Must Read Texas – November 14, 2013

Cornyn Kicking off Campaign with Perry in Austin this Morning;
UT Regents Allocate $196 Million to New UT Valley Campus;
LNG Pipeline Explosion in E. TX;
Abbott Wins Law Enforcement Endorsements;
Abbott Proposes ‘Far Reaching’ Ethics Reform;
Slater Coins Dem ‘Dream Team II’;
Dewhurst Says He Has a ‘Real Good Shot’ to Avoid Runoff
Good morning from Austin.
Here’s the brief:


U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) will kick off his re-election campaign this morning at Scholz’s Garden in Austin.
The event is now until 11am.

Special guest: Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX).


SAEN’s Jennifer Lloyd reports:

The University of Texas System board of regents allocated a whopping $265.6 million from a public endowment Thursday — $196 million of which will help build a new university in the Rio Grande Valley.

Regents Vice Chairman Gene Powell, a Weslaco native who now lives in San Antonio, choked up while making the motion to allocate the funds. The vote was unanimous.

“This gets really, really emotional for me because I have seen the progress,” Powell said afterward. “I grew up with kids who didn’t have anything.”

He said his mother earned a two-year degree from Edinburg Junior College because it was the only available option in the area. The college later evolved into the University of Texas-Pan American.

“Today, we’re going to be able to offer one of the best universities in the world and a medical school,” Powell said.

The new university may enroll its first class in fall 2015. It will encompass UT-Pan American in Edinburg, UT-Brownsville and the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio’s Regional Academic Health Center in the Valley, the latter on its way to becoming its own medical school.

Of the allocation, $142 million will fund a new science building at UTPA, a new academic building at UTB, and help purchase facilities stemming from the separation of UTB from Texas Southmost College, board documents show.

Another $54 million will flow through UTHSCSA to fund a medical academic building at UTPA.

UTHSC President William Henrich said the medical school building should be done by 2016. He said the South Texas counties have a low number of physicians per 100,000 residents. Because doctors tend to practice close to where they trained, he said: “The hope is these new physicians minted down in the Valley, will want to stay in the Valley.”

The allocations will come from a public endowment called the Permanent University Fund, or PUF.

Neither UTPA nor UTB had access to PUF money. But when lawmakers approved the new umbrella university last spring, they made it eligible for PUF allocations.

“It’s about time, don’t you think?” UTB President Juliet Garcia said, of the first allocation made to construct a building at what’s currently the UTB campus in the PUF’s 130-plus-year history.

Jose Martinez, who’s earning his master’s in physics from UTB said: “I can’t wait for what the future holds for South Texas.”

Board documents further detailed the South Texas allocations:

– $70 million to pay for a portion of construction costs for a 120,000-square-foot building at UTPA, with classroom and lab space for disciplines such as biology, physics, chemistry, math, pre-med and environmental studies.
– $54 million for the 140,000-square-foot academic building to alleviate the need for leased classroom space at UTB.
– $18 million to help pay UT System costs for facility acquisitions from the UTB-TSC separation.– $54 million for the 88,000-square-foot medical school facility at UTPA, including an auditorium, digital library, clinical skills center, and dean and faculty offices.

Earlier in the day, regents heard the PUF’s value sat at nearly $14.9 billion as of Aug. 31 — an increase of almost $1.4 billion since the start of the year. Both the UT and Texas A&M University systems benefit from PUF revenues from oil, gas and land leases.

Rep. Rene Oliveira, D-Brownsville, and Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, both issued statements praising the regents’ decision.

“Getting into the PUF has allowed our students to be the direct beneficiaries of the revenues coming from the Texas oil and gas boom,” Oliveira said. “This demonstrates what can happen when we work together with a united vision.”

Thursday’s PUF allocations will also benefit projects at UT Southwestern Medical Center, UT Austin’s Texas Advanced Computing Center, and data centers at UT Arlington and the UT MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Regents also approved $3.2 million for a transition budget to help develop the new South Texas university.  Pedro Reyes, UT’s executive vice chancellor for academic affairs, said the money will help pay for hiring, professional services, and the searches underway for the new university’s president and medical school dean.

Though regents will have the final say over the name of the university, UT has launched a campaign for public input on the moniker that will continue through Dec. 6. Information on the naming campaign can be found at at Click on the link that says, “Community input needed on name for new UT in South Texas.”

Your absolute must click stories:
> An LNG pipeline in East Texas exploded Thursday.
> Attorney General Greg Abbott (R-TX) won several law enforcement organization endorsements in his run for Governor.
> AG Abbott unveiled ‘far reaching’ ethics reform proposals.
> DMN’s Wayne Slater coins Texas Democratic ‘Dream Team II’ in his weekly column.
> Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst says he has a “real good shot” at avoiding a runoff.

– TT reports on CPRIT’s future.
– Former RPT communications director Bryan Preston writes for CNN about the overblown fears about the state’s Voter ID law, as evidenced in the recent statewide election.

2013 / 2014 / 2016:
– U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) defended his actions that resulted in a government shutdown at a forum hosted by The Atlantic in Washington, DC Thursday.
– CNN reports on Sen. Cruz’s address to the Federalist Society convention in DC.
– TT’s Aman Batheja reports on speeches three of the four GOP candidates for Texas Comptroller gave at a policy conference in Austin Monday.
– Recently defeated Republican Houston City Councilman Al Hoang will challenge (behind paywall) State Rep. Hubert Vo (D-Houston).

Other stories of interest:
– Delta Airlines announced (behind paywall) its expansion plans for Dallas Love Field.
– CBS will 
stream Kennedy assassination coverage in “real time.”

Lighter clicks:
– A world record catfish.
– Derek Jeter — Book Publisher.
– Michael Jordan’s reveals his most memorable dunk.
– Former UT women’s track coach Bev Kearney sues UT for $1 million.
– ESPN: Mack Brown saved season one game at a time.

Your Daily Source of Inspiration:
– 150 years later, an apology.
– Solidarity against an injustice is in itself inspiring.


AP: Gov. Perry blasts Obama for health care law change (11/15/13 8:58am)

DMN: Abbott scores support from key police groups (11/15/13 8:54am)

DMN: Dallas careful not to treat JFK ceremony as tourist event (11/15/13 8:54am)

DMN: Gas pipeline explodes in rural Ellis County, causing massive fire (11/15/13 8:54am)

DMN: Bank of America Plaza’s iconic lights return to Dallas’ skyline (11/15/13 8:53am)

DMN: Cruz again defends actions leading up to government shutdown (11/15/13 8:50am)

FWST ($): Delta unveils expansion plans for Dallas Love Field (11/15/13 8:48am)

FWST ($): Hello, Mansfield: Deal to extend Texas 360 nearly done (11/15/13 8:47am)

FWST ($): Milford closed in wake of pipeline explosion (11/15/13 8:47am)

CHRON ($): Upset by unknown, Hoang to challenge Vo for state seat (11/15/13 8:45am)

CHRON ($): Port considers new taxing district to cover dredging costs (11/15/13 8:44am)

CHRON ($): Obama offers health fix, but impact here unclear (11/15/13 8:44am)

CHRON ($): Cruz stays silent as colleague Cornyn talks re-election (11/15/13 8:43am)

CHRON: County leaders distance themselves from Dome demolition (11/15/13 8:36am)

CHRON: Texas Republicans draw up articles of impeachment for Attorney General Eric Holder (11/15/13 8:35am)

CHRON: TSA did not call local authorities during LAX attack, Michael McCaul says (11/15/13 8:35am)

CHRON: Political cash pours in from Houston (11/15/13 8:34am)

CHRON: Lamar Smith’s bill to fight against ‘worthless’ lawsuits passes House (11/15/13 8:21am)

CHRON: Ted Cruz and Rand Paul unite to increase Fed transparency (11/154/13 8:21am)

SAEN ($): Texas Business Hall of Fame inducts its 2013 class (11/15/13 8:16am)

SAEN ($): Cornyn to launch campaign without Cruz (11/15/13 8:15am)

SAEN ($): Plans for HemisFair Park playground taking shape (11/15/13 8:14am)

SAEN: Biggest slice of the PUF pie going to Valley UT (11/15/13 8:03am)

SAEN: Streetcar lawsuit dropped (11/15/13 8:03am)

AAS ($): University of Texas to lease 109 acres for commercial development (11/15/13 8:01am)

AAS ($): VA’s malpractice tab: $845 million in 10 years (11/15/13 8:01am)

AAS ($): Lawsuit stalls Austin school bond projects (11/15/13 8am)

AAS ($): Austinites applaud, criticize City Council districts draft (11/15/13 7:59am)

AAS ($): Brackenridge could see more cancer patients if ‘Obamacare’ concerns linger (11/15/13 7:57am)

TT: With Moratorium Lifted, CPRIT Looks Toward Its Future (11/15/13 7:42am)

DAILY CALLER: Ted Cruz: Bill wants to ‘insulate’ Hillary from Obamacare disaster (11/15/13 7:40am)

LA TIMES: Liquefied gas pipeline explodes in rural Texas (11/15/13 7:38am)

KXAN NBC AUSTIN: Austin doubles down on recycling push (11/15/13 7:35am)

TT: UT System Approves $196 Million for South Texas Campus, by David Maly (11/15/13 7:34am)

NPR: Oregon Shines On Medicaid, As Texas Stalls On Sign-Ups (11/15/13 7:34am)

DMN: Dewhurst says he has “real good shot” at avoiding runoff (11/14/13 7:41pm)

TT: Dewhurst Blasts Regulations, Obama, “Patent Trolls” (11/14/13 7:17pm)

DMN: Sen. Cornyn kickoff rally will feature Gov. Rick Perry (11/14/13 7:16pm)

DMN: Ted Cruz: GOP ire worth it now that Dems jump ship on Obamacare (11/14/13 7:16pm)

WASH POST: Cruz: Shutdown was ‘absolutely’ worth it (11/14/13 7:16pm)

THE ATLANTIC: Ted Cruz: The Obamacare Mess Is Only Going to Get Worse (11/14/13 7:15pm)

CNN: Lawyers, Cruz and Lee vs. Obama (11/14/13 7:15pm)

CNN: Cruz talks about ‘vindication’ with rocky Obamacare rollout (11/14/13 7:15pm)

TPR: Dewhurst Asks Republicans In D.C. To Look Into Possible NSA Surveillance On Texas Gun Shows (11/14/13 7:14pm)

AUDIO: U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on the Mark Levin radio show (11/14/13 7:06pm)

TT: Comptroller Candidates Duel Over Tax Bill in Speeches (11/14/13 7:04pm)

THE HILL: House readies vote to thwart ‘fracking’ regs (11/14/13 7:04pm)

DMN: Tea party activist Medina to run for Texas comptroller (11/14/13 10:17am)

NATIONAL JOURNAL: Cruz Isn’t Done Trying to Repeal Obamacare (11/14/13 10:16am)

TT: Abbott Proposes Far-Reaching Ethics Reform (11/14/13 10:12am)

TT: Polling Center: Cornyn and the Cruz Effect (11/14/13 10:11am)

TT: Advocates: Saving Matagorda Bay Could Take Legal Action (11/14/13 10:11am)

TT: Brian Janous: The TT Interview (11/14/13 10:11am)

TT / KUHF: Petrochemical Industry Says New Rules Could Turn Boom Into Bust (11/14/13 10:10am)


DMN: Cosmetic Obamacare fixes don’t change fundamentals (11/15/13 8:56am)

DMN: Creative use of park (and parking) space critical to Pacific Plaza Park (11/15/13 8:55am)

FWST ($): State’s drastic funding cuts have negative impact on federal grants for local libraries (11/15/13 8:49am)

FWST ($): Bill Harvey was unknown to most of us, but his impact on Tarrant County was major-league (11/15/13 8:49am)

CHRON: Unopposed incumbents know how to live large and have fun (11/15/13 8:41am)

CHRON: David Robinson for Houston City Council (11/15/13 8:39am)

CHRON: For Brenda Stardig for Houston City Council (11/15/13 8:39am)

CHRON: Graci Garces for Houston City Council (11/15/13 8:38am)

SAEN: Balancing piety with partying (11/15/13 8:08am)

SAEN: Undermining Obamacare’s foundation (11/15/13 8:08am)

AAS ($): Formula 1 races draw crowds, arguments over spending, and both are welcome (11/15/13 8am)


GUTKIND: We must create a system that no longer fails mentally ill youth (11/15/13 8:57am)

HOLLAND & MCADAMS: The wisdom in leaving Dealey Plaza to visitors’ imaginations (11/15/13 8:56am)

SLATER: Texas Democrats recruiting Dream Team II (11/15/13 8:52am)

PACELLE ($): Endangered species likely to become more endangered (11/15/13 8:50am)

J. SMITH: Past criminal history should not limit job opportunities (11/15/13 8:42am)

WHEELER & BENSON: Immigration courts would benefit with more staff (11/15/13 8:42am)

FAULKNER: Natural gas can lead U.S. to energy independence (11/15/13 8:41am)

KING: Future generations are key to Social Security (11/15/13 8:37am)

FALKENBERG ($): Broken promises and half-truths litter health care reform (11/15/13 8:37am)

COKINOS ($): There is talk of pooling resources, so I built one (11/15/13 8:29am)

WETHERINGTON & EGAN ($): Don’t let science of evolution lose to the politics of teaching it (11/15/13 8:29am)

MAXWELL: Is Ted Cruz’s father his Jeremiah Wright? (11/15/13 8:26am)

SOSA ($): Most Latinos really closet Republicans (11/15/13 8:18am)

SCHNEIDER ($): The rise & fall of Camelot (11/15/13 8:18am)

G. GARCIA ($): 2 brothers’ lives affected by JFK’s slaying (11/15/13 8:17am)

BRODESKY: Cruz gleeful about Obamacare woes (11/15/13 8:07am)

KRAMER, WALKER & BROAD: Participate in regional water planning (11/15/13 8:07am)

ESKIN: All of us can practice philanthropy (11/15/13 8:06am)

FMR. FIRST LADY BUSH: Afghan women’s gains are at risk (11/15/13 7:33am)

RAMSEY: Field Fills Up in Political Races and Clock Ticks for G.O.P. (11/14/13 7:45pm)

PRESTON: Texas voter ID law didn’t suppress vote (11/14/13 2:30pm)

DAVENPORT: American Conservatism Will Implode Unless Republicans Go Back To Kindergarten (11/14/13 10:16am)

BLOGS (from the left)

SALON: Audience laughs at Ted Cruz for saying he “didn’t want a shutdown” (11/15/13 7:40am)

MMfA: NRO: One Of The Most Restrictive Voter ID Laws In The Country Is “A Good Thing” (11/14/13 2:31pm)

BLOGS (from the right)

CONSERVATIVE HQ: Ted and Rush Help Obama Fix Health Care (11/15/13 8:27am)

STACE IN TEXAS: Dewhurst’s star bright in East Texas (11/15/13 7:32am)

OFFICE OF SEN. CRUZ: Cruz: Obamacare is not Working. It’s Time to Start Over (11/14/13 7:48pm)

OFFICE OF GOV. PERRY: Statement on Today’s Obamacare Announcement (11/14/13 7:04pm)

THE IOWA REPUBLICAN: Rick Perry 2.0 (11/14/13 10:10am)

Author: Must Read Texas

Matt Mackowiak (@MattMackowiak) & Jason Stanford @MustReadTexas