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June 18, 2024      2:30 PM

Gateway Church Pastor Robert Morris resigns

The church's board of elders released a statement saying they previously thought Morris had an extramarital affair years ago with a "young lady" and didn't know until this weekend that he had sexual contact with a 12 year old nearly 40 years ago when he was in his 20s

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June 17, 2024      3:43 PM

After allegations surfaced of sexual abuse by a North Texas megachurch pastor, House Judiciary Chairman Leach sets sights on changes in statutes of limitation

Leach intends to hold interim hearings on the issue and told Quorum Report “There must be no safe haven or security for anyone who abuses a child in Texas”

After a North Texas Megachurch pastor this weekend admitted to "inappropriate sexual behavior" with a 12-year-old girl nearly 40 years ago, Texas House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Chairman Jeff Leach said he intends to hold hearings on what lawmakers can do to help victims and prosecutors combat such abuses.

Any legislative fix, Leach said, would include "substantially" changing statutes of limitation in such cases.

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By Scott Braddock

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June 14, 2024      2:36 PM

People on the Move

Lobby news, staffing changes, agency news, and a mentorship opportunities

It was great to see so many of you in El Paso this past weekend for the Texas Democratic Party Convention. It may have been just as hot as the Texas GOP Convention in San Antonio but it was nowhere near as humid at the spot on the map where Old Mexico meets New Mexico. The headlines out of the convention were a bit scattered so Jeremy Wallace and I will sort it all out for you on the new edition of the Texas Take Podcast set to drop later this afternoon. Download it here or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Meantime, there are some significant career moves to tell you about.

People on the Move is, of course, the most efficient way to let everyone in Texas politics know where you’re working these days. People move around all the time in the capitol community so keeping track of it really is the coin of the realm, so to speak. You can brag on yourself or tell on someone else by sending the scoop to ksbraddock@gmail.com and use POTM in the subject line to help me keep it all straight. Please and thank you.

Here’s the latest edition of POTM.

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By Scott Braddock

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June 14, 2024      8:52 AM

Texas House GOP Caucus Chair Oliverson announces subcommittee appointments

"With the formation of these subcommittees, we will set the Texas House on a successful path for the 89th Legislative Session"

Here they are:

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June 13, 2024      2:27 PM

Rep. Allison asks Gov. Abbott stop pointing the finger of blame and formally requests a special session on school finance

In a letter sent to Abbott today, Rep. Allison sets the record straight about what happened with public education funding last year and says Abbott is still holding “pressing school funding needs hostage for a separate private school voucher/ESA plan.”

Rep. Allison said that if the votes are really there for vouchers, Abbott should support a standalone bill about that. His full letter is here.

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June 13, 2024      8:30 AM

SB: In speaker race, Patrick and Paxton handed Trump one of the most embarrassing losses of his political career

Meantime, there are multiple paths for the Texas House to assert its independence; the most straightforward way is for Phelan to retain the gavel after learning firsthand that loyalty up to Abbott never equals loyalty back down

In this divisive and tumultuous political environment, here’s something we should all be able to agree on. There is nothing former President Donald Trump hates more than losing.

So, it probably deserves more discussion that in the Texas runoff election, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Attorney General Ken Paxton, and their top advisors helped deliver what might very well be the second worst defeat of Trump’s political career: GOP challenger David Covey’s loss to Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan in the Golden Triangle. “If this is what beating a Trump endorsement feels like, we should do it more often,” said one Republican that night.

Trump of course has plenty of other problems to deal with at the moment. But surely this question has, at some point, emanated from Mar-a-Lago: “What the hell happened in Texas?” Remember, Trump has repeatedly said that when he decides which candidates to endorse in this state, he relies on Patrick for the list. Even after Phelan voiced support for Trump, the former president endorsed against him. The speaker bent the knee only to be kicked in the teeth.

Coming down to the wire, when Trump was promoting his endorsement of Covey onstage at the NRA convention in Dallas, Patrick likely knew Phelan was going to win as evidenced by the fact that he had no plans to appear alongside the challenger on runoff election night the way he did on Super Tuesday.

Some top House Republicans have said there’s no way Patrick would have attended Covey’s Super Tuesday party with a runoff in mind. No, Patrick must have thought Covey would win outright months ago. You could rightly argue that the vast majority of Trump endorsees won in Texas. But bullying rank and file lawmakers with unprecedented presidential imprimatur in local races is not in the same universe as endorsing against a sitting Texas House speaker. Patrick used Trump’s endorsement as his own personal plaything in the primaries to great effect except in the race with the most downside risk for the future of governing at the Texas Capitol.

Now what?

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By Scott Braddock

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June 13, 2024      8:26 AM

Rep. Talarico launches PAC to bolster Democratic bench

The PAC aims to recruit and support Democrats "with an emphasis on candidates from service backgrounds, underrepresented communities, and those running for local office."

More info is here.

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June 12, 2024      6:01 PM

After fundraising invitation caused confusion, Blakemore and Texas Medical Association clarify the doctors trade group is not endorsing Rep. Oliverson for speaker

"Please know that TEXPAC doesn’t get involved in an election for the House Speaker, but TEXPAC is pleased to recognize their strong support for Tom’s re-election," Blakemore said

After an invitation to an upcoming fundraiser in Houston seemed to suggest that the Texas Medical Association was supporting Rep. Tom Oliverson’s bid to take the gavel from House Speaker Dade Phelan in 2025, both Oliverson’s political consultant and the doctors’ trade group sought to clarify that is not the case.

To our memory at Quorum Report, TMA has never endorsed in a speaker’s race.

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By Scott Braddock

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June 12, 2024      4:41 PM

Texas House lawmakers delve into ballot secrecy following report showing former RPT Chair Rinaldi voted for DeSantis while promoting Trump

An emergency guidance issued on this by SOS Nelson was said to be “a short term solution”

The Texas House Elections Committee heard testimony on Wednesday focused on a report that challenged whether ballots cast in this state are private and secure.

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By James Russell

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June 11, 2024      4:00 PM

Abbott appoints three judges to the newly created 15th Court of Appeals

He named Scott Brister, April Farris, and Scott Field

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