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May 25, 2024      10:41 AM

Greg Barnes, son of former Lt. Governor Ben Barnes passed away last week at age 66

Services Tuesday at 10 AM at Weed Corley-Parkcrest location

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May 22, 2024      4:30 PM

In the homestretch of runoffs, Charles Butt largely abandons the field, Adelson spends heavily, and Yass goes all in against anti-voucher Republicans and Speaker Phelan

Even though voters are tired of the ugly well-financed campaigns, millions are being spent in the final days of this primary cycle

“It doesn’t cost this much to just tell the truth in campaigns,” said a veteran Republican observer poring over the latest reports.

As Tim Dunn’s merry band of misfits galivant across the state led by Rep. Brian Harrison promoting a Contract on Texas – laying the predicate for a possible primary challenge to Congressman Jake Ellzey – and flat out lying about their colleagues, Gov. Greg Abbott has only added to an avalanche of well-financed untruths. Abbott has flooded the airwaves attacking opponents to his voucher plan with advertisements about how Republican lawmakers cannot be trusted on border security or property taxes.

The primary and runoff bring three songs to mind for me: Talking Heads’ “Burning Down the House,” Elton John’s “Burn Down the Mission” and Against Me!’s “Baby, I’m An Anarchist.” Thankfully this chapter comes to an end on Tuesday. Hopefully more of us will be singing Nina Simone’s “New World Coming” before next session.

Ahead of the runoffs, let’s look at the 8-day reports. Here are the top takeaways:

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By James Russell

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May 22, 2024      1:31 PM

Lyceum poll shows Cruz leading Allred by 10 points with nearly 30 percent unsure or wanting someone else to vote for

Poll also shows big concerns over housing costs and the broader econmomic picture

The poll memo is here.

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May 22, 2024      1:25 PM

Uvalde families sue DPS officers

Via Texas Public Radio in South Texas:

Nineteen families who lost their loved ones in the 2022 Robb Elementary School shooting announced a settlement Wednesday with the city and county of Uvalde. They also announced a lawsuit against the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).

The families are suing the 92 individual DPS officers who were there that day when hundreds of officers from local, state, and federal agencies waited for more than an hour to confront the gunman who killed 19 students and two teachers.

Meanwhile, the families reached a settlement with the city for $2 million and Uvalde County for $2 million -- both in the form of insurance payments. That lawsuit named the then Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District police chief Pete Arredondo — who was supposed to be the incident commander that day — and then-Robb Elementary School principal Mandy Gutierrez.

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May 21, 2024      4:20 PM

APD was set to advocate for a pardon for Daniel Perry but then dropped that plan

From the Austin American Statesman:

Days before Gov. Greg Abbott pardoned Daniel Perry for killing a Black Lives Matter protester, the Austin Police Department drafted a two-page letter to state officials advocating that Perry be freed. The document, on departmental letterhead, echoes the belief of the lead investigator in the case that the prosecution of Perry in the shooting death of Garrett Foster was based on “conjecture,” “innuendo” and a “character assassination” of Perry, who wrote racist and threatening social media posts.

The draft, obtained by the American-Statesman and KVUE-TV on Tuesday, bears the signatory of interim police chief Robin Henderson.

…the department was poised to send the document to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles a day before Gov. Greg Abbott granted clemency to Perry last week. But Henderson said in a statement Tuesday to the Statesman that "ultimately the drafted letter was not submitted. After discussions with city leadership, as is standard in certain situations, I decided not to submit the letter."

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May 21, 2024      3:48 PM

Congressman Allred adds his voice to the chorus of those calling on TMB to clarify rules for legal abortions in Texas

“Texas women are being denied life-saving care in our state and medical professionals are afraid they will be prosecuted for doing their jobs, yet Ted Cruz called Texas’ abortion ban ‘perfectly reasonable...Yesterday’s hearing again demonstrated the harm and confusion caused by Texas’ extreme abortion laws, which have no exceptions for rape, incest or unviable pregnancies."

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May 20, 2024      5:25 PM

TMB holds contentious hearing on medical exceptions for legal abortions

Members of the Texas Medical Board clashed at times with some of the people testifying today in a public hearing about the TMB’s proposed guidance for the way doctors can legally perform abortions in this state. The hearing was the result of a petition filed by attorneys and lobbyists Steve and Amy Bresnen, who joined others in calling the rules dangerously vague.

For their part, they called for seven amendments during the virtual online hearing, including clarifying death and impairment "need not be imminent" for a doctor to intervene and providing a list of criteria that deferring to the doctor’s “reasonable medical judgment.”

But, asked Texas Medical Board executive director Brint Carlson, what if a situation meets some but not all of the criteria. The Bresnens argue it should be at the doctor’s discretion.

The rest of the story, subscribers only

By James Russell

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May 20, 2024      2:20 PM

Texas Health Care Association names Rep. Travis Clardy as new president and CEO

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