Dewhurst launches first runoff TV ad

With the Texas primary runoff election a little more than a month away, the post-primary political ad lull is about to end.

The US Senate race has been contentious from the beginning, with Ted Cruz accusing Lt. Gov. Dewhurst of pandering to the Republican establishment, and Dewhurst attacking Cruz as a Washington DC insider.

Now, the TV ad fight is renewed. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst released his first of the runoff season, today. Much like his early spots, the ad takes aim at what Dewhurst calls Cruz’s legal "representation of a Chinese company that killed American jobs and stole intellectual property from an American businessman."

You can watch the ad, here:

Rep. Doggett criticizes Holder contempt vote

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett is criticizing a House committee vote to hold U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt, for his refusal to hand over documents related to the ‘Fast and Furious’ operation.

He released this statement today:

“Families along I-35 have plenty of contempt for Congress unresponsive because of politically-motivated distractions like today’s contempt vote. While any executive privilege should be construed narrowly, this Committee went too fast and folks have reason to be furious that this Republican Congress is ignoring real concerns, like greater economic opportunity, more affordable healthcare, and stronger public education.”


Our Washington D.C. bureau spoke with Doggett as well as Rep. Blake Farenthold, who was on the House committee that recommended the contempt charges. We’ll hear from both Congressmen on YNN, later this evening.

Obama invokes executive privilege to keep ‘Fast and Furious’ documents secret

Republicans are taking aim at President Obama, after the White House invoked executive privilege; refusing to turn over documents related to the so-called ‘Fast and Furious’ scandal.

The House Oversight Committee had requested the documents, before it decides if Attorney General Eric Holder should face contempt charges related to the scandal.

Republicans have questioned what Holder knew about the passing of illegally purchased weapons across the border to Mexico.

Last week, Sen. John Cornyn called for Holder’s resignation. Today, he released this statement:

“The Attorney General and now the President have refused to turn over documents to investigators and failed to hold anyone accountable for his department’s mishandling of Fast and Furious, which lead to the death of Brian Terry.

“Today’s vote could have been avoided, but the Attorney General and President Obama’s insistence on stonewalling left no other option.”


In a letter to the president, Holder said that releasing the internal documents would have damaging consequences. The White House, meanwhile, is accusing House Republicans of engaging in a "politically motivated, taxpayer-funded election-year fishing expedition.”

Ron Paul still raking in campaign cash

Rep. Ron Paul isn’t actively campaigning for president and he admits he won’t be his party’s nominee. But that isn’t stopping campaign contributions from rolling in. Politico is reporting that Paul raised $1.78 million in the month of May. That left the Texas Republican with more than $3 million in the bank.

Meanwhile, Paul supporters are sure to make their mark on the Republican National Convention in August. The Paul campaign announced last week that he’ll stand with his 200 delegates at a rally in Tampa on Sunday, the 26th; a day before the official RNC commences.

In an email, Paul said, "The goal of this rally is to kick off the week for our delegates, set the proper respectful and positive tone, and prove to the GOP establishment that you and I are the future of the Republican Party – and that we stand behind our beliefs 100%."

Third Emerging Technology Fund recipient goes bankrupt



Another company awarded money from Gov. Rick Perry’s Emerging Technology Fund filed for bankruptcy last month.

Nano-Tailor’s CEO says the company folded because the state did not fully invest up to $1.25 million.

In 2010, Nano-Tailor received $250,000 in taxpayer money. The company’s CEO says it could not meet performance requirements added to the original contract.

Two other tech fund recipients filed for bankruptcy in 2010.

Nano-Tailor’s filing brings the total amount of failed investments to $2.5 million.

Perry launched the fund in 2005. Since then, it has awarded $370 million to more than 100 companies.

Health and Human Services Commissioner to retire



Courtesy: Texas Health and Human Services


Texas Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Tom Suehs announced Thursday he’ll retire at the end of August. He headed the HHSC for three years.

“Thank you for the opportunity to serve our great state in a position that touches the lives of every Texan,” Suehs wrote in a letter to the Governor, according to a news release. “It has truly been an honor and a privilege.”

Suehs was appointed by Perry in 2009. He’s worked in state government for 26 years.

“In his more than 25 years of dedicated service to the people of Texas, Tom Suehs has worked tirelessly to improve the health and wellbeing of families across the state," Gov. Perry said in a statement. "During his tenure as Texas Health and Human Services executive commissioner, Tom helped steer the health and human services enterprise through significant and much-needed reforms, ensuring our taxpayer dollars are used effectively and efficiently to help our most vulnerable Texans."

Suehs’ announcement comes just weeks after state Medicaid director Billy Milwee announced he would step down.

Cornyn calls for Holder resignation

Senator John Cornyn is the latest Republican to call for US Attorney General Eric Holder’s resignation. The call came during a heated exchange during a Senate Judiciary committee hearing today.

Cornyn accused Holder of "violating the public trust" and said he hoped "President Obama appoints someone who is up to the challenge" of putting justice before politics.

Cornyn has been one of Holder’s biggest opponents and opposed his 2009 nomination. However, he’d held back on calling for his resignation, until now.

Holder could face contempt charges in the wake of the ‘Fast and Furious’ gun walking scandal.
Many Republicans have questioned what Holder knew about the passing of illegally purchased weapons across the boarder to suspected weapon smugglers Mexico. Those weapons would eventually land in the hands of Mexican drug cartel members and one would be used to shoot and kill a US Border Patrol agent.

Cornyn also questioned Holder’s refusal to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate leaks of confidential information to the media.

Holder rejected Cornyn’s call to step down. He said, "I don’t have any intention of resigning. I heard the White House press officer say yesterday that he has absolute confidence in me. I don’t have any reason to believe that, in fact, is not the case."

The House Oversight committee with discuss the contempt charges on June 20.

Here’s the video of Cornyn’s full statement:

Rand Paul endorses Mitt Romney

His father is technically still running for President, but Sen. Rand Paul is formally throwing his support behind Mitt Romney. He made that announcement last night, on FOX news.

In an interview on CNN today, Rand Paul said "I’ve always supported my dad. He’s always been my first choice, he’ll always be my first choice." Paul said Romney’s nomination is inevitable, and he’s talked to Romney about his support of his father’s biggest campaign issues.

Romney released this statement following the endorsement:

“I am honored to have earned the endorsement of Rand Paul. Senator Paul has been a leading voice in the effort to scale back the size and reach of government and promote liberty. Over the past three and half years, President Obama has made government more and more of a presence in our lives, and Americans can’t afford four more years of the same failed policies. As President, I will reform the federal government and make it smaller, simpler, and smarter. I am grateful for Senator Paul’s support and look forward to working with him to get America back on the right track.”

Rand Paul said he did not know if his father would ultimately endorse Romney.

Perry’s Dewhurst endorsement ‘booed’ at GOP Convention

This year’s Texas Republican Party convention is offering candidates and their supporters a rare opportunity to sway delegates before the runoff elections.

It’s clear U-S Senate Candidate Ted Cruz has his fair share of support in Fort Worth this weekend. Gov. Rick Perry was greeted by cheers as he addressed the convention this afternoon. But when he voiced his support for Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, he was met by a loud chorus of what sounded like ‘Cruuuuzzz,’ sprinkled in with some ‘boooooos.’

Perry told reporters at the convention he thought they were cheering "Dewwww." You can watch the video clip below, to for yourself.

Both Lt. Gov. Dewhurst and Ted Cruz will be guests on tonight’s Capital Tonight. We’ll be interviewing them from the convention.

Texas officials to EPA: Leave us alone

It’s no secret Texas Republicans aren’t huge fans of the Environmental Protection Agency. Texas is suing the agency and multiple Republican candidates have campaigned on shutting it down all together.

Bryan Shaw, chairman of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and Barry Smitherman, chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission, testified before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Wednesday on EPA enforcement priorities and practices.

"We understand that EPA is continuing to expand its power despite restrictions imposed by the U.S. Supreme Court by moving forward with its controversial ‘waters of the U.S.’ guidance under the Clean Water Act, which would significantly expand EPA’s regulatory reach," Smitherman testified.

Former EPA administrator Alfredo Armendariz, who once used the word "crucify" when referring to EPA enforcement, was a no-show at the hearing. He was chair of the south central region EPA until he resigned last spring.

"The fact that Al Armendariz chose to shield himself behind his lawyers rather than answer simple questions about his time at the EPA demonstrates he has something to hide and is fearful of the consequences that may result from his time as EPA Region 6 Administrator,” Smitherman said in a press release.

Shaw’s testimony mostly centered around the state’s Flexible Permits Program, saying it gave "owners and operators greater flexibility and control" and "reduced emissions and complied with all state health standards and all applicable federal Clean Air Act requirements" when it was established in 1994. He testified that it took the EPA more than a decade to tell Texas the program didn’t comply with federal regulations.