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February 20, 2020      11:54 AM

MJ Hegar raised $638,000, has $850,000 cash on hand

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February 20, 2020      8:38 AM

Focused on flipping the Texas House, Rep. Celia Israel takes a pass on running for Senate

Rep. Israel says her focus is working as Chair of the Texas House Democratic Campaign Committee - organizing and raising campaign cash - to build a majority in this year's elections

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February 20, 2020      8:35 AM

Debt collection up, pot arrests down in latest court statistics

Rise in debt cases is attributed to the Trump Administration’s loosening of debt-collection regulations

Annual court statistics unveiled at the Texas Judicial Council indicate a sharp rise in civil cases around debt and eviction last year and a steep drop in both prosecution and conviction of misdemeanor marijuana cases.

Angela Garcia, the chief data officer at the Texas Office of Court Administration, presented an overview of the numbers this past week, outlining one-year and five-year trends in case load across municipal, county, district and the Texas Supreme Court.

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By Kimberly Reeves

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February 19, 2020      4:56 PM

SB: Texas Senate has options after Patrick doubled down on rules change

In renewing his promise to push for a simple majority threshold, Patrick admits his “team” may be smaller than the GOP Caucus; senators may fear Patrick’s role on the Legislative Redistricting Board but there is almost always a workaround when playing legislative chess

Out with the old and in with the new. As we prepare for the imminent free-for-all to fill the soon-to-be-vacated seat held by Sen. Kirk Watson, it’s appropriate to reflect on the environment in the Texas Senate and how it may be about to change.

Just after the filing deadline passed in December, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick was proud of the fact that none of the GOP senators who serve in Austin had drawn a primary challenger. “These senators told the people of their districts what they were going to do – and they did it – which is why no one is challenging them,” Patrick said.

And why would any upstart candidate challenge them from the right? Senators had data on their side. During session, it was fairly well known that Patrick would provide senators with individualized polling results showing how voters in their districts felt about his priority bills right before those measures would be debated on the floor. A lack of GOP Senate primaries may mean Republicans are liberated to an extent. In short: Retribution for them can only be dealt out by Patrick, not the voters in safe Republican districts.

But Patrick doesn’t need to endorse primary challengers or fund insurgent campaigns – the way he exacted revenge on former Sen. Craig Estes – to find significant leverage with senators and keep them on his “team.”

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By Scott Braddock

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February 18, 2020      5:38 PM

A scramble for a senate seat

Members of the Austin delegation along with local officials and activists already practicing their best Senate saunter

“Good morning, senator,” must have escaped the lips of more than one Travis County Democrat as they looked into a mirror today as news was breaking of the retirement of Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, who surprised political observers with his abrupt announcement.

Rumors of a Texas Senate Democrat stepping down picked up steam last night on social media – yes, spurred on by me – and ended this morning as the veteran member said he is resigning effective April 30 to take a job at the University of Houston as the first dean of the Hobby School of Public Affairs. Congrats, sir.

Before the dust could settle and all the praise could be heaped on Watson for his years of service, names were being floated and the Travis County delegation was meeting to talk about the dominoes that will inevitably fall. Here’s the down and dirty version of what we’re hearing at Buzz Central.

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February 18, 2020      5:29 PM

Speaker Bonnen appoints newly elected members to committees

Rep. Gates - Appropriations Committee; Pensions, Investments, & Financial Services Committee Rep. Birabil - Higher Education Committee; Urban Affairs Committee Rep. Eastman - Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence Committee; Natural Resources Committee

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February 18, 2020      8:13 AM

Sen. Watson to resign for job at University of Houston

Longtime Democratic senator from Austin will become the first dean of the University of Houston's Hobby School of Public Affairs. Resignation effective April 30

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February 18, 2020      12:12 AM

Rumor mill: Apparently Gardner Pate is set to succeed Matt Hirsch in the Office of the Governor

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February 17, 2020      5:46 PM

Some on commission on judicial selection seem to lean toward retention elections

But it is early in its work, with the chairman saying the commission is in its “information gathering phase.”

The Texas Commission on Judicial Section has at least six more meetings before issuing its report, but the group does appear to agree on one point: voters will be a part of the process.

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February 17, 2020      5:44 PM

Video: Luisa del Rosal explains why she is a Republican

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February 15, 2020      8:06 AM

Clayton Williams passed away

From the Midland Reporter-Telegram: "Clayton Williams was surrounded by family and loved ones in Midland when he died from complications of a bout with pneumonia, according to a long-time work associate. Williams was 88."

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February 14, 2020      4:07 PM

People on the Move

New faces in the lobby, a comms pro leaves the governor’s office, staffer moves and more

HOUSTON – The Bayou City has perhaps never felt more like the center of the political universe with presidential campaigns descending on Houston, pushing in their chips on Harris County, rounding up endorsements and doing damage control following national controversies. It was good to visit with as many of you as possible last night at the 2020 Harris County Democratic Party’s Johnson, Rayburn, Richards Dinner.

Mike Bloomberg’s “Mike for Black America” rally at the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum was pretty masterful stagecraft as the former mayor who previously said “the way you get the guns out of the kids’ hands is to throw them against the wall and frisk them” was embraced by Mayor Sylvester Turner and other African-American leaders. Turner said his thinking was influenced by the fact that Bloomberg now acknowledges the policy was wrong and has strongly apologized. Meantime back at the JRR dinner, Julian Castro, stumping for Elizabeth Warren, was taking thinly veiled swipes at Bloomberg who preceded him on that stage as well.


Meantime, back in Austin y’all have been very busy sending along career news to ksbraddock@gmail.com and putting POTM in the subject line. Appreciate it very much and apologies for publishing at a different time this week. I know most of you like your POTM with lunch on Fridays.

Here’s the latest edition of People on the Move.

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By Scott Braddock

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