Capital Tonight

Capital Tonight: Political Strategists Analyze Perry’s Legal Team

Gov. Rick Perry has now added a seventh person to the team tasked with handling his indictment, and it’s another possible signal Perry is looking ahead to a run for president in 2016.

In Tuesday’s Capital Tonight, we learned more about former John McCain adviser Steve Schmidt’s role. Plus, we heard from two lieutenant governor candidates at a committee hearing on education.

GAME CHANGE

While Politico reports Schmidt is officially named as part of the governor’s legal team, his role in McCain’s presidential run and his national profile indicate his hiring is more about the campaign trail than the courtroom. Political strategists Harold Cook and Ted Delisi weighed in on what his hiring indicates.

 

Energy Update

And the Texas oil and gas boom continues, with both positive and negative consequences coming down the pipeline. Republican state Rep. Jim Keffer joined us with an update on both.

Capital Tonight: Understanding Gov. Perry’s Legal Strategy

Governor Perry’s attorneys are moving quickly to dismiss the felony charges against him and get the case thrown out of court entirely. In Monday’s Capital Tonight, we got a look at their first legal move and heard from a St. Mary’s law professor Gerald Reamey about what the governor’s strategy means.

CAMPAIGNS CONTINUE

While Gov. Perry travels to New Hampshire, the race to succeed him continues. We heard why the Wendy Davis and Greg Abbott campaigns have been mostly silent on the Perry indictment and what they’re focusing on instead.

ON THE AGENDA

The Quorum Report’s Harvey Kronberg joined us to weigh in on the day’s political news. Plus, we heard new testimony from the seismologist hired by the state’s oil and gas regulators.

Capital Tonight: Reporters Examine Perry Indictment

The news surrounding Gov. Rick Perry’s indictment moved quickly this week. Monday, the governor’s defense team made their case to the public; Tuesday saw the governor get booked and fingerprinted; and the week ended with the prosecution and defense meeting in court for the first time.

In Friday’s Capital Tonight, we checked in on phase-two of the case against the governor and explained what both sides’ legal strategy means.

INDICTMENT 101

By now, most people have heard that the governor’s been indicted, but understanding why gets a little trickier. We looked at all the angles with Wayne Slater of The Dallas Morning News, Peggy Fikac of the Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News and Ross Ramsey of the Texas Tribune. 

 

BEYOND FERGUSON

Meanwhile, the events in Ferguson, Missouri have held the nation’s attention. We explored one of the questions it’s raised about the militarization of police.

Capital Tonight: Political Spin Surrounds Perry Indictment

It’s been days since the governor was indicted, and everyone from the governor to Texas Democrats have had their say. In Wednesday’s Capital Tonight, we took a step back to separate the facts from the political spin that’s coming from both Republicans and Democrats.

REPORTERS’ NOTES

The significance of the indictment is still being debated, even among the reporters who know the story well. We sat down with two journalists who’ve come to different conclusions about it: Erica Grieder of Texas Monthly and Texas Observer writer Christopher Hooks.

 

FOOTING THE BILL

When it comes to legal representation, there’s no question that the governor has hired some of the best. But who’s going to pay for it and for how long? The Quorum Report’s Harvey Kronberg gave us an update on the efforts to find out.

Capital Tonight: Perry Mugs for Cameras at County Courthouse

Gov. Rick Perry made the most of being booked and fingerprinted after a two-count indictment Tuesday. He spoke to a crowd of journalists and supporters before entering the Travis County Criminal Justice Complex to get fingerprinted and have his mugshot taken. Then, he came out and spoke again.

In Tuesday’s Capital Tonight, we heard more about the governor’s day at the courthouse, plus we learned more about the special prosecutor who led the investigation into Perry, and we spoke to two lawyers about the strength of the state’s case against the governor.

CAPITAL COMMENTATORS

After the speeches, came the release of the mugshot. Will it haunt his 2016 ambitions? Political strategists Harold Cook and Brendan Steinhauser weighed in.

PATTERSON’S TAKE

Plus, we heard from a man with no fear of sharing his opinion. Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson joined us to talk about the Perry indictment and a proposed change intended to allow the sale of alcohol at certain gun shows.

Capital Tonight: Perry Defense Team Makes Case in Court of Public Opinion

The governor’s legal team came out with guns blazing Monday, laying out their plan to fight a grand jury’s indictment of Gov. Rick Perry.

In Monday’s Capital Tonight, we heard how the team of high-powered defense lawyers is making their case. Plus, we heard from attorney Dick DeGuerin, who defended Kay Bailey Hutchison after her indictment, about how he believes the governor’s case will play out.

ON THE AGENDA

The Quorum Report’s Harvey Kronberg weighed in on the possible political implications of the Perry indictment, including what it means for Perry’s 2016 hopes and Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg’s national reputation.

POWERS REFLECTS

UT Austin President Bill Powers has also seen his share of time in the spotlight. Now, he says he’s glad to be able to focus on what’s important. He joined us for a one-on-one discussion on his last year in office, his accomplishments and tension with UT System leadership.

Capital Tonight: State Party Leaders Respond to Perry Indictment

The governor or Texas has been indicted. Friday evening, a grand jury found that Gov. Rick Perry can be prosecuted on two felony counts: abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant.

In Friday’s Capital Tonight, we spoke to Republican Party of Texas Chairman Steve Munisteri and Texas Democratic Party Executive Director Will Hailer to get their reactions.

BEHIND THE INDICTMENT

We also spoke to the man who filed the criminal complaint against the governor, Texans for Public Justice Director Craig McDonald.

REPORTER ROUNDTABLE

Pluls, reporters Bob Garrett of The Dallas Morning News and Reeve Hamilton of the Texas Tribune joined us for a special reporter roundtable.

Capital Tonight: Painting a Picture of the Upcoming Budget Battle

The first wave of National Guard troops has arrived at the border, even while the bulk of them are still in training. In Thursday’s Capital Tonight, we looked at the role they’re playing and why some local business leaders say they’re not needed.

Plus, we explained how a key piece of information could cause some to lose the coverage they signed up for under the Affordable Care Act.

BUDGET BATTLE

The next two-year budget process is underway, with Sen. Jane Nelson at the helm. Our capital commentators, Harold Cook and Ted Delisi weigh in on some of the minefields finance chair Jane Nelson will have to navigate in what Delisi predicts will be a “highly political environment.”

LEADERSHIP ROLES

Does gender matter when it comes to political leadership? Ann Beeson of the Center for Public Policy Priorities joined us to give her take on why putting women in charge is about more than demographics.

Capital Tonight: Congressman Carter Describes Process behind House Border Bill

Gov. Rick Perry is staying closely involved in his decision to send National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border, meeting with some of the troops who will soon head south as they go through training.

In Wednesday’s Capital Tonight, we shared more details on what the troop rollout will look like and whether the call for volunteers has been met. Plus, we checked in on the final day of the latest hearing over the state’s abortion law.

IN-DISTRICT INTERVIEW

When it comes to the Congressional response to the border situation, the end result is still up in the air. Congressman John Carter joined us to explain his role in getting the House to react before lawmakers headed home for break.

AIR WARS CONTINUE

Greg Abbott is fighting back in the governor’s race with an attack ad of his own, after Wendy Davis kicked off her television ad campaign criticizing Abbott for a ruling he made as a member of the Texas Supreme Court. The Quorum Report’s Harvey Kronberg joined us to analyze that and more.