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The Brief: Perry Backs Trump in Gold Star Family Dustup

Former Gov. Rick Perry inserted himself into the ongoing controversy over Donald Trump's handling of criticism from the father of a fallen Muslim soldier, saying the father shouldn't expect a free ride.

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The Big Conversation

Former Gov. Rick Perry inserted himself Tuesday into the ongoing controversy over Donald Trump's handling of criticism from the father of a fallen Muslim soldier, saying the father was to blame for speaking at the Democratic National Convention.

Speaking on CNN, Perry said the father should have expected some reaction to his words. "In a campaign, if you’re going to go out and think that you can take a shot at somebody and not have incoming coming back at you, shame on you," Perry said.

While politicians from both sides of the aisle took Trump to task for criticizing the family of Khizr Khan, Perry made clear he was backing Trump. Speaking of Khan, Perry said, "Why in the world that he thought he was going to get a free ride with that is beyond me. He shouldn’t get a free ride when he’s going to inject himself into the political arena."

In other Perry-Trump news, the former governor was one of six Texans named to a 64-member advisory committee that will give the GOP presidential nominee advice on agricultural policy. Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller also snagged a seat on the panel.

Trib Must Reads

Starbucks in Havana? Close, But No Cigar, by Julián Aguilar — After more than 50 years of tension, normalizing relations between the United States and Cuba is going to take a while, and businesses eager to trade with the island nation best be patient, officials say.

Analysis: Unaccountably Free Political Speech, for a Few Weeks in Texas, by Ross Ramsey — A regulatory wrinkle could strip an important piece of information from the political radio ads you hear in Texas between now and Election Day: Who’s paying for the commercials?

GOP Senators Spar Over Value of Pre-K Spending, by Kiah Collier — At an education committee hearing Tuesday, Republican state senators debated whether a $118 million pre-K initiative championed by Gov. Greg Abbott is worth the money.

Failing Texas Schools Facing Tougher State Intervention, by Kiah Collier — Education Commissioner Mike Morath on Tuesday outlined plans to crack down harder on chronically low-performing schools, saying he wants to cut in half the number of them that end up on the state’s failing list over the next five years.

Poll: Donald Trump Leads Hillary Clinton by Only 6 Points in Texas, by Patrick Svitek — Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is leading Democratic rival Hillary Clinton by just 6 percentage points in deep-red Texas, according to a new poll.

The Day Ahead

At the Capitol today, the House Select Committee on Mental Health wraps up its two days of hearings today taking testimony from the public on the delivery of mental and behavioral health services. A few blocks away, U.S. House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Austin, will talk about his book, "Failures of Imagination," and sign copies afterward over the lunch hour at the Texas Public Policy Foundation on Congress Avenue.

Elsewhere

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

Texas plans to appeal voter ID decision to U.S. Supreme Court, San Antonio Express-News

Texas asks feds for security guarantees before accepting Syrian refugees, Houston Chronicle

Aetna will not offer Obamacare exchange plans in Texas in 2017, The Dallas Morning News

State sues Alabama-Coushatta tribe again over gambling, San Antonio Express-News

The abortion rights movement is bolder than it’s been in years. That’s Cecile Richards’s plan., The Washington Post

Voting for Trump through gritted teeth, Politico

Kennedy: Poll: Trump up 6 in Texas; GOP voters say secede if he loses, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Texas Officer's Killing Exposes the Ruthless Inner Workings of the Mexican Mafia, The Washington Post

Quote to Note

“When I got this job, I said I wanted to spend less time with my family. Now I want to spend more time with them, but not breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

Bill Hammond, who plans to leave his post as the top guy at the Texas Association of Business before the coming legislative session. The former legislator and workforce commissioner has held the job at the influential business lobby group since 1998.

Trib Events for the Calendar

•   A Conversation with state Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa and state Reps. Terry Canales and Bobby Guerra on Aug. 26 at UT-Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg

•   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

•   A Conversation with state Reps. Four Price and John Smithee on Oct. 4 at Amarillo College in Amarillo

•   A Conversation with state Reps. Andrew Murr and Jason Isaac on Nov. 14 at Schreiner University in Kerrville

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