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The Brief: Trump Meets Opposition from Texas Democrats, and a Donor

Donald Trump made headlines in Texas this weekend for two reasons — his own two-day fundraising swing here and the attention Texas Democrats paid him at their state convention in San Antonio.

Supporter waiting for Donald Trump at a campaign event in The Woodlands, Texas Friday June 17, 2016.

The Big Conversation

Donald Trump made headlines in Texas this weekend for two reasons — his own two-day fundraising swing here that culminated in a rally outside Houston, and the attention Texas Democrats paid him at their state convention in San Antonio.

In Texas on Friday, Trump’s evening rally in the Houston suburb of The Woodlands was business as usual as the presumptive Republican nominee fired up supporters with loud rhetoric denouncing terrorism, and protesters stood nearby holding up signs denouncing him, the Tribune’s Patrick Svitek and Khorri Atkinson report.

At a fundraising event in San Antonio earlier that day, though, Trump encountered opposition from one of his own supporters. As Svitek writes for the Tribune, Laredo banker Dennis Nixon “prodded Trump on immigration and trade while introducing the real estate mogul,” according to an audio recording of the event. Specifically, Nixon defended the North American Free Trade Agreement — which Trump has repeatedly criticized throughout his campaign — and challenged Trump on the issue of border security.

Gwen Ifill, speaking on NBC's “Meet the Press” on Sunday, cited the story as evidence that Trump is not really good at asking for money.

State Democrats, meanwhile, argued at their convention this weekend that Trump presents an “opportunity to turn Texas blue” and unify their own party this November, the Tribune’s Edgar Walters writes. Speakers did not hesitate to use strong words to describe the GOP standard-bearer, with U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro declaring that “the only person Donald Trump really cares about is Donald Trump” and predicting that Hillary Clinton could carry Texas in the general election.

Noting the Democrats’ focus on the presumptive Republican nominee, the Tribune’s Ross Ramsey called Trump “the galvanizing figure for the Texas Democratic Party’s biennial convention.” 

Trib Must Reads

Analysis: Texas Democrats, in Their Own Words, by Ross Ramsey — The Texas Democrats have taken their crack at how the world ought to look, packing their version into a 44-page platform at last weekend’s biennial state party convention.

At A&M, Diversity Increases Without Affirmative Action, by Matthew Watkins — Texas A&M University sparked outrage when it decided in 2003 not to use affirmative action in its admissions process. But since then, the school's black and Hispanic population has grown faster than that of the University of Texas at Austin. 

Scenes from Trump's Texas Campaign Swing, by Jacob Villanueva — Here's a slideshow from our photographers at the Trump rallies in Dallas and The Woodlands.

Laredo-Based Bank Says CEO Will Stand Up to Trump, by Patrick Svitek — A Laredo-based bank is pushing back against criticism of its CEO's involvement in a fundraiser for Donald Trump, arguing that the CEO will stand up to Trump like he has to fellow Texas Republicans over the years.  

Federal Rules Could Tame "Wild West" of Texas Payday Lending, by Isabelle Taft — Proposed federal regulations on payday lending could have an especially significant effect in Texas, where 8 percent of people have used payday loans, compared to 5.5 percent nationally, and fees are among the highest in the country. 

Texas Budget Spared in Court Ruling on Drilling Tax Case, by Jim Malewitz — A Texas Supreme Court ruling has spared the state from having to issue billions of dollars in tax refunds to oil and gas drillers — a prospect that had threatened to shake up the next legislative session.

Lawmaker Revives Eminent Domain Question for Bullet Train, by Madlin Mekelburg — State Rep. Byron Cook asked Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Friday to rule on whether a private company developing a high-speed train project in the state has the power of eminent domain.  

Summit Highlights Momentum on Mexican American Studies, by Isabelle Taft — Spurred by frustration at a proposed Mexican American Studies textbook that has been called racist and inaccurate, over 200 educators, scholars and activists gathered for a statewide meeting on Mexican American Studies in public schools.

Court Halts Texas Man's Execution in "Shaken Baby" Case, by Johnathan Silver — The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Thursday halted the upcoming execution of Robert Roberson. Roberson's legal team argues that Roberson's conviction in the death of his daughter was based on junk science.

The Day Ahead

• The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Water and Rural Affairs meets at 11 a.m. in the Capitol Extension to hear testimony as part of its interim charge to study and make recommendations on the State Water Plan.


(Links below lead to outside websites; content might be behind paywall)

Dawnna Dukes’ campaign spending raises questionsAustin-American Statesman

Platform: Texas Democrats feel strongly on transgender bathrooms and pot but are conflicted about fracking, The Dallas Morning News

Rift between Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton supporters on display at Texas Democratic Convention, The Dallas Morning News

Castros ignite Democratic hopes, but timing for next opportunity uncertainSan Antonio Express-News

Texas Democratic convention is all about the Castro brothers, The Dallas Morning News

Undocumented immigrants desperately needing kidney dialysis overwhelm public hospitals, Houston Chronicle

Local school leaders join chorus of complaints over standardized testing, Houston Chronicle

Is San Antonio 60 percent Mexican-American?, PolitiFact Texas

Breaking down the numbers on noncitizens in federal prison, PolitiFact Texas

Texas agency declines to say if it has oil spills records, The Associated Press

Plans to build liquified natural gas facilities near South Padre Island gaining opposition, San Antonio Express-News

Rep. Kay Granger makes a move to take charge of defense spending, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Many Austin students can identify with ‘undocumented’ valedictorian, Austin American-Statesman

Cecile Richards, Barbara Bush and the Sisterhood of Political Progeny, The New York Times

Her 'name' almost snags refugee's journey to HoustonHouston Chronicle

Local toll tags going national, eventually, Houston Chronicle

Quote to Note

We've raised a lot of money over the last few days for the party. The party is doing very, very well.

 — Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, at a rally in The Woodlands on Friday, in response to reports about friction between his campaign and the Republican National Committee

News From Home

•    We've updated the Tribune's Government Salaries Explorer with fresh data for the University of Texas at Austin, and we added a new school district — Bryan ISD.

Trib Events for the Calendar

•    The Texas Tribune Festival on Sept. 23-25 at the University of Texas at Austin

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