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The Brief: Democrats Head to Philadelphia for Convention

Texas Democrats join the festivities after having one of their own, U.S. Housing Secretary Julián Castro, passed over for vice president.

Hillary Clinton supporter, Kim Fredrick during the Texas Democratic Convention on June 17, 2016

The Big Conversation

Democrats convene in Philadelphia today for the start of the Democratic National Convention, with Virginia’s junior senator, Tim Kaine, on the party’s ticket as Hillary Clinton's running mate.

As the Tribune’s Abby Livingston reports, in tapping Kaine, the Clinton campaign passed over Texan Julián Castro, the Housing and Urban Development secretary and former San Antonio mayor. “Despite years of build-up as a vice-presidential contender, few in national politics viewed Castro as likely to be Clinton's pick,” Livingston writes, noting that he “lacked experience with Congress and in foreign policy, two skills viewed by many as necessary for anyone being considered to be within a heartbeat of the presidency.”

Clinton announced that Kaine would join her campaign as the vice presidential nominee on Friday, and the next day, Castro told the Washington Post’s Dan Balz that the decision was personally “disappointing” but “easy to put into perspective.” Castro also suggested that Latinos will vote for Clinton over Republican Donald Trump by large margins.

Without one of their own on the ticket, then, Texas Democrats go to Philadelphia “anticipating relative unity” in the wake of controversy over the leak of thousands of internal emails from Democratic National Committee staffers, Patrick Svitek reports in the Tribune.

Ross Ramsey, for his part, writes that “Like their Republican counterparts, Texas Democrats are something of an afterthought at their party’s national convention,” with stars like Castro and Wendy Davis attending, but “no Texans among the headliners.”

Trib Must Reads

After Cleveland Speech, Cruz Faces Isolation in Texas GOP, by Patrick Svitek — More than 36 hours after Cruz left the stage in Cleveland amid thunderous boos, very few prominent Texas Republicans were rushing to his defense.

Addiction Programs Hoping for Boost in Federal Funds, by Isabelle Taft — On Friday, the president signed an ambitious plan to address the nation's opioid abuse epidemic. If federal lawmakers fully fund it, chronically cash-starved addiction treatment programs in Texas could see a surge of money.

Rally Questions Death Penalty for Texas Man Who Didn't Pull Trigger, by Jolie McCullough — Relatives and supporters of death row inmate Jeff Wood rallied Saturday outside the Governor's Mansion, saying that Wood should not be executed for capital murder under Texas' law of parties.

In School Choice Fight, a Fresh Force Emerges, by Kiah Collier — An ambitious new player has emerged in the controversial effort to use taxpayer dollars to help Texas parents send their kids to private or religious schools.

Open Carry, Funding Likely Police Issues Next Session, by Johnathan Silver — Texas lawmakers brushed off the wishes of many in law enforcement when they passed open handgun carry legislation in 2015. With pro-police rhetoric flowing after numerous shootings, police groups hope the law can at least be revisited.

Trump on Ted Cruz: "I Don't Want His Endorsement," by Patrick Svitek — A day after formally accepting his party's presidential nomination, Donald Trump breathed new life into old battles against a long-vanquished Republican rival: U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

Trump Says He Plans to Launch Super PAC Against Ted Cruz, by Patrick Svitek — Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump says he will probably create a super PAC with the aim of hobbling the political future of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

Bernie Sanders Supporters Launch New Group in Texas, by Patrick Svitek — Allies of former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders are launching a group aimed at influencing Democratic politics in Texas beyond the 2016 race for the White House.

Hillary Clinton: “Ted Cruz Was Right,” by Madeline Conway — U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz may have angered his own party when he refused to endorse Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention this week, but his divisive comments drew praise from an unlikely source: Hillary Clinton.

The Day Ahead

•    The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Water and Rural Affairs meets at 11 a.m. in the Capitol Extension to consider the interim charge of studying surface and groundwater as well as the process behind the State Water Plan.


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

Passed over for VP, Castro prospects uncertainSan Antonio Express-News

Lawsuit Forces Texas to Make It Easier for Immigrants to Get Birth Certificates for Children, The New York Times

Texas charter schools see obstacle to growthAustin American-Statesman

UT opens Austin medical school with eye toward mixing medicine with health care innovation, Houston Chronicle

Violent arrest video thrusts Breaion King into national spotlight, Austin American-Statesman

Number of immigrants caught at the Southwest border dip in June, San Antonio Express-News

As Dallas Sniper Prowled, Quick Decisions and Life-Altering Consequences, The New York Times

Quote to Note

“In the years to come there will be a Latino or Latina president. I believe that’s going to happen in due time. I hope to be alive to see it, and I’m very confident that my kids will.” 

— Julián Castro, Housing and Urban Development secretary, in an interview with the Washington Post

Today in TribTalk

After Brexit, NAFTA nations face tough choices, by J.D. Salinas III — Either they can mimic the United Kingdom and turn inward, limiting economic progress and growth, or they can seize the opportunity to enable greater growth by making trade more efficient — without succumbing to the economic drag fostered by the European Union's bureaucracy.

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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