Mar 5th - 7:47 pm
Now the underdog, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has only a few months to turn the tide against Sen. Dan Patrick, who led the polls on primary night. Patrick has positioned himself as the more conservative, Tea Party favored candidate.
In Wednesday’s Capital Tonight, we dug into last night’s primary election results, seeing how they will shape future Texas political races.
Director of the Texas Politics Project James Henson joined us to discuss why the UT/Texas Tribune poll was so off the mark compared to the actual results.
Harvey Kronberg with the Quorum Report spoke with us about how the primary election shows the strength and importance of various Texas groups like the Tea Party and Empower Texans.
Mar 4th - 11:58 pm
Lieutenant governor candidate Dan Patrick will face incumbent David Dewhurst in a runoff in May. State Sen. Patrick won the top spot, doing better than projects polls expected.
In Tuesday’s Capital Tonight, we took a look at what several surprising primary outcomes mean for the nearing runoffs and the general election.
EXPLAINING THE UNEXPECTED
Democratic strategist Harold Cook and Republican strategist Ted Delisi provided explanations for why so many unanticipated results occurred.
ON THE AGENDA
From the Quorum Report, Harvey Kronberg and Scott Braddock, joined us to discuss what political strategies and narratives to look forward to in the governor’s race up until the general election in November.
Mar 3rd - 8:04 pm
As primary election day approached, a last string of attack ads came from candidates wanting to be the GOP nominee for lieutenant governor, while UT’s Texas Politics Project director Jim Henson says the race has turned into a competition to get in the top two.
In Monday’s Capital Tonight, we looked at how the possibility of a runoff election is affecting political strategy and how the cold weather could change the kind of voters who show up at the polls.
PARTY LEADERS TELL ALL
Republican Party of Texas Chairman Steve Munisteri and the executive director of the Texas Democratic Party, Will Hailer, gave their thoughts on potential GOP runoffs and what to expect in the campaigns until November.
COLD WEATHER CONSEQUENCES
Texas Secretary of State Nandita Berry spoke with us about how the cold weather could affect polling locations and provided details about what to expect from the Texas voter ID law in the second election since it was passed.
Feb 19th - 8:17 pm
After months of controversy over its approval process, the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas is hoping to get back on track with a new slate of research grants.
In Wednesday’s Capital Tonight, we heard one mother’s story about her son’s battle with cancer, and how she hopes newly approved funding from CPRIT will honor his dying wish and help usher in a new kind of treatment.
Sen. Dan Patrick is drawing new criticism for undocumented employees hired under his watch 30 years ago, but he’s not the only one under fire.
Harvey Kronberg provided us with an analysis of how recent negative political attacks in the governor’s and lieutenant governor’s races will affect votes in the primaries and even in the general election.
RED STATE SCRIBES
There’s a new voice in town when it comes to covering Texas politics. Brandon Darby, director of Breitbart Texas, joined us to discuss why the conservative outlet is expanding in an already red state. Plus, he talked about his experience infiltrating a group of protesters accused of planning to use Molotov cocktails at the 2008 GOP convention.
Feb 17th - 8:11 pm
When voters head to the polls Tuesday, it’s not just candidates they’ll be choosing. At first glance, the option to repeal the Affordable Care Act or expand Medicaid are also on the ballot. However, the end result of that vote is a little more complex.
In Monday’s Capital Tonight, we talked to Republican and Democratic party leaders about how voters’ choices on primary ballot measures will impact Texas policy in the future, even if the results aren’t binding.
STAPLES HAMMERS INCUMBENT
Lieutenant governor candidate Todd Staples joined us to highlight the differences between himself and the incumbent, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.
ON THE AGENDA
Harvey Kronberg joined us to examine the political strategy of Todd Staples’ ad, how a run off election would influence the lieutenant governor’s race, and why Ted Nugent matters in the governor’s race.
Jan 14th - 1:21 pm
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst’s new campaign ad hit the internet, Tuesday. The artsy-ad touts the state economy, throws a jab at California and includes a humorous twist at the end.
You can watch the full ad, below.
Nov 5th - 3:38 pm
The governor’s race is shaping up to be the most exciting match-up in decades. A new University of Texas / Texas Tribune Poll shows Republican Greg Abbott leading Democrat Wendy Davis, 40 percent to 34 percent. The Texas politics project’s Jim Henson joined us in the studio Monday to break down the numbers.
ON THE AGENDA
Early voting is over and election day is Tuesday. On Monday’s show, we got an update on voter turnout and voter ID. Plus, Harvey Kronberg with the Quorum Report offered his commentary on the week’s political news.
Voters will be faced with nine proposed constitutional amendments when they head to the polls. If they are approved, the amendments will join more than 600 that have already been added to the constitution over the years. In the video below, former State Senator John Montford talks about the history of the state’s complicated constitution and efforts to simplify it.
Oct 1st - 3:18 pm
Attorney General Greg Abbott is dropping the state’s challenge to a proposed merger between American Airlines and U.S. Airways. Abbott had joined with the U.S. Justice Department this summer to block the merger, citing concerns over higher fares and fees. At a news conference today, Abbott announced a settlement agreement with the airlines. Abbott said the carriers have agreed to keep the Texas headquarters and continue service to the state’s rural airports.
“From the beginning, our focus has been on maintaining service to rural airports in Texas and protecting Texas jobs,” Abbott said. “Today’s agreement ensures that thousands of jobs will remain in Texas and that Texans traveling by air – especially those who fly in and out of rural cities across the state, including members of the military – will continue to benefit from daily flight service.”
Potential Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, who represents Fort Worth in the Texas Senate, has long said she supported the merger. Speaking at the Texas Tribune Festival this weekend, Davis said the lawsuit was the “wrong call” by the Obama administration.
The Lone Star Project says Abbott’s collapsed under pressure from Davis and other Texans. “It’s pretty clear, Greg Abbott caved after receiving withering criticism for trying to kill the merger and risk thousands of Texas jobs,” said director Matt Angle. “Abbott’s reversal is a result of political pressure from virtually every other Texas leader, especially Wendy Davis. It may be cagey, but his flip-flop displays weakness,” concluded Angle.
The Justice Department’s antitrust trial over the merger is scheduled for Nov. 25.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Sep 27th - 2:01 pm
It seems Ted Cruz’s filibuster style Senate speech is fueling any potential presidential aspirations. A new Public Policy Polling survey shows Cruz leading the pack in a hypothetical GOP primary race.
The poll puts him in the lead at 20 percent, ahead of Rand Paul at 17. Chris Christie is third with 11 percent and Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio are each tied with 10. The poll shows a huge bump for Cruz. He gained eight points since the last PPP survey was conducted in July.
According to the poll, the numbers “also suggest that Cruz is now viewed more broadly as the leader of the Republican Party.”
“Ted Cruz this week established himself as the grassroots hero of the Republican Party,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “The party base has a lot more faith in him than their more official leaders like Mitch McConnell and John Boehner.”
Aug 21st - 12:21 pm
Gov. Rick Perry’s recently departed chief of staff will now serve on the state’s Public Utility Commission. Perry announced today that Brandy Marty would join the three-person commission, effective immediately. The PUC is responsible for regulating the state’s electric and telecommunications utilities.
Marty has most recently served as Perry’s chief of staff. She was also his deputy chief of staff, worked as a Texas House liaison and was a policy director on the governor’s 2010 primary campaign.
In a statement, Perry said:
“Brandy is a passionate public servant with a deep knowledge of state government and the issues critical to Texas’ continued success. She is well respected by her colleagues and officials across state government and is known as a capable and effective leader. Her experience and skills will be a major asset to the PUC as they continue their important work for our state.”
Earlier this month, Gov. Perry announced that Kathy Walt would take over as chief of staff. She had most recently been working for the Lower Colorado River Authority and served in the past as deputy chief of staff.