The Big Conversation
GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump wrapped up a daylong swing through Texas on Tuesday with a well-attended rally at the exposition center on the east side of Austin.
Earlier in the day, Trump made national headlines with an answer he gave to Fox News' Sean Hannity hinting at a move away from the hard-line stance on immigration on which he built his brand during the GOP nomination fight. "There certainly can be a softening because we're not looking to hurt people," Trump said, then adding, "We are going to follow the laws of this country."
As the Tribune's Patrick Svitek reported, Trump struck a more familiar tone at the Tuesday rally, "pledging to build a wall along the border and focus more on enforcing immigration law than the current administration does."
Earlier in the day, Trump was in Fort Worth, where he raised about $1 million at a fundraising luncheon and drew an unusual act of support along the way. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that a Mansfield pastor named Rives Grogan "stripped down to Texas-flag design swim trunks and shouted support for Trump, as he carried signs encouraging Texans to 'Vote Trump,' 'Stop Abortion,' 'Vote the Bible' and 'Vote Traditional Marriage.'”
Trib Must Reads
Analysis: Why the Texas GOP Isn’t Panicking Over Trump, by Ross Ramsey — For all of the talk about how Trump might hurt the chances for other Republicans on the ballot, Texas conservatives don’t seem all that worried. It’s because they’re on safe political ground.
Health Insurers' Exit Spells Trouble for Obamacare in Texas, by Edgar Walters — The roughly 1.3 million Texans who bought health insurance under the Affordable Care Act will likely have fewer, more expensive coverage options in 2017, as more health plans announce they will no longer sell their products in Texas.
UT-Austin Students Snatch Up Free Dildos for Gun Protest, by Alex Samuels — Cocks Not Glocks, a UT-Austin group formed in response to legislation allowing concealed handguns on college campuses, passed out thousands of multi-colored sex toys Tuesday evening in preparation for a Wednesday protest rally.
Embattled STAAR Test Vendor Facing $20 Million Fine, by Kiah Collier — The Texas Education Agency is slapping the New Jersey-based company that develops and administers the state's controversial STAAR tests with a $20.7 million fine over widespread logistical and technical issues.
Texas Leading Suit Over Federal Transgender Health Policy, by Alexa Ura — Ramping up its fight over the rights of transgender people, Texas filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the federal government over a regulation prohibiting discrimination against transgender individuals in some health programs.
(Links below lead to outside websites; content might be behind paywall)
Lawmakers consider Dan Patrick's call to ax $345M in aid for poor, needy college students, The Dallas Morning News
S.A. senator looking to combat cyberbullying with ‘David’s Law’, San Antonio Express-News
Hispanic Republicans hail Trump 'softening' on immigration, Houston Chronicle
Ted Cruz Is Still Running for President, The New Yorker
Uninsured rate for young adults in Texas drops dramatically, Houston Chronicle
Ken Paxton agrees to have dinner with Denton transgender boy and his family, The Dallas Morning News
Godley teacher’s no-homework letter a social media hit, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Quote to Note
“Every vote is important and we need to get every vote, but at some point it comes back to money. And we’re a county that, if we had a lot of money, yeah, we’d [vote] wherever, but we don’t.”
— Starr County Judge Eloy Vera, talking to The (McAllen) Monitor on the county's decision to have just one early voting site for the November general elections
News From Home
• The Texas Tribune wants to see what your college campus looks like now that campus carry is legal in Texas. Are there any visible changes? Or is it business as usual?
• The full program for the 2016 Texas Tribune Festival, featuring conversations about the future of health care, the sharing economy, Zika, abortion, standardized testing, higher ed funding, border security and, of course, Donald Trump, is now available. To view the Festival schedule & purchase tickets, visit texastribune.org/festival.
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
• San Antonio & the Legislature: The Election and Beyond on Sept. 14 at University of Texas at San Antonio – Downtown Campus
• 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