Sarah has been with the YNN family since 2004. She is a native New Yorker and graduated from Syracuse University’s S.I Newhouse School of Public Communications with a BS in Broadcast Journalism and Political Science. Sarah joined YNN Austin in August of 2009 and helped launch YNN's nightly political show, Capital Tonight, in 2011. When she’s not in the control room or updating the website, Sarah enjoys being in the field. Some highlights included producing the Republican and Democratic National Conventions and the Presidential Inauguration, as well as YNN’s “9/11 Ten Years Later” special one hour show from New York City.
Posts by Sarah Grady
Feb 19th - 3:07 pm
Sen. Dan Patrick is releasing a new statewide ad touting his stance on border security, on the same day a Dallas Morning News article is raising questions over undocumented workers once employed at one of his sports bars.
A private investigator hired by Patrick’s opponent Jerry Patterson located 48-year-old Miguel Andrade. Andrade told the paper that he and three other undocumented workers from Mexico worked one of Patrick’s Houston-area sports bars in the 1980s. He told the paper that while Patrick did not hire him personally, he was aware he was living in the country illegally and that “Patrick wrote him a letter of recommendation to help him establish temporary residency after a 1986 federal law offered amnesty for undocumented immigrants.”
Patrick, who is one of four Republicans vying for lieutenant governor, has been outspoken about the need to end illegal immigration across the Mexico border. Other parts of his platform include doing away with sanctuary cities, ending in-state tuition for undocumented students and prohibiting employers from knowingly employing undocumented workers.
He denies knowledge of Andrade’s status and is accusing his opponents of playing dirty politics. “They found a former employee of ours, out of hundreds, who says a manager, not me, hired him around 1984 as a dishwasher,” he said in a Facebook post. “The worker admits when required to fill out W4 employment forms he supplied false documents & social security number.” Patrick says the worker is also lying about other allegations, including that he offered to help Andrade visit Mexico.
You can watch Patrick’s new ad, below.
Feb 17th - 5:54 pm
Lt. Gov. candidate Todd Staples is taking the opportunity to distinguish himself from Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in his newest television ad. The :30 spot started airing in select television markets today.
“David Dewhurst thanked the Obama administration for federal staples money,” the ad says. “Todd Staples sued Obama’s EPA to protect Texas jobs.”
You can watch the full ad, below.
Feb 13th - 1:58 pm
Sen. Dan Patrick released a new statewide television Thursday. Patrick, who is running for lieutenant governor, is touting his Christian conservative leadership in the Texas Senate.
Patrick points to several laws he sponsored during his time in the legislature, including the controversial sonogram bill in 2011 and legislation to include more faith-based language. “My faith means everything to me. That’s why I placed ‘In God we Trust’ in the Senate and ‘Under God’ in our state pledge.”
Patrick faces Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples in the March Republican primary. The winner will face Democrat Leticia Van de Putte in the general election.
Feb 3rd - 12:07 pm
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst launched a new statewide television ad Monday. The 30-second spot criticizes President Obama’s health care legislation, comparing its bumpy launch to a high school food fight. “It’s chaos,” the ad says. “Everybody loses.”
The ad points to problems that plagued healthcare.gov and the so-called bureaucracy surrounding its implementation. “That’s why I successfully led the charge to keep Texas out of the Obamacare exchanges and stopped Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion,” said Dewhurst.
You can watch the full ad, below.
Dewhurst is facing a tough four-way GOP primary race. He will face off against Sen. Dan Patrick, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples in the March 4 election.
Jan 31st - 1:10 pm
The leaders in the Texas House and Senate laid out new agendas for their respective committees during the interim legislative session. This is the work lawmakers will be tasked with accomplishing before the legislature reconvenes in 2015.
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst announced interim charges for the Senate Committee on Veteran Affairs during the annual Department of Texas Veterans of Foreign Wars Mid-Winter Conference. He is calling on lawmakers to study ways to improve access to support services, monitor the implementation of new mental health legislation and to study the impact of federal spending cuts on local veterans programs.
“Here in Texas, we honor our veterans because of their sacrifices and service to our country and the positive impact their leadership, experience, and education have on our economy,” Dewhurst said. “I am committed to making Texas the most vet-friendly state in the country.”
Texas House Speaker Joe Straus also laid out his interim charges to help the committees prepare for the 2015 legislative session. According to the Speaker, the 44-page list is based on requests and suggestions made by House members. Among them is a call for House members to investigate the West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion that killed 15 people.
“Today’s interim charges, combined with the initiatives that I will announce in the weeks to come, will help Members prepare to tackle serious challenges in the next session,” said Straus. “I am confident that we can continue to address these issues in a responsible, bipartisan way.”
You can read the full list of charges below.
Jan 23rd - 12:10 pm
The Texas Association of Realtors announced Thursday it is backing Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in his reelection bid. The group has actively pushed property rights legislation in the past, including efforts to lower property taxes and reform the property appraisal system.
In a statement, Chairman Dan Hatfield said:
“We believe Lt. Gov. Dewhurst is an excellent leader who understands that we must ensure Texas remains a great place to do business. Through the years, he has shown that he will do what’s right for Texas, which is why we’ve pledged our support. We’re proud to endorse Lt. Gov. Dewhurst’s re-election campaign.”
Dewhurst faces Sen. Dan Patrick, Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples and Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson in the GOP primary. The winner of that race will face Democrat Leticia Van de Putte in the general election in November.
Jan 21st - 4:35 pm
People tasked with helping Texans sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act will now have to undergo an additional 20 hours of training. The Texas Department of Insurance announced the new regulations Tuesday. The training will be in addition to the 20-30 hours of already mandated by the federal government.
In September, Gov. Rick Perry directed the department to create state-specific rules for navigators. Perry initially asked for an additional 40 hours of coursework. He also wanted require applicants to show proof of citizenship and submit to fingerprinting and periodic background checks. The changes announced today fall short of Perry’s directive.
Opponents to the changes have argued that additional state regulations would be cost prohibitive and would affect nonprofits’ ability to help people sign up for health insurance.
Rep. Lon Burnam was among those opposed to the changes. In a statement Tuesday, Burnam said the TDI took a scaled-back approach after his office threatened to release documents that showed the original proposal was made for political, not public health reasons. “We shouldn’t play political games with people’s healthcare,” Burnam said. “There was no justification for the original proposal other than conservative politics, so I’m glad TDI has relented and come up with training requirements that are at least somewhat logical.”
Navigators must now complete the additional training by May 1. The deadline to sign up for health insurance and avoid paying a penalty is March 31st.
Jan 16th - 3:33 pm
The Texas Legislature is taking steps to determine if earthquakes in North Texas are tied to oil and gas drilling. House Energy and Energy Resources Committee Chairman Jim Keffer named three Republicans and one Democrat to the ‘Subcommittee on Seismic Activity.’ It will be led by Denton Republican Myra Crownover.
The committee with work with the Railroad Commission to look into a rash of earthquakes in Azle, which is located about 50 miles north of Dallas. The area has experienced more than 30 small earthquakes since November. Residents in the area have voiced concerns over cracked walls, foundation damage and water leaks. Many attribute the seismic activity to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
“The Texas oil and gas industry is the envy of the nation and the world. All Texans benefit from the safe production
of our natural resources,” Crownover said. “It is our job as legislators to make sure that we address the concerns surrounding recent
earthquake activity so that all Texans can sleep easy, confident that the oil and gas industry continues to operate in a
safe and responsible manner.
The Railroad Commission has not acknowledged the link, however recent studies by Cliff Frohlich of the Institute for Geophysics at the University of Texas suggest the quakes are caused by the wastewater deposited deep in the ground after it’s used to extract oil and gas. Earlier this month, the Railroad Commission announced it will hire a seismologist to study any possible connection.
Jan 14th - 6:27 pm
UPDATED: Gubernatorial candidates Wendy Davis and Greg Abbott released their campaign finance figures Tuesday.
Davis reported $12.2 million in contributions over the last six months. According to the campaign, Davis herself raised more than $8 million. Another $3.5 million was donated through the Texas Victory Committee. Battleground Texas, which is working to turn Texas blue, is also expected to report an additional $1.8 million in contributions. It is not clear how much cash she has on hand.
Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott, meanwhile, raised $11.5 million between July 1 and December 1. His campaign is touting strong support from in-state donors, with 97 percent of the contributions coming from Texas. In total, he raked in $16.3 million in 2013.
While the numbers are encouraging for the Davis campaign, she still faces an uphill financial battle. Abbott currently has the largest war chest in state politics with more than $27 million in cash on hand.
Jan 14th - 1:21 pm
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst’s new campaign ad hit the internet, Tuesday. The artsy-ad touts the state economy, throws a jab at California and includes a humorous twist at the end.
You can watch the full ad, below.