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Democrat Lupe Valdez will Run for Texas Governor

Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez made it official Wednesday morning — she’s running for Governor of Texas.

 

“Like so many hardworking Texans, I know it’s tough deciding between buying food, finding a decent place to live, and setting aside money for college tuition,” Valdez said in a statement. “Opportunity in Texas ought to be as big as this great state, but it is out of reach for far too many, that’s why I’m running for Texas Governor.”

 

Valdez will deliver remarks and file for Governor at 11:45am at the Texas Democratic Party headquarters in Austin.

 

Valdez was first elected sheriff in 2004. She and Gov. Greg Abbott have sparred before over immigration practices the governor has criticized as “sanctuary city” policies.

 

While Valdez becomes the highest-profile Democratic gubernatorial candidate to date, she still faces an uphill battle against Abbott. Abbott has a $40 million dollar campaign war chest and Texas hasn’t elected a Democrat statewide in more than two decades.

 

Under the Texas Constitution, Valdez is required to step down in order to run for another office. Her campaign said she will officially notify the Dallas County Commissioners Court of her decision to run for Governor this morning.

 

Posted by Karina Kling

@KarinaKling

 

 

Daily Digest: Dec. 5

Our daily digest is an update on the stories we’re following in Texas politics today. Here’s what we’re working on for 7pm:

 

Merging the Tax Plans:

Now that the Republican majority in the Senate has passed their bill to overhaul the US tax code, a new process begins.

And it could be just as complicated – combining the House and Senate versions into one. Our Washington D-C bureau reporter Samantha-Jo Roth takes a look at where things stand.

 

Repealing ACA Individual Mandate?:

The new tax bill could mean the end of the road for the individual mandate — the tax that punishes people who don’t buy health insurance.

It’s currently part of the Senate’s tax bill, and House tax writers signaled today that they expect it to make it into the final piece of legislation.

But as our Max Gorden explains, it has some health care leaders concerned.

 

Voter ID Law Back in Court:

Texas’ controversial voter ID law was back in court today. Federal judges heard arguments over the state’s modified law.

The state’s attorney argued any constitutional problems have been fixed since lawmakers approved changes this past session after years of court battles. He pointed to the revision allowing voters who don’t have an acceptable ID to vote by signing an affidavit stating they cannot reasonably obtain one.

But opponents say the law still demonstrates a discriminatory intent and limits the kinds of acceptable ID to ones more likely to be held by white voters.

They also argue some voters fear criminal penalties if they mistakenly enter wrong information.

The judges did not indicate when they would rule.

 

Lawmakers Warns Against Divisive Social Legislation:

Some lawmakers in the Texas House are warning against divisive social issues.

A select panel on economic competitiveness met for the second and final time today. The chair of the committee asked business leaders to go on the record telling Gov. Greg Abbott that he could help keep Texas’ business climate predictable by making a public statement that the Legislature is done debating the so-called “bathroom bill.”

“When social issues create uncertainty for its business climate, it hurts us,” Rep. Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, said.

On the issue of immigration, construction industry leaders who testified say there’s an urgent need for more legal workers in Texas. The worker shortage has been made more apparent after Hurricane Harvey — with many rebuilding efforts delayed due to a lack of a sufficient workforce.

Rep. Byron Cook joined us for a one-on-one interview this afternoon. Hear more from him at 7.

 

TMF Wants His Seat Back:

It’s been nearly two years since he’s served in the Texas Legislature. But former San Antonio State Representative Trey Martinez Fischer wants his seat back. He joined us from San Antonio to discuss why. Hear his full interview at 7.

 

Capital Tonight airs weeknights at 7 on Spectrum News.

 

Posted by Karina Kling

@KarinaKling

 

Daily Digest: Nov. 28

Our daily digest is an update on the stories we’re following in Texas politics today. Here’s what we’re working on for 7pm:

 

GOP Tax Plan Latest:

President Trump went to Capitol Hill today in an effort to push the Republican tax reform plan across the finish line. A vote on the bill is expected later this week in the Senate.

We explain why several hurdles still exist for Republicans to accomplish a much-needed legislative victory.

 

Texas Charities Fear Drop in Donations Under Tax Plan:

Just as the season of giving kicks off, charities in Texas and across the country are bracing for a potential loss of billions of dollars in annual contributions. It’s the result of the GOP tax overhaul plan which would eliminate the incentive to donate for nearly all Americans.

Both the House and Senate proposals would raise the standard deduction — resulting in a loss of the number of taxpayers who itemize.

Major Andrew Kelly, Salvation Army Austin Area Commander, joins us to discuss how it could affect his organization and what he’s calling on lawmakers to include.

 

Digital Privacy Case:

Your cell phone is constantly sending out information about where you are and it can give out clues about what you’re doing. How that data can be used is the subject of a case set to be heard before the Supreme Court Wednesday.

After a string of cell phone store robberies near Detroit, police pinned one suspect to the crimes using cell tower data, which showed his location.

But police didn’t use a warrant. Now, the suspect is saying his Fourth Amendment rights were violated. It’s sparking a debate about privacy in the digital age and Texas police are watching closely.

Max Gorden has the latest at 7.

 

Family of Sutherland Springs Shooting Victims File Claim Against Air Force:

A family who lost 9 people in the Sutherland Springs church shooting has filed a federal claim against the Air Force. They say the military branch is partly to blame for the deaths of 26 people.

Joe and Claryce Holcombe say the Air Force’s failure to report the gunman’s criminal history to the FBI database helped cause the Nov. 5 shooting.

Their claim could lead to a lawsuit if the Air Force denies it was at fault.

Meanwhile, the Air Force said Tuesday its failure to report the shooter’s criminal history was part of a pattern of such lapses.

The gunman had been convicted of domestic violence while in the Air Force and was kicked out. That conviction should have prevented him from ever getting any of the guns used in the attack.

The Air Force cited failures in training and compliance and says it’s taken actions to prevent such problems in the future.

 

Future of CPRIT:

Ten years ago this month, Texas voters overwhelmingly approved the creation of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas or CPRIT.

The goal: to make Texas a leader in fighting cancer by doling out $3 billion in grants for research and prevention.

Lawmakers designed it to last 15 years on state bond funding and so far CPRIT says it’s awarded about $1.8 billion.

Now with five years left and about a billion dollars to go, some in the legislature say the agency needs to be self-sufficient when that state money runs out.

Cam Scott with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network joins us at 7 to discuss the difficulty in that and an upcoming forum about the future of CPRIT.

 

Capital Tonight airs weeknights at 7 on Spectrum News.

 

 

 

Daily Digest: Nov. 27

Our daily digest is an update on the stories we’re following in Texas politics today. Here’s what we’re working on for 7pm:

 

Congress’ Daunting December To-Do List:

Congress is back in session in the nation’s capital and lawmakers are facing a daunting December to-do list.

For Republicans, tax reform is a priority, but the government also needs a funding bill to pass before Dec. 8 to avoid a shutdown.

Our Washington D-C bureau reporter Alberto Pimienta explains the long list and constrained timetable to get it all done.

 

Gov. Abbott Taps Top Attorney for Texas Supreme Court:

Gov. Greg Abbott announced his top attorney will replace a Texas Supreme Court justice who’s awaiting confirmation for a seat on a U.S. appeals court.

Jimmy Blacklock is currently Abbott’s general counsel. Blacklock also served in the Department of Justice during the George W. Bush administration.

Abbott says the appointment reflects Texans’ wishes for a strict conservative judge on the high court.

“Someone who is gonig to apply the law as written, as opposed to making it up as they go,” Abbott said. “Someone who is going to apply the text of the constitution, as opposed to looking to extraneous matters.”

Republicans control all nine seats on the state’s highest civil court.

Blacklock would replace Justice Don Willett, who President Trump nominated for the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

Willett, who’s become known for his active and colorful tweets, is expected to be confirmed by the US Senate in the coming weeks.

A spokesman for Governor Abbott says Blacklock doesn’t have a Twitter account.

 

Who’s the Boss?:

There’s a battle over who’s the boss at a key consumer watchdog agency.

Both President Trump’s pick to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the person tapped by its former director showed up to work Monday.

Now, a recently filed lawsuit looks to settle the answer of who’s in charge. We’ll break down the legal saga.

 

Sexual Harassment Allegations Latest:

The White House says President Trump is not planning to campaign for Alabama GOP Senate Candidate Roy Moore. Meanwhile, the deadline to register to vote in Alabama’s upcoming special election is today.

And since allegations against Moore have surfaced, his Democratic opponent has slowly made headway in the deeply-red state.

We’ll introduce you to Doug Jones and explain why he still faces an uphill battle, despite sexual misconduct allegations against Moore.

 

“Embarresed and ashamed…” That’s how Sen. Al Franken is responding to groping allegations against him.

The Minnesota Democrat made the comments in his first Capitol appearance since the allegations came out.

Franken says he knows he let a lot of people down but has vowed to regain their trust.

“This is what I’ve been trying to do, I’ve been trying to take responsibility by apologizing and by apologizing to the people that I’ve let down and I’m going to work to regain their trust. I’m going to be accountable,” Sen. Franken said.

One woman says Franken forcibly kissed her in 2006 and took a suggestively sexual photo of her while she was sleeping. Three other women say Franken grabbed their rear ends while posing for photos at different campaign events..

Franken has dismissed questions of resignation and says he’ll cooperate with a Senate Ethics Committee investigation.
Michigan Congressman John Conyers is giving up his leadership position as the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee.

The Democrat’s decision comes ahead of a Congressional probe into allegations of sexual harassment made against him.

Conyers says he doesn’t want the accusations to undermine his colleagues.

But the 88-year-old lawmaker says he won’t resign from Congress and will keep fighting the allegations that he sexually harassed female staff members.

 

On the Agenda:

The Quorum Report’s Scott Braddock joins us to discuss Gov. Abbott’s comments on the GOP tax plan, Texas House Speaker commitment forms and an upcoming Texas House sexual harassment hearing.

 

Join us for these stories and more at 7 on Capital Tonight.

 

Posted by Karina Kling

@KarinaKling

 

Daily Digest: Nov. 21

Our daily digest is an update on the stories we’re following in Texas politics today. Here’s what we’re working on for 7pm:

 

Texas Toll Troubles:

With the Thanksgiving holiday approaching, millions of people in the Lone Star State are hitting the road. But some state lawmakers say tolls are burning holes in Texans’ wallets.

Our Max Gorden will have more on the statements putting Texas toll projects in the slow lane.

 

New Transportation Group Vows to Ease Traffic Woes:

The fight over how best to ease traffic congestion has prompted the formation of a new nonprofit.

Business groups, local elected officials and highway industry interests announced the launch of Texans for Traffic Relief Monday.

Spokesman David White joins us to discuss what they say are the biggest problems and ways to address.

 

Border Patrol Agent’s Death Still Unclear:

AP: FBI officials say they are investigating the death of a border patrol agent and injuring of another in West Texas as a “potential assault,” but they wouldn’t rule out that they were injured in some other way.

Special Agent in Charge Emmerson Buie Jr. said during a news conference at the FBI’s El Paso office Tuesday that the bureau is offering a reward of $25,000 for information that might lead to a resolution of the case.

The officials wouldn’t say why they believe the agents might have been attacked.

Agent Rogelio Martinez died Sunday after suffering extensive injuries to his head and body. His partner, whose name hasn’t been released, was seriously injured.

A U.S. official with knowledge of the investigation told the Associated Press on Monday that investigators believe Martinez may have fallen into a culvert near Van Horn. The official said Martinez’s partner, who radioed for help, has no memory of what happened.

 

Tax Reform Reservations:

The fast-moving effort to overhaul the tax code now rests in the hands of a small number of GOP Senators, several who are now voicing their reservations with the bill.

The question now: will Republicans have enough votes to get the measure over the finish line or will changes need to be made?

Our Washington DC Bureau reporter, Samantha-Jo Roth has the latest on where things stand.

 

Ag Commissioner Sid Miller:

Tuesday marked the second annual Texas Agriculture Memorial Day. It’s a time to honor Texas farmers and ranchers who have lost their lives or been severely injured while engaged in agricultural-related pursuits. It also recognizes those who have contributed to the Texas economy. Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller joins us to discuss the state of Texas agriculture and we talk 2018.

 

Trump Pardons Turkeys:

The White House is getting ready for the holidays, from the arrival of the White House Christmas Tree to the traditional turkey pardoning. We introduce you to Drumstick and Wishbone.

 

Capital Tonight airs weeknights at 7 on Spectrum News.

 

 

 

Daily Digest: Nov. 17

Our daily digest is an update on the stories we’re following in Texas politics today. Here’s what we’re working on for 7pm:

 

Gov. Abbott Calls White House Disaster Aid Bill ‘Inadequate’:

Top Texas Republicans are slamming the Trump administration’s $44 billion disaster aid request.

On the heels of a trip to Washington, Gov. Greg Abbott says it’s far from what he wanted. Even the state’s senior senator isn’t happy with the White House’s actions.

Both Abbott and Sen. John Cornyn pointedly expressed their dissatisfaction during a press briefing Friday.

At 7 – hear what they had to say. Plus what federal officials are giving the state when it comes to rebuilding.

 

Trump Blasts Franken, Mum on Moore:

Governor Abbott was also asked about the sexual assault allegations surrounding Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore Friday.

“The allegations are disgusting and if they are true I think he should not be in the race,” Gov. Abbott said.

Meanwhile, Moore is falling behind in the polls to the Democratic candidate. And on Capitol Hill, a Senate ethics Investigation has been called for into allegations that Sen. Al Franken forcibly kissed and groped a radio news anchor back in 2006.

Both political parties are facing fallout, but President Trump is only partially weighing in. We’ll have the latest at 7.

 

Reporter Roundtable:

We’re one week into the 2018 candidate filing period. But big questions of who will round out the ballots remain. Joining us tonight on our reporter roundtable to break down who’s in and who’s out so far, Bob Garrett with the Dallas Morning News and Mike Ward with the Houston Chronicle.

 

PolitiFact Texas:

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz recently suggested that the Obama administration bears some responsibility for the mass shooter in Sutherland Springs being able to acquire guns.

Gardner Selby of PolitiFact Texas is in tonight to put that claim to the truth-o-meter.

 

Capital Tonight airs weeknights at 7 on Spectrum News.

 

Posted by Karina Kling

@KarinaKling

 

Daily Digest: Nov. 16

Our daily digest is an update on the stories we’re following in Texas politics today. Here’s what we’re working on for 7pm:

 

House Passes GOP Tax Reform Bill:

House Republicans scored a major legislative victory Thursday, passing a massive tax overhaul. It’s a feat that hasn’t been accomplished in three decades.

While the Texas delegation voted along party lines, Republicans and President Trump got their much-needed win.

Tonight at 7, hear why the victory might be short lived as all eyes are now on the Senate where their tax plan has an uncertain fate.

 

Bike to Work Benefit on the Chopping Block:

A little known piece of the Senate’s tax reform measure has some flying off the handlebars. The plan would cut a tax benefit for bike commuters if GOP Senators get their way.

People who bike to work currently qualify for up to $20 a month in tax deductions through their employer for biking expenses.

The program was put into place in 2009 and is meant to encourage bicycle commuting.

It’s a tax break many in the biking community are just learning about for the first time and they’re worried the opportunity to promote this alternative mode of commuting is rolling on by.

Hear from bicyclists at 7.

 

Sen. Cornyn Files Background Check Bill:

Texas’ senior senator has announced the release of bipartisan legislation aimed at strengthening the federal background check system.

It comes nearly two weeks after a gunman opened fire at a church in Sutherland Springs and killed 26 people. And after the shooter’s violent criminal record should have prevented him from buying guns.

The bill would ensure federal agencies and state governments accurately report relevant criminal history to the FBI’s database of prohibited gun buyers.

Federal agencies that fail to properly report required records would be penalized under the legislation.

It also rewards states that comply with federal grant preferences and other incentives.

“This bill aims to help fix what’s become a nationwide, systemic problem so we can better prevent criminals and domestic abusers from obtaining firearms,” Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said.

 

Groping Allegations Against Sen. Al Franken:

New allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct by a politician are making waves on Capitol Hill.

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minnesota, is under fire for allegedly groping and kissing a woman without her consent on a USO tour in 2006.

We’ll have the latest on this developing story, including the senator’s response.

 

Texas Capitol Sexual Harassment Training:

After widespread allegations of sexual harassment at the Texas Capitol, this week Governor Greg Abbott announced he’ll work with the Legislature to change its policies.

It comes after separate investigations by the Daily Beast and the Texas Tribune showed sexual harassment has gone unchecked.

The Tribune reported the House and Senate’s current policies only establish a reporting protocol for complaints and say that harassment will not be tolerated.

The investigation found few employees knew they could file a formal complaint — and none have been filed in either chamber since 2011.

This week, lawmakers in both chambers have spoken out in support of training for everyone.

Rep. Diana Arévalo, D-San Antonio, joins us at 7 to speak out about needed changes.

 

Democratic Mega Donor Steve Mostyn Dies:

Texas Democrats are mourning the loss of mega donor and Houston trial attorney Steve Mostyn. He died after what his wife called “a sudden onset and battle with a mental health issue.”

Mostyn was 46 years old.

He gave generously for years to top Texas Democrats. Last year, he donated one million dollars to a Hillary Clinton super PAC.

In a statement released today, his wife Amber called him a beloved husband and devoted father.

She didn’t confirm a cause of death but went on to say:

“If you or a loved one are thinking about suicide, or experiencing a health crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline right now at 1-800-273-8255.”

Democratic Analyst Harold Cook reacts to Mostyn’s passing tonight at 7.

 

Capital Tonight airs weeknights at 7 on Spectrum News.

 

Posted by Karina Kling

@KarinaKling

 

 

 

Daily Digest: Nov. 10

Our daily digest is an update on the stories we’re following in Texas politics today. Here’s what we’re working on for 7pm:

 

2018 Texas Elections Officially Begin This Weekend:

The 2018 Texas elections officially kick off Saturday.

That’s because the filing period for candidates running for political office runs from Nov. 11 to Dec. 11.

One of the biggest questions many Texans are asking is whether a viable, well-known Democratic candidate will challenge Governor Greg Abbott.

Texas Democratic leaders have been saying for months that one will emerge. We spoke with them Friday and they told us they’ll have a viable candidate by the end of the filing period.

Regardless, a Democratic challenger will have a tough time running against Governor Abbott, who’s got a $41 million campaign war chest and is polling well in the state.

But with the current political climate, Republicans could have a tougher time down ballot.

One Republican analyst says that could mean some Democratic gains in state legislative races.

“I think the Republicans will be fortunate to keep what they’ve got,” Ray Sullivan, a Republican consultant who served as Gov. Rick Perry’s chief of staff, said.  “I think they may lose a couple of Republican seats just because of the national political dynamic.”

Coming up at 7, we’ll take a look at the open Congressional seats after a slew of Republicans announced retirements.

 

Isaac Running for Congress:

As we reported Thursday, State Rep. Jason Isaac, R-Dripping Springs, has entered the race to replace retiring Congressman Lamar Smith.

He joins us to discuss why he’s running and his chances in what’s expected to be a crowded field.

 

Roy Moore Reaction:

Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore is refuting allegations in the Washington Post that he pursued relationships with four teenagers while in his thirties.

But in Washington, Senators, including the two Texans, are calling for him to step aside ahead of the election if the allegations are true.

We’ll have reaction to the shocking controversy.

 

Sutherland Springs Church Shooting Update:

Eleven people remain hospitalized after the deadliest church shooting in Texas history.

Twenty-six people, including an unborn child, were killed Sunday after a gunman walked into the First Baptist church in Sutherland Springs and opened fire.

Medical officials at two San Antonio hospitals say the conditions of the wounded range from good to critical.

Brooke Army Medical Center has seven patients, five adults and two children. And University Health System has four patients, two of whom are children.

Officials at both hospitals have declined to release more specific information about the patients.

Meanwhile, a San Antonio business owner is leading the effort to build the First Baptist Church a new home. Hear from him at 7.

 

PolitiFact Texas:

Gardner Selby of PolitiFact Texas is in with a couple of fact checks dealing with background checks and voter registration.

 

Capital Tonight airs weeknights at 7 on Spectrum News.

 

Posted by Karina Kling

@KarinaKling

 

Daily Digest: Nov. 7

Our daily digest is an update on the stories we’re following in Texas politics today. Here’s what we’re working on for 7pm:

 

SB4 Back in Court:

(AP) Attorneys for numerous Texas municipalities and immigration advocacy groups have told a federal appeals court that a state law cracking down on so-called sanctuary cities puts an illegal burden on local law enforcement agencies.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments Tuesday on whether it should block the law enacted by the Texas Legislature in the spring.

It requires local law enforcement agencies to honor federal immigration requests to detain people in local jails for possible deportation. It also holds the possibility of criminal sanctions against local officials who are deemed to limit federal immigration enforcement.

The three-judge 5th Circuit panel did not indicate when it would rule.

We’ll have reaction to the arguments at 7, plus Elissa Steglich with the Immigration Clinic at UT Austin joins us to discuss the measure further.

 

Sutherland Springs Church Shooting Latest:

A dozen victims remain in the hospital two days after a gunman opened fire at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs.

He killed 26 people before fatally shooting himself following a chase.

The small Texas town is still in shock.

Tuesday law enforcement officials released new information into the mass shooting saying they now have the shooter’s cellphone.

A search warrant is allowing them to go through the phone, but encryption keys are keeping the device from being unlocked.

Right now the shooter’s cell phone is at FBI offices in Quantico.

ATF agents also say the shooter used a AR-556 rifle, but they do not believe the weapon used was fully automatic.

Officials hope to have their forensic investigation of the crime scene wrapped up by Wednesday. They’ll then turn the church back over to local agencies.

 

Sen. Cornyn Wants Stronger Background Check System:

The shooting is leading Texas’ senior senator John Cornyn to push legislation that would strengthen the nation’s background check system for gun buyers.

The number two Republican in the Senate announced Tuesday that he’ll introduce a measure to ensure all departments and federal agencies file convictions to the national background check system.

It comes after the Air Force acknowledged it failed to add the Sutherland Springs shooter to the database, allowing him to buy several guns.

Our Washington reporter Alberto Pimienta will have the latest on the proposed measure at 7pm.

 

Constitutional Amendment Election:

Ballots are in and polls have closed. Texans’ cast their votes for seven amendments to the Texas Constitution Tuesday.

Among the proposals: tax exemptions for disabled veterans and the spouses of first responders killed in the line of duty.

Votes were also cast for an amendment that would expand the number of professional sports teams’ foundations that can conduct charitable raffles and another that would change how you can use the equity in your homes.

Find out how voter turnout fared this election day on Capital Tonight at 7.

 

Capital Tonight airs weeknights at 7 on Spectrum News.

 

Posted by Karina Kling

@KarinaKling

Daily Digest: Oct. 30

Our daily digest is an update on the stories we’re following in Texas politics today. Here’s what we’re working on for 7pm:

 

Mueller Investigation:

It was a one-two punch in the nation’s capital Monday. President Trump’s former campaign manager was arrested and charged with conspiracy — while it was also revealed that a former White House policy advisor pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI during its Russia probe.

Our Washington bureau reporter Alberto Pimienta will have the latest details at 7 in the investigation that has the political world wondering who could be targeted next by independent counsel Bob Mueller.

 

Texas Lawmakers React Cautiously:

Sen. John Cornyn responded to reporters questions following a GOP press conference:

“I believe that the investigations into the Russia active measures involving the election are continuing at pace both in the judiciary committee by Chairman Grassley and the ranking member, Feinstein, as well as the Senate intelligence committee.  I don’t see how the indictment changes the presidents ability to do his job. There is a process for this to go forward and I trust that it will happen.”

Rep. Joaquin Castro sent out a statement:

“George Papadopoulos’ plea and Paul Manafort’s and Rick Gates’ indictments are significant developments in Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation and shine further light on the disturbing contacts high-level Trump campaign officials had with Russians. Evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian agents continues to mount. Mr. Mueller must be able to continue his thorough and impartial probe without interference or obstruction by the White House.

“The House Committee’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election will also continue to move forward. We will follow the facts wherever they lead to determine the full extent of the attack and to prevent future attempts to disrupt our democracy.”

 

Judge Blocks Enforcement of Trump’s Transgender Military Ban:

A federal court is barring President Trump from changing the government’s policy on transgender troops.

In August, the President said he planned to reverse course on a 2016 policy that allowed service members to serve openly as transgender individuals.

He also said he would return to the policy in place before June 2016 that said troops could be discharged for being transgender.

But Monday, a US District Judge said transgender members of the military who had sued over the policy change were likely to win their lawsuit and barred the Trump administration from reversing course.

Recruitment of transgender troops is still delayed until January 1 under an order previously issued by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

 

Obamacare Open Enrollment:

Multiple efforts by Congressional Republicans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act have failed over the past few months.

But with open enrollment just around the corner, the ACA, also known as Obamacare, still faces turmoil. The Trump administration recently slashed the amount of money available for public information about the ACA and there’s less time this year for enrollment. Premiums are also on the rise.

Still, some are pushing for people to do their homework and get on board.

Monday Congressman Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, and social services coordinators with Foundation Communities joined up to get the word out about open enrollment, which runs from November 1 through December 15.

Even with premiums rising, they say people with low and middle incomes may still qualify for federal subsidies, which can offset the extra costs.

But the biggest message they wanted to get across is simply that Obamacare isn’t dead.

“Nothing that has happened in Washington, none of the Tweets, none of the political static, none of that impedes directly your ability to make an informed choice this year and choose what’s best for your family,” Doggett said.

But Republican attempts to repeal and replace Obamacare likely aren’t finished. Coming up at 7, hear from a conservative policy expert about what sort of new efforts could be on the horizon.

 

On the Agenda:

The Quorum Report’s Harvey Kronberg is in at 7 to discuss Texas House Speaker Joe Straus’ decision not to seek re-election. Hear Harvey’s take on what it could mean for state politics and why he says the calls to have the Republican caucus elect the next Speaker are “absurd.”

 

Capital Tonight airs weeknights at 7 on Spectrum News.