Archive for August, 2012

Federal court rejects Texas voter ID law

YNN’s Erin Billups shares reaction from Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz in the video above.

A federal court has ruled against a Texas law that would require voters to present photo IDs to election officials before being allowed to cast ballots in November.

A three-judge panel in Washington ruled Thursday that the law imposes "strict, unforgiving burdens on the poor” and noted that racial minorities in Texas are more likely to live in poverty.

The decision involves an increasingly contentious political issue: a push, largely by Republican-controlled legislatures and governor’s offices, to impose strict identification requirements on voters.

The ruling comes in the same week that South Carolina’s strict photo ID law is on trial in front of another three-judge panel in the same federal courthouse. A court ruling in the South Carolina case is expected in time for the November election.

Click here to read the court’s full opinion.

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To see all of Erin’s conversation with Attorney General Greg Abbott, click the video below.

Perry to reveal political plans after legislative session wraps

Capital Tonight’s Paul Brown sat down with Gov. Rick Perry Wednesday from the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Gov. Perry told us about his political aspirations and why he appointed Michael Williams as the state’s newest Education Commissioner.

RNC Photos: Republicans rally behind Romney and Ryan

The Republican National Convention has been convened in Tampa this week. Check out some photos from the convention in the gallery below:

Abbott: We were offended by the court’s decision

YNN’s Paul Brown caught up with Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott after speaking to the Texas Delegation Wednesday morning.

Abbott commented on the decision made by a federal appeals court in Washington D.C. Tuesday to reject the most recent legislative district maps.

“We were offended by yesterday’s decision because it goes beyond the outer bounds of where redistricting law had been before, and we believe it actually contradicts what the U.S. Supreme Court said earlier this year,” he said.

Abott says he believes the Supreme Court will overturn the decision made by the three-panel judge but says he doesn’t think it will have any effect on the upcoming general election.

“I don’t think anyone has to be concerned about either elections or districts right now because the elections this November will take place based upon the interim maps,” he said.

As to Abbott’s political future, he said he’s focused on the campaign to elect Mitt Romney because he said this election will not only affect us but also the next generation.

He said Wednesday’s crowd was, “fired up to vote Mitt Romney in and get Barack Obama out.”

Check out the video above to see what more Abbott had to say.

RNC Photos: Behind the Scenes

Our YNN and Capital Tonight crews are hard at work at the Republican National Convention in Tampa. Check out some of their behind the scenes work in the gallery below:

RNC Photos: Texas Delegation

Check out photos of the Texas Delegation at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.

Republicans expected to pay tribute to Ron Paul at RNC

Tuesday marked the end of the first official day of the 2012 Republican National Convention.

For more information:

In day two, expect to see another packed schedule. For Texas delegates, the day starts in Wesley Chapel, Fla. at the Saddlebrook resort. They will hear from Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, Comptroller Susan Combs and George P. Bush, son of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.

Delegates are expected to arrive at the Tampa Bay Times Forum at 5 p.m. Central time Wednesday where they will start the day with a video tribute to Ron Paul as he completes his final term in Washington.

Paul’s son, Rand will also speak along with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and Vice Presidential Nominee Paul Ryan.

Tune in for a special edition of Capital Tonight at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., where you can catch our one-on-one interview with Governor Rick Perry.

Federal judges say redistricting maps don’t pass pre-clearance

A federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. said Tuesday that the most recent legislative district maps drawn by Texas lawmakers don’t comply with the Voting Rights Act.

In 2011, Texas lawmakers created new state house, state senate and U.S. congressional districts. Those district maps have undergone months of litigation. The court was not ruling on the current, interim maps that federal judges drew to enable the state’s primary elections, but rather, those maps drawn by the Republican-controlled legislature.

Prosecutors needed to show the court that Texas lawmakers didn’t have discriminatory purposes when they drew the maps, but the court said they failed to show that. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott immediately vowed to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

You can read the opinion for yourself below.

Dewhurst running for Lt. Governor again in 2014

Lt. Governor David Dewhurst made an unexpected appearance at the Republican National Convention Tuesday, and made some news while he was there.

Dewhurst confirmed he will run for re-election in 2014, despite Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples also in the running for his job.

According to our crews on the ground, Dewhurst spoke to the Texas delegation Tuesday morning and pledged his support to his former rival Ted Cruz in the race to fill Kay Bailey Hutchison’s U.S. Senate seat.

Our Paul Brown just spoke with Dewhurst in Tampa. Here is his extended conversation.

A handful of state leaders have expressed interest in running for Dewhurst’s Lieutenant Governor seat, including Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples.

YNN Political Reporter Alana Rocha caught up Staples just north of Tampa Tuesday. Check out her interview in the video below.

Actor Jon Voight speaks to reporters at RNC

Academy Award-winning actor Jon Voight, speaking to reporters at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, said it was important for American voters to get past the distractions reported by the media and focus on things the government can solve like “getting people back to work.”

He said President Obama has done nothing to get Americans back into jobs. When YNN’s Capital Tonight crew asked Voight if his brother, Chip Taylor, agreed with him, Voight replied, “We don’t talk a lot about politics in the family.”

Chip Taylor is a singer-songwriter who divides his time between Austin and New York. His first songwriting hit was “Wild Thing” by the Troggs in the 1960s.