Capital Tonight: Political Leaders Evaluate ISIS Through Lens of 9/11 Attacks

Thirteen years ago, the United States suffered the worst attack ever on American soil. Now, on the anniversary of the September 11th attacks, the world is watching a potential new terror threat in Syria and Iraq.

In Thursday’s Capital Tonight, we looked at how American leadership is reflecting and considering what to do next.

GOV. RACE UPDATE

Here in Texas, a new poll done for the Wendy Davis campaign shows her trailing by single digits, even while the Greg Abbott team cries foul over her campaign ethics. Political strategists Harold Cook and Ted Delisi joined us to weigh in on the latest on the governor’s race.

USER AGREEMENT

By now, the use of social media by politicians is as common as campaign signs, but what about using it to make policy? We spoke with Glasshouse Policy co-founder Francisco Enriquez about why he believes a crowdsourced policy think tank can work.

Capital Tonight: Governor’s Race Gets More Personal

A new autobiography dives deeper than ever into Wendy Davis’s personal life, while her opponent Greg Abbott questions whether her promotion of it is breaking campaign finance laws.

In Monday’s Capital Tonight, we check in on the balance between personal and political in the governor’s race.

ON THE AGENDA

Gov. Rick Perry is talking economics in Asia, while his legal team takes another swing at trying to quash the felony counts against him. The Quorum Report’s Harvey Kronberg joined us to weigh in on both stories.

‘RACE FOR THE FUTURE’

Hispanic voters are being courted more than ever by the Republican party. Can they reverse decades of Democratic support? Mike Gonzalez of the Heritage Foundation talked about his new book, “A Race for the Future: How Conservatives Can Break the Liberal Monopoly on Hispanic Americans.”

Perry Attorneys File Second Motion to Dismiss Charges

Governor Rick Perry’s attorneys are making a second attempt to get the indictment against him thrown out. They filed a First Motion to Quash and Dismiss in Travis County court, Monday. The 40-page brief makes many of the same claims as the previous Writ of Habeus Corpus, which they filed last month and has not yet been ruled on. Both briefs argue that the charges Perry faces are unconstitutional.

This latest motion differs from the Writ of Habeus Corpus, which challenges the authority of the court to hear the case. A judge could deny that motion but still rule in Perry’s favor on the motion to dismiss. If the judge refuses to dismiss the case based on the new motion, however, Perry is not entitled to an appeal.

Governor Perry faces two felony counts that he abused the power of his office by coercing a public official and that he misused government property. The charges stem from the 2013 legislative session when Gov. Perry threatened to veto funding for the Public Integrity Unit if Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg did not step down following a drunk driving conviction. He cut the nearly $7.5 million when she refused.

Abbott Campaign Questions Legality of Davis Book Tour

Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott is questioning the legality of Democrat Wendy Davis’ upcoming book tour. Davis memoir, ‘Forgetting to be Afraid,’ goes on sale Tuesday. Davis has book signings scheduled across the state this week.

Abbott’s campaign manager Wayne Hamilton is requesting an opinion from the Texas Ethic Commission about campaign finance laws in connection to the tour. In a letter sent Monday morning, Hamilton raises several questions- including whether or not Davis’ publisher should be allowed to pay for the tour and other promotional events. Under Texas law, corporations are prohibited from contributing to political campaigns.

The letter reads, in part, “The goal of this advertising is nearly identical to the goal of advertising done by the candidate’s campaign; that is, to raise the candidate’s name identification, increase the public’s opinion of the candidate, and otherwise promote the candidate to the public.”

The Davis campaign maintains that the book tour is well within the law. ”We were very careful to follow every legal guideline,” said spokesman Zac Petkanas.. “This frivolous stunt by the Abbott campaign is the clearest sign yet how worried they are about the power of Wendy’s story.”

Some advance copies of Davis’ memoir have already been released. The book reveals that Davis underwent two abortions for medical reasons during the 1990s. Davis launched into the national spotlight after her 13 hour filibuster to try to defeat stricter abortion laws in Texas, last legislative session. Davis said in an interview on ABC News Saturday that she did not bring up her own abortion story at the time because she did not want to overshadow the events of the day.

Van de Putte Fires First Shot in Lt. Gov. Ad War

Lt. Gov. candidate Leticia Van de Putte is focusing on education reforms in her first statewide TV ad. The 30-second spot touts Van de Putte’s Senate vote against education cuts during the 2011 legislative session and her bipartisan efforts to restore some of the funding in 2013.

The ad is critical of her Republican opponent Dan Patrick’s nay votes during both sessions. “If education isn’t your priority,” she said, “You’re not prepared to lead Texas.”

The ads will air in both English and Spanish.

Capital Tonight: State Regulator Addresses Concerns About Fracking

The Travis County District Attorney’s Office has confirmed they will present evidence to a grand jury regarding University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall. In Thursday’s Capital Tonight, we checked in on the latest in the controversy surrounding Hall and heard how he’s responding to it.

Plus, a state program meant to help foster kids get ahead is getting a second look from lawmakers. We explained how it works and how advocates say it can be improved.

AD WARS

A new ad from the Wendy Davis campaign takes aim at her opponent, Republican Greg Abbott, over his position in relation to a number of high-profile court cases. Our Capital Commentators, Harold Cook and Ted Delisi, weigh in on whether Davis’ latest strategy is effective.

FRACKING FACTS

And while the oil and gas boom continues, there’s been no shortage of questions about its environmental impact. Christi Craddick, who chairs the Texas Railroad Commission, joined us with answers.

New Davis Ad Hits Abbott on Education

Sen. Wendy Davis is focusing on her education platform in a new ad in the race for governor. The 30-second spot, which starts airing this evening, focuses on Davis’ Senate voting record on school funding and standardized testing.

Davis also criticized Abbott for his role as Attorney General for defending the state’s school finance funding in state district court. Last week, a judge ruled that the way the state pays for its public education system is unconstitutional. The state attorney general’s office, led by Abbott, is appealing the decision.

This new ad is the first issue-based ad for Davis. The campaign’s previous commercials were aimed at attacking Abbott’s record as a former Texas Supreme Court judge and later, as attorney general.

 

Capital Tonight: Catching Up on Court Battles Over Abortion Law, Education and Voter ID

A key part of the state’s abortion law remains on hold, and a clinic in South Texas is back open for business. In Wednesday’s Capital Tonight, we checked in on the latest twists in the fight over House Bill 2.

CANDIDATE CONSENSUS

A second debate is back on for the gubernatorial candidates from the two major parties.
Was the on-again, off-again scuffle about strategy or simple disagreements? The Quorum Report’s Scott Braddock joined us to weigh in.

VOTER ID VIEWPOINT

And it’s day two of the newest court battle over Voter ID law. We spoke one-on-one with the head of one of the groups testifying against the requirement: Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, chairman of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus.

Candidates for Governor Settle on New Statewide Debate

After a week of back and forth, the candidates for governor have finally settled on a statewide televised debate in Dallas. Sen. Wendy Davis confirmed Wednesday that she will participate in a KERA/KXAS-TV debate on Sept. 30.

Sen. Davis and Attorney General Greg Abbott were initially scheduled to take part in a WFAA-TV debate scheduled for that same day. Friday, however, the Abbott campaign backed out, citing a dispute over the proposed round-table format. Instead, he proposed an alternative statewide televised debate on KERA/KXAS-TV; an offer the campaign had initially declined.

In a statement Wednesday, Davis campaign spokesman Zac Petkanas said:
“After a conversation with KERA this morning, we have agreed to a debate format that should give Greg Abbott the confidence he needs after his multiple losses in the courtroom over the past week. However, no debate rules will protect Greg Abbott from having to explain the $5.4 billion in public education cuts he’s defended, siding with a corporation against a rape victim and allowing his donors to make off with tens of million of dollars meant for cancer research.”

Davis’ concession comes after days of debating over debate formats and disagreements over which station would sponsor the forum. Yesterday, Davis announced that she would be willing to reconsider WFAA’s proposed round-table format. Abbott refused to return to the negotiating table, saying he’d already made a new commitment to KERA.

Both candidates have also agreed to a September 19 debate in the Rio Grande Valley. That debate will be seen on Sinclair stations in major markets across Texas, with the exception of Dallas and Houston.

Capital Tonight: Governor’s Race Kicks Into Higher Gear

It’s the day after Labor Day, and for Texas politicians, that means more than just fashion cues. In Tuesday’s Capital Tonight, we looked at how the Wendy Davis and Greg Abbott campaigns are ramping up and finding new ways to tell their personal stories.

BATTLE OVER THE BALLOT BOX

The state’s voter ID law is on trial, in a case that could have national implications. We checked in on the court battle in Corpus Christi. Plus, the Deputy State Director for the League of United Latin American Citizens, Marcelo Tafoya, joined us to explain why they’re involved in the fight.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Our Capital Commentators weighed in on the public fight between the Abbott and Davis camps over where and how to debate.