Capital Tonight

Capital Tonight: One-on-One with Sen. Dan Patrick

The state’s abortion law was back in court Monday, along with much of the controversy that surrounded its passage.

In Monday’s Capital Tonight, we checked in on day one of a new legal battle over a part of the law that’s taking effect soon.

CANDIDATE CONVERSATION

From abortion law to border issues, Sen. Dan Patrick has been a key figure in many of the latest political debates. He joined us for a one-on-one interview for the first time since his primary win for lieutenant governor.

ON THE AGENDA

Gov. Rick Perry is lending his name to a new political action committee, adding more fuel to speculation about his 2016 plans. The Quorum Report‘s Harvey Kronberg joined us to discuss that and more.

Capital Tonight: Legal Stances Set in Second Battle Over Abortion Law

Another part of the state’s abortion law will soon be on trial, nearly a month before it’s set to go into effect. On Monday, opponents of House Bill 2 will be back in court, challenging the state’s requirement that abortion facilities meet the standards of ambulatory surgical centers.

In Friday’s Capital Tonight, we looked at the case they’re planning to make, just days after a clinic in Austin shuts its doors.

REPORTER ROUNDTABLE

From the border issue to the state’s same-sex marriage ban, Texas politics have generated plenty of headlines this week. We sat down with Ross Ramsey of the Texas Tribune and KUT’s Veronica Zaragovia to delve deeper into those stories and more.

CAMPAIGN FACTS
Plus, Gardner Selby joined us to put two claims to the PolitiFact truth-test — both involving statewide candidates. 

Capital Tonight: Is the Border Issue Responsible for Perry’s Polling Bump?

It appears Gov. Rick Perry’s handling of the border crisis is resonating with Republican voters. According to a new Fox News poll, 12 percent of the Republicans polled said they’d like to see Perry become their party’s nominee for President in 2016. The results have him tied for first place with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.

In Wednesday’s Capital Tonight, we examined how much of the governor’s political comeback is due to his handling of the border issue.

LOOKING BACK

How much better prepared is Gov. Perry for a possible presidential run now than he was in 2012? The Quorum Report‘s Harvey Kronberg joined us to address that question and more.

LAWMAKER CONVERSATION 

Between multiple committee hearings and a statewide tour on women’s health issues, it’s been a busy summer for Democratic Rep. Donna Howard. She joined us in-studio for an update on the issues she’s been involved in.

Capital Tonight: Lawmakers Examine Cost of Border Push

DPS officers have been sent to the border and National Guard troops are on the way. Now, lawmakers are taking a moment to figure out whether the extra manpower is making a difference.

In Tuesday’s Capital Tonight, we heard from the state agencies involved in stepping up enforcement at the border, plus we got an update on the total cost of DPS and National Guard operations.

CAPITAL COMMENTATORS

Greg Abbott’s team is hitting Wendy Davis again on out-of-state fundraising, but the Davis camp is quick to fire back with the charge of hypocrisy. Our Capital Commentators weighed in on the latest flare-up in the governor’s race.

INSIDE THE ER

Plus, Texas filmmaker Andrew Richey joined us to talk about a new documentary called “CODE BLACK,” which he co-produced. It’s a fast-paced look at one of the country’s busiest ERs and a behind-the-scenes take on the bureaucratic reality that comes with saving lives.

Capital Tonight: Border Sheriffs Weigh In on Immigrant Situation

On the same day a federal appeals court in Virginia ruled against that state’s same-sex marriage ban, a group in Texas is renewing its push for marriage equality.

In Monday’s Capital Tonight, we saw how Equality Texas is putting new pressure on the attorney general’s office and how the Virginia court ruling could eventually affect Texas. Plus, we heard from border sheriffs gathered for the Sheriffs’ Association of Texas convention about the recent wave of illegal immigrants and the governor’s decision to send National Guard troops.

ON THE AGENDA

Some of the state’s top political candidates were also at the sheriff’s convention, including Republican attorney general candidate Ken Paxton. We sat down with the Quorum Report‘s Harvey Kronberg to discuss Sen. Paxton’s first campaign appearance since his nomination.

JOURNALIST TURNED AUTHOR

Journalist and author Chris Tomlinson joined us to talk about his new book, “Tomlinson Hill,” about the history of two families with different racial backgrounds — both with the Tomlinson name.

Capital Tonight: Lawmakers Examine Border Issues Beyond Recent Surge

While the state continues to ramp up its response to the wave of immigrant children, a group of lawmakers visited the Texas-Mexico border for a field hearing on human trafficking. It was a pre-scheduled interim committee meeting, but the recent influx of unaccompanied minors took center stage.

In Thursday’s Capital Tonight, we got an update from the Rio Grande Valley on how lawmakers are coping with both issues and how some say they’re related. Plus, we spoke to Julie Flanders of the group Justice For Our Neighbors about some of the legal hurdles immigrant children face even while they await their immigration hearings.

CAPITAL COMMENTATORS

When it comes to Congress’s response to the border crisis, the partisan fighting hasn’t come as a surprise. But will doing nothing come back to haunt them in November? We sat down with Republican strategist Ted Delisi and Texas Democratic Party Executive Director Will Hailer to get their take.

 

FOSTER CARE QUESTIONS

The foster care system in Texas was back under the microscope Thursday, as lawmakers considered ways to reform how the Department of Family and Protective Services handles contractors who screen potential foster parents. We heard more about the issue from former caseworkers and foster kids who’ve seen the system up close.

And while we know UT Austin President Bill Powers will be stepping down in June, 2015, questions remain over the rocky relationship between Powers, the chancellor and some regents. We spoke to a former head of the UT Graduate Student Assembly, Michael Redding, to get his perspective.

Capital Tonight: Dewhurst Explains Details of National Guard Deployment

Gov. Rick Perry is calling for military backup to deal with the border crisis. The governor joined other state leaders Monday in announcing the deployment of 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border.

In Monday’s Capital Tonight, we sat down with Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst to learn more about what role the troops will play, how the operation will be funded and the legal basis for the deployment.

IMMIGRATION ANSWERS

While state Republicans are praising the move, others are calling it a “militarization” of the border and an unnecessary step. We spoke to Denise Gilman of the UT Law School’s Immigration Clinic, who says legal — not military — resources are needed more.

ON THE AGENDA

Plus, a high-profile activist gets reprimanded by the Texas Ethics Commission. The Quorum Report‘s Harvey Kronberg gave us the background on that story and more.

Capital Tonight: Immigrant Surge Sparks Wider Debate

The immigration crisis continues to be top news for Texas, with protesters on all sides of the issue growing more vocal.

In Friday’s Capital Tonight, we heard from demonstrators aligned with Tea Party sentiment, who blame Mexico for the influx of Central American immigrants.

REPORTER ROUNDTABLE

Wendy Davis and Greg Abbott have both achieved fundraising milestones this week, but are the numbers all that they seem?

We sat down with Jay Root of the Texas Tribune, Wayne Slater with The Dallas Morning News and Lauren McGaughy with the Houston Chronicle to discuss whether or not the campaigns are bragging about finance facts they can’t cash. UT leadership is also under scrutiny, as a committee investigating Regent Wallace Hall decides what to do next. After Powers’ public resignation last week, we talked about whether Hall’s impeachment is a real possibility.

CHECKING THE FACTS

Rep. John Boehner is suing President Obama over his use of executive orders, but is the lawsuit really based on fact? We talked with Gardner Selby from PolitiFact Texas to analyze some voices from both sides of the aisle. National politics then gets a reboot by HBO, as the popular cable network plans to translate a play to the small screen.

Capital Tonight: One-on-one with Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst

It’s been six weeks since Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst lost his bid to be re-elected to an unprecedented fourth term, but the longtime incumbent is not sitting idly by after his primary runoff loss. He is now focused on the current border crisis.

In Thursday’s Capital Tonight, we spoke with the Lt. Gov. Dewhurst about the state’s response to the border crisis, new appointments to key committee positions and his plans for the rest of his time in office.

CAPITAL COMMENTATORS

Political strategists Ted Delisi and Harold Cook weighed in on the border crisis and reflected on some of the campaign spin surrounding Sen. Wendy Davis’ fundraising totals.

MALAYSIAN PLANE

A Malaysia Airlines plane carrying 295 people was shot down over Eastern Ukraine Thursday.
Both the Ukrainian government and pro-Russia rebels are denying any responsibility, but the current conflict in the region is prompting questions about how and why the plane went down. We checked in on the latest on that story.

Capital Tonight: Policy and Personalities Kindle Fight over UT Leadership

While the issue of UT President Bill Powers’ future is now known, another part of the UT system’s ongoing leadership puzzle remains: What will happen to Regent Wallace Hall?

In Wednesday’s Capital Tonight, we checked in on the committee currently drawing up articles of impeachment against Hall. Plus, we spoke to Thomas Lindsay, who heads up the Center for Higher Education for the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation, to get his take on the UT power struggle.

IMMIGRATION MAZE

We’ve heard the debate over the thousands of immigrant children at our doorstep, but what about the backlog of more than 300,000 who are already here? Our John Salazar focused on one immigration courtroom to learn more about the legal maze that determines whether they stay or go.

FUNDRAISING BREAKDOWN

Plus, Scott Braddock of the Quorum Report joined us to evaluate how both campaigns in the governor’s race are measuring up.