Uncategorized

Capital Tonight: Bitcoin and the FBI become factors in governor’s race

Sen. Wendy Davis is in the headlines again this week, but not exactly in a way her campaign might have hoped.

The Dallas Morning News reports a toll road authority that had paid Sen. Davis for ongoing legal work is part of an investigation by the FBI.

In Friday’s Capital Tonight, we discussed whether the ongoing questions about conflicts of interest will gain more traction in the governor’s race, where Sen. Davis is seeking to win against Attorney General Greg Abbott.

REPORTER ROUNDTABLE

Meanwhile, Abbott’s campaign for governor is going high-tech. The campaign announced this week that he will now be accepting Bitcoin contributions.

We sat down with Ross Ramsey of the Texas Tribune, David Barer of The Dallas Morning News and KUT’s Ben Philpott to discuss the politics behind crypto-currency and the latest attack ads in the race for lieutenant governor.

CHECKING THE FACTS

Gardner Selby of PolitiFact Texas and the Austin American-Statesman joined us to check on claims by both President Barack Obama and outspoken Rep. Louie Gohmert.

Capital Tonight: Campaign politics apparent in education hearing

Politics surrounding the lieutenant governor’s race spilled over into Monday’s Senate Education Committee hearing. Sen. Leticia Van de Putte and Sen. Dan Patrick clashed over the implementation of new testing requirements, but the possibility that they could face off in the race for lieutenant governor was also a factor.

In Monday’s Capital Tonight, we looked at how policymakers are following existing legislation, as well as the possibility of introducing new regulations after the explosion of a fertilizer storage facility in West.

CANDIDATE CONVERSATION

Congressman Roger Williams sat down with us to discuss Paul Ryan’s budget, border security, the possibility of immigration reform.

TROUBLE WITH TOLLWAYS

Harvey Kronberg provided his take on a potential conflict of interest regarding Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis. According to The Dallas Morning News, Davis voted on legislation concerning the North Texas Tollway Authority project while she performed legal work for the organization.

Capital Tonight: Van de Putte tours Texas promoting education

In her run for lieutenant governor on the Democratic ticket, Sen. Leticia Van de Putte has focused her message on education. And while it’s not clear yet who her Republican opponent will be, Sen. Van de Putte is already defending potential criticism by referring to her record in the Senate.

In Monday’s Capital Tonight, we looked at the latest in the races for governor and lieutenant governor, plus the debate over open carry and more.

CANDIDATE CONVERSATION

Ryan Sitton, who is running to be the Republican nomination for the Texas Railroad Commissioner, joined us to discuss hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Sitton said he believes there’s likely no link between fracking and earthquakes, but said he was also open to further research on the topic.

MEETING OF PRESIDENTS

Three former presidents and the current commander in chief are meeting this week for a three-day summit at the LBJ Library to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Mark Updegrove, director of the LBJ Library, spoke with us about how this event was made possible.

Capital Tonight: Lawmakers react to unfolding Fort Hood shooting

Authorities are still sorting through the details about a shooting at Fort Hood, where at least four people are reported dead and at least 14 injured.

In Wednesday’s Capital Tonight, we checked in on the active shooter scene as it was developing.

REPRESENTATIVES REACT

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel issued a statement on the unfolding scene at Fort Hood. Plus, we talked live with Congressman John Carter, who represents the district and who has called for the 2009 shooting on post to be reclassified as a terrorist attack.

LANDMARK RULING

In other news, Attorney General Greg Abbott visited in San Antonio to lay out his plan for Pre-K education in Texas, and the Supreme Court struck down a law on Wednesday that limited an individual’s overall political donations. Harvey Kronberg explained the ramifications of the change in campaign finance law.

Lawmakers respond to Fort Hood shooting

Fourteen people are injured and several are reportedly dead, following a shooting on Fort Hood this afternoon. Details are still coming in, but Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul says four people were killed when a gunman opened fire on post. Officials say the gunman, who has not been identified, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Lawmakers are responding to today’s events. Here is a collection of the statements released so far, tonight:

Gov. Rick Perry

“Today, Ft. Hood was once again stricken by tragedy. As Texans, our first priority must be caring for the victims and their families. Ft. Hood has proven its resilience before, and will again. Texas will support those efforts in any way we can, with any resources necessary. The thoughts and prayers of all Texans are with everyone affected by this tragedy.”

Sen. John Cornyn

“Tonight, Texans’ hearts are once again very heavy. The scenes coming from Ft. Hood today are sadly too familiar and still too fresh in our memories.  No community should have to go through this horrific violence once, let alone twice. I ask that all Americans join Sandy and me in praying for the victims, their families and the entire Ft. Hood community.”

Sen. Wendy Davis

“Texans are united in deep sorrow at this terrible tragedy.  Our prayers are with the families and all those who serve at Fort Hood.”

 

 

Capital Tonight: Reassessing enrollment numbers on deadline day

A free help center in Austin was flooded with health insurance applicants Monday, the last day to begin enrollment under the Affordable Care Act. The spike resulted in technical problems for some, but a deadline extension may help ease the problem.

In Monday’s Capital Tonight, we looked how national initiatives on health care and immigration reform are affecting Texans.

BEHIND THE NUMBERS

Anne Dunkelberg of the Center for Public Policy Priorities and John Davidson with the Texas Public Policy Foundation joined us to discuss the latest enrollment data, just over four years after the health care law was passed.

ON THE AGENDA

Harvey Kronberg weighed in on the health care debate as well and gave an update on the new fight over public education in the governor’s race.

Capital Tonight: Candidates carry equal pay fight into third week

When Wendy Davis publicly criticized her opponent, Greg Abbott, for his opposition to the Texas version of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, Abbott was quick to respond with the issue of Davis’ legal work.

In Monday’s Capital Tonight, we looked at how this debate is dominating the political conversation and what it means for the governor’s race going forward.

ENGAGING TEXAS HISPANIC VOTERS

Republican Rep. Jason Villalba joined us to discuss his speaking tour, which is meant to build a bridge between Hispanic voters and the GOP through the shared values of family, education and the economy.

ON THE AGENDA

Harvey Kronberg of the Quorum Report spoke with us about how the attacks from both gubernatorial candidates are resonating with voters, what Republicans need to do to win more Hispanic votes, and the latest in the lieutenant governor’s race.

Capital Tonight: New group enters fray over pay discrimination

A new group is hoping to secure the votes of Texas women for Republicans, even as the Democratic party fields two female candidates at the top of the general election ticket.

The Red State Women PAC is putting its support behind Attorney General Greg Abbott for governor on issues ranging from pay discrimination to women’s health. In Monday’s Capital Tonight, we took a look at how the group is faring in a combative election environment.

ON THE AGENDA

Harvey Kronberg provided commentary on what to expect on the GOP ticket for the 2016 presidential election and why one Republican lieutenant governor candidate is backing out of a closed-door debate.

GREEN ON ST. PATRICK’S DAY

While the Green Party has maintained its platform and status as a grassroots organization, the party will also have a record number of Green candidates on the ballot this November. We took St. Patrick’s Day as an opportunity to check in on where the party stands.

Capital Tonight: Dewhurst faces difficult path to victory

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.

MISTAKEN POLLS

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.

ELECTORAL INDICATORS

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.

Capital Tonight: As early voting continues, political ads get uglier

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.

UGLY RACES

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.

Displaying TWCNews-Video.png