Davis Team’s First Statewide Ad Attacks Abbott over 1998 Decision

The Wendy Davis team has revealed its first statewide TV ad, an attack on Gregg Abbott over his ruling in a 1998 case involving a door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman and the accusation of rape.

Entitled “A Texas Story,” the 60-second ad refers to a 1993 case in which a woman accused a door-to-door Kirby vacuum cleaner salesman of raping her in her own home. The salesman was not prosecuted for the crime, but the case went before the Texas Supreme Court after the woman sued the Kirby company for punitive damages, claiming that a simple background check would have shown the man’s criminal history and prevented the sexual assault.

The court ruled in 6-3 favor of the woman, with then-Justice Abbott joining in the dissenting side. In their dissenting opinion, Abbott and Justice Priscilla Owen said Kirby “owed no duty” to the victim under the circumstances of the case.

You can watch the full ad below.

Abbott Campaign Launches ‘Major’ Statewide Ad

The Greg Abbott campaign announced Thursday it is launching a “major statewide television ad buy.”

The ad features Attorney General Abbott’s mother-in-law discussing his values. The 30-second spot is in Spanish.

The Republican nominee for governor has often reminded voters that if he wins, his wife Cecilia would become the state’s first Latina First Lady.

This is not the first Spanish-language ad the Abbott campaign has released during the general election season. Back in June, another one aired during the World Cup on Spanish-language stations. Abbott faces the Democratic nominee, State Sen. Wendy Davis, in November.

Battleground Texas Releases First Campaign Video

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.

Capital Tonight: Congressman Doggett Reacts to Border Situation

The state of Texas is making its legal case in defense of new requirements for abortion facilities set to be implemented next month.

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.


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.

Capital Tonight: One-on-One with Sen. Dan Patrick

The state’s abortion law was back in court Monday, along with much of the controversy that surrounded its passage.

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.

Capital Tonight: Legal Stances Set in Second Battle Over Abortion Law

Another part of the state’s abortion law will soon be on trial, nearly a month before it’s set to go into effect. On Monday, opponents of House Bill 2 will be back in court, challenging the state’s requirement that abortion facilities meet the standards of ambulatory surgical centers.

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.

Plus, Gardner Selby joined us to put two claims to the PolitiFact truth-test — both involving statewide candidates. 

Austin Abortion Clinic Closes Doors

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.


Capital Tonight: Is the Border Issue Responsible for Perry’s Polling Bump?

It appears Gov. Rick Perry’s handling of the border crisis is resonating with Republican voters. According to a new Fox News poll, 12 percent of the Republicans polled said they’d like to see Perry become their party’s nominee for President in 2016. The results have him tied for first place with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.

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.

Capital Tonight: Lawmakers Examine Cost of Border Push

DPS officers have been sent to the border and National Guard troops are on the way. Now, lawmakers are taking a moment to figure out whether the extra manpower is making a difference.

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.


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.

Capital Tonight: Border Sheriffs Weigh In on Immigrant Situation

On the same day a federal appeals court in Virginia ruled against that state’s same-sex marriage ban, a group in Texas is renewing its push for marriage equality.

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.


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 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.