Capital Tonight

Capital Tonight: Senate’s New Look to Come With New Political Challenges

Workers at the Capital are busy giving the Senate a new look, and with it comes a new crop of lawmakers and possibly a new way of doing business. In Friday’s Capital Tonight, we looked at the changes being made to the chamber, just as Texans wait to see how the leadership will soon change over on that side of the pink dome. 

REPORTER ROUNDTABLE

The debate over debates has turned into a battle over a book tour. Reporters Jay Root of the Texas Tribune and Christy Hoppe of The Dallas Morning News weighed in on the latest back-and-forth between the Greg Abbott and Wendy Davis teams over whether Senator Davis’s book promotion is breaking election law. 

COMEDY AND THE CONSTITUTION

Could a proposed amendment really land Saturday Night Live leadership in jail? Gardner Selby of PolitiFact Texas took a closer look at Sen. Ted Cruz’s latest claim.

Capital Tonight: Political Leaders Evaluate ISIS Through Lens of 9/11 Attacks

Thirteen years ago, the United States suffered the worst attack ever on American soil. Now, on the anniversary of the September 11th attacks, the world is watching a potential new terror threat in Syria and Iraq.

In Thursday’s Capital Tonight, we looked at how American leadership is reflecting and considering what to do next.

GOV. RACE UPDATE

Here in Texas, a new poll done for the Wendy Davis campaign shows her trailing by single digits, even while the Greg Abbott team cries foul over her campaign ethics. Political strategists Harold Cook and Ted Delisi joined us to weigh in on the latest on the governor’s race.

USER AGREEMENT

By now, the use of social media by politicians is as common as campaign signs, but what about using it to make policy? We spoke with Glasshouse Policy co-founder Francisco Enriquez about why he believes a crowdsourced policy think tank can work.

Capital Tonight: Governor’s Race Gets More Personal

A new autobiography dives deeper than ever into Wendy Davis’s personal life, while her opponent Greg Abbott questions whether her promotion of it is breaking campaign finance laws.

In Monday’s Capital Tonight, we check in on the balance between personal and political in the governor’s race.

ON THE AGENDA

Gov. Rick Perry is talking economics in Asia, while his legal team takes another swing at trying to quash the felony counts against him. The Quorum Report’s Harvey Kronberg joined us to weigh in on both stories.

‘RACE FOR THE FUTURE’

Hispanic voters are being courted more than ever by the Republican party. Can they reverse decades of Democratic support? Mike Gonzalez of the Heritage Foundation talked about his new book, “A Race for the Future: How Conservatives Can Break the Liberal Monopoly on Hispanic Americans.”

Capital Tonight: State Regulator Addresses Concerns About Fracking

The Travis County District Attorney’s Office has confirmed they will present evidence to a grand jury regarding University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall. In Thursday’s Capital Tonight, we checked in on the latest in the controversy surrounding Hall and heard how he’s responding to it.

Plus, a state program meant to help foster kids get ahead is getting a second look from lawmakers. We explained how it works and how advocates say it can be improved.

AD WARS

A new ad from the Wendy Davis campaign takes aim at her opponent, Republican Greg Abbott, over his position in relation to a number of high-profile court cases. Our Capital Commentators, Harold Cook and Ted Delisi, weigh in on whether Davis’ latest strategy is effective.

FRACKING FACTS

And while the oil and gas boom continues, there’s been no shortage of questions about its environmental impact. Christi Craddick, who chairs the Texas Railroad Commission, joined us with answers.

Capital Tonight: Catching Up on Court Battles Over Abortion Law, Education and Voter ID

A key part of the state’s abortion law remains on hold, and a clinic in South Texas is back open for business. In Wednesday’s Capital Tonight, we checked in on the latest twists in the fight over House Bill 2.

CANDIDATE CONSENSUS

A second debate is back on for the gubernatorial candidates from the two major parties.
Was the on-again, off-again scuffle about strategy or simple disagreements? The Quorum Report’s Scott Braddock joined us to weigh in.

VOTER ID VIEWPOINT

And it’s day two of the newest court battle over Voter ID law. We spoke one-on-one with the head of one of the groups testifying against the requirement: Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, chairman of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus.

Capital Tonight: Governor’s Race Kicks Into Higher Gear

It’s the day after Labor Day, and for Texas politicians, that means more than just fashion cues. In Tuesday’s Capital Tonight, we looked at how the Wendy Davis and Greg Abbott campaigns are ramping up and finding new ways to tell their personal stories.

BATTLE OVER THE BALLOT BOX

The state’s voter ID law is on trial, in a case that could have national implications. We checked in on the court battle in Corpus Christi. Plus, the Deputy State Director for the League of United Latin American Citizens, Marcelo Tafoya, joined us to explain why they’re involved in the fight.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Our Capital Commentators weighed in on the public fight between the Abbott and Davis camps over where and how to debate.

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.