criminals often using imitation weapons, The Associated Press
Houston unemployment rate tops national average, Houston Chronicle
Infections take toll on mammals at SeaWorld, San Antonio Express-News
Long-timer Joe Barton seeks to regain powerful chairmanship in Congress, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Study: Texas kids physically unfit for military, El Paso Times
Bone cement company accused of experimenting on humans, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Transgender-friendly businesses bigger threat than ISIS, First Baptist Dallas pastor Jeffress says, The Dallas Morning News
How Mexican officials are giving IDs to some in U.S., Austin American-Statesman
Despite controversies, Reynolds heads to runoffs with Democratic support, Houston Chronicle
Quote to Note
"This, again, is not our first rodeo. We’re survivalists. We take care of business — whatever we have to do. And I don’t think we have a choice."
— Perryton City Manager David Landis on the city's rough patch following the oil market's latest nosedive
Today in TribTalk
Who fixes school finance now?, by Tracy Ginsburg – Few insiders were surprised by the Texas Supreme Court decision on school finance, but one thing about the decision did come as a shock – that serial litigation is not an appropriate default mechanism for fixing school finance issues because it is not the court's role to "second-guess or micromanage Texas education policy." This is an immense paradigm shift for nearly all observers of the Texas political system.
Trib Events for the Calendar
• A Conversation with state Sens. Kel Seliger and Kirk Watson on higher education funding in Texas, on May 26 at The Austin Club.
• A Conversation with Ryan Sitton, Texas Railroad Commissioner, on June 3 at The Austin Club
• The Texas Tribune Festival on Sept. 23-25 at the University of Texas at Austin