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January 20, 2022      6:42 PM

ABC News: FBI raid on home of Rep. Cuellar is related to Azerbaijan probe, source says

The breaking news from ABC is here.

 

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January 20, 2022      2:49 PM

Campaign finance reports show enthusiasm at the top of the ticket, little shape to down ballot races crowded with legislative hopefuls

Gov. Abbott, Beto O’Rourke reporting millions raised, Paxton is outraised by Guzman but maintains as cash on hand advantage, open Texas House races are a free for all

Campaign season is getting into full swing and the always riveting January semiannual reports are coming in. As always, we’ll do our level best to bring you the interesting numbers in the top races to watch but feel free to reach out and suggest anything important that you think we missed.

Let’s start at the top of the ticket and then get into the battles for Texas House and Texas Senate districts.

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By James Russell

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January 19, 2022      5:32 PM

Gov. Abbott is set to possibly start a full-court press for school vouchers as soon as this week

Gov. Greg Abbott has promised to announce a parental bill of rights tomorrow, and many are speculating that bill of rights will include a full-throated endorsement of vouchers.

Abbott spoke at the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Policy Orientation at lunch on Wednesday, touting Texas exceptionalism, a sunny view of the current state of the Texas economy and a promise to respect the rights of parents in their child’s education.

“I’ve supported public schools. Also, I’m a product of public schools. Public schools have a role to play,” Abbott said. “But, in the end, we need to come to grips with the reality that no public program can replace the role that parents play in the education of their children.”

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By Kimberly Reeves

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January 19, 2022      5:18 PM

FBI activity near home of Rep. Cuellar in South Texas

The breaking news from MyRGV.

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January 19, 2022      5:12 PM

Paxton tests positive for covid, is said to be very sick

He has canceled in-person meetings, is taking meetings on zoom, etc. One of his advisers asks folks of faith to pray for him

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January 19, 2022      1:29 PM

Commissioner Miller severs ties with Todd Smith

“Todd Smith and I have mutually agreed to terminate his association with my campaign effective immediately. My campaign and the TDA will cooperate fully with any agency involved in this matter so it can be resolved openly, fairly and judiciously," Miller said.

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January 18, 2022      5:32 PM

Todd Smith, top consultant to Sid Miller, indicted in Travis County

Indicted on charges of theft and bribery in hemp license "shakedown"

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January 18, 2022      10:36 AM

Beto raised $7.2 million in six weeks, Abbott raised $18.9 million in 6 months

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January 17, 2022      5:20 PM

PUC shifts strategy on electric reliability infractions

“Let this serve as a notice to all our stakeholders that, going forward, we’re not going to renegotiate past settlements,” Chairman Lake said. “Going forward, we’re going to look ahead.”

The Public Utility Commission has agreed to take more focused direction to address violations of electric service reliability, folding ongoing violation settlements into annual reporting.

The straightforward policy decision – made at the commission’s last meeting – was buried in the middle of the electric docket.

Both Entergy Texas and CenterPoint Energy had lingering settlements for specific past violations without a clear timeline for corrective actions.

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By Kimberly Reeves

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January 17, 2022      5:13 PM

Texas REALTORS release initial slate for 2022 primary

It can be downloaded here.

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January 17, 2022      12:26 PM

Candidate Don Huffines confirms $12M raised as QR reported two weeks ago after Braddock radio interview

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January 14, 2022      7:00 PM

People on the Move

Lobby moves, significant staffing changes, and more top the roundup this week

Texas primaries are in full swing, but is there enthusiasm down ballot?

Seems like the lobby is mostly holding fire in all these wide open seats where many of the races have no shape just yet because there are so many candidates. Most of those will have to go to runoffs before folks in Ausitn really take sides. But toward the top of the ticket, Gov. Greg Abbott and his GOP opponents are crisscrossing the state while Democrat Beto O’Rourke is largely moving his campaigning online for the moment as Omicron rages. And you gotta love that Sid Miller and James White are practically already shouting at each other in public as they face off for the GOP nomination for Ag Commissioner.

Giddyup, y’all.

Meantime, you People are Movin’. “The only thing that stays the same is everything changes,” goes the line in the old country song written by Bobby Braddock. No relation. Lobby moves, significant staffing changes, and more top the roundup this week. If you have career news the Texas Capitol community needs to know about – whether it’s your news or gossip – let me know: ksbraddock@gmail.com is the address and POTM should be in the subject line so I don’t lose track. Thank you.

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

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By Scott Braddock

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January 14, 2022      6:38 PM

Source: Rep. Eddie Lucio III notified Gov. Abbott today of resignation effective at the end of the month

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January 14, 2022      2:00 PM

Numerous GOP officeholders join Paxton in asking Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to reconsider ruling that he cannot unilaterally prosecute elections law cases

The filing is here.

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January 13, 2022      5:15 PM

Beto and mayors slam Abbott for military operations on the border, Abbott says they are playing politics

“He is not creating order. He is creating more chaos on the border," O'Rourke says; Abbott counters “It is offensive for any of these people raising the issues to politicize the issue of a military member losing their life"

Challenger Beto O’Rourke and Texas mayors criticized Gov. Greg Abbott’s Operation Lone Star on the same day its legitimacy is challenged in a Travis County courtroom.

Abbott chose the Rio Grande Valley as the location to announce his re-election bid, touting his funding for local roads and higher education, as well as Texas exceptionalism. On his website, he highlights his commitment to build a border wall and sending National Guard troops to reinforce border agents in a measure known as the Operation Lone Star.

Brownsville Mayor Trey Mendez, on a conference call with reporters arranged by O’Rourke’s campaign along with Austin Mayor Steve Adler, said Operation Lone Star was unnecessary.

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By Kimberly Reeves

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January 13, 2022      5:07 PM

Harry Bradley, former Superintendent of the Texas State Cemetery, passed away

Arrangements are pending at Weed-Corley-Fish; services are expected next week

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January 13, 2022      3:03 PM

Supreme Court blocks nationwide vaccine and testing mandate for large businesses, allows health care worker vaccine mandate to take effect

From CNN:

The Supreme Court on Thursday blocked President Joe Biden's vaccine or testing requirement aimed at large businesses, but it allowed a vaccine mandate for certain health care workers to go into effect nationwide.

In freezing a lower court opinion that allowed the regulation to go into effect nationwide, the majority sent a clear message the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, charged with protecting workplace safety, overstepped its authority in issuing such a sweeping emergency directive that would impact millions of workers. In contrast, the justices said that a separate agency could issue a rule to protect the health and safety of Medicare and Medicaid patients.

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January 13, 2022      10:00 AM

In GOP primary to lead Texas Department of Agriculture, sparks fly as Chairman White presses Commissioner Miller on ethics

Miller touts Trump endorsement while slamming the Legislature on new elections law and the grid; White says Miller had a “sorry” record as a legislator and points to allegations of "bribes" accepted by Miller’s campaign team

A heated confrontation between Chairman James White, R-Hillister, and Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller was perhaps a long time coming when things finally boiled over in their Republican primary in recent days. “Sid Miller LIED & denied that his campaign consultant has an upcoming court date in relation to the allegations that he has been taking bribes for hemp licenses,” White tweeted after the two clashed during a candidate forum inside a church late last week in Gainesville.

Chair White, retiring from the Legislature and running to lead the Texas Department of Agriculture, has unleashed a torrent of attacks on Miller, the incumbent whose top campaign consultant Todd Smith was arrested last year in connection with an alleged scheme to shake down farmers seeking hemp licenses that are, by law, not to exceed $100.

During a radio interview, Miller said there’s “nothing to see here” and maintained that Smith has not been charged with any crime.

“Your campaign consultant has not been arrested?” White asked during the candidate forum, frustrated with what he said is simply a lie from Miller.

“He has not been charged or indicted,” Miller answered matter-of-factly.

“And he has no court date?” White pressed.

“No!” Miller exclaimed, almost shouting. Then, White pounced.

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By Scott Braddock

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