Dec 6th - 7:07 pm
A Travis County grand jury has indicted a former executive of the state’s embattled cancer-fighting agency, known as CPRIT. Jerald Cobbs is charged with withholding information and securing execution of a document by deception, a first degree felony.
The fallout from Cobbs’ involvement in improperly awarding an $11 million grant to a company now known as Peloton Therapeutics could go beyond criminal charges, though. In Friday’s Capital Tonight, we looked at whether the state’s top officeholders could face political repercussions as they vie for higher office.
The online exchange tied to the Affordable Care Act got a shot in the arm this week, but state leaders are already eyeing new complications stemming from the law. Our reporter roundtable weighed in on that and other developments.
Plus, we continued our series of conversations with the Republican candidates for lieutenant governor. Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson joined us to talk about gun rights, border security and more.
Dec 6th - 11:59 am
A Travis County grand jury has indicted former CPRIT executive Jerald Cobbs regarding an improperly vetted grant to a Dallas-based pharmaceutical company
The indictment charges Cobbs with presenting a grant proposal for Peloton Therapeutics to the agency’s oversight committee in August 2010, without revealing that it hadn’t gone through the agency’s review process. Cobbs is charged with “securing the execution of a document by deception,” a first-degree felony.
The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas first came under fire in 2012, when an audit revealed the agency doled out more than $50 million outside of the proper channels.
Cobb has since retired from the agency.
Dec 5th - 8:02 pm
In Thursday’s Capital Tonight, we began a series of interviews with the Republican candidates for lieutenant governor. Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples joined us to talk about border security and immigration, and to explain his stance on in-state tuition for undocumented students.
With Republican Tom Pauken’s announcement that he will withdraw from the race for governor, campaign tactics could soon shift for the remaining candidates. Our Capital Commentators, Harold Cook and Ted Delisi, talked about what presumed frontrunner Greg Abbott could do heading into the March primary election.
Dec 5th - 3:32 pm
In a letter to supporters, Pauken said the fundraising gap between him and Attorney General Greg Abbott was too great, and that there didn’t appear to be a realistic path to victory.
“Filing deadline is only days away, and I have to be realistic about our prospects. When I first filed our exploratory committee in March, I said at the time that there were certain, minimum objectives we needed to achieve to win the Republican nomination: (1) We had to raise a minimum of $2 million; (2) We had to build a strong, statewide organization; (3) We had to develop a major social media presence in a short period of time.
Even though I have worked hard to get our message out across the state the past six months, unfortunately we are nowhere near where we need to be financially and organizationally to win this race.”
As of their last fundraising reports, Abbot’s campaign claimed more than $22 million in cash on hand, compared to just over $200,000 for Pauken. Abbott released a statement shortly after Pauken’s announcement, praising him for his public service.
“As a Vietnam veteran, a member of the Reagan Administration, former Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas and head of the Texas Workforce Commission, Tom has dedicated his career to public service and advancing conservatism. Tom has been an insightful and effective voice for common-sense solutions in Texas. In the race for Governor, Tom offered thoughtful ideas in areas such as vocational education and workforce development. I thank him for his valuable contributions to the race, and I look forward to working together with him to build an even better Texas.”
Pauken hasn’t said what he plans to do next, but promised to continue work to end “insider cronyism” and to “fight for our founding principles.”
Dec 4th - 7:39 pm
In Wednesday’s Capital Tonight, we looked at whether the so-called surge can get long-term support in spite of $60 million in funding needs and a history of local criticism.
ON THE AGENDA
The Quorum Report‘s Harvey Kronberg joined us to talk about the strategy House Speaker John Boehner may be taking on immigration reform.
FUNDING THE FUTURE
Plus, a new study suggests child poverty in Texas has increased over the last decade, even as the economy improved. The director for Kids Count, Frances Deviney, joined us to break down the data and talk about how to reverse it.
Dec 3rd - 8:12 pm
In Tuesday’s Capital Tonight, we looked at where the candidates stand on the issue, and what they’ve said in the past.
The White House is reporting over a million people visited the healthcare.gov website Monday, on the first full business day after a series of repairs. Government officials now say the federal online health insurance exchange is now functioning 90 percent of the time.
We spoke with Mimi Garcia of Enroll America about their efforts to get the word out about health insurance options through the Affordable Care Act in states like Texas, where the federally created website is the only one available.
Plus, our Capital Commentators, Harold Cook and Ted Delisi, joined us to look at what’s next for the Affordable Care Act and how Republicans and Democrats will position themselves around the law.
Dec 2nd - 8:11 pm
In Monday’s Capital Tonight, we looked at whether the changes are noticeable in Texas, where a number of groups are working to get people enrolled and get the word out.
ON THE AGENDA
The campaign filing deadline is one week away, and it could mean some last-minute scrambling for a few candidates. The Quorum Report‘s Harvey Kronberg joined us to explain why.
Plus, we sat down with Republican gubernatorial candidate Miriam Martinez. Click the image below to hear about Martinez’s unique background and her thoughts on immigration reform, the Republican party and more.
Nov 26th - 7:48 pm
In Tuesday’s Capital Tonight, we spoke to advocates for both sides of the issue, who say the outcome will go far beyond any one company.
Libertarian candidate for governor, Kathie Glass, joined us to share her political vision beyond the two-party system, including why property taxes should be one of the first things on the chopping block.
NEW DEADLINE LOOMS
When Congress returns to Washington after the Thanksgiving break, budget negotiators will have to scramble to strike a deal to avoid yet another round of steep, automatic spending cuts.
Nov 25th - 8:25 pm
For the first time in its history, Texas could see two women running the state. Sens. Wendy Davis and Leticia Van de Putte have both announced that they’re making a bid for statewide office. It’s a move Democrats hope will help them make their case to more women voters, but Republicans say the values of their party are still very much aligned with those of Texas women.
In Monday’s Capital Tonight, we looked at how the two major parties are working to make their case to women, plus we sat down with Sen. Van de Putte to talk more about her bid for lieutenant governor.
ON THE AGENDA
The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas has chosen David Reisman as its new chief compliance officer. Reisman currently heads up the Texas Ethics Commission, which enforces campaign finance laws.
The Quorum Report‘s Harvey Kronberg joined us to talk about that development and more.
The Public Utility Commission is drawing fire from members of the Senate Natural Resources Committee after setting up a move toward a different form of payment for electricity providers, known as capacity payments. They say the new system would encourage private generators to build up more resources to guard against blackouts, but the Senate committee’s chairman, Sen. Troy Fraser, says the current system is already designed to meet demand, and that the commission is simply overstepping its authority.
Nov 23rd - 1:44 pm
Sen. Leticia Van de Putte’s announcement made history in Texas, Saturday. For the first time two women will lead a major party’s ticket for the state’s top offices.
Sen. Wendy Davis, who is running for governor, issued a statement of support following Saturday’s announcement.
“Sen. Van de Putte’s dedication to representing the interests of all Texans makes her an outstanding choice for Lieutenant Governor. She has delivered for our veterans and small businesses, and like many Texans, I’m excited about her announcement.“
While the two are running separately, it is likely we will see them on the campaign trail together often, starting today. Davis and Van de Putte will appear together in Austin, this evening.