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Cruz Gives $100K to Senate Incumbent Protection Efforts

Also, a House candidate pens a letter on behalf of a vaccine choice group in an attempt to halt a flu vaccine campaign being launched at several school districts across the state.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks during a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., to consider five...

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has agreed to give $100,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee to help protect the GOP majority in the upper chamber.

An aide confirmed Tuesday that Cruz planned to tap his Senate campaign coffers to bolster the NRSC's efforts to help endangered incumbents. The agreement was first reported by Politico.

Cruz has had a rocky relationship with Senate colleagues since arriving in Washington, and his refusal to endorse GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump has only created more tension. In 2014, Cruz sought to build bridges with Senate Republicans by promising $250,000 for the NRSC, of which he served as a co-chair at the time.

The $100,000 appears to be a fraction of the money in Cruz's Senate campaign account, which in July received a $2.9 million infusion of leftover funds from his presidential campaign. Before that, Cruz's Senate coffers had a balance of only about $400,000.

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Deer Park attorney Briscoe Cain, who defeated incumbent state Rep. Wayne Smith in a party primary runoff in May and is now the Republican nominee in HD-128, is assisting Texans for Vaccine Choice in its fight against flu vaccination campaigns in 14 school districts in Central Texas and Fort Bend County.

In a letter sent to the school districts’ superintendents, Cain alleges on behalf of his clients that the language in the consent forms and aspects of the vaccine program itself are coercive and discriminatory.

For instance, he points to a “Healthy Hero wristband” given to children receiving vaccines, saying such a reward “will publicly expose their children and other children who do not receive vaccinations to criticism and humiliation by their peers and school employees.”

He demands that the districts stop the flu vaccine program until changes can be made to the consent forms and the program.
Cain hasn’t drawn a major party opponent for the fall election and is heavily favored to win the Republican-leaning HD-128.

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Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday afternoon reiterated his call for more respect for members of the law enforcement community, especially following the deadly police shooting earlier this year in Dallas.

"Respect for our law enforcement officers must be restored in the United States of America," Abbott said at a Capitol ceremony honoring fallen officers. "They stand in front of us to protect us from all that threatens us. We must join together and have their backs.”

Abbott went on to urge Texans to "rise and say, 'No more. No more will we tolerate disrespect for those who serve. No more will we allow hate merchants to try to rip us apart."

Abbott also recognized the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which was on Sunday. He tied the attacks to the Dallas shooting in July, when a gunman opened fire at a protest, killing five police officers and wounding seven others.

"We were tested by evil again just two months ago in Dallas, Texas," Abbott said. “Although anguish and sorrow darkened in the days that followed, the people of Texas came together to heal the hurt — first with prayer, then with action."

Abbott was speaking at a ceremony for the Star of Texas awards, which honors those who were seriously injured or killed in the line of duty. The ceremony was one of a growing number of public appearances Abbott has made in recent days since he was severely burned during a family vacation in July, an incident that sidelined him for weeks.

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The biggest business lobby in Texas, which has a history of supporting Republicans, is declining so far to make an endorsement in the presidential race.

The Business and Commerce PAC, the political arm of the Texas Association of Business, did not include the race on a list of endorsements it released last Friday for the Nov. 8 general election. "Races not listed were not endorsed," the PAC said in a news release.

In the 2012 presidential election, the group supported Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

This time around, GOP nominee and billionaire real estate developer Donald Trump is putting off some members of his party, including in the business community, due to his unorthodox positions on economic issues including trade.

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For the seventh straight year, Texas.gov has been recognized as a top 10 finalist for the Best of the Web award.

The website features Texas' digital government program where users can utilize more than 1,000 online services. Some of which include the ability to renew their driver’s license, vehicle registration, order a birth certificate, and complete a professional license application or renewal. 

New features on this year's portal include the ability for users to select a visual design theme, a dedicated Open Data section, which provides related information and access to the State’s Open Data Portal, and a content aggregation tool.

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