Capital Tonight

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Capital Tonight: Convention-al Proceedings and the Fight for Texas

 

We visited our reporters on-scene in Dallas to see how the Texas State Democratic Convention is going, and checked in on some big names. Democrat Joaquin Castro, U.S. Rep. for San Antonio, District 20 joined us Friday. He answered our questions regarding the viability of their party, the immigration situation in South Texas, and his brother’s expected promotion to Washington. Also, we asked his opinion on some unconventional strategies which Republicans hope will dampen the festivities in Dallas this weekend.

POLITICAL PREDICTIONS

Democrats weren’t the only ones busy this weekend. Attorney General Greg Abbott, Republican candidate for Texas Governor, visited South Texas to view the detention centers housing Central American minors. A sharp increase in numbers of youths crossing the border has spurred action from several Texas political players. We spoke with Abbott to hear his solution to what some are calling a “humanitarian crisis.” Campaigns for November elections hit the ground running after each party’s state convention. In the last straight away, Republican strategist Rob Johnson and Democratic strategist Harold Cook helped us review the race and predict who’s going to pull ahead. The next few months are crucial for all the campaigns, and here at Capital Tonight, we tried to determine their next steps.

REPORTER ROUNDTABLE

Erica Grieder with Texas Monthly and Reeve Hamilton with the Texas Tribune joined us to discuss education and security. University of Texas Regent Wallace Hall has come under investigation for suspicious activity, and as the scandal approaches resolution, we talked about possible outcomes. Then, a story far from resolution, the border security concern prompted blame, but who’s really at fault? We dug into the issue in the Reporter Roundtable.

Capital Tonight: Democrats Set Stage for Convention Weekend

Fresh off their filibuster anniversary, Texas Democrats are headed to Dallas to kick off their statewide convention. In Thursday’s Capital Tonight, we got a preview of the message they’re hoping to send and how they plan to use the GOP’s recently published platform as ammunition.

BORDER POLITICS

The surge in Central American immigrants continues to generate headlines, but it might also be changing the conversation about immigration as a whole. James Henson with the Texas Politics Project joined us to discuss that and more.

RIGHT ON CRIME

And Texas is known as a state that’s tough on crime, but many conservatives are working to make us smarter on crime as well. Marc Levin of the Texas Public Policy Foundation joined us to explain their latest efforts and whether there’s common ground to be found with Democrats.

Capital Tonight: Revisiting the Abortion Law Filibuster and Its Aftermath

Wednesday marked the one-year anniversary of last summer’s filibuster, where Sen. Wendy Davis stood and spoke for nearly 11 hours against a controversial abortion bill. The national attention helped propel her into the current Texas gubernatorial race.

In Wednesday’s Capital Tonight, we revisited that night to discuss the outcome of the anti-abortion legislation and what it means for Texas. Plus, we spoke to Cari Christman of Red State Women, a group formed after the filibuster that believes Republicans have the right answers to women’s health issues.

SULLIVAN SITUATION

All eyes are on Dallas as Texas Democrats prepare to convene for their statewide convention Friday. Harvey Kronberg joined us to talk about how Davis’ filibuster anniversary plays into the platform and what issues are getting women interested. Davis isn’t the only one making waves, though. In the ongoing Texas Ethics Commission hearing of Michael Quinn Sullivan, questions arose over Empower Texans and the role it plays in supporting candidates.

TECH TALK FROM THE SUPREME COURT

In two separate cases Wednesday, the Supreme Court made decisions related to technology. In a tight, 6-3 ruling the Court told Aereo their use of broadcast signals was theft. Aereo is a streaming service that uses antenna to skim broadcast TV signals. In a more decisive ruling, the Court required law enforcement to have a warrant before searching cell phones, citing the vast amount of personal information kept on the modern phone. Geoff Bennett joined us from Washington to give us the details.

Capital Tonight: From Border Security to School Finance Complications

A specially appointed judge is one step closer to deciding whether the man presiding over the state’s school finance suit will continue doing his job. San Antonio Judge David Peeples will decide whether State District Judge John Dietz showed bias in the case, after emails between the judge and the prosecution were uncovered. Attorney General Greg Abbott’s office is demanding he step down, but Judge Dietz’s attorney maintains that he did nothing wrong.

In Friday’s Capital Tonight, we checked in on the latest twist in the long-running court battle over how the state funds public education.

REPORTER ROUNDTABLE

The future of the school finance case, Hillary Clinton’s book-tour crowds, and Gov. Rick Perry’s trip to California were all big topics this week. We sat down with Ross Ramsey from the Texas Tribune and Mike Ward of the Houston Chronicle to discuss those issues and more.

CROSSING THE BORDER

Gov. Perry weighed in on immigration this week, saying more non-Mexicans are crossing over than ever before, and Sen. Leticia Van de Putte insisted Mexico is our number one trading partner. Gardner Selby of PolitiFact Texas and the Austin American-Statesman joined us to evaluate those claims and give the official “Truth-O-Meter” ruling.

Capital Tonight: Van de Putte Reacts to New Poll Numbers

With the Republican state convention now in the political rearview mirror, Texas Democrats are less than a couple of weeks out until they gather in Dallas.

In Monday’s Capital Tonight, we spoke to Sen. Leticia Van de Putte about helping to lead her party’s ticket, the Republican stance on immigration reform and new poll numbers that show her trailing her Republican opponent, Sen. Dan Patrick, by double digits.

PLATFORM PROTEST

Democrats aren’t the only ones reacting to the decisions made at the Republican convention last week. Texas Young Republicans are rejecting their party’s platform, saying it’s too long and that it drifts from core party philosophies. We heard from one young Republican about what her generation would rather see.

ON THE AGENDA

Plus, the Quorum Report‘s Harvey Kronberg joined us to weigh in on the lieutenant governor’s race and the Tea Party’s impact in Texas.

Capital Tonight: Inside Look at the GOP Fight over Immigration

The dust has settled from the Texas GOP Convention, and language supporting a guest worker program is out.

In Monday’s Capital Tonight, we spoke one-on-one with Brad Bailey of Texas Immigration Solution, who fought to get the language in at the 2012 convention, about what played out differently this time around.

ON THE AGENDA

After all that fighting, will the platform really make a difference in November? The Quorum Report‘s Harvey Kronberg joined us to give his take after a week spent criss-crossing the convention floor.

WASHINGTON UPDATE

In Washington, President Barack Obama signed an executive order aimed at making it easier for young people to repay their student loan debt.

Capital Tonight: Texas Republicans Remain Split over Platform Language

For Republicans in Texas, Fort Worth is the place to be this week. That’s where Attorney General Greg Abbott officially accepted his party’s nomination to run for governor at the 2014 Texas GOP Convention, and it’s where delegates are working hard behind the scenes to come to a consensus on the official record of the party’s beliefs.

In Friday’s Capital Tonight, we put together highlights from Abbott, Sen. Ted Cruz and other big-name speakers at today’s event, and we looked behind the scenes at the fight over anti-gay language in the party platform.

FROM THE FLOOR

There are always multiple storylines during these state conventions, and the staff of the Quorum Report can be counted on to have an ear to the ground about all of them. We spoke to Scott Braddock from the convention floor about the mood from delegates, the level of support for Abbott and more.

REPORTER ROUNDTABLE

From a twist in the school finance case to a short-lived dispute over open-carry,there was plenty of other political news to get to Friday. We sat down with Lauren McGaughy of the Houston Chronicle and Terrence Stutz of The Dallas Morning News to put it all in context.

Capital Tonight: Texas GOP Delegates Unify Behind Candidates

Republican delegates from around the state are in Fort Worth this week for the Texas GOP Convention. As the longest serving governor in Texas history, Gov. Rick Perry kicked off Thursday’s events by touting the state’s achievements in education, job creation and more. But was it a farewell speech or just the beginning of something else?

In Thursday’s Capital Tonight, we heard how delegates and political experts read the governor’s speech. Plus, we spoke to Rep. Scott Turner about his bid to replace Rep. Joe Straus as Texas House Speaker.

CAPITAL COMMENTATORS

Republican political strategist Ted Delisi joined us live from the convention and Democratic strategist Harold Cook joined us in-studio to talk about the day’s events, including whether delegates can come to an agreement on immigration reform.

POST-PRIMARY STRATEGY

This week’s events mark the first time all the Republican nominees for statewide office are in one place. That’s because many of the candidates were caught up in a drawn-out — and sometimes heated — runoff campaign all the way until the end of May. We caught up with Republican agriculture commissioner candidate Sid Miller to talk about his strategy heading into the general election.

Capital Tonight: Republicans Debate Details of Immigration Platform

You could call it a Southwest symposium. Today, Gov. Rick Perry welcomed fellow Republican Gov. Jan Brewer to Texas. While the governor of Arizona was here to talk jobs and balancing budgets, she also wanted Perry to be aware of a letter she sent President Obama this week.

In Wednesday’s Capital Tonight, we heard how Gov. Brewer is defending her state’s immigration policies and why she says she has a bone to pick with federal officials over immigrants picked up in Texas.

IMMIGRATION DEBATE

Meanwhile, the devil is in the details for Republicans in Forth Worth, as they work out the language for their party’s immigration platform. We checked in on the latest on that debate, plus former state lawmaker Aaron Peña joined us to give his take.

BEHIND THE BUDGET

It’s been months since the last Texas budget was passed, but the debate over whether it was stingy or a spending spree continues. We spoke to Bill Peacock of the Texas Public Policy Foundation about a new report that aims to make an apples-to-apples comparison between budgets.