Sen. Wendy Davis
Feb 24th - 7:52 pm
A recent poll is shedding new light on the 2014 elections. Attorney General Greg Abbott led Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis by eleven points in a new UT Austin/Texas Tribune poll. However, timing likely distorted that margin, as the poll was conducted after Sen. Davis’ biography was called into question and before Abbott campaigned with the controversial Ted Nugent.
In Monday’s Capital Tonight, we dug deeper into the poll numbers and took a closer look at the 2016 presidential race, which could include Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. Rick Perry on the Republican side.
BEHIND THE NUMBERS
James Henson, director of the Texas Politics Project, provided perspective on how various factors impacted the poll numbers of the GOP primary races and the governor’s race.
Harvey Kronberg gave his analysis of how the latest fundraising totals will influence the nearing GOP primary races and the governor’s race.
Feb 6th - 9:03 pm
In Thursday’s Capital Tonight, we looked at the reaction from Sen. Davis’ fellow Democrats, as well as pro-gun Republicans.
The four candidates vying for the lieutenant governor’s office made their cases to the Texas business community Thursday. They’ve done dozens of forums leading into the March primary, but with less than two weeks until early voting starts, the effort to find differences between the candidates is starting to bear fruit.
We sat down with Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson to talk about the state’s drug laws, the Emerging Technology Fund and what separates him from the pack.
Plus, Democrat Harold Cook and Republican Ted Delisi weighed in on the Davis decision and the Patterson campaign from a political strategist’s perspective.
Feb 3rd - 8:14 pm
In Monday’s Capital Tonight, we look at how the bureaucratic roadblock is reviving debate over the controversial law.
NOTORIOUSLY LOW TURNOUT
Manny Garcia, communications director for the Texas Democratic Party, and Beth Cubriel, director of the Republican Party of Texas, join us to talk about the abysmal voter turnout in Texas and whether the voter ID law will affect turnout.
The Wendy Davis campaign received sharp criticism from the Texas press after only letting select members of the media into a fundraiser. In response, the campaign is reportedly bringing on an outsider to “right the ship” with its communication department. Harvey Kronberg joined us to provide commentary on how this and other factors influence the governor’s race.
Feb 3rd - 7:44 pm
New fundraising totals from the frontrunner candidates for governor show Attorney General Greg Abbott with a lead of more than $19 million dollars over Sen. Wendy Davis.
Both campaigns released their totals voluntarily Monday, after filing the latest report with the Texas Ethics Commission. The Abbott campaign reports it has raised $3.1 million in the period from Jan. 1 to Jan. 23, for a total of $29.4 million in cash on hand.
During the same period, the Davis campaign brought in $607,311 and totaled $10.2 million in cash on hand. More than $300,000 of that total comes from the Texas Victory Committee, a joint fund set up between the Davis campaign and Battleground Texas.
Jan 31st - 6:21 pm
In Friday’s Capital Tonight, we explored criticism from political journalists, and we heard the Travis County Democratic Party’s response to complaints after a mostly closed-off event.
WEEK IN REVIEW
From education reform to the race for lieutenant governor, the political world had plenty of food for thought this week. Christy Hoppe of The Dallas Morning News, Scott Braddock of the Quorum Report and Morgan Smith of the Texas Tribune joined us to sort out the most important stories.
CHECKING THE FACTS
Plus, Gardner Selby of PolitiFact Texas and the Austin American-Statesman joined us to look into claims by Rep. Louie Gohmert and Sen. Davis.
Jan 28th - 3:56 pm
In Friday’s Capital Tonight, we put the public attacks into context and hear how the Wendy Davis and Greg Abbott campaigns are responding.
The week started off with Sen. Davis defending her personal narrative, after an article in The Dallas Morning News called some biographical details into question. Eventually, even the article’s author, Wayne Slater, was drawn into the fray. We sat down with Slater and Peggy Fikac of the San Antonio Express-News and the Houston Chronicle to talk about how Davis became the week’s biggest story.
Plus, Gardner Selby of PolitiFact Texas joined us to verify a new claim from Sen. Ted Cruz about the Obamacare rollout.
Jan 23rd - 12:10 pm
Two of the state’s biggest teachers associations have announced their support for Sen. Wendy Davis in her run for governor.
The Texas State Teachers Association and the Texas American Federation of Teachers are both formally endorsing Davis, who has taken steps to make education a central issue in the race. Earlier this month, the Davis campaign unveiled details of her education reform policy, which includes higher pay for teachers and automatic college acceptance for students committed to teaching careers.
Attorney General Greg Abbott, who is Davis’s likely opponent in the general election, has also focused on education. Abbott has held a series of roundtable meetings across the state touting digital learning and increased flexibility for teachers.
Jan 21st - 8:38 pm
The controversy over North Texas earthquakes has made its way to Austin. Dozens of North Texas residents shared their concerns with the state’s oil and gas regulators over a spate of recent earthquakes near Azle, Texas.
In Tuesday’s Capital Tonight, we heard why many believe the recent boom in hydraulic fracturing — or fracking — is leading to the earthquakes. Plus, we got an update on the latest round of court hearings over public education funding.
SHAKING THINGS UP
While the Texas Railroad Commission has yet to acknowledge the link between fracking and earthquakes, one scientist’s research is drawing strong connections. We spoke with Cliff Frohlich, a senior research scientist at UT’s Institute for Geophysics about what his research shows.
UNDER THE MICROSCOPE
The details of Sen. Wendy Davis’s life are still drawing scrutiny after an article published in The Dallas Morning News pointed out discrepancies between her campaign narrative and the official record.
Democratic strategist Harold Cook and Republican strategist Ted Delisi joined us to discuss whether the dispute over details could become an ongoing problem for the Davis campaign.
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 2nd - 3:57 pm
The two candidates likely to face off in the race for governor are sparring over recent remarks made by the head of the Texas Finance Commission.
The Wendy Davis campaign sent out a press release this week, slamming commission chair William White for his comments about payday loan customers. In an interview with the El Paso Times, White said borrowers were responsible for their own decisions. “There’s nobody out there that forces anybody to take any kind of loan,” White said.
Davis is now calling for Gov. Rick Perry to fire White, who also serves as vice president for Cash America International, a company with more than 900 stores providing cash advances and pawn loans. In a statement, Davis called his dual obligations a “blatant conflict of interest.”
“William White can’t protect Texas consumers while he represents a predatory lending company on the side,” Davis said. “Mr. White should resign from his post – and if he won’t, Governor Perry should remove him.”
Attorney General Greg Abbott’s campaign has responded to Davis’s statement, calling it “election-year hypocrisy.” In a press release, Abbott’s team points out that state law requires the Finance Commission to be staffed with executives from the savings, consumer credit and residential mortgage industries. The statement claims Davis voted to confirm White’s appointment as chairman in 2009, and that she had at least two chances to change the requirements to serve on the commission.
For her part, Davis says she’s been critical of White’s appointment since 2011, when she called it the “classic fox in the henhouse” in an interview with the Texas Observer.