Apr 10th - 10:24 am
Sen. Wendy Davis will have a chance to speak one-on-one with the president today. Sources close to the campaign tell Capital Tonight Sen. Davis will meet privately with the president while he’s in Austin.
President Barack Obama is in town for the LBJ Library’s Civil Rights Summit, marking the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. He’s scheduled to arrive at the airport at 10:30 this morning, then head to the University of Texas campus, where the summit is being held.
Sen. Davis has been tapping into the Democratic donor network from all over the country in her bid to be the first Democratic governor elected in Texas since 1991. However, being linked too closely with President Obama in a red state, where he has consistently weak poll numbers since 2009, could hurt her efforts. Her opponent, Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott, has made suing the Obama administration over federal regulations a key part of his campaign speeches.
The Davis campaign is already connected to the Obama team in one sense: she has a joint fundraising effort with Battleground Texas, a group dedicated to turning Texas blue. The group is made up of several veterans of the president’s 2012 campaign team.
Apr 9th - 8:51 pm
On day two of the Civil Rights Summit at the LBJ Library, the discussion shifted toward the leaders of the movement, the role they played and how they see the world today.
In Wednesday’s Capital Tonight, we heard directly from two of those leaders — former Congressman and United Nations Ambassador Andrew Young and current Rep. John Lewis — about what they’ve accomplished and what they still hope to see done.
FIGHTERS ON THE FIELD
Of course, the fight for racial equality also took place in the world of athletics. We heard from Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown and Celtics legend Bill Russell about the barriers they broke while playing the game.
Apart from civil rights, this week’s summit is also about the legacy of Lyndon Baines Johnson. We spoke one-on-one with one granddaughter of LBJ, Catherine Robb, about how she hopes he’s remembered.
ON THE AGENDA
And the day’s political news didn’t stop during the summit. We spoke to Harvey Kronberg of the Quorum Report about a new report on UT Regent Wallace Hall and more.
Apr 8th - 8:56 pm
It’s been 50 years since the Civil Rights Act became part of the fabric of America. This week, the LBJ Library is honoring Lyndon B. Johnson’s legacy in Austin with a three-day summit on the past, present and future of civil rights.
In Tuesday’s Capital Tonight, we took an in-depth look at how the law has rippled through history, plus we spoke to some of the lawmakers dealing with similar issues today.
Click the TWC News logo below to hear a recap of former President Jimmy Carter’s Q&A session, plus one-on-one interviews with San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro and former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour about immigration reform.
THEN AND NOW
Former Texas Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes was one of many lawmakers who helped transition the state away from laws based on racial discrimination, all in the years during and after LBJ’s presidency. We sat down for an extended interview with Barnes about segregation, civil rights and his role in this week’s summit.
POLITICS OF TODAY
Same-sex marriage is seen by many as a key civil rights issue today. We heard from two lawyers from very different political backgrounds who came together over marriage equality.
Plus, we spoke to political strategists Harold Cook and Ted Delisi about the same-sex marriage debate and more.
Apr 7th - 9:05 pm
The primary elections may be over, but several races are still underway. Ryan Sitton and Wayne Christian are the two candidates still facing off for their party’s nomination for a spot on the Texas Railroad Commission, which oversees the state’s oil and gas industry.
In an interview on Capital Tonight Monday, Sitton said he’ll encourage energy independence in Texas, including the growth in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. But when it comes to the possible link between hydraulic fracturing and earthquakes, Sitton says he doesn’t believe there’s a connection.
“It seems unlikely that there would be a link, because the amount of pressure that’s required to generate seismic activity, in comparison to the number of wells we’re talking about seems to be a stretch,” Sitton said. “But if there is, the research needs to be done and we need to follow the signs.”
Earlier this year, residents of Azle, Texas bused to the Capitol to complain about frequent, low-level earthquakes. University of Texas researchers have shown most earthquakes happening in that region are occurring near disposal wells used in the fracking process. The railroad commission has hired a seismologist to look more closely at the issue.
Sitton’s Republican opponent, former state Rep. Wayne Christian, has also said he doesn’t see a link between fracking and seismic activity. In an interview with The Dallas Morning News, Christian characterized any action from the railroad commission as an “answer in search of a problem.”
In the primary election, Sitton won 31 percent of the vote to Christian’s 43 percent. But Sitton said he is confident he will make up the gap now that it’s a smaller race, where voters have more of a chance to get to know the candidates.
Apr 7th - 7:54 pm
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.
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.
Apr 4th - 7:30 pm
In Friday’s Capital Tonight, we looked back at how the original policy came about and why the Department of Defense is arguing against the change.
From the fight over pre-K plans to a major milestone for health care enrollment, the week brought a wide range of political news. We sat down with Robert Garrett of The Dallas Morning News, Alexa Ura of the Texas Tribune and the Quorum Report‘s Scott Braddock to sort out the stories that mattered.
BEHIND THE MUSIC
Plus, Gardner Selby of PolitiFact Texas and the Austin American-Statesman joined us for a fascinating fact-check about a climate change musical and whether your tax dollars paid for it.
Apr 3rd - 8:17 pm
In Thursday’s Capital Tonight, we checked in on the latest from Fort Hood, and we heard how the Texas delegation in Washington is responding.
NEW FUNDRAISING RULES
The rules for campaign finance are changing again, after the latest Supreme Court ruling. What effect will it have here in Texas? Election law attorney Ed Shack joined us to explain.
VIEW FROM THE SENATE
Before his trip to Fort Hood, Sen. John Cornyn was busy in Washington this week. He joined us for a one-on-one interview via satellite about the Supreme Court ruling, the Affordable Care Act and more.
Plus, we heard from Republican strategist Rob Johnson and Democratic strategist Harold Cook about a recent shift in Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst’s campaign.
Apr 2nd - 8:25 pm
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.
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.
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.
Apr 2nd - 7:55 pm
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.”
Apr 2nd - 12:32 pm
A second legal challenge has been filed against the state’s controversial new abortion law.
The Center for Reproductive Rights filed the lawsuit Wednesday afternoon on behalf of several abortion providers. It’s the first legal challenge to a provision set to take effect September 1, which would require abortion clinics to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers. Currently, only six clinics in Texas currently meet those standards. Abortion rights advocates warn that fewer than 10 clinics in the state would be in compliance by the time the new provision takes effect.
The lawsuit also brings a revised challenge to the requirement that doctors who perform abortions receive admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. The Supreme Court of Texas upheld that provision in a recent ruling, but the new lawsuit challenges it only as it applies to clinics in McAllen and El Paso.