Cleveland Picked over Dallas for 2016 GOP Convention

It appears the 2016 Republican National Convention will take place in Cleveland. According to the Associated Press, a Republican National Committee panel is recommending Cleveland. The full 168-member RNC is expected to ratify the choice next month.

Finances were a key part of the decision-making process. The previous two GOP conventions have been extremely expensive for the party during election years. GOP Chairman Reince Priebus insisted the host city not leave the party picking up the tab, estimated at about $60 million.

Of course, Ohio has been a swing state in recent years, while Texas has been a solid “red” state for the past two decades.

Democrats have not yet decided where their 2016 convention will be held.

Capital Tonight: What’s Next for UT President Powers?

The fate of University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers is back in the spotlight. The UT System Chancellor and the Board of Regents are set to meet this week and discuss how to handle Powers’ refusal to resign by year’s end.

In Monday’s Capital Tonight, we heard how Powers and his supporters are responding.


Meanwhile, the political rhetoric on the border keeps getting hotter, with Republicans and Democrats criticizing the president’s response. We checked in on the latest on that story, plus state Rep. Tony Dale joined us in-studio for an update on the state’s response.



The Quorum Report‘s Harvey Kronberg joined us to give his take on the day’s political news.

Pew Poll: 1 in 10 Americans Don’t Care about Politics

A new poll on national politics shows 1 in 10 Americans couldn’t care less about national politics.

The numbers come from the Washington-based Pew Research Center. According to their 2014 Political Polarization and Typology Survey, around 10 percent of Americans are what they call “bystanders” in the political system.

Those are people who haven’t registered to vote and mostly ignore government and public affairs. Bystanders are also overwhelmingly likely to have never contributed to a political campaign. The Pew study shows 38 percent of them are under 30 and nearly a third are Hispanic. But the biggest deciding factor seems to be education. The poll shows 67 percent of the politically disengaged didn’t pursue a degree beyond high school.

The Pew study is part of a bigger report on the nation’s political attitudes. It also includes a quiz to find out where you fit in on the political spectrum, which you can take here.


Capital Tonight: Washington Comes to Texas for Border Hearing

Border issues have been dominating the conversation in Washington lately, so on Friday, Washington came to the border. Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas led a meeting of the House Homeland Security Committee in McAllen, where many of the 52,000 undocumented children have been detained since the beginning of this year.

In Thursday’s Capital Tonight, we heard the latest in the debate over how to respond to the problem and who foots the bill.


There are plenty of questions about what caused the border crisis, but perhaps the biggest one is whether an immigration reform bill would have made a difference. Scott Braddock of the Quorum Report joined us to give his perspective.


And the state Democratic convention brought out some bold claims from both Republicans and Democrats. Gardner Selby of PolitiFact Texas and the Austin American-Statesman joined us to sort rhetoric from reality.

Abbott Threatens to Sue Feds over Illegal Immigration

Attorney General Greg Abbott says he’s planning to file a new lawsuit against the federal government over its handling of the border.

Abbott revealed his plans in an interview with Brietbart Texas, a conservative news website. His office later confirmed it with Capital Tonight. This isn’t the first time the state has threatened to sue the federal government over illegal immigration. In the 1990s, the state filed and lost a lawsuit to recover money spent on education, medical and jail costs stemming from immigrants.

This time, it appears the lawsuit would deal specifically with costs of the latest immigrant influx.  In a statement, the AG’s office said:

The State of Texas is exploring any and all options, including litigation, to address the crisis our federal government has created by not living up to their Constitutional responsibility.  If the federal government is unwilling to secure the border, the State of Texas will be forced to resort to litigation to recoup the costs incurred to respond to this crisis.

Jerry Strickland with the AG’s office said Attorney General Abbott is still waiting to hear back about a request for more federal funding for last month’s surge of state law enforcement at the border.

Capital Tonight: Non-Governmental Groups Describe Efforts to Aid Immigrant Kids

The conventions are over, and now the candidates for governor are back on the campaign trail. For the Wendy Davis team, that means going after Attorney General Greg Abbott for his handling of a legal decision on dangerous chemicals. Meanwhile, Abbott’s campaign is choosing to put Davis’ supporters on the spot. 
In Wednesday’s Capital Tonight, we checked in on the newest chapter in the fight for the state’s top political spot.


Harvey Kronberg joined us to give his take on the day’s political news, including a new report from The Dallas Morning News on donations from the head of Koch Industries’ fertilizer division to Attorney General Abbott.


While federal and state officials flock to the border demanding answers, humanitarian groups are figuring out how they can help. We spoke to Bee Moorhead from the Texas Interfaith Center about how religious leaders are working together. Plus, Austin attorney Jay Brim talked about the effort to pull together unpaid legal help for the kids involved.

Capital Tonight: Lawmakers Get Details on DPS Border Surge

Three weeks after state leaders approved an additional $1.3 million a week in state funding to boost patrols along the border, lawmakers are hearing from the Department of Public Safety on exactly how the money is being spent.

In Monday’s Capital Tonight, we heard from DPS Director Steve McCraw about how his agency is helping out at the border while federal officials deal with an influx of more than 50,000 immigrants.


Political strategists Harold Cook and Ted Delisi weighed in on how federal and state officials are handling the wave of immigrants and whether immigration reform has a chance of passing next year.


Plus, Texas Comptroller Susan Combs joined us to explain a new study looking into how much Texas school districts are spending on construction.

Capital Tonight: Congressman Doggett on Hobby Lobby Ruling, Immigration

In a major blow to part of the president’s signature health care law, Supreme Court justices ruled 5-4 that family-owned corporations with religious objections to contraceptives can refuse to pay for them under the Affordable Care Act.

In Monday’s Capital Tonight, we heard responses from both sides of the debate over religious freedom and women’s health. Plus, Congressman Lloyd Doggett talked about the influx of immigrant children, including the executive action announced by President Barack Obama from the White House.


The Quorum Report‘s Harvey Kronberg is back in Austin after covering his twelfth Texas Democratic Convention. We heard his thoughts on how the party is portraying itself this time around.


The federal guidelines for veterans employment are changing — a move that has some state officials speaking out. Shawn Deabay of the Texas Veterans Commission explained how the new rules could affect his efforts to help veterans here in Texas.


Capital Tonight: Convention-al Proceedings and the Fight for Texas


We visited our reporters on-scene in Dallas to see how the Texas State Democratic Convention is going, and checked in on some big names. Democrat Joaquin Castro, U.S. Rep. for San Antonio, District 20 joined us Friday. He answered our questions regarding the viability of their party, the immigration situation in South Texas, and his brother’s expected promotion to Washington. Also, we asked his opinion on some unconventional strategies which Republicans hope will dampen the festivities in Dallas this weekend.


Democrats weren’t the only ones busy this weekend. Attorney General Greg Abbott, Republican candidate for Texas Governor, visited South Texas to view the detention centers housing Central American minors. A sharp increase in numbers of youths crossing the border has spurred action from several Texas political players. We spoke with Abbott to hear his solution to what some are calling a “humanitarian crisis.” Campaigns for November elections hit the ground running after each party’s state convention. In the last straight away, Republican strategist Rob Johnson and Democratic strategist Harold Cook helped us review the race and predict who’s going to pull ahead. The next few months are crucial for all the campaigns, and here at Capital Tonight, we tried to determine their next steps.


Erica Grieder with Texas Monthly and Reeve Hamilton with the Texas Tribune joined us to discuss education and security. University of Texas Regent Wallace Hall has come under investigation for suspicious activity, and as the scandal approaches resolution, we talked about possible outcomes. Then, a story far from resolution, the border security concern prompted blame, but who’s really at fault? We dug into the issue in the Reporter Roundtable.

Capital Tonight: Democrats Set Stage for Convention Weekend

Fresh off their filibuster anniversary, Texas Democrats are headed to Dallas to kick off their statewide convention. In Thursday’s Capital Tonight, we got a preview of the message they’re hoping to send and how they plan to use the GOP’s recently published platform as ammunition.


The surge in Central American immigrants continues to generate headlines, but it might also be changing the conversation about immigration as a whole. James Henson with the Texas Politics Project joined us to discuss that and more.


And Texas is known as a state that’s tough on crime, but many conservatives are working to make us smarter on crime as well. Marc Levin of the Texas Public Policy Foundation joined us to explain their latest efforts and whether there’s common ground to be found with Democrats.