Vol 31, Issue 18 Print Issue

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and State Sen. Dan Patrick squared off in a debate for the upcoming runoff election for Lieutenant Governor.
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and State Sen. Dan Patrick squared off in a debate for the upcoming runoff election for Lieutenant Governor.

Runoff Races Heating Up

Also, voters in Southeast Texas go to the polls on Saturday to select a new state senator in SD-4.

The Week in the Rearview Mirror

The co-chairman of the House select committee investigating UT System Regent Wallace Hall has concluded his actions don't warrant impeachment. In a letter sent to members of the committee, state Rep. Dan Flynn, R-Van, wrote that Hall's "overbearing, obnoxious attitude and blatant disregard for procedure alone is simply not a reason to impeach."

The Allen Police Association retracted its endorsement of GOP attorney general candidate Ken Paxton, citing the candidate's recent admission that he violated Texas securities law. The action cuts a little deeper because Paxton is the group's hometown senator.

Transparency questions were also raised about Paxton's rival, Dan Branch. A story in the Tribune highlighted Branch's role in killing an amendment in 2003 aimed at forcing lawmakers to disclose when their employer is lobbying the Legislature. Branch's employer, Winstead PC, has a thriving lobby practice.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott unveiled the third plank of his education platform — calling for more resources to support online learning inititatives.

The Empower Texans PAC wrote $100,000 checks each to Dan Patrick and Ken Paxton, who are running for lieutenant governor and attorney general, respectively.

The Democratic nominee for governor in 2006, Chris Bell, endorsed Kinky Friedman in the runoff election for agriculture commissioner. In that 2006 race, Friedman qualified for the general election ballot as an independent. Some Democrats feel Friedman siphoned support from Bell, who apparently is willing to let bygones be bygones.

Bernie Tiede, whose conviction in the killing of 81-year-old Marjorie Nugent inspired a longform piece in Texas Monthly and a movie directed by Richard Linklater, was released on bond and will live in a garage apartment belonging to the director.

Disclosure: The University of Texas at Austin and Texas Monthly are corporate sponsors of The Texas Tribune. The Winstead Civic Trust was a corporate sponsor of the Tribune in 2010. Richard Linklater is a major donor to the Tribune. Rusty Hardin was a major donor to the Tribune in 2012 and 2013. Winstead PC founder Pete Winstead is a donor to the Tribune. A complete list of Texas Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.

Political People and their Moves

Faith S. Johnson of Cedar Hill was named to the Public Safety Commission by Gov. Rick Perry for a term to expire Dec. 31, 2019.

Dr. Austin I. King of Abilene was elected president of the Texas Medical Association over the weekend at the society's annual conference in Fort Worth. The otolaryngologist — an ear, nose and throat specialist — is also married to state Rep. Susan King, R-Abilene, a surgical nurse.

Former state Rep. Valinda Bolton has hired on at the Department of Family and Protective Services as community affairs liaison for Child Protective Services. For the past year, she had been working with the Texas Water Foundation.

Amanda Montagne Martin has hired on with the Texas Association of Business as its new government affairs manager specializing in insurance and healthcare issues. She was formerly on the staff of state Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, where she was legislative director and general counsel.

Former House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee Director Vanessa Fuentes has hired on as senior grassroots director for the Southwest affiliate of the American Heart Association.

HD-10 candidate John Wray was endorsed by the political arm of Texans for Lawsuit Reform in the May 27 Republican primary runoff. He is vying with T.J. Fabby for the party's nomination to succeed House Appropriations Chairman Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie.

The political arm of the Texas Medical Association endorsed Linda Koop in the HD-102 GOP primary runoff against incumbent Stefani Carter.

Four former Plano mayors, including former state Sen. Florence Shapiro, endorsed Glenn Callison in the HD-66 GOP primary runoff against Matt Shaheen.

Disclosure: The Texas Medical Association, the Texas Water Foundation and the Texas Association of Business are corporate sponsors of The Texas Tribune. The American Heart Association was a corporate sponsor in 2012 and 2013 of the Tribune. A complete list of Texas Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.