Vol 33, Issue 12 Print Issue

Texas Lieutenant Gov. Dan Patrick claps while Senator Ted Cruz speaking during his event in Columbia following  the Republican presidential primary, Saturday night, February 20, 2016.
Texas Lieutenant Gov. Dan Patrick claps while Senator Ted Cruz speaking during his event in Columbia following the Republican presidential primary, Saturday night, February 20, 2016.

Dan Patrick Draws Line in the Sand on Brokered Convention

Also, protesters push John Cornyn to take action on Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland and Ted Cruz's suggestion to patrol Muslim neighborhoods earns criticism from an overseas President Obama.

The Week in the Rearview Mirror

A Texas-based Planned Parenthood affiliate on Thursday moved to join a federal lawsuit filed in California against the anti-abortion group behind undercover videos of the organization’s clinics.

A Collin County grand jury looking into a 2004 land sale tied to a business group involving Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has decided to drop its investigation, a lawyer for the McKinney Republican said Wednesday.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz picked up two key endorsements Wednesday: one from former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and another from powerful conservative group Club for Growth. 

U.S. Reps. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, and Blake Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi, have introduced legislation designed to roll back the automatic benefits and legal status that Cuban immigrants receive shortly after reaching U.S. ports.

Ted Cruz on Tuesday night split two Republican nominating contests with Donald Trump, defeating the billionaire in Utah but getting blown out by him in Arizona. Cruz was set to win the Utah caucuses with 69 percent of the vote, putting him on track to collect all 40 of the state's delegates.

Former Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Brian Encinia appeared before a state district judge Tuesday and entered a not guilty plea to a perjury charge stemming from his arrest of Sandra Bland.

Texas regulators on Thursday approved the Ray L. Hunt family’s high-stakes plan to purchase and reshape the state's largest electric utility. But they added major revisions, prolonging the battle to own Oncor.

In another major case concerning Texas women’s reproductive care, the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday will consider if the right to religious freedom is broad enough to completely exempt nonprofits with religious objections to birth control from providing women access to it through their insurance plans.

As Americans were learning about the latest terrorist attacks in Western Europe, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz called for law enforcement targeting of Muslim neighborhoods, while also taking swipes at both President Barack Obama and Donald Trump. 

Speaking in Manhattan Wednesday, Ted Cruz sought to find common cause with New York Republicans and reconcile his bashing of “New York values.” Cruz is seeking to perform well in the state’s Republican presidential primary to catch up with Donald Trump in the hunt for delegates.

Texas’ suburban population continues to surge with growth in some suburban counties outpacing  the state’s biggest cities, new U.S. Census Bureau Figures show. Texas gained almost half a million new residents from July 2014 to July 2015. Hays County, between Austin and San Antonio, was again the state's fastest growing county, and ranked fifth in the nation.

During an hours-long committee on border security and immigration Wednesday, Republican Bexar County Sheriff Susan Pamerleau was called out for doing what some argue only Democrats do: Let deportable immigrants out of jail.

Disclosure: Oncor was a corporate sponsor of The Texas Tribune in 2012. Planned Parenthood was a corporate sponsor in 2011. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.

Political People and their Moves

Gov. Greg Abbott has appointed Ryan Larson of Hutto judge for the 395th Judicial District Court, based in Williamson County. Currently head administrative law judge at the Railroad Commission, he also counts a stint in then AG Abbott’s shop as assistant attorney general. He’s also the GOP nominee for the seat in the general election, having won the March primary election.

Abbott named Stuart W. Stedman of Houston vice chairman of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Stedman was appointed to the board on March 9 for a term to expire Aug. 31, 2021.

Alston Beinhorn of Catarina and Mary Beth Delano of Corpus Christi were appointed by Abbott to the Nueces River Authority Board of Directors for terms to expire Feb. 1, 2017. Additionally, Dan Leyendecker of Corpus Christi and Trace Burton of San Antonio were appointed for terms to expire Feb. 1, 2019.

Abbott appointed three people — Bret McCoy of Omaha, Mike Sandefur of Texarkana and Katie Stedman of Mount Pleasant — to the Sulphur River Basin Authority Board of Directors for terms to expire Feb. 1, 2021.

Abbott appointed Aaron Bulkley of Hunt to the Upper Guadalupe River Authority for a term to expire Feb. 1, 2019.

Trey Hill and Kelly Lovell, both of Friendswood, were appointed by Abbott to the Board of Pilot Commissioners for Galveston County Ports for terms to expire on Feb. 1, 2020.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has been named to the executive committee of the Republican Lieutenant Governor’s Association (RLGA), which touts itself as the only national organization supporting Republican lieutenant governors and candidates. Patrick announced that he will host the RLGA in Austin this June, marking the first time the group has met in Texas.

The Texas Association of Business’ PAC announced this week its choices in the GOP primary runoff elections. It endorsed two House incumbents — New Braunfels' Doug Miller (HD-73) and Baytown’s Wayne Smith (HD-128) — and Bryan Hughes and Susan King for the open seats in SD-1 and SD-24, respectively. Other endorsements included: Jodey Arrington (CD-19); Ernest Bailes (HD-18); Justin Holland (HD-32); Scott Cosper (HD-54); and Lynn Stucky (HD-64).

Democratic HD-27 runoff candidate Angelique Bartholomew announced an endorsement Wednesday from the African-American Police Officers League (AAPOL).

Justin Holland, Republican candidate in the runoff election to represent the North Texas-based HD-33, announced Thursday an endorsement from the Dallas Police Association.

Todd Kimbriel, who is currently the deputy executive director for the state’s Department of Information Resources, is adding an additional title — chief information officer for the state of Texas. He served for a spell as the interim executive director at DIR before the hire of Stacey Napier for the position.

Ryan, the influential tax services firm, announced Friday that it has hired former Rick Perry presidential campaign manager Jeff Miller to lead the advocacy and legislative affairs teams for its newly formed Ryan Advocacy group. He will work out of Ryan’s Austin office.

Disclosure: The Texas Association of Business and Ryan are corporate sponsors of The Texas TribuneA complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.