State government

Social Studies

Thanks to sites like Facebook and Twitter, we know the elected officials who represent us better than ever — sometimes in weirdly intimate ways. You can find out that Dan Patrick had to put his dog down, that Wayne Christian is a fan of real estate wunderkind and reality TV star Chad Rogers, and that Bill White just finished listening to a book on tape. But woe to the pol who hasn't updated her status in a year.

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by Abby Rapoport

2010: Rallying Cry

More than a week after they surfaced in the Republican gubernatorial primary debate, the politics of abortion are again heating up.

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2010: Michael Williams Rails

... against Washington, of course, and the less-than-resolute wing of his party: An interview with the Texas Railroad Commissioner, who'd like very much, thank you, to be the next Marco Rubio.

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TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Hu explores on the schism between Bushworld and Perrywold and the increasingly curious question of what Debra Medina wants; Stiles goes all Shark Week on gubernatorial campaign finance, with searchable databases, bubble maps and word clouds; M. Smith on what happens if there's a GOP runoff; Rapoport on the sniping between Perry and KBH on transparency; Hamilton on KBH's abortion issue odyssey; Ramshaw exposes the disgracefully low percentage of state school employees who abuse or kill profoundly disabled Texans and are then prosecuted for their acts; Thevenot on higher ed's tuition time bomb; Aguilar on the Latino pay gap; Ramsey on Farouk Shami's "gift" to Hank Gilbert; Ramsey and Philpott on the the Supreme's Court's corporate campaign cash fallout; and E. Smith's interviews with House Speaker Joe Straus with retiring Republican state representative — and future Texas State chancellor? — Brian McCall. The best of our best from January 18 to 22, 2010.

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Jacob Villanueva

Who's Got What

A review of campaign finance reports for the period from July to December 2009 reveals that some candidates for the Texas House are capable of raising serious money.

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TribBlog: Abbott launches trafficking task force

Twenty percent of the nation's 17,000 human trafficking victims each year come through Texas, and Attorney General Greg Abbott said today the state should take the lead in collaboration among agencies to fight the scourge of modern-day slavery.

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The Abortion Answer

As she demonstrated in last week's debate, Kay Bailey Hutchison still struggles with how to describe her position on an issue that many Republicans consider sacrosanct.

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Jacob Villanueva

Abuse of Power

State employees who commit heinous acts against Texas' most profoundly disabled citizens rarely get charged with crimes, let alone go to jail. A Texas Tribune review of a decade’s worth of abuse and neglect firings at state institutions found that just 16 percent of the most violent or negligent employees were ever charged with crimes.

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Matt Stiles

Mapping the Money Race

To better understand the geography of the money race, we mapped the candidates' contributions by city, using graduated symbols to highlight their most lucrative areas. The bubbles in the maps get larger based on the percentage of a candidates' total take.

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Abby Rapoport

TribBlog: Will Obama Put Texas Schools Back in the Race?

The president announced he would ask Congress for an additional $1.35 billion for the Race to the Top education grant program — which Gov. Perry spurned last week — along with more flexibility in doling it out to individual districts. He also took a swipe at Texas.

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www.rrc.state.tx.us

Riding into Sunset

As the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality prepares for a legislative review next year, one of its ex-commissioners is consulting with environmentalists who are critical of the agency and the Perry administration.

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