Must Read Texas – September 18, 2013

Wendy Sets Oct. 3 Announcement Date;
Cornyn Campaign Announces Field Staff;
Perry Debates O’Malley at 5:30pm CT on CNN;
Two former Obama Admin SecDefs Appear at SMU;
U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro and Wife Expecting in Dec.


Good evening from Austin.
Perhaps you will forgive our lateness when you see how detailed this email is.

Here’s the brief:


Last night the Wendy Davis campaign announced, with a 9am embargo for today, that State Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth) would announce her political plans on Oct. 3.
The embargo didn’t hold.  I don’t know who broke it first, but the dam broke and it was a flood within minutes.  QR’s Harvey Kronberg weighed in (behind paywall) on embargo-gate here.

Here are two stories worth reading:

TT’s Jay Root reports:

Let the countdown begin: Sen. Wendy Davis has announced her announcement date.

The Fort Worth Democrat, eyeing a run for governor, said in an email release that she would break some news about her political future on Thursday, Oct. 3.

The Davis camp had embargoed the release until Wednesday at 9 a.m., meaning media outlets were asked not to publish anything before then. But word of the announcement date immediately began spreading on social media and the campaign lifted the embargo shortly before midnight.

“There’s one question I’ve gotten quite often in the past few months,” Davis wrote in the email. “I’ve heard it online, while I’m traveling around the state, from the media and in my Fort Worth neighborhood: What’s next?”

Davis invited supporters to sign up for an alert so they can be “among the first know” what she decides to do on the day of the announcement. A newly created page on her website, where people can sign up for the alerts, also bounced around Twitter on Tuesday night.

Davis became a political celebrity for Democrats when she helped temporarily derail a restrictive abortion bill with an hours-long filibuster in June. The spotlight on her has only grown since, and the long lead-up to her announcement date only ratchets up the anticipation and speculation about her plans.

Davis has said she will either run for re-election to her state Senate seat or for governor. If it’s not the latter, though, there will be a lot of disappointed Texas Democrats. They’ve been begging her to run for weeks, and she’s done nothing to dampen their enthusiasm.

“It would be a huge let-down for Democratic activists,” said Jim Henson, director of the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin.

Henson said he has seen no indication of a pull-back. In her speeches and fundraising blasts she has ripped state Republican leaders, including Gov. Rick Perry and a potential fall opponent, Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott.

The email itself, which has a picture of Davis next to a caption that asks, “What Will Wendy Do Next,” suggests she’s got bigger aspirations than a re-election race for a state Senate seat. 

“It’s hard not to look at something like this and think she’s not going to run,” said Henson. “Certainly all the signs up to this point suggest she’s going to run. All the incentives have now lined up in a way that it really wouldn’t make sense if she didn’t.”

Reuters’ Marice Richter reports:

Democratic Texas State Senator Wendy Davis, whose June filibuster over proposed abortion restrictions captured national attention, said on Wednesday that she would announce on October 3 whether she would seek the governor’s office.

Davis, 50, would face an uphill battle to become the first Democrat to win statewide office in Texas since 1994 against Republican state Attorney General Greg Abbott.

Governor Rick Perry is not seeking re-election.

“There’s one question I’ve gotten quite often in the past few months, Davis said in an email statement to supporters. “I’ve heard it online, while I’m traveling around the state, from the media, and in my Fort Worth neighborhood: What’s next?”  Davis, who is also a candidate for her state Senate seat, told supporters: “I’m excited about what we can do together in the future.”

Supporters of Davis have urged her to run for governor since the nearly 11-hour Senate filibuster temporarily blocked passage of a measure to ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, impose strict health and safety standards on clinics and limit the use of RU-486, often referred to as the abortion pill.

Davis was already considered a possible future candidate when she launched the filibuster wearing pink running shoes during a special session that was streamed live on websites across the United States.

The filibuster ended consideration of the bill in June, but Perry called another special session in July and the new restrictions were approved.

Speculation about Davis’ political intentions had been building for weeks after her campaign advisers suggested that an announcement was expected by Labor Day.

But Davis’ father, Jerry Russell, became critically ill after abdominal surgery. Russell, founder of a popular Fort Worth theater company, died on September 5.

Davis appeared at a few Washington, D.C., fund raisers during the summer, but pulled back from campaigning during her father’s illness.

The September issue of Vogue magazine featured Davis, and focused on her as a role model who rose from poverty to a prosperous career in law and politics. At 19, she was a divorced single mother living in a trailer park, but put herself through college and earned a law degree from Harvard.

In the days after the filibuster, Davis quickly raised about $1 million, but Abbott has a monumental lead in fund-raising with a war chest of nearly $25 million.

He reported contributions of almost $4.8 million in a July 15 campaign report, on top of about $21 million in cash on hand.


The re-election campaign of U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) announced some new hires yesterday:

Today Texans for Senator John Cornyn (TFSJC) announced five exciting additions to the campaign field staff.  And after completing a training program in Austin last week, which included a presentation on Hispanic voter outreach by the Republican Party of Texas, these new team members are prepared to lead the effort to identify and mobilize supporters of Senator Cornyn all across the state.

“Texans will see an aggressive grassroots campaign with a presence in all 254 counties and in every city across the state,” said TFSJC Campaign Manager Brendan Steinhauser. “And through our Keep It Red campaign, we’re identifying supporters across the state and equipping them with the tools to fight President Obama’s Battleground Texas and the effort to turn Texas blue.”

For more information on TFSJC’s Keep It Red campaign, visit

  Vincent Kalkofen, Field Representative – Austin Vincent previously worked as Outreach Manager at Empower Texans, a leading conservative grassroots organization based in Austin. Vincent is a native of Weslaco, TX.
  Lucia Rios, Field Representative – San Antonio Lucia has previously worked for the Greater San Antonio Area Chamber of Commerce, Gov. Rick Perry’s campaign, and U.S. Rep. Quico Canseco’s campaign. A Laredo native, Lucia is fluent in Spanish and graduated from The University of Texas at San Antonio.
  Alisa Merritt, Field Representative – Houston Alisa spent seven years working for Sen. Cornyn as a legislative aide in his Senate office. She is a native of Houston.
  James Ross, Field Representative – Houston James has been very active with Young Republicans, leading Hispanic outreach efforts in Cameron County. A native of Brownsville and fluent in Spanish, James also serves in the Texas Army National Guard.
Amy Miller, Field Representative and Social Media Coordinator – Dallas/Fort Worth Amy combines legislative experience with grassroots activism and advanced social media skills. She is a graduate of Purdue University and received her J.D. from Michigan State University.


Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) is in Maryland today, where he is touring the state’s largest gun manufacturer and meeting with Maryland Republican and business leaders as part of his effort to recruit businesses to Texas.
Tivo alert: Gov. Perry will debate Gov. Martin O’Malley (D-MD) on CNN’s Crossfire today at 6:30pm ET /5:30pm CT.
We will post the video later today.


Former Obama administration Secretaries of Defense Robert Gates, a former president of Texas A&M University, and Leon Panetta, spoke at SMU University last night.
NYT has the 


MRT congratulates U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) and his wife Anna on the news that they areexpecting their first child in December.
The SAEN reported on the news with a somewhat surprising headline.


Last night I appeared on KTBC Fox Austin to debate how to end gun violence with Democratic consultant Harold Cook.  You can watch the six minute segment here.


– A third legal challenge has been filed against the state’s Voter ID law, this time from MALC and the state chapters of the NAACP.
– SAEN’s Peggy Fikac 
reports (behind paywall) on Democratic complaints over new voter registration rules in Texas.
– The Chron 
reports on questions raised over an increase in spending as part of Gov. Perry’s job “poaching” tour of the country.

2013 / 2014 / 2016:
– Buzzfeed’s Ruby Cramer reports that Gov. Perry will campaign for U.S. Senate candidate Steve Lonegan (R-NJ), who is running in an October special election.
– Al Jazeera America 
reports on Democratic efforts to turn Texas blue.
– The Washington Post 
conducted a Q&A with Mayor Julian Castro (D-San Antonio) about Texas politics and 2016.
– Longtime Bexar County Judge Sid Harle, who just celebrated 25 years in office, is 
reportedly consideringa run for Bexar County District Attorney.
– TT 
reports that Attorney General Greg Abbott (R-TX) appears unlikely to file suit against the city of San Antonio’s newly-passed anti-discrimination ordinance.

Other stories of interest:
– Toyota just built its millionth pickup in Texas.
– Yahoo News reports that Occidental appears to be slowly moving from California to Texas, lured by “Texas talent.”
– Google is making a major investment in renewable energy in West Texas at a 240 megawatt wind farm near Amarillo.
– Minneapolis Star Tribune editor Nancy Barnes has been named the new editor of The Houston Chronicle.



DMN ($): Born in Canada, Ted Cruz became a citizen of that country, as well as U.S. (8/19/13 1:43am) – See more at:

DMN: Defund? Repeal? No, Gov. Rick Perry wants to “fix” Obamacare (9/18/13 4:56pm)

DMN ($): Cornyn calls for security evaluations after Navy Yard, remains skeptical on Syria negotiations (9/18/13 4:56pm)

AP: Wendy Davis signals she’ll run for Texas governor (9/18/13 4:41pm)

AP: Report heaps new criticism on Texas death penalty (9/18/13 4:41pm)

AP: Senator, Texas Board of Ed clash over charters (9/18/13 4:41pm)

WASH POST: Wendy Davis prepares to launch Texas gubernatorial bid next month (9/18/13 4:40pm)

TT: An Announcement From Wendy Davis, Sort Of (9/18/13 4:39pm)

TT: A Third Legal Challenge to Texas Voter ID Law (9/18/13 4:38pm)

DMN: Sen. John Cornyn’s campaign staffs up (9/18/13 4:36pm)

DMN ($): Guards may join inmates in complaints over heat in Texas prisons (9/18/13 4:35pm)

DMN: Gun factory, job-poaching and Crossfire: Gov. Rick Perry’s DC agenda (9/18/13 4:35pm)

DMN ($): Evolution proponents, critics clash at Texas school board’s textbook hearing (9/18/13 4:35pm)

DMN: Greg Abbott: Happiness is a donor with a $100,000 check (9/18/13 4:34pm)

FWST ($): American, US Airways employees rally in Washington (9/18/13 4:31pm)

CHRON (Fuel Fix): Texas purchase marks Google’s biggest energy deal yet (9/18/13 4:28pm)

CHRON ($): Three years later, Halliburton faces spill judgment day (9/18/13 4:25pm)

CHRON ($): New vision leads to layoffs at Medical Center (9/18/13 4:25pm)

CHRON: Perry job “piracy” spending surge questioned (9/18/13 4:18pm)

SAEN ($): Security check failed to raise red flags about D.C. gunman (9/18/13 4:16pm)

SAEN ($): Dems decry rules for voter registration (9/18/13 4:16pm)

SAEN ($): CPS Energy to revise its bonus program (9/18/13 4:14pm)

SAEN: Baby for unwed U.S. Rep Joaquin Castro is a blip, not a bombshell (9/18/13 4:09pm)

SAEN: Veteran Bexar County judge considering D.A. race (9/18/13 4:08pm)

AAS ($): Wendy Davis will announce ‘what’s next’Oct. 3 (9/18/13 4:03pm)

AAS ($): Education board tackles evolution, but stakes are lower this time (9/18/13 4:02pm)

AAS ($): Feds: Minority firefighter applicants were discriminated against (9/18/13 3:51pm)

HUFF POST: Louie Gohmert: Blaming Guns For Navy Yard Shootings Is Like Blaming Spoons For Obesity (9/18/13 3:49pm)

TT: AG Unlikely to Sue Over San Antonio Ordinance (9/18/13 2:03pm)

WASH TIMES: Perry to meet Maryland GOP on job-hunting visit (9/18/13 2:01pm)

BUZZFEED: Rick Perry To Campaign For Steve Lonegan In New Jersey (9/18/13 1:30pm)

BUSINESS INSIDER: Ted Cruz Is Making Life Miserable For House Republicans (9/18/13 1:28pm)

HUFF POST: Martin O’Malley Hits Rick Perry As Texas Governor Visits Maryland (9/18/13 1:27pm)

NYT: Gates and Panetta Critical of Obama on Syria (9/18/13 1:25pm)

REUTERS: Texas senator who staged abortion filibuster may run for governor (9/18/13 1:24pm)

DAILY CALLER: Texas state senator Wendy Davis will announce political plans in October (9/18/13 12:50pm)

HOUSTON BUSINESS JOURNAL: Texas popular choice for international homebuyers (9/18/13 12:49pm)

YAHOO NEWS: Lured by Texas talent, Occidental strays from California roots (9/18/13 12:46pm)

AL JAZEERA AMERICA: Democrats hoping for a blue Texas (9/18/13 12:45pm)

GLOBE-NEWS: Google grabs bigger stake in Texas Panhandle wind (9/18/13 12:43pm)

WASH POST: Q&A with Julian Castro: Texas politics, the GOP and Hispanics, and a Biden-Clinton battle in 2016 (9/18/13 11:04am)

KXAN NBC AUSTIN: BioMarin explains reasoning in Sloan case (9/18/13 11:02am)

KTBC FOX AUSTIN: Debating how to end gun violence (9/18/13 10:59am)

TW: Remade Higher Ed Board Reaching Out to Universities (9/18/13 10:50am)

TT: As Austin’s Lakes Dwindle, Gulf Coast May Also Suffer (9/18/13 10:50am)


DMN: How do we confront the next mass shooting suspect? (9/18/13 4:54pm)

DMN: In Uber controversy, a troubling appearance of favoritism (9/18/13 4:52pm)

FWST ($): Mass shootings still full of unknowns (9/18/13 4:33pm)

CHRON: Bigger brother behind the camera? (9/18/13 4:24pm)

CHRON: A clear crisis in America (9/18/13 4:23pm)

SAEN: Scooter Store a cautionary tale (9/18/13 4:12pm)

SAEN: We grieve yet another mass shooting (9/18/13 4:11pm)

AAS ($): Foster children pay a steep price for lapses in oversight (9/18/13 3:50pm)


ABTAHI ($): To be world class, Dallas must embrace the rest of the world (9/18/13 4:56pm)

M. DAVIS ($): Why did anyone think Alexis deserved security clearance — or a gun? (9/18/13 4:55pm)

LEUBSDORF ($): Syria and Fed Chairman — how the system worked (9/18/13 4:54pm)

FAULKNER ($): Energy independence is the best response to Syria crisis (9/18/13 4:33pm)

SANDERS ($): Latest mass shooting in D.C. likely to increase gun sales (9/18/13 4:32pm)

HSUEH: National Institutes of Health should be spared federal cuts (9/18/13 4:22pm)

G. GARCIA ($): S.A. political power couple calls it quits (9/18/13 4:16pm)

HERMAN ($): Happy Constitution Day (9/18/13 3:49pm)

GOV. O’MALLEY: What Maryland does better than Texas (9/18/13 2:02pm)

D. LIMBAUGH: David Brooks’s Lame Trashing of Sen. Cruz (9/18/13 1:30pm)

BLOGS (from the left)

SALON: In wake of shooting, Rick Perry woos gun manufacturer (9/18/13 12:58pm)

BOR: Tom Pauken Attacks Greg Abbott’s Conservative Credentials, “Where’s the Beef?” (9/18/13 12:48pm)

BOR: Wendy Davis Will Announce Intentions For Texas Governor October 3rd (9/18/13 12:48pm)

OFF THE KUFF: We need you, Leticia (9/18/13 12:44pm)

TX REDISTRICTING: Plaintiffs propose trail schedule in Texas (9/18/13 11:01am)

DAILY KOS: After mass shooting, Rick Perry to tour nearby gun manufacturer (9/17/13 7:24pm)

BFL: The only two sides to evolution are right & wrong (9/16/13 7:20pm)

BLOGS (from the right)

NATIONAL RIGHT TO LIFE NEWS: Another bogus report purporting to show all is well with Texas abortion clinics (9/18/13 2:07pm)

LIFE NEWS: Texas Newspaper Covers for Abortionist Who Killed and Injured Women (9/18/13 1:31pm)

TOWNHALL: Patriotic: Cruz’s Twitter Town Hall Celebrates Constitution Day (9/18/13 12:49pm)

LIFE NEWS: Abortion Activist Wendy Davis to Announce Possible Run for Governor in October (9/18/13 12:44pm)

Author: Must Read Texas

Matt Mackowiak (@MattMackowiak) & Jason Stanford @MustReadTexas