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The Brief: Cruz’s Role in Cleveland Up in the Air

Three weeks ahead of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, it’s still unclear who will attend and speak — and what role former presidential candidate Ted Cruz will play there.

The Ted Cruz booth at the Republican Party of Texas convention in Dallas was lined with notes to the U.S. senator on May 12,…

The Big Conversation

Three weeks ahead of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, it’s still unclear who will attend and speak — and what role former presidential candidate Ted Cruz will play there.

As the Tribune’s Patrick Svitek reports, the U.S. senator from Texas has hesitated to endorse the controversial presumptive nominee, Donald Trump, and that reluctance is fueling a growing uncertainty about what role, if any, Cruz will have in the festivities next month in Cleveland.

Amy Clark, vice chairman of the Texas GOP and a Cruz delegate to Cleveland, told the Tribune: “I think that’s a question on a lot of people’s minds, to be honest. We have not had a lot of contact with the campaign since the state convention ... and frankly don't know what the plans are for the [national] convention.

Cruz has said he will attend the convention to thank his delegates for their support, but any speaking role is up in the air, especially in light of Trump’s recent suggestion that he would not allow Cruz to speak unless he endorsed him. 

Beyond Cruz’s place in Cleveland, many more questions about the convention remain. As The Washington Post reports, several prominent Republicans, including the Bush family, plan to miss the convention, and corporate sponsors have ducked out. And there are still Republicans unhappy with Trump trying to organize a movement to deny him the nomination.

With less than three weeks to go, Donald Trump’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland is poised to be the most chaotic GOP gathering of the modern era,” the Post writes.

Trib Must Reads

Will Hillary Clinton Compete for Texas?, by Abby Livingston — Recent polls show Hillary Clinton within single digits of Donald Trump in Texas. And Clinton herself said last month that she believed the state was flippable. Yet all signs point to Clinton ceding the state to Trump.

State Nearing Goal of 250 New Border Troopers, by Julián Aguilar — By the end of August, the Texas Department of Public Safety will be close to its goal of permanently placing 250 additional state troopers on the southern border.

Abortion Legal Fight Cost Texas More Than $1 Million, by Alexa Ura — The legal battle to defend Texas' 2013 abortion restrictions — which the U.S. Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional on Monday — cost Texas taxpayers more than $1 million, according to records obtained by The Texas Tribune.

Supreme Court Takes Up Deaf Texans' Suit Against State, by Aneri Pattani — Before they can get driver's licenses, some young Texans must take state-mandated driving courses taught by private contractors. Five deaf students sued the state after they couldn't get anyone to provide sign-language interpreters. 

Democrats Push for Gun Control in Gun-Friendly Texas, by Madeline Conway — Looking to capitalize on the news Democrats made in Washington last week with a daylong sit-in on the House floor, U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett returned to his gun-friendly state on Wednesday trying to drum up enthusiasm for gun control.

Border Wall and Muslim Ban Don't Bother Texas Voters (Podcast), by Ben Philpott and Jay Root — This week on The Ticket: Ben Philpott and Jay Root try to figure out whether or not the national GOP hand-wringing over Donald Trump has made its way to Texas Republicans.

Elsewhere

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

Cornyn blames Democrats for delay in Zika fundingHouston Chronicle

Health officials prepare for Zika, but local efforts tight, The Associated Press

Paul Ryan to hold Wimberley fundraiser Friday, Austin American-Statesman

Trump hires Rand Paul's former digital director, Politico

The Color Gap: Dallas County’s minority workforce has doubled, but whites still hold most high-paying jobs, The Dallas Morning News

Hispanic business leaders counter 'bashing' with economic data, Houston Chronicle

Obama adds 5 Texas counties to disaster declaration, The Associated Press

Plan for CPS calls for executive pay raises despite rank-and-file woes, Austin American-Statesman

Uber, Lyft win deregulation efforts in Fort Worth, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Council approves changes to campaign finance law, Houston Chronicle

Dallas DA candidate signed dismissal motion in case connected to bribery, The Dallas Morning News

Careful study, digs to shape Alamo plan, San Antonio Express-News

Daughter of unauthorized immigrant campaigns for Trump on the border, The Dallas Morning News

Quote to Note

“While I’m encouraged by these poll numbers, I take it with a whole shaker full of salt. I think Texas is going to be in play at some point. I think it would take a lot for Texas to be in play, [but] I think Hillary will make it a closer race than in the past.” 

 — Former Texas U.S. Rep. Martin Frost, on whether Hillary Clinton could compete in Texas

Today in TribTalk

Texas needs a conservative spending limit, by Vance Ginn and Owen Smitherman — For Texas families to continue flourishing under a responsible model of no personal income tax and relatively low taxes overall, government spending must be restrained.

News From Home

•    While several high-profile cases have fueled a national debate on police shootings, there is no comprehensive data on such shootings in Texas. With reader support, we hope to introduce a new layer of transparency here. And you can help. Click here for more information on how to assist in making this project a reality.

Trib Events for the Calendar

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

•   TribFeast: A Dinner To Support Nonprofit Journalism on Sept. 24 at the University of Texas at Austin's Etter-Harbin Alumni Center

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