Vol 30, Issue 41 Print Issue

Chairman Barry Smitherman of the Railroad Commission of Texas in his office, May 31, 2013.
Chairman Barry Smitherman of the Railroad Commission of Texas in his office, May 31, 2013.

Measuring Attorney General Candidates on Smart Meters

Unlike their counterparts in the lieutenant governor’s race, the Republicans vying to be the state’s next attorney general have largely refrained from drawing any knives in public. But they're coming out around the issue of smart meters.

The Week in the Rearview Mirror

Texas abortion providers’ Monday victory was short-lived. The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday reversed a federal district court ruling that found part of the state's new abortion regulations unconstitutional, meaning the provisions of House Bill 2 could take effect immediately if state officials choose to enforce them.

The Texas Tribune polled all candidates running for statewide office to determine whether they support or oppose Proposition 6. And they built a table that tells you where each of them stands.

In his first major policy address as a gubernatorial candidate, Attorney General Greg Abbott proposed tighter constitutional limits on state spending and increased constraints on the Rainy Day Fund.

Sen. Wendy Davis, the Democratic candidate for governor, offered her harshest assessment yet of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, criticizing the Republican's role in the government shutdown. She also rejected comparisons between Cruz's actions and her June filibuster. 

Gov. Rick Perry called the ongoing impeachment investigation into University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall “extraordinary political theater,” and said his appointee’s quest for voluminous records from the University of Texas at Austin was justified. 

A top immigration lawyer says activist immigrants like the DREAM 9 in Arizona betray the cause they champion and can dilute important cases like that of Carlos Gutierrez, who sought asylum in the U.S. after criminal gangs cut his legs off. 

Political People and their Moves

Jake Ellzey of Midlothian, a career naval aviator, will join the Republican primary in HD-10, where state Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Midlothian, is retiring next year. 

State District Judge Elizabeth Coker of Polk County agreed to resign and to never sit as a judge again, after the State Commission on Judicial Conduct investigated complaints that, among other things, she had texted a prosecutor during a trial to suggest questions in an attempt to help the state win a conviction. The commission didn’t make any official findings, and the judge didn’t admit to anything. But she agreed to quit and not ever return to the bench. 

Former state Rep. Mike “Tuffy” Hamilton told KIII-TV he will run for Orange County judge, a seat opening with the retirement of Carl Thibodeaux.

Karin Johanson will oversee Democrat Wendy Davis’s campaign for governor. Johanson was most recently the campaign manager for U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisconsin. 

Dallas developer Donald Huffines said he will challenge state Sen. John Carona of Dallas in next year’s GOP primary. Huffines said he has never run before; Carona has been in the Legislature since 1990.

Gerald Parker Jr. is the new veep for public health preparedness and response at the Texas A&M Health Science Center. He was previously deputy assistant secretary of defense.

No surprise here: Texas A&M’s board of regents approved the appointment of former state Sen. Tommy Williams as vice chancellor of federal and state relations for the A&M System. Gov. Rick Perry hasn’t called one yet, but there will be a special session to replace Williams until his term is up in 2016.