Politics

Caleb Bryant Miller

Neener-Neener

It's an impulse most of us learn to suppress in the seventh grade — the need give your enemies wedgies, to tape "kick me" signs to their backs, to put lizards in their lunchboxes. Political people don't suppress it — they channel it into goofy stunts to attract attention, ridicule opponents and blow off steam.

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A Matter of Trust

The D.C.-based Texas Democratic Trust began as an attempt to revive flagging Democratic institutions in Texas and is now a critical source of funding for them and a host of consultants. That has made its director, Matt Angle, as powerful as most political bosses in other states. Maybe too powerful, his critics say.

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Jacob Villanueva

The Shell Game

If history is any guide, the Legislature will turn to accounting illusions to mask large portions of a budget shortfall of at least $11 billion. Trouble is, such trickery is a bet on the economy roaring back to life — and that's no sure thing. 

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Sarah Palin in Austin

The former Alaska governor was in Austin last night speaking to and raising money for an anti-abortion group. Mose Buchele of KUT News talked to people who had come to support and protest her appearance. Full Story 
Jacqueline Mermea

TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

E. Smith interviews Gov. Rick Perry for the Trib and Newsweek, Philpott dissects the state's budget mess in a weeklong series, Hamilton looks at whether Bill White is or was a trial lawyer, M. Smith finds experts all over the state anxiously watching a court case over who owns the water under our feet, Aguilar reports on the battle between Fort Stockton and Clayton Williams Jr. over water in West Texas, Ramshaw finds a population too disabled to get on by itself but not disabled enough to get state help and Miller spends a day with a young man and his mother coping with that situation, Ramsey peeks in on software that lets the government know whether its e-mail messages are getting read and who's reading what, a highway commissioner reveals just how big a hole Texas has in its road budget, Grissom does the math on the state's border cameras and learns they cost Texans about $153,800 per arrest, and E. Smith interviews Karen Hughes on the difference between corporate and political P.R. — and whether there's such a thing as "Obama Derangement Syndrome." The best of our best from April 19 to April 23, 2010.

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Fee for All!

Every candidate vying for a legislative seat knows what lies ahead in 2011: a budget shortfall of at least $11 billion, probably higher, and state agency cuts to save as much of that amount as possible. But new revenue is a possibility as well, even if lawmakers are expert at the old sleight of hand, employing creative accounting and semantic trickery to avoid stepping on that political third rail, the tax hike.

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Ross Ramsey

The Runoffs: HD-84

The runoff between John Frullo and Mark Griffin shares one important characteristic with the adjacent race in HD-83: It pits inside-the-tent Lubbock Republicans against a coalition of social and libertarian conservatives who are distinctly unhappy with government in Washington and Texas. In that frame, Frullo's the insurgent and Griffin represents the establishment.

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Ross Ramsey

The Runoffs: HD-83

Delwin Jones, who was first elected to the Texas House in 1964 after two unsuccessful attempts, says he has handed out 765,000 promotional emery boards since his start in politics. His tenure and those files weren't enough to win a bruising primary outright last month, though, and the veteran legislator now finds himself in a runoff against Tea Party organizer Charles Perry, who's capitalizing on voter anger at incumbents.

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Kay in 2012?!?

She said she would limit her time in the U.S. Senate to two terms and is currently serving a third. She said she would resign her federal office to run for governor and didn't. She said she would quit after the primary and hasn't. So who's to say she won't reconsider in two years and run for a fourth term? And what of all those would-be successors?

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TribBlog: A Redistricting Compromise?

Republican and Democratic members of the Texas congressional delegation are discussing a possible compromise designed to cool off the overheated politics of congressional redistricting by dividing the expected spoils once U.S. Census figures are in and the reapportionment process begins in 2011, two members of the delegation say.

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A Taxing Session?

Lawmakers will find themselves in a multibillion-dollar ditch when they return to Austin in January 2011. Constitutionally, they can't write a deficit budget, so they're expected to use not just cuts but revenue raisers to keep the books in balance. Ben Philpott, who covers politics and public policy for KUT News and the Tribune, filed this report.

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Matt Stiles

Redistricting Reality

In 2011, political mapmakers will take the latest census numbers (Texas is expected to have a population of more than 25 million) and use them to draw new congressional and legislative districts. The last time this was done, in 2003, Republican mappers took control of the U.S. House by peeling away seats from the Democrats. This time, Texas is poised to add up to four seats to its congressional delegation — and early numbers indicate bad news ahead for West Texas and other areas that haven't kept up with the state's phenomenal growth.

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Jacob Villanueva

The Price of Reform

Behind the fiery health care rhetoric is a measure expected to dramatically expand Texas’ Medicaid program, adding up to 1 million adults to the state’s insurance roll — but at a steep cost. Texas will have to come up with hundreds of millions of dollars in new revenue to foot its share of the bill.

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