Must Read Texas – October 17, 2013

Creighton Out, Miller In, Merritt Mulling;
Comptroller Race Heats Up;
Branch Promises Voter Fraud Task Force
Good (late) afternoon from New Orleans.
I’ve been constantly on the go since 7am and thus an earlier email was unfortunately impossible.

Here’s the (short) brief:


DMN’s Christy Hoppe reports on the shifting field for Agriculture Commissioner, with State Rep. Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe) dropping down to run for SD-4, and former State Rep. Sid Miller (R-Stephenville) getting in.  Quorum Report says former State Rep. Tommy Merritt (R-Longview)  is “likely” to get in.  SREC member and former Republican Party of Texas executive director Eric Opiela and Uvalde Mayor J. Allen Carnes are previously announced candidates.


Two developments to report:
1) Texas Comptroller candidate and House Ways and Means chairman Harvey Hilderbran (R-Kerrville) released his Texas Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights early today, with an exclusive report from AP’s Chris Tomlinson.  Press release here.  Full details here.  Hilderbran appeared on KFYO 790am Lubbock with Chad Hasty this morning to discuss the plan.
2) Empower Texans, which is led by conservative activist Michael Quinn Sullivan, endorsed Texas Comptroller candidate and State Sen. Glenn Hegar (R-Katy) yesterday.  Their full endorsement is here.

**Disclaimer: I am advising Hilderbran.


AP reports:

State Rep. Dan Branch says that as attorney general he’ll create a special voter fraud task force.

Branch is one of three top Republicans vying to replace Attorney General Greg Abbott, who is running for governor.

Branch promised in a Thursday statement to appoint a special prosecutor on voter fraud and monitor groups seeking to “subvert ballot integrity.”

He also pledged to vigorously defend Texas’ 2011 voter ID law against the Obama administration’s legal challenges.

Cheered by conservative groups, it mandates that voters show government-issued picture identification at the polls. The law only took effect Aug. 1, though, amid years of court battles.

Opponents say there are almost no documented cases of voter impersonation, claiming the law is simply meant to make it harder for poor Texans to vote.


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– Pam Willeford responds to Jeff Sandefer’s op ed on UT.
– Speaker Joe Straus (R-TX) makes the case for the water fund in an SAEN 
op ed (behind paywall).

2013 / 2014 / 2016:
– The gubernatorial campaign of State Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth) is disavowing a robocall that is using her name.
– U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey (D-TX) 
has $383k for his rematch with Domingo Garcia.
– Chron columnist Rick Casey 
weighs in (behind paywall) on the financial possibilities for Democrat Wendy Davis’ gubernatorial bid.

Other stories of interest:
– U.S. Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) met today with a group of Texas Democratic members of Congress.
– A scheduled visit this Monday from President Obama to Dallas for fundraising has been 
moved to Nov. 6, due to the shutdown.
– Nolan Ryan is 
leaving his upper management role with the Texas Rangers. 

Lighter clicks:
– This week’s edition of “Laugh hysterically at the Cleveland Browns organization.”
– Will Ferrell announces the Dodgers lineup.

Your Daily Source of Inspiration:
– When Michael Morton co-authors an op ed, the right thing to do is stop what you are doing and read it.


AP: Davis campaign disavowing robo-call using her name (10/17/13 7:15pm)

AP: AG hopeful Branch promises voter fraud task force (10/17/13 7pm)

AP: Big Tex’s secret makeover required tight controls (10/17/13 7pm)

QUORUM REPORT: Rep. Steve Toth forms exploratory committee for SD4 run (10/17/13 6:58pm)

QUORUM REPORT: Former State Rep. Tommy Merritt likely to toss his hat into AG Commissioner Race in next few days (10/17/13 6:57pm)

DMN: Transportation funding gap still haunting state officials (10/17/13 6:51pm)

DMN: George W. Bush on Nolan Ryan: ‘The Rangers will miss his presence’ (10/17/13 6:51pm)

DMN: Republicans shift ballot slots: Sid Miller in for Ag, Creighton for Senate (10/17/13 6:50pm)

DMN: Eddie Bernice Johnson to meet with Ted Cruz in bid ‘to understand him’ (10/17/13 6:50pm)

DMN: Texas AG candidate Dan Branch says he wants to create Voter Fraud Task Force (10/17/13 6:50pm)

DMN: Rep. Marc Veasey has $383,576 for potential rematch against Domingo Garcia (10/17/13 6:49pm)

DMN: Obama trip to Dallas next week postponed; casualty of shutdown (10/17/13 6:48pm)

DMN: Texas Republicans all opposed debt deal, Democrats supported it (10/17/13 6:48pm)

FWST ($): AMR posts $289 million third-quarter profit (10/17/13 6:34pm)

FWST ($): Nolan Ryan leaving Rangers (10/17/13 6:33pm)

WFAA ABC DALLAS: Bush Library and Museum to reopen Friday after shutdown (10/17/13 6:29pm)

WFAA ABC DALLAS: Nolan Ryan: Decision to retire as Rangers CEO ‘weighed on me heavily’ (10/17/13 6:25pm)

CHRON ($): Commissioners Court readies plan to live-stream meetings (10/17/13 4:56pm)

CHRON ($): Talk of repealing 17th amendment invades lieutenant governor (10/17/13 4:54pm)

CHRON ($): Baylor, St. Luke’s new owner negotiating partnership (10/17/13 4:53pm)

CHRON ($): NASA workers, merchants hail shutdown’s end (10/17/13 4:52pm)

CHRON: Call to cut city tax rate goes nowhere (10/17/13 4:50pm)

CHRON: Ted Cruz and John Cornyn attend secret meeting with Texas Democrats (10/17/13 4:48pm)

CHRON: Cornyn: After the shutdown saga, your chance to fill in his report card (10/17/13 4:47pm)

SAEN ($): 1 million Texans seen going begging for health coverage (10/17/13 4:34pm)

SAEN ($): Councilwoman Gonzales gives birth (10/17/13 4:33pm)

SAEN: Council OK’s limits on HemisFair hotel construction (10/17/13 4:29pm)

SAEN: TxDOT publishes names of 25 worst toll violators (10/17/13 4:28pm)

AAS ($): Cruz throws in the towel, proclaims victory (10/17/13 4:26pm)

AAS: TxDOT: Top toll violators in state are from Austin area (10/17/13 4:25pm)

AAS ($): City Council may delay urban farm vote (10/17/13 4:24pm)

AAS ($): Former ambassador blasts UT regents (10/17/13 4:23pm)

BLOOMBERG NEWS: Cruz Stock Soars with Tea Party, Sours in U.S. Congress (10/17/13 3:32pm)

TT: TxDOT releases names of top toll violators (10/17/13 3:29pm)

ABC NEWS: Ted Cruz Won’t Rule Out Another Shutdown, But McConnell Does (10/17/13 3:23pm)

TT: Texas Farmers, Ranchers Hit Hard by Shutdown (10/17/13 7:57am)

TT: Proposed Cuckoo Protections Cause Confusion, Concern (10/17/13 7:57am)

TT: Texas prepares to shutter high risk insurance pool (10/17/13 7:56am)

TT: Willeford: Perry “Going After” UT-Austin, Powers (10/17/13 12:04am)

HUFF POST: Mitch McConnell Schools Ted Cruz On How The Game Is Played (10/16/13 8:05pm)

NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE: Norquist: Defunders Owe Conservatives an Apology (10/16/13 8:04pm)

NATIONAL JOURNAL: Ted Cruz Upstages Mitch McConnell (10/16/13 8:02pm)

AMERICAN PROSPECT: What explains Ted Cruz (10/16/13 8:02pm)

POLITICO: Chronicle on Ted Cruz: We miss Hutchison (10/16/13 7:59pm)

DMN: David Dewhurst doubling down on call to impeach Obama (10/16/13 7:55pm)

AUDIO: U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on the Mark Levin radio show (10/16/13 7:37pm)

POLITICO: Ted Cruz: A crusader declines to admit defeat (10/16/13 5:31pm)

TPR: Ted Cruz Uses Attention From “Faux” Filibuster To Flex Fund-Raising Muscle (10/16/13 5:29pm)

DMN: Kay Bailey Hutchison blasts GOP ‘outliers’ who ‘hijacked’ debt, deficit debate (10/16/13 5:09pm)

TT: Without Medicaid Expansion, 1 Million Texans Lack Insurance Options (10/16/13 5:07pm)

TT / KUT: On November Ballot, Property Tax Relief for Military Families (10/16/13 7:56am)

TT: Reused Wastewater Key to Trinity River’s Survival (10/16/13 7:56am)

DMN: Cruz’s anti-Obamacare talkathon aids fundraising (10/16/13 7:55am)

DMN: Dewhurst wants to be (far) right as he seeks re-election (10/16/13 7:55am)

THE HILL: Boehner ally: Blame Ted Cruz for fiscal chaos (10/16/13 7:55am)

SAEN: As Cruz maneuvers, Texas House members wait helplessly (10/16/13 7:52am)


BURKA BLOG: Dan Branch on Voter Fraud (10/17/13 7pm)

BURKA BLOG: The Race for Tommy Williams’ Senate Seat (10/17/13 6:59pm)

DMN: SMU is right to move responsibly on alcohol sales (10/17/13 6:53pm)

DMN: Budget deal is reached, but internal split is harming GOP (10/17/13 6:52pm)

FWST ($): Prop. 6 targets projects in 50-year water plan (10/17/13 6:40pm)

FWST ($): The Cruz effect may still carry a wallop for Texas Republicans (10/17/13 6:39pm)

FWST ($): In Tarrant County’s jail, 7,000 reasons for passing immigration reform (10/17/13 6:36pm)

CHRON: We have a deal (10/17/13 4:45pm)

CHRON: Graci Garces for Houston City Council (10/17/13 4:45pm)

CHRON: For C.O. “Brad: Bradford for Houston City Council (10/17/13 4:44pm)

CHRON: Did we un-endorse Ted Cruz? No (10/17/13 4:41pm)

SAEN: South San board focuses on itself (10/17/13 4:30pm)

SAEN: Just how ‘hallowed’ is the Alamo? (10/17/13 4:30pm)

AAS ($): Lieutenant governor’s race turns toward absurdity (10/17/13 4:24pm)


STATE REP. ANCHIA: Tribute to grieving mother who fought for wrongfully imprisoned (10/17/13 6:55pm)

J. MATTHEWS ($): New superstar city manager or promote from within? (10/17/13 6:54pm)

LEUBSDORF: Government may reopen, but slugging it out goes on (10/17/13 6:53pm)

WEBB ($): Let’s remember the children as we reform immigration (10/17/13 5:44pm)

CASEY ($): Democrats’ money could shake up governor’s race (10/17/13 5:43pm)

KING: GOP can thank Ted Cruz for future losses at polls (10/17/13 4:46pm)

MORTON & SCHECK: Changes are long overdue for Texas’ clemency process (10/17/13 4:46pm)

SPEAKER STRAUS ($): San Antonio’s water future: Are we prepared? (10/17/13 4:36pm)

CURTIS ($): Measure is a grab bag for special interests (10/17/13 4:35pm)

GERTSON ($): Rice industry survival critical to basin’s economic and ecological future (10/17/13 4:26pm)

MILBANK: Ted Cruz, one sore loser (10/17/13 12:05am)

BLOGS (from the left)

THE NATION: Nothing Ted Cruz Said About the ACA Today Is True (10/17/13 3:31pm)

SALON: Sorry, Houston Chronicle, but Ted Cruz won (10/17/13 3:30pm)

BOR: Wendy Davis Recognized by TCASE for Work on Special Education (10/17/13 3:30pm)

BLOGS (from the right)

HILDERBRAN CAMPAIGN: Hilderbran calls for Texas Taxpayer Bill of Rights (10/17/13 6:56pm)

BATTLESWARM BLOG: Brandon Creighton: Out of Agricultural Commissioner Race, in Senate District 4 Race (10/17/13 6:31pm)

BATTLESWARM BLOG: Texas Statewide Race Update for October 16, 2013 (10/17/13 6:31pm)

RED STATE: Advancing. Ever advancing (10/17/13 3:31pm)

SUNSHINE STATE SARAH: Hooray for BOTH of my Senators! (10/17/13 3:29pm)

CREIGHTON CAMPAIGN: Brandon Creighton announces run for Senate district 4 (10/17/13 3:29pm)

EMPOWER TEXANS: Endorsement: Glenn Hegar For Comptroller (10/16/13 8:05pm)

ABBOTT CAMPAIGN: Greg Abbott visits Santa Fe and San Marcos (10/16/13 8:04pm)

TOWNHALL: Gingrich: Boehner Happy to Let Media Attack Cruz (10/16/13 8pm)

OFFICE OF SEN. CRUZ: Sen. Cruz. delivers a floor speech (10/16/13 7:38pm)

Author: Must Read Texas

Matt Mackowiak (@MattMackowiak) & Jason Stanford @MustReadTexas