Vol 33, Issue 31 Print Issue

The Week in the Rearview Mirror

***We are taking a quick one-week hiatus for Summer Break. We will not publish Aug. 19, but will be back the following Friday.***

Former Bush adviser William Inboden said Donald Trump has shown no interest in “learning the responsible behavior of a statesman” and warned that the GOP standard-bearer would risk the country’s national security and diplomatic relations abroad.

Congressional ethics investigators have decided to take a further look at U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, R-Austin, over a legislative amendment he pushed that allegedly benefited his car dealership.

Jeff Wood was outside in a pickup when his partner killed a Kerrville convenience store clerk in 1996, but he was sentenced to death under Texas' felony murder statute, commonly known as the law of parties.

A federal judge on Wednesday approved a plan that says it won't be mandatory for Texans to present photo identification in order to vote in the November general election.

A group led by an anti-abortion advocate appears to be one of the largest recipients of state funding from the “Healthy Texas Women” program, which lawmakers recently created to help women find health care services paid for by the state.

Ted Cruz, seeking to reconnect with Texans after a brutal presidential race, told business leaders in San Antonio on Wednesday that the United States needs a "return to common sense."

The University of Houston has been burned before when it comes to the politics of college sports realignment. This time, its supporters are lobbying the state's top politicians for some help winning an invitation to the Big 12.

Attorney General Ken Paxton telling county clerks they do not have to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples is not a sign of "professional misconduct," according to the State Bar of Texas.

Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine Tuesday in Austin denounced Republican rival Donald Trump for comments perceived as a threat against Hillary Clinton.

In a rebuke of a private firm’s plans to build a bullet train between Houston and Dallas, local officials in rural southeastern Texas moved Tuesday to restrict high-speed rail development in their corner part of the state.

The Texas Attorney General's Office and University of Texas at Austin administrators on Monday asked a federal judge to throw out a lawsuit by three UT-Austin professors that seeks to block implementation of the state's new campus carry law.

Disclosure: The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Houston have been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.

Political People and their Moves

Gov. Greg Abbott has named Robert E. “Bobby” Bell of Edna, Jackson County's district attorney, the judge of the 267th Judicial District Court. The judicial district covers Calhoun, DeWitt, Goliad, Jackson, Refugio and Victoria counties. He was appointed to a term running through the November election.

Abbott named Laurie Woloszyn of Longview to serve on the Sabine River Authority Board of Directors for a term to expire July 6, 2021. She is the county auditor for Gregg County.

Abbott named Clifton “Cliff” Bickerstaff of Amarillo to the Board for Lease of Texas Parks and Wildlife Lands. The organization leases TPW property. Bickerstaff, executive vice president of Amarillo National Bank, will serve a term to expire Sept. 1, 2017.

Abbott named Mark Bronson of Fort Worth the presiding officer of the Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners. He appointed Bronson and two other doctors — Nicholas “Nick” Baucum of Corpus Christi and Gus Ramirez of Tyler — to terms on the board that expire Feb. 1, 2021.

Steven Albright has been named the new budget director for the governor’s office.He served previously as deputy policy director and succeeds Ky Ash, who is joining the Austin office of K&L Gates LLP where he will work in the firm’s public policy and law practice.

Walter V. Wendler, chancellor emeritus of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, is set to become president of West Texas A&M University. Regents for the A&M system named him the sole finalist for the job late last week.

David Edmonson, the deputy chief of staff to retiring state Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, will leave the Texas Senate next week. He’s leaving for Austin Tech, a new nonprofit where he will serve as executive director.

Consulting firm Allyn Media has hired Shawn Williams away from the Dallas Police Department where he handled community engagement and media relations for the past three years. Before that, he worked in the mayor’s office where he was a deputy chief of staff.

Consulting firm The Blocker Group has added Greg Macksood to its roster. He was most recently at Chesapeake Energy where he had the title of senior director of government relations.

The Texas Public Policy Foundation has named former pediatric cardiologist Deane Waldman to be the new director of its Center for Health Care Policy. The free market think tank noted that Waldman practiced for 37 years and “reluctantly retired” when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act in 2012.

Robert Potts, president and CEO of the Dixon Water Foundation, has joined the board of the Texas Agricultural Land Trust.

Disclosure: Amarillo National Bank, K&L Gates, Texas A&M University and the Texas Public Policy Foundation have been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.