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The Brief: GOP Convention Kicks Off in Cleveland

The national party gathering starts on a contentious note as organizers fend off a challenge, backed by some Texans, to the convention rules by anti-Trump Republicans.

The Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio on July 18, 2016.

The Big Conversation

The Republican National Convention kicked off in Cleveland on Monday with a failed attempt by delegates opposed to Donald Trump’s candidacy to hobble his nomination, followed by a night of speeches focused on national security. 

The Tribune’s Patrick Svitek and Abby Livingston reported from Cleveland on Monday, where anti-Trump Republicans — including some from Texas — were unsuccessful in their calls for a roll call vote to change convention rules so that delegates could choose to vote against the party’s presumptive nominee, whose controversial statements about Muslims and Hispanics have alienated some Republicans.

Svitek and Livingston report that an anti-Trump organizer said roughly 70 members of the Texas delegation — several short of a needed majority — had signed on to the effort to force a rules vote.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who is leading the Texas delegates in Cleveland in Gov. Greg Abbott’s absence, made clear at their daily breakfast that he did not support the unbinding effort. “It is not my position ... [to] challenge the rules or challenge this convention, make it look like Texas is trying to undermine our nominee, Patrick said.

On Monday evening, after the dispute over the rules vote resolved, delegates heard from speakers including Trump’s wife, Melania, and Texans Rick Perry and U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul. Melania Trump’s speech raised some eyebrows late Monday evening in light of reports that it closely resembled parts of Michelle Obama’s address at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

Trib Must Reads

Special Counsel Says Julián Castro Violated Hatch Act, by Madeline Conway — Julián Castro, secretary of Housing and Urban Development and rumored Democratic vice presidential prospect, broke federal law by politicking on the job, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel said Monday.

Abbott: Targeted Killing of Police Should Be a Hate Crime, by Johnathan Silver — Gov. Greg Abbott's proposal comes after weeks of targeted killings of police officers and growing tension over disproportionate encounters between black Americans and law enforcement.

Austin Black Lives Matter: "We Will Move Forward," by Khorri Atkinson — Criticized anew after the shooting of police officers in Dallas, the Austin chapter of Black Lives Matter is determined to continue its push to become a legitimate political influence in the Capitol.

Rick Perry Says He's Open to Serving in Trump Administration, by Patrick Svitek — Former Gov. Rick Perry says he is open to serving in the administration of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, his former rival in the race for the White House.

Scholars and Activists Lambast Proposed Mexican-American Studies Textbook, by Isabelle Taft — Activist groups and professors gathered Monday at the Texas Education Agency to list their concerns with a proposed Mexican American studies textbook and call on the board to reject it.

White House Seeks Another Chance in Immigration Case, by Julián Aguilar — The Obama administration on Monday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider the legality of the president's controversial immigration enforcement plan, which stalled last month when the high court deadlocked.

Texas Lawmaker: Legislature Should Invest in Maritime Ports, by Madlin Mekelburg — The state Legislature should increase its focus on maritime ports and dedicate money to increasing their capacity during next year's session, said state Rep. Larry Gonzales during a House committee hearing Monday.

Investigators Identify Inmate Suspected in Prison Guard's Death, by Johnathan Silver — Inmate Dillion Gage Compton, 21, who worked in the prison's kitchen area, attacked and killed correctional officer Mari Johnson, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice alleged in a statement Monday.

Former TxDOT Commissioner Joins Firm Developing Bullet Train, by Madlin Mekelburg — Just over two weeks after announcing his resignation from the Transportation Commission, Jeff Moseley has joined the leadership of a private company developing a high-speed train project between Dallas and Houston.

The Day Ahead

•    The House Committee on Appropriations meets at 10 a.m. in the Capitol Extension to discuss funding for border security.

•    A House Committee on Appropriations subcommittee meets at 1 p.m. in the Capitol Extension to discuss state building maintenance. Deferred maintenance leading to significant problems at certain state buildings has been on lawmakers' radar since last legislative session.


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

Cruz’s last stand means Pence has a clear field as newest GOP starFort Worth Star-Telegram

From naysayer to cheerleader: Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick explains his 180-degree turn on TrumpThe Dallas Morning News

Lawmakers: Decriminalizing marijuana could be good for Texas businessAustin American-Statesman

Weary and worn, Dallas police face the end of mourning and the return of lingering problems, The Dallas Morning News

Oil sector goes from bust to 'treading water,' Houston Chronicle

Poll finds U.S.-Mexico border residents overwhelmingly value mobility, oppose wall, The Dallas Morning News

Mack Rhoades promises to help Baylor change its culture, The Associated Press

Quote to Note

Excessive errors render the proposed textbook useless and even counterproductive.” 

— Emilio Zamora, a professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin, on a proposed Mexican-American Studies textbook

Today in TribTalk

“Back the Blue” bill would open the door for federal overreach, by David Simpson — The intent to punish murderers and invigorate law enforcement is noble, but what Sens. and are backing is nothing short of a Republican version of hate crimes legislation that the feds can use to bludgeon states that fail to prosecute “bias-motivated violence” to their liking.

How corporate agribusinesses are fouling our waters, by Hayden Hamilton — By concentrating thousands of animals on factory farms and slaughtering animals by the millions in big processing plants, corporate agribusinesses create industrial-scale pollution with disastrous consequences for waterways here in Texas and across the country.

Trib Events for the Calendar

•   Life on the Border: Rhetoric or Reality? on Aug. 4 at The Centennial Club in McAllen

•   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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