The Big Conversation
Many leading Texas Republicans are either silent or reluctant to weigh in on the 2005 video of Donald Trump making lewd comments about women — a move that has angered many younger GOP operatives.
According to operatives in Texas politics, many are scared that disavowing Trump would cause them to lose his fan base and, ultimately, “electoral suicide” in the 2018 GOP primary. On Monday, U.S. Sen Ted Cruz — who is up for re-election in 2018 — condemned Trump’s words but said he’d still back his party’s candidate. However, younger Republicans say they’re more worried about the consequences sticking with Trump could have on their party.
U.S. Reps Louie Gohmert, R-Tyler, and Michael Burgess, R-Lewisville, Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, and Lt. Gov Dan Patrick all say they’re sticking with Trump because they see Hillary Clinton as the far worse candidate. Not one Texas federal or state officeholder who previously endorsed Trump changed their stance. “There’s no good answer — I’d stay quiet. There’s no upside to making any kind of comment or quote. I’d just keep my powder dry,” said Vinny Minchillo, a Texas Republican ad maker.
As the Tribune’s Abby Livingston reports, some consultants worry that those sticking with Trump are not factoring in the changing demographic winds. "Some Republicans would rather let the party lose and expire in 30 years rather than let the next generation of Republicans start to build the party of the future,” said GOP consultant Brendan Steinhauser.
A clarification from yesterday's Brief... the online version of the Brief was updated on Monday afternoon to reflect a statement released by San Antonio developer Gene Powell. The new language is as follows:
"Bundler Gene Powell of San Antonio appeared to pull out of hosting the San Antonio fundraiser over the weekend, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the event. On Monday, Powell said in a statement that he was still planning to serve as one of the fundraiser's co-hosts but suggested he was doing so grudgingly."
Trib Must Reads
Texplainer: I'm a Republican. I Hate Trump. Who Else Can I Vote For?, by Elena Mejia Lutz — What's an anti-Trump Republican in Texas to do on Election Day? Aside from leaving the top of your ballot blank, here are your options.
Texas Will See Lowest Number of Executions in 20 Years, by Jolie McCullough — At most, Texas will have executed eight men by the close of 2016, the lowest number since 1996.
Paul Ryan Coming to Texas Amid Some Pro-Trump Resistance, by Patrick Svitek — U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan is coming to Texas to raise money as concentrates his attention on protecting the House Republican majority with Donald Trump at the top of the ticket.
Manager of $37 Billion Endowment for UT and A&M Resigns, by Matthew Watkins — Bruce Zimmerman oversaw the University of Texas Investment Management Company, which has nearly $37 billion in assets, according to the UT System.
The Day Ahead
• Today is the last day to register to vote in Texas. You can register in person at your county Voter Registrar’s office or by mail by obtaining an application from your county Voter Registrar’s office or pick up applications at libraries, government offices, or high schools. Mailed applications must be postmarked by today. Find out if you're already registered here.
• In an effort to get some last-minute fundraising done before the November election, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has fundraisers planned in both San Antonio and Dallas today. However, Texas Democrats are also holding press conferences in both cities, with a goal of blasting "Trump for being unfit and unqualified to be president."
(Links below lead to outside websites; content might be behind paywall)
As Trump mulls attack on Clinton scandals, one source makes him a target, The Washington Post
Public spending for Christmas lights OK, Texas AG says, The Associated Press
DPS: Governor’s portrait has $10,000 in damage after tossed 3 stories, Austin American-Statesman
Dallas pastor Robert Jeffress' debate analysis: 'Trump redeemed himself', The Dallas Morning News
Lack of funding keeps shoddy buildings at San Antonio State Hospital, San Antonio Express-News
Sen. Cruz talks about helping farmers in Friona, Amarillo Globe-News
Katharine Hayhoe, a Climate Explainer Who Stays Above the Storm, The New York Times
Quote to Note
"I think we should forgive Trump because he made these comments when he was a Democrat."
— U.S. Rep Louis Gohmert, R-Tyler, on The Sean Hannity Show Monday regarding Donald Trump's surfaced 2005 video where he brags about kissing, groping and trying to have sex with women
Today in TribTalk
Dear Lamar Smith: Climate change is real, by Sheldon Whitehouse — Our climates are changing, and we are the cause. Clear and simple measurements show the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere up more than 40 percent since the Industrial Revolution began.
Trib Events for the Calendar
• The Texas Response To Zika on Oct. 18 at BCBSTX Headquarters in Richardson
• The Ticket: A Live Recording and Presidential Debate Watch Party on Oct. 19 at KLRU Studio 6A
• A Conversation with U.S. Rep Michael McCaul on Oct. 25 at The Austin Club
• "Along Came Kinky" Screening and Conversation on Oct. 27 at the LBJ Library
• A Conversation with U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke on Nov. 4 at The Austin Club
• A Conversation with state Reps. Andrew Murr and Jason Isaac on Nov. 14 at Schreiner University in Kerrville