Matthew Bogard

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Posts by Matthew Bogard

Capital Tonight: Former prosecutor weighs in on Perry investigation

A special grand jury will hear evidence on Friday over whether Gov. Rick Perry broke state law by vetoing funding for the Public Integrity Unit. The agency, which oversees state corruption investigations, falls under the responsibility of the District Attorney’s office, whose head was arrested last May for drunk driving.

In Monday’s Capital Tonight, we looked at how investigations surrounding both the governor and the candidates to be the next Texas governor are shaking up their political futures.

CONVERSATION WITH THE CONGRESSMAN

Homeland Security Committee Chair Michael McCaul sat down with us to explain why the Boston bombing last April could have been prevented and what reforms can be made in mental health following this year’s Fort Hood shooting. McCaul also gave us the latest on a massive drone strike in Yemen today.

ADS IN INVESTIGATION

The Quorum Report‘s Harvey Kronberg offered his take on a new political ad from Greg Abbott’s campaign, meant to tie an FBI investigation more closely to his Democratic opponent for governor, Sen. Wendy Davis.

Capital Tonight: Bitcoin and the FBI become factors in governor’s race

Sen. Wendy Davis is in the headlines again this week, but not exactly in a way her campaign might have hoped.

The Dallas Morning News reports a toll road authority that had paid Sen. Davis for ongoing legal work is part of an investigation by the FBI.

In Friday’s Capital Tonight, we discussed whether the ongoing questions about conflicts of interest will gain more traction in the governor’s race, where Sen. Davis is seeking to win against Attorney General Greg Abbott.

REPORTER ROUNDTABLE

Meanwhile, Abbott’s campaign for governor is going high-tech. The campaign announced this week that he will now be accepting Bitcoin contributions.

We sat down with Ross Ramsey of the Texas Tribune, David Barer of The Dallas Morning News and KUT’s Ben Philpott to discuss the politics behind crypto-currency and the latest attack ads in the race for lieutenant governor.

CHECKING THE FACTS

Gardner Selby of PolitiFact Texas and the Austin American-Statesman joined us to check on claims by both President Barack Obama and outspoken Rep. Louie Gohmert.

Capital Tonight: Campaign politics apparent in education hearing

Politics surrounding the lieutenant governor’s race spilled over into Monday’s Senate Education Committee hearing. Sen. Leticia Van de Putte and Sen. Dan Patrick clashed over the implementation of new testing requirements, but the possibility that they could face off in the race for lieutenant governor was also a factor.

In Monday’s Capital Tonight, we looked at how policymakers are following existing legislation, as well as the possibility of introducing new regulations after the explosion of a fertilizer storage facility in West.

CANDIDATE CONVERSATION

Congressman Roger Williams sat down with us to discuss Paul Ryan’s budget, border security, the possibility of immigration reform.

TROUBLE WITH TOLLWAYS

Harvey Kronberg provided his take on a potential conflict of interest regarding Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis. According to The Dallas Morning News, Davis voted on legislation concerning the North Texas Tollway Authority project while she performed legal work for the organization.

Railroad commissioner candidate says no link between fracking and earthquakes

The primary elections may be over, but several races are still underway. Ryan Sitton and Wayne Christian are the two candidates still facing off for their party’s nomination for a spot on the Texas Railroad Commission, which oversees the state’s oil and gas industry.

In an interview on Capital Tonight Monday, Sitton said he’ll encourage energy independence in Texas, including the growth in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. But when it comes to the possible link between hydraulic fracturing and earthquakes, Sitton says he doesn’t believe there’s a connection.

“It seems unlikely that there would be a link, because the amount of pressure that’s required to generate seismic activity, in comparison to the number of wells we’re talking about seems to be a stretch,” Sitton said. “But if there is, the research needs to be done and we need to follow the signs.”

Earlier this year, residents of Azle, Texas bused to the Capitol to complain about frequent, low-level earthquakes. University of Texas researchers have shown most earthquakes happening in that region are occurring near disposal wells used in the fracking process. The railroad commission has hired a seismologist to look more closely at the issue.

Sitton’s Republican opponent, former state Rep. Wayne Christian, has also said he doesn’t see a link between fracking and seismic activity. In an interview with The Dallas Morning News, Christian characterized any action from the railroad commission as an “answer in search of a problem.”

In the primary election, Sitton won 31 percent of the vote to Christian’s 43 percent. But Sitton said he is confident he will make up the gap now that it’s a smaller race, where voters have more of a chance to get to know the candidates.

Capital Tonight: Van de Putte tours Texas promoting education

In her run for lieutenant governor on the Democratic ticket, Sen. Leticia Van de Putte has focused her message on education. And while it’s not clear yet who her Republican opponent will be, Sen. Van de Putte is already defending potential criticism by referring to her record in the Senate.

In Monday’s Capital Tonight, we looked at the latest in the races for governor and lieutenant governor, plus the debate over open carry and more.

CANDIDATE CONVERSATION

Ryan Sitton, who is running to be the Republican nomination for the Texas Railroad Commissioner, joined us to discuss hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Sitton said he believes there’s likely no link between fracking and earthquakes, but said he was also open to further research on the topic.

MEETING OF PRESIDENTS

Three former presidents and the current commander in chief are meeting this week for a three-day summit at the LBJ Library to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Mark Updegrove, director of the LBJ Library, spoke with us about how this event was made possible.

Capital Tonight: Lawmakers react to unfolding Fort Hood shooting

Authorities are still sorting through the details about a shooting at Fort Hood, where at least four people are reported dead and at least 14 injured.

In Wednesday’s Capital Tonight, we checked in on the active shooter scene as it was developing.

REPRESENTATIVES REACT

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel issued a statement on the unfolding scene at Fort Hood. Plus, we talked live with Congressman John Carter, who represents the district and who has called for the 2009 shooting on post to be reclassified as a terrorist attack.

LANDMARK RULING

In other news, Attorney General Greg Abbott visited in San Antonio to lay out his plan for Pre-K education in Texas, and the Supreme Court struck down a law on Wednesday that limited an individual’s overall political donations. Harvey Kronberg explained the ramifications of the change in campaign finance law.

Supreme Court decision may increase role of money in politics

The Supreme Court has issued a new landmark ruling on campaign finance laws that could have a major impact on the midterm elections. Wednesday, the Court ruled 5-4 to reject a current law that limits how much money overall individuals can donate to candidates, political parties and political action committees. Previously, the limit was set at $123,200. Now, wealthy donors can give to candidates across the board without worrying about hitting the cap.

Supporters of the law say it will create more transparency by diverting money away from political action committees. Sen. John Cornyn., who supported the change, said in an interview with Capital Tonight’s Paul Brown that the ruling is consistent with free speech. We asked Senator Cornyn if he would be in favor of lifting all limits, even for individual candidates, a suggestion by Justice Clarence Thomas.

“I think, honestly, it’s probably better regulated by the marketplace. We see that happening in Texas in the governor’s race, without any dollar limitation on contribution. And then that could be part of the campaign where people look who’s contributing money, they can ask why, what their motive is and that can be decided by the voters in the election.”

Detractors — including the president — say it makes money play an even bigger role in the election process. Again, the ruling only overturns the overall cap; it does not overturn the limit on donations to individual candidates. That cap is still set at $2,600 per election to candidates for president or Congress.

Capital Tonight: Reassessing enrollment numbers on deadline day

A free help center in Austin was flooded with health insurance applicants Monday, the last day to begin enrollment under the Affordable Care Act. The spike resulted in technical problems for some, but a deadline extension may help ease the problem.

In Monday’s Capital Tonight, we looked how national initiatives on health care and immigration reform are affecting Texans.

BEHIND THE NUMBERS

Anne Dunkelberg of the Center for Public Policy Priorities and John Davidson with the Texas Public Policy Foundation joined us to discuss the latest enrollment data, just over four years after the health care law was passed.

ON THE AGENDA

Harvey Kronberg weighed in on the health care debate as well and gave an update on the new fight over public education in the governor’s race.

Capital Tonight: Candidates carry equal pay fight into third week

When Wendy Davis publicly criticized her opponent, Greg Abbott, for his opposition to the Texas version of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, Abbott was quick to respond with the issue of Davis’ legal work.

In Monday’s Capital Tonight, we looked at how this debate is dominating the political conversation and what it means for the governor’s race going forward.

ENGAGING TEXAS HISPANIC VOTERS

Republican Rep. Jason Villalba joined us to discuss his speaking tour, which is meant to build a bridge between Hispanic voters and the GOP through the shared values of family, education and the economy.

ON THE AGENDA

Harvey Kronberg of the Quorum Report spoke with us about how the attacks from both gubernatorial candidates are resonating with voters, what Republicans need to do to win more Hispanic votes, and the latest in the lieutenant governor’s race.

Capital Tonight: New group enters fray over pay discrimination

A new group is hoping to secure the votes of Texas women for Republicans, even as the Democratic party fields two female candidates at the top of the general election ticket.

The Red State Women PAC is putting its support behind Attorney General Greg Abbott for governor on issues ranging from pay discrimination to women’s health. In Monday’s Capital Tonight, we took a look at how the group is faring in a combative election environment.

ON THE AGENDA

Harvey Kronberg provided commentary on what to expect on the GOP ticket for the 2016 presidential election and why one Republican lieutenant governor candidate is backing out of a closed-door debate.

GREEN ON ST. PATRICK’S DAY

While the Green Party has maintained its platform and status as a grassroots organization, the party will also have a record number of Green candidates on the ballot this November. We took St. Patrick’s Day as an opportunity to check in on where the party stands.