Aaron Franco

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Capital Tonight: Non-Governmental Groups Describe Efforts to Aid Immigrant Kids

The conventions are over, and now the candidates for governor are back on the campaign trail. For the Wendy Davis team, that means going after Attorney General Greg Abbott for his handling of a legal decision on dangerous chemicals. Meanwhile, Abbott’s campaign is choosing to put Davis’ supporters on the spot. 
In Wednesday’s Capital Tonight, we checked in on the newest chapter in the fight for the state’s top political spot.

POLITICAL ANALYSIS

Harvey Kronberg joined us to give his take on the day’s political news, including a new report from The Dallas Morning News on donations from the head of Koch Industries’ fertilizer division to Attorney General Abbott.

BORDER REPORT

While federal and state officials flock to the border demanding answers, humanitarian groups are figuring out how they can help. We spoke to Bee Moorhead from the Texas Interfaith Center about how religious leaders are working together. Plus, Austin attorney Jay Brim talked about the effort to pull together unpaid legal help for the kids involved.

Capital Tonight: Lawmakers Get Details on DPS Border Surge

Three weeks after state leaders approved an additional $1.3 million a week in state funding to boost patrols along the border, lawmakers are hearing from the Department of Public Safety on exactly how the money is being spent.

In Monday’s Capital Tonight, we heard from DPS Director Steve McCraw about how his agency is helping out at the border while federal officials deal with an influx of more than 50,000 immigrants.

CAPITAL COMMENTATORS

Political strategists Harold Cook and Ted Delisi weighed in on how federal and state officials are handling the wave of immigrants and whether immigration reform has a chance of passing next year.

EXPENSE REPORT

Plus, Texas Comptroller Susan Combs joined us to explain a new study looking into how much Texas school districts are spending on construction.

Capital Tonight: Congressman Doggett on Hobby Lobby Ruling, Immigration

In a major blow to part of the president’s signature health care law, Supreme Court justices ruled 5-4 that family-owned corporations with religious objections to contraceptives can refuse to pay for them under the Affordable Care Act.

In Monday’s Capital Tonight, we heard responses from both sides of the debate over religious freedom and women’s health. Plus, Congressman Lloyd Doggett talked about the influx of immigrant children, including the executive action announced by President Barack Obama from the White House.

ON THE AGENDA

The Quorum Report‘s Harvey Kronberg is back in Austin after covering his twelfth Texas Democratic Convention. We heard his thoughts on how the party is portraying itself this time around.

NEW JOB DESCRIPTION

The federal guidelines for veterans employment are changing — a move that has some state officials speaking out. Shawn Deabay of the Texas Veterans Commission explained how the new rules could affect his efforts to help veterans here in Texas.

Capital Tonight: Democrats Set Stage for Convention Weekend

Fresh off their filibuster anniversary, Texas Democrats are headed to Dallas to kick off their statewide convention. In Thursday’s Capital Tonight, we got a preview of the message they’re hoping to send and how they plan to use the GOP’s recently published platform as ammunition.

BORDER POLITICS

The surge in Central American immigrants continues to generate headlines, but it might also be changing the conversation about immigration as a whole. James Henson with the Texas Politics Project joined us to discuss that and more.

RIGHT ON CRIME

And Texas is known as a state that’s tough on crime, but many conservatives are working to make us smarter on crime as well. Marc Levin of the Texas Public Policy Foundation joined us to explain their latest efforts and whether there’s common ground to be found with Democrats.

Davis Calls for Special Session to Address Surge of Immigrants

Sen. Wendy Davis is calling for a special session, extra federal support and a declared state of emergency in response to the influx of Central American immigrants at the Texas-Mexico border.

In a letter to Gov. Rick Perry, Sen. Davis says the decision to add $1.3 million a week in funding for the Department of Public Safety was a “solid step” by state leaders, but that more needs to be done to address what she calls the “growing crisis on the border.” The Democratic candidate for governor is joining several of the state’s Republicans in calling for an immediate special session to “provide local agencies with the resources they need in order to do their job in protecting local communities and provide appropriate care for these individuals and families.” 

She’s also calling for Gov. Perry to declare a state of emergency for the border region, in order to open up more state funds.

Sen. Davis is in McAllen to view the detention centers firsthand and talk to local officials. Her response comes on the same day that her Republican opponent in the race for governor, Attorney General Greg Abbott, is touring a temporary detention center at San Antonio’s Lackland Air Force Base with Sen. Ted Cruz.

Capital Tonight: Van de Putte Reacts to New Poll Numbers

With the Republican state convention now in the political rearview mirror, Texas Democrats are less than a couple of weeks out until they gather in Dallas.

In Monday’s Capital Tonight, we spoke to Sen. Leticia Van de Putte about helping to lead her party’s ticket, the Republican stance on immigration reform and new poll numbers that show her trailing her Republican opponent, Sen. Dan Patrick, by double digits.

PLATFORM PROTEST

Democrats aren’t the only ones reacting to the decisions made at the Republican convention last week. Texas Young Republicans are rejecting their party’s platform, saying it’s too long and that it drifts from core party philosophies. We heard from one young Republican about what her generation would rather see.

ON THE AGENDA

Plus, the Quorum Report‘s Harvey Kronberg joined us to weigh in on the lieutenant governor’s race and the Tea Party’s impact in Texas.

Capital Tonight: Inside Look at the GOP Fight over Immigration

The dust has settled from the Texas GOP Convention, and language supporting a guest worker program is out.

In Monday’s Capital Tonight, we spoke one-on-one with Brad Bailey of Texas Immigration Solution, who fought to get the language in at the 2012 convention, about what played out differently this time around.

ON THE AGENDA

After all that fighting, will the platform really make a difference in November? The Quorum Report‘s Harvey Kronberg joined us to give his take after a week spent criss-crossing the convention floor.

WASHINGTON UPDATE

In Washington, President Barack Obama signed an executive order aimed at making it easier for young people to repay their student loan debt.

Capital Tonight: Texas Republicans Remain Split over Platform Language

For Republicans in Texas, Fort Worth is the place to be this week. That’s where Attorney General Greg Abbott officially accepted his party’s nomination to run for governor at the 2014 Texas GOP Convention, and it’s where delegates are working hard behind the scenes to come to a consensus on the official record of the party’s beliefs.

In Friday’s Capital Tonight, we put together highlights from Abbott, Sen. Ted Cruz and other big-name speakers at today’s event, and we looked behind the scenes at the fight over anti-gay language in the party platform.

FROM THE FLOOR

There are always multiple storylines during these state conventions, and the staff of the Quorum Report can be counted on to have an ear to the ground about all of them. We spoke to Scott Braddock from the convention floor about the mood from delegates, the level of support for Abbott and more.

REPORTER ROUNDTABLE

From a twist in the school finance case to a short-lived dispute over open-carry,there was plenty of other political news to get to Friday. We sat down with Lauren McGaughy of the Houston Chronicle and Terrence Stutz of The Dallas Morning News to put it all in context.

Capital Tonight: Texas GOP Delegates Unify Behind Candidates

Republican delegates from around the state are in Fort Worth this week for the Texas GOP Convention. As the longest serving governor in Texas history, Gov. Rick Perry kicked off Thursday’s events by touting the state’s achievements in education, job creation and more. But was it a farewell speech or just the beginning of something else?

In Thursday’s Capital Tonight, we heard how delegates and political experts read the governor’s speech. Plus, we spoke to Rep. Scott Turner about his bid to replace Rep. Joe Straus as Texas House Speaker.

CAPITAL COMMENTATORS

Republican political strategist Ted Delisi joined us live from the convention and Democratic strategist Harold Cook joined us in-studio to talk about the day’s events, including whether delegates can come to an agreement on immigration reform.

POST-PRIMARY STRATEGY

This week’s events mark the first time all the Republican nominees for statewide office are in one place. That’s because many of the candidates were caught up in a drawn-out — and sometimes heated — runoff campaign all the way until the end of May. We caught up with Republican agriculture commissioner candidate Sid Miller to talk about his strategy heading into the general election.