Aug 7th - 2:03 pm
The first skirmish in the fight to turn Texas blue will take place in Irving, Texas.
That’s the home of House District 105, and it’s where Battleground Texas has chosen to invest in its first campaign video since forming in 2013. The ad features Democratic candidate Susan Motley, a lawyer and mother of four with no previous political experience. The Battleground Texas team is describing the two-and-a-half-minute web ad as just the first in a series of “Blue Star campaigns,” meant to “harness grassroots energy and campaign infrastructure to help make races down the ballot more competitive.”
The seat Motley is running for was previously held by Republican Rep. Linda Harper Brown, who lost her party’s primary to former state representative Rodney Anderson. In the last reporting period, Motley out-raised Anderson by roughly $1,600, although a tough primary race left Motley with just $29,000 in the bank compared to Anderson’s $53,000. The district, which encompasses Irving and Grand Prairie, has been historically Republican, although a Democrat held the seat as recently as 2000.
You can watch the full web ad below.
Aug 6th - 7:30 pm
In Wednesday’s Capital Tonight, we checked in on day three of the newest fight over a controversial law that could see all but seven of the state’s abortion clinics close.
Congressman Lloyd Doggett isn’t holding back his opinion when it comes to the governor’s decision to send troops to the border, calling it “Operation Iowa Caucuses.” He joined us for a one-on-one interview on that topic and more.
SENATE SEAT WIN
Sen. Tommy Williams’ Senate seat now has a new occupant, which means an influential political group takes a loss. The Quorum Report‘s Harvey Kronberg joined us to explain why.
Aug 4th - 8:12 pm
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.
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.
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.
Aug 1st - 7:30 pm
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.
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.
Jul 31st - 3:30 pm
An Austin abortion clinic and women’s health center is closing its doors, citing a controversial abortion law passed last session as the reason.
That’s according to a spokeswoman for Whole Woman’s Health in North Austin. The clinic provides surgical and medical abortions, along with annual exams, birth control and family counseling. The clinic is one of more than 20 that have closed since a package of abortion restrictions passed last session.
Known as House Bill 2, the law requires abortion doctors to have admitting privileges to nearby hospitals and restricts the way abortion-inducing drugs can be administered. But it’s another requirement set to go into effect in September that could cause all but six of the state’s clinics to close. That provision requires all clinics to meet the standards of ambulatory surgical centers, and it’s the reason Whole Women’s Health in Austin says they’re shutting down.
This all happens just days before Whole Women’s Health and other abortion providers are going to trial over the surgical center requirement.
Opponents of the law say it places an undue burden on women by making abortion services harder to find. Supporters say it’s meant to increase the safety of the procedure.
Jul 31st - 11:43 am
In Wednesday’s Capital Tonight, we examined how much of the governor’s political comeback is due to his handling of the border issue.
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.
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.
Jul 29th - 8:05 pm
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.
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.
Jul 28th - 7:56 pm
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.
Jul 28th - 12:25 pm
Sen. Dan Patrick announced Monday that his campaign has hired Alejandro Garcia as its new communications director. Garcia previously worked as the director of border affairs under three Texas secretaries of state. He also worked as press secretary for Gov. Rick Perry’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign.
In a statement, campaign manager Allen Blakemore said:
“We are very excited to have Alejandro join the campaign as our new Communications Director. Alejandro has hit the ground running and brings a fresh perspective to the team. His political campaign experience in communications strategy is a perfect fit to secure our victory in the upcoming November election.”
Patrick, a Republican, is running to replace current Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. He faces Democrat Leticia Van de Putte in the November election.
Jul 24th - 8:39 pm
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.
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.