Allison Sandza

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Statewide ads rumble airwaves as election day approaches

It’s been a bitter Republican primary in the race for U.S. Senate, and three weeks out from the runoff election, neither Ted Cruz nor David Dewhurst are letting up on the attacks. Both campaigns released new TV ads, Tuesday.

Cruz Attacks Dewhurst on Taxes

The Cruz campaign’s new ad is the first released since the runoff began. The statewide commercial shows a back-and-forth between Cruz and Dewhurst during the June 22 KERA debate, when Cruz asked the lieutenant governor if he supported a payroll tax. During the debate Dewhurst said he never supported a payroll tax in the state. The ad goes on to point out that PolitiFact Texas found Dewhurst’s comments to be false.

Dewhurst Promises Repeal

Lt. Gov. Dewhurst’s new statewide ad, "Full Repeal," accompanied an announcement of the "Dewhurst Plan," a bill he promises to introduce on his first day in the U.S. Senate.

"President Obama has never spent a single day running a business. And in Washington that’s not the exception, it’s the norm. That’s how they came up with Obamacare, the next threat to our economy," Dewhurst says in the ad.

Texas won’t implement key parts of health care reform law



YNN’s Alana Rocha shares more reaction to the governor’s move Monday in the video report above.

Governor Perry says Texas won’t set up a state-run health insurance exchange or expand Medicaid in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision upholding President Obama’s health care law. Perry sent a letter with his decision to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Monday.

"If anyone was in doubt, we in Texas have no intention to implement so-called state exchanges or to expand Medicaid under Obamacare,” Gov. Perry said in a statement. “I will not be party to socializing health care and bankrupting my state in direct contradiction to our Constitution and our founding principles of limited government."

"I stand proudly with the growing chorus of governors who reject the Obamacare power grab. Neither a ‘state’ exchange nor the expansion of Medicaid under this program would result in better ‘patient protection’ or in more ‘affordable care.’ They would only make Texas a mere appendage of the federal government when it comes to health care," Perry went on to say.

Dr. Sara Austin is among those Texas physicians who no longer accept Medicaid patients into their practice. The Austin neurologist cites reduced reimbursement rates from the government that she says no longer make it worth her while, business-wise.

“I think the state has a better chance of making a program that serves more people better than the federal government. We’re Texas. We know how Texas works, you know and what we need,” Dr. Austin said.

“There’s one in four Texans that don’t have health insurance. Texas has to do something about that, but I just don’t think Medicaid – or Medicaid the way it’s written, is not going to be the thing to do," Austin added.

Anne Dunkelberg, at the Center for Public Policy Priorities, says Perry’s decision was one the Legislature needs to make as a whole.

“We’ve had the worst uninsured rate in the country for close to 20 years now and what Texans really need is less politics around health care and real solutions,” Dunkelberg said.

Gov. Perry appeared on Fox News Channel Monday morning. During his interview, he compared expanding Medicaid to putting more people on the Titanic.

The Texas Democratic Party responded to Perry’s decision on Medicaid calling it "cruel" and "negligent."


"Rick Perry’s announcement is both cruel and negligent. No person with a speck of intelligence would turn down billions in federal dollars that would be a boon to our economy and help Texans. But then again this is Rick Perry. Rick Perry could’ve brought billions in federal dollars to Texas, reduced the rate of the uninsured and improved the quality of life for Texans. Rick Perry’s Texas solution is to let Texans stay ill and uninsured. That is not a health care plan. Once again Perry is putting partisan political pandering in front of the interests of Texas."

You can watch Gov. Perry’s interview on Fox News below.

You can read a copy of the letter to Sec. Sebelius below.

TV campaigns begin in SD 25 runoff

Donna Campbell released her first television campaign ad Monday. Campbell’s campaign calls the ad "a positive spot," in a state Senate campaign that got ugly leading up to the primary. However, most of the mud was slung by former Railroad Commissioner Elizabeth Ames Jones and incumbent Senator Jeff Wentworth.

The ad, titled "Called to Serve" began airing in Austin and San Antonio Monday morning. In it Campbell, an emergency room doctor, wears a doctor’s coat and speaks to a patient in a hospital bed.

"For too long career politicians have put a band-aid on our state budget. That’s not going to fly," Campbell says in the ad.

Sen. Wentworth also released a TV ad on Monday. Wentworth’s, called "Relentless Problem Solver," is focused on his record in the Texas Senate.

"Jeff Wentworth is constantly fighting for new roads to deal with our exploding population. He hates traffic jams," the ad says.

It goes on to tout his record on the state water crisis, with state Rep. Doug Miller saying various state water agencies are now working together, thanks to Wentoworth.

You can watch both of the ads below.

Report: Cruz internal poll shows 9-point lead over Dewhurst

Ted Cruz’s campaign is claiming a big lead in the Republican US Senate race, with just three weeks to go before runoff election day. According to Roll Call, Cruz led Lt. Governor David Dewhurst by nine points in a recent internal poll. Roll Call also reports sources close to Dewhurst say their polling is quite different, and that their candidate holds a comfortable lead over Cruz.

In the cited poll, 49 percent of 750 likely Republican runoff election voters say they’re voting for Cruz, while 40 percent support Dewhurst. 11 percent haven’t decided. The poll was conducted June 24-26.

"Those within the Cruz camp contend that the jump in Cruz’s polling and name identification is because of the politically engaged nature of the respondents who indicated their intention to vote in the July 31 runoff," Abby Livingston of Roll Call writes.

Quorum Report: Michael Williams ‘viable contender’ for Education Commissioner



Courtesy: Williams for Texas


Michael Williams, the former Railroad Commission chairman who is well known for his affinity for bow ties, could be the next Commissioner of Education. A story in the Quorum Report says Williams has emerged as a "viable contender" to replace Robert Scott. Monday was Scott’s last day at the Texas Education Agency.

Williams recently lost the Republican primary for Congressional district 25. There were more than 10 candidates in the crowded field, Roger Williams and Wes Riddle are in a runoff for that district. Williams resigned from the Railroad Commission in 2011. He was appointed to an open seat on the Railroad Commission in 1998 by then-Governor George W. Bush.

The Quorum Report notes that Rep. Wayne Christian has been promoting State Board of Education member Charlie Garza to replace Scott.

Perry: SCOTUS decision ‘stomach punch’ to U.S. economy

Gov. Perry released a statement following the Supreme Court’s decision. He called it a "shocking disappointment’ and a "stomach punch" to the U.S. economy.


"This ruling will be a stomach punch to the American economy. It is a shocking disappointment to freedom-loving Americans desperate to get our country back on track. Obamacare is bad for the economy, bad for health care, bad for freedom. Americans have made clear their overwhelming opposition to its convoluted, burdensome and overreaching mandates.

"Freedom was frontally attacked by passage of this monstrosity – and the Court utterly failed in its duty to uphold the Constitutional limits placed on Washington. Now that the Supreme Court has abandoned us, we citizens must take action at every level of government and demand real reform, done with respect for our Constitution and our liberty."

Texas Dems declare victory over SCOTUS decision

Texas Democrats are pleased with the Supreme Court’s decision on President Obama’s health care law.

Austin Rep. Lloyd Doggett called it a victory for families, seniors and small businesses.


“This is a significant victory for every family and small business denied insurance or overcharged or mistreated by an insurer. And it is a victory for seniors who gain better Medicare coverage. Now we must continue our struggle to overcome the naysayers and obstructionists to assure each family has access to a family doctor.”

The Texas Democratic Party also called it a win.


“Today’s Supreme Court decision is a victory for Texans. The health care law is the only lifeline for many Texans and Americans who had nowhere to turn when they got sick. Women can celebrate that their gender is no longer considered a pre-existing condition. Texans can have the peace of mind that they won’t be shoved off their policies when they need it most.

Republicans like Rick Perry railed against the health care law but never offered a plan that would help save lives. Instead Texas Republicans put government between a woman and her doctor and ended preventive care for thousands of Texas women.

It’s time for Republicans to drop their frivolous lawsuits and move forward to implement the law in a way that will benefit most Texans.”

TX Assoc. of Business calls SCOTUS decision ‘disappointing’

Texas Association of Business President and CEO Bill Hammond says the Supreme Court’s decision on the so-called individual mandate is "disappointing." Hammond goes on to say Congress must replace the law or jobs will be lost.

Bill Hammond, President and CEO of the Texas Association of Business:

“It is disappointing that the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the Affordable Care Act, especially as it pertains to the individual mandate. The business community has always been very concerned about the cost of the law, the economic effect it will have on the country when fully implemented, and the effect on employees trying to navigate a complicated and confusing system. Unless Congress takes action to replace this plan with something that is more workable, we will see many jobs lost and many businesses that offer insurance to their employees now will drop that coverage. Congress shouldn’t be allowed to dictate the day to day lives of Americans and of business, and that’s what this ruling allows. There is still time for Congress to fix this before full implementation in 2014, and we will be working hard to make sure that happens.”

Republican U.S. Senate candidates respond to SCOTUS immigration decision

Both Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate agree it is time for the federal government to focus on securing the border, following the Supreme Court’s split decision on the Arizona immigration law.

Ted Cruz used the decision as an opportunity to attack opponent David Dewhurst on the failed sanctuary city ban from the last legislative session.


“The federal government is utterly failing to secure our borders. When Arizona stepped in to address out-of-control illegal immigration, liberal groups attacked Arizona and the Obama Administration sued the State. Rather than actually enforce our Nation’s immigration laws—which is the President’s explicit constitutional obligation—President Obama instead asked the Supreme Court to strike down Arizona’s law. Today, the Supreme Court upheld the central provision of the Arizona law. Although the Court unfortunately struck down other provisions of the Arizona law, the Court held that there is no barrier in federal law to States’ requiring local law enforcement to check on the immigration status of those criminally detained," Ted Cruz said in a statement Monday afternoon. "This makes clear that sanctuary cities exist only because of state and local decision-making; it highlights that we have sanctuary cities in Texas only because Lt. Gov. Dewhurst killed the bill that would have ended sanctuary cities. Had the Texas Legislature passed that bill—had Lt. Governor Dewhurst not run from the fight and prevented its passage—then today’s decision would have upheld that Texas law as well.”

Dewhurst also called for the federal government to secure the border, and criticized any legislation that provides a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants.


"The Supreme Court’s partial ruling on the Arizona immigration law only spotlights the abject failure of the federal government to secure the border. Today’s decision reinforces the need for conservatives in Congress to once and for all quit talking and secure the border," Dewhurst said in a statement Monday morning. "The first step is triple the size of the Border Patrol and authorize them to fight back. Congress must make states and local communities partners in securing the border, allowing them the tools necessary to enforce the laws of our Nation. Any legislation that provides a pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens must be dead on arrival, and we must look at all the tools in our arsenal to address the influx of illegal immigrants, the threat of narco-terrorists and drug cartels.”

High court rejects parts of Arizona immigration law

The Supreme Court struck down several provisions of Arizona’s controversial immigration law Monday, however police will be allowed to ask suspects to prove their immigration status if they look like they could be illegal immigrants. People won’t be arrested for minor immigration charges.

Read more:

Read the full slip opinion of the case by clicking here.

Justices said the "show me your papers" provision could still be subject to additional legal challenges.

President Obama said he is "pleased" with the decision but concerned about the remaining provision.

"What this decision makes unmistakably clear is that Congress must act on comprehensive immigration reform. A patchwork of state laws is not a solution to our broken immigration system – it’s part of the problem. At the same time, I remain concerned about the practical impact of the remaining provision of the Arizona law that requires local law enforcement officials to check the immigration status of anyone they even suspect to be here illegally. I agree with the Court that individuals cannot be detained solely to verify their immigration status. No American should ever live under a cloud of suspicion just because of what they look like. Going forward, we must ensure that Arizona law enforcement officials do not enforce this law in a manner that undermines the civil rights of Americans, as the Court’s decision recognizes."

Mitt Romney released a statement shortly after the decision. Romney said the decision shows the need for bipartisan immigration reform.

“Today’s decision underscores the need for a President who will lead on this critical issue and work in a bipartisan fashion to pursue a national immigration strategy. President Obama has failed to provide any leadership on immigration. This represents yet another broken promise by this President. I believe that each state has the duty–and the right–to secure our borders and preserve the rule of law, particularly when the federal government has failed to meet its responsibilities. As Candidate Obama, he promised to present an immigration plan during his first year in office. But 4 years later, we are still waiting.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.