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May 17, 2022      5:59 PM

Eight-day finance reports reveal key dynamics in final days of runoffs across Texas

Investments by the speaker, a new ultra-conservative PAC joins the fray, the challenger for RRC gets a big boost, and statewide Democratic runoffs come down to the wire

The political money is flowing and a new ultra conservative PAC has joined the fray along with Defend Texas Liberty PAC in causing a ruckus in primaries.

Conservative Action of Texas, based in Fort Worth, is solely funded by millionaire businessman Jim Moyer of Fairmont in Sabine County. More on him and the new entrant into primary politics later.

First, the statewide races.

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By James Russell

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May 17, 2022      5:43 PM

ERCOT seeks to clarify the conservation request on Friday was a proactive step, not an emergency alert

The update from KXAN reporter Maggie Glynn:

On Tuesday, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, alongside the Public Utility Commission of Texas, gave an overview of how the state’s power grid is projecting to fare this summer, in addition to updating the public on current grid conditions after asking Texans to conserve power over the weekend. Both PUC Commissioner Peter Lake and ERCOT CEO Brad Jones stated they are confident with how our grid is faring heading into the summer, even with new record demand expected to be set.

Lake said that’s in part due to the reforms set in motion by lawmakers over the last year, in addition to added generation capacity to the grid.

“We’ll have 7,000 megawatts of solar condition, we’ll have another two to 3,000 megawatts of wind generation, and about 1,000 megawatts of natural gas generation. So you can see it’s coming from a broad spectrum, but much of that additional generation is from the renewable side,” Jones explained.

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May 17, 2022      3:58 PM

Parent PAC releases poll showing majority of Texas voters oppose school vouchers as proposed by Abbott

The polling shows the opposition to vouchers remains stout in rural Texas

The polling memo is here.

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May 16, 2022      4:13 PM

Siding with Sen. Cruz, Supreme Court strikes down limit on repaying campaign loans

The latest from CBS News:

Washington — The Supreme Court on Monday invalidated a provision of federal campaign finance law capping the amount of money a candidate can be repaid for personal loans made to their campaign, siding with GOP Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas in his challenge to the restriction. The 6-3 ruling from the court's conservative majority is the latest in a string of decisions that have unraveled campaign finance limits under the First Amendment. This latest legal fight was mounted by Cruz, who loaned his 2018 reelection campaign $260,000 the day before the general election to force a challenge to the law.

Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts said the provision at the center of the case, known as Federal Election Commission v. Ted Cruz for Senate, "burdens candidates who wish to make expenditures on behalf of their own candidacy through personal loans," and violates the First Amendment rights of candidates and their campaigns to engage in political speech.

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May 14, 2022      3:29 PM

SB: Dan Patrick was right

It was the Senate’s presiding officer who insisted after Winter Storm Uri that Texas needs more electricity generation while the governor ignored him; now the Abbott Administration appears to be playing a deadly game of hide-the-ball with energy conservation alerts

From DFW to Houston and from Austin down to San Antonio and The Valley, a pretty typical Friday night played out across Texas. Restaurants, bars, and other businesses were filled with customers likely unaware that the state’s power grid was under stress because the heat knocked six power plants offline.

Gov. Greg Abbott met with PUC and ERCOT leadership earlier in the day, releasing a photo of that meeting around 2:45. It was around 2:30 that grid problems started to arise, but ERCOT did not call for Texans to conserve electricity until after 5pm on a Friday – precisely the worst time to attempt to communicate an emergency message to the public.

What a politically dangerous and potentially deadly game of hide-the-ball.

The Abbott Administration is betting the grid will hold up and going through the motions of technically asking Texans to conserve when almost no one is paying attention.

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By Scott Braddock

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May 13, 2022      12:29 PM

Rumor Mill: Texas Democratic Party Chair Hinojosa may step aside and endorse former Sen. Wendy Davis for TDP Chair

If it happens, it would be as soon as today; it's our understanding that Sen. Davis would ONLY do this with the blessing of Hinojosa

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May 12, 2022      5:17 PM

Challenger to Chair Klick, David Lowe, under fire for previously owning a sex website domain

With early voting about to get underway in the runoffs, campaigns are stepping up their negative mail and slamming their opponents on TV as well

And the campaigns get nastier – as is clearly God’s plan in the homestretch of a Republican runoff in Texas.

David Lowe, GOP challenger to Texas House Public Health Chair Stephanie Klick, R-North Richland Hills, in recent days has been blasted for having previously owned a website domain with a racy name that one could reasonable assume had a nefarious purpose.

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By Scott Braddock

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May 12, 2022      5:15 PM

Video: Commissioner Bush says the AG runoff is not about his last name, but instead is about crimes committed by Paxton

Meantime, former Justice Eva Guzman said she will not be endorsing in the runoff

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May 11, 2022      6:01 PM

In starting his push for school vouchers, Gov. Abbott tells rural Republicans there is no upside or downside for them

Abbott also told radio host Chad Hasty that when it comes to concerns among homeschoolers and private schools that public dollars will eventually lead to state mandates about curriculum, that’s the kind of thing lawmakers “will have to hammer out”

After earlier this week going further than any Texas governor has ever gone in clearly supporting a school voucher program, Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday took to the airwaves in some rural parts of the state to make his case in places where “school choice” has traditionally been met with the strongest opposition among Republicans.

On the Chad Hasty Radio Show, airing in Lubbock, Abilene, and Wichita Falls, Gov. Abbott said rural Texans may view vouchers as “irrelevant” because private and charter schools aren’t available in those communities. Instead, parents there rely almost exclusively on public schools. Abbott went so far as to say people in Lubbock, for example, probably universally support their public schools.

"But what that means is it doesn't change anything at all in the rural regions in the state of Texas,” Abbott said of his pledge that public schools will remain “fully funded.”

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By Scott Braddock

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May 10, 2022      5:17 PM

JR: A more nuanced look at school board and bond elections

Conservative challengers certainly racked up some wins, but a closer examination of the results indicates support for public school leaders in places you might not expect

FORT WORTH – Things can always get a little crazy in Tarrant County elections.

That’s the initial, and in fairness not entirely inaccurate, take away from Saturday’s municipal, school board, and bond elections here. While conservatives won seats on school boards throughout the state, the talk’s been all about the sweep of four school boards in suburban districts in Tarrant.

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By James Russell

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May 10, 2022      4:34 PM

Congresswoman Garcia, Sen. Alvarado, and Harris County Commissioner Adrian Garcia slam Jolanda Jones, endorse Danielle Keys Bess to succeed former Chair Coleman in the Texas House

They said "Danielle’s opponent, Jolanda Jones, worked with the Republican Party to take over HISD schools. Last year, Jones endorsed Republican school board candidates over our incumbent Democratic HISD trustees. Jolanda Jones cannot be trusted to protect our Democratic Party values against the Republican onslaught at this critical time."

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May 10, 2022      4:29 PM

Video: Paxton slams Commissioner Bush on the Alamo

He's "liberal", he's "woke," yada yada

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May 10, 2022      4:27 PM

Lt. Gov. Patrick appoints Senators Bettencourt and Kolkhorst to State Affairs

They succeed Senators Nelson and Powell

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