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The Brief: Democrats May Rely on Trump to Win This Fall

Democrats may be counting on Republican nominee Donald Trump to boost their ability to win down-ballot races this November.

Supporters of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump hold up signs during a rally in Austin on Aug. 23, 2016.

The Big Conversation

Democrats may be counting on the Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, to boost their ability to win down-ballot races this November.

As the Austin American-Statesman notes, some Texans are taking their disdain of Trump to the polls. And instead of just voting against Trump in the general election, some say they plan to vote Democratic up and down the ballot. While a few frustrated voters may not affect the billionaire’s chances of winning typically red Texas, some local representatives, including state Rep. J.M. Lozano, R-Kingsville, are worried the “Trump Effect” may affect their chances of re-election. Lozano told the Statesman that “both candidates have shown a lot of problems when you compare it to past presidential elections. I can’t believe some of the stuff I see on TV now from both candidates.”

Tarrant County Democratic Party Chairwoman Deborah Peoples told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that “Republican leaders have to be worried about what Trump will do to their ticket.” However, Tim O’Hare, head of the Tarrant County Republican Party, says Peoples’ prediction is simply “wishful thinking,” adding that “for every person who comes out and says they won’t vote for Trump, someone else will come out and vote for him.”

As the Tribune’s Ross Ramsey reports, Labor Day is the unofficial, yet traditional, start date for the fall campaigns. With the first presidential debate just three weeks away, it’s likely that campaigns will start fundraising and rallying more votes.

Trib Must Reads

Congress is Back, But Don't Expect Much, by Abby Livingston — The U.S. Congress returns Tuesday for four weeks of legislating, but with November elections on the horizon, expect modest results — maybe a stopgap funding bill and some new federal judges for Texas.

Juvenile Justice Agency Making Case to Escape Budget Cuts, by Johnathan Silver — If state leaders insist, the Texas Juvenile Justice Department has identified ways to cut its budget by $16.8 million, or 2.8 percent, for the 2018-2019 biennium.

More New Mothers in Texas are Dying; Experts Can't Say Why, by Edgar Walters — Two recent studies have highlighted the increasing rate of maternal deaths in Texas, but researchers say they can't explain why it's happening. 

Texas Rep. Cecil Bell Wants to Limit His Industry's Liability For Busting Pipes, by Jim Malewitz — State Rep. Cecil Bell, a private contractor, says he has a plan to curb costly and sometimes dangerous strikes to underground pipelines during construction: make sure whoever is responsible pays to fix them. 

Texas Stops Helping Poor Families Pay Their Electric Bills, by Jim Malewitz — Lite-Up Texas, a program that offered electricity discounts to hundreds of thousands of poor Texas families over the years, has run out of money.  

In Ken Paxton Case, SEC Lawyers Face Skeptical Judge, by Patrick Svitek — A federal judge considering whether to dismiss the civil fraud case against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton suggested that the Securities and Exchange Commission was trying to fit a "square peg into a round hole," basing its case on precedents that do not back up their arguments.

Gov. Abbott Launches Innovative Academies in Texas High Schools, by Nicole Cobler — Public high school students can prepare for careers ranging from aerospace to life sciences — all while receiving college credits before graduation — under an initiative launched by Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday. 

Elsewhere

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

Texas Supreme Court justice wants to deny same-sex spousal benefits, Slate 

Disposal Wells’ Link to Oklahoma Earthquake Scrutinized, The Wall Street Journal 

Far-right activist, author Phyllis Schlafly dies at 92, The Associated Press 

West explosion postscript: Overregulation of the wrong chemical?, San Antonio Express-News

Texas schools said campus carry would cost $15M this year but have spent less than $1M so farThe Dallas Morning News

Wages finally grow, but not for everyone, Houston Chronicle 

Putin Decries 'Shock Tactics' of Clinton, Trump Campaigns, Bloomberg

Hurd, Gallego ready for fall showdownSan Antonio Express-News

Quote to Note

“When I put a hold on Mrs. Clinton’s nomination as secretary of State, she reassured me that they would take appropriate steps. As seems to be usual for the Clintons, they crossed the line, and all the concerns that she reassured me would not occur did in fact occur. She was playing both sides. As she was performing her job of secretary of State, the Clinton Foundation was shaking down donors who were buying access. It’s absolutely deplorable.”

— U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, on the Clinton Foundation's failure to comply with transparency requirements.

Today in TribTalk

Are Texas college students getting their money's worth?, by Arthur Garson Jr. and Robert C. Pianta — As college students prepare to begin classes and football games this fall, consider the following: America does not produce college graduates who are ready for work, independence or advancing their community — in other words, life.

Trib Events for the Calendar

•   San Antonio & the Legislature: The Election and Beyond on Sept. 14 at University of Texas at San Antonio – Downtown Campus

•   Meet the New Guys: A Conversation With Incoming Members of the Texas House on Sept. 15 at The Austin Club 

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

•   The Washington Post's Politics & Pints with Chris Cillizza: TTF Edition on Sept. 24 at Scholz Garten

•   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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