The Big Conversation
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is expanding her efforts in typically red Texas just three weeks before the general election with a one-week ad buy.
The 30-second commercial — which will air on TV in Dallas, Houston, Austin, San Antonio, and online — will highlight the Dallas Morning News’ recent endorsement of Clinton for the presidency. The endorsement was the editorial board’s first of a Democratic presidential candidate since before World War II.
As the Tribune’s Patrick Svitek reports, Clinton’s announcement comes days after a WFAA/SurveyUSA poll found Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump leading by only 4 points in Texas, the billionaire business mogul's smallest lead in the state yet.
"The Dallas Morning News points out Trump's values are out of step with Texas," Garry Mauro, who chairs Clinton's efforts in Texas, said in a statement to the Tribune on the ad buy. "As more and more Texans realize this — and turn to Hillary — the polls will get better and better."
Trib Must Reads
No Trump effect likely for Texas Senate races, by Matthew Watkins — Even with the presidential race closer than normal, Democrats have little chance to gain ground in the Republican-dominated Texas Senate.
Most embrace some reforms in Court of Criminal Appeals races, by Johnathan Silver — Almost all of the candidates for the state's highest criminal court agree the justice system should change how it handles drug cases and mental illness.
Jill Stein, in Austin, says third-party candidates can win in November, by Alex Samuels — The Green Party presidential candidate visited typically red Texas three weeks before the general election, insisting that third-party candidates can make a difference in the polls.
Two school districts accused of violating new truancy law, by Julián Aguilar — Students in Mesquite and El Paso schools were sent to truancy court despite a new state law stressing alternatives to criminal charges, several advocacy groups allege.
Texas House digging in heels for school voucher fight, by Kiah Collier — In a bipartisan sparring match, members of the House Public Education Committee challenged proponents of using taxpayer dollars — or tax breaks — to help parents send their kids to private or parochial schools.
Dan Patrick offers faith-based plan to ease foster care crisis, by Elena Mejia Lutz — Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick wants faith-based communities to help find foster and adoptive homes for kids in need.
Texas dismisses Turkey's claims against Houston-based charter school, by Alexa Ura — The Texas Education Agency has dismissed a complaint by lawyers working for the Republic of Turkey alleging that Houston-based Harmony Public Schools engaged in financial malfeasance and other misconduct.
After a lull in 2015, border apprehensions spiked in 2016, by Julián Aguilar — Apprehension of families and unaccompanied children surged again along the Texas-Mexico border in 2016, reflecting the new prevalence of illegal immigration from Central America.
The Day Ahead
• Tribune reporter Edgar Walters moderates a panel with Myra Crownover, Christopher Frei, Dr. Binh-Minh "Jade" Le and Zachary S. Thompson on the state’s response to the Zika virus — what government is doing, what the health care sector is doing and what the general public can and should be doing. The noon event takes place at BCBSTX Headquarters in Richardson and will be livestreamed on the Tribune’s website for those unable to attend in person.
• A joint legislative committee set up to study border security will meet in the morning to hear invited testimony on the status of implementation of House Bill 11, which bolsters the ranks of state police, increases technology and establishes intelligence operations units on the Texas-Mexico border.
(Links below lead to outside websites; content might be behind paywall)
LGBT equality rankings put Dallas on top, suburbs on the bottom, The Dallas Morning News
Environmental groups defend Brownsville’s bag ordinance, San Antonio Express-News
Texas troopers to ride some school buses in safety push, The Associated Press
Mexican border crossing – Wall to stop illegal immigration, The Washington Post
In Spanish-language voters guide, presidential positions in English, Austin American-Statesman
Makalani: The Many Costs Of Campus Carry, The New Yorker
State rejects Dallas ISD's plans to fix 8 failing schools, The Dallas Morning News
Quote to Note
"The Big 12 owes a lot of people an apology. It punted on expansion & shanked its future. The University of Houston deserved better."
Today in TribTalk
Why can't Texans vote for "none of the above"?, by David Simpson — We must make sure our elections promote accountable government and allow voters to actively participate — whether they agree with the candidates on the ballot or not.
Zika: How big is the threat in Texas?, by Dr. Binh-Minh "Jade" Le — Texans must remain vigilant to keep the virus at bay.
News From Home
• The Texas Tribune's Fall Membership Drive is on! Donate to its nonprofit newsroom today.
Trib Events for the Calendar
• 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 Symposium on Transportation on Nov. 3 at Texas A&M University - Rudder Tower
• 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
• San Antonio & the Legislature: A Preview of the 85th on Dec. 2 at University of Texas at San Antonio – Downtown Campus