Politics

Accentuate the Negative

Do attack ads work? In the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll, we tested the effectiveness of two "comparative" commercials run in the governor's race to see if they were persuasive to voters. Apparently so.

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 Jacob Villanueva

Day Care Danger

The Texas Workforce Commission spent nearly $50 million during the last two years on day care centers and in-home childcare providers with troubled track records — including sexual and physical abuse, kidnapping, and leaving infants to suffocate and die in their cribs. A Texas Tribune review found that at least 135 subsidized facilities had their licenses revoked or denied by the Department of Family and Protective Services in 2008 and 2009 and had their funding immediately suspended.

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Primary Color: SBOE District 5

Forget about Don McLeroy vs. Thomas Ratliff. The most interesting fight for a State Board of Education seat may be in San Antonio, where well-funded lawyer-lobbyist Tim Tuggey is challenging incumbent Ken Mercer — and the big question being asked is, 'How conservative is conservative enough?'

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 Bob Daemmerich

2010: New Poll, Same Story

Rick Perry has 49 percent; Kay Bailey Hutchison has 27 percent and Debra Medina has 19 percent, according to a new survey done for the Texas Credit Union League. On the Democratic side, Bill White got 51 percent to Farouk Shami's 19 percent.

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The Last Time Around

How will lawmakers deal with a budget shortfall of at least $11 billion — and maybe several billion more — in the next legislative session? In all likelihood, by doing what they did in 2003, when things were almost this bad.

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Primary Color: HD-66

The race to replace state Rep. Brian McCall, R-Plano, has it all: the high price of ambition, reruns of a 2006 campaign ad, a bikini-clad beauty and a fight over conservative bonafides.

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TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

The death penalty and DNA testing in a 16-year-old triple murder in the Texas Panhandle. The second debate between the three Republican candidates for governor. Charter schools are having a hard time hanging on to the employees that matter the most: Teachers. The possibilities and perils of a switch to electronic medical records. A rundown of top races. Who's giving to candidates, and how much? Social networks and politicians. Ballots: The slow reveal. And a new and highly requested feature makes its debut. The best of our best from January 23 to 29, 2010.

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 Bob Daemmerich

Spoiler Alert

What's it like to be a person who wages a no-win campaign but, by taking votes away, dooms the chances of one or more of the other candidates in the race? Mark White knows. Kinky Friedman knows. Debra Medina could soon find out.

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