Nov 23rd - 1:28 pm
Republican lieutenant governor candidate Todd Staples was the first Republican to weigh in on Sen. Leticia Van de Putte’s announcement, Saturday.
Before Van de Putte had even uttered the words ‘I’m running,” Staples issued this email statement:
“Senator Van De Putte’s announcement is another reminder that conservatives are in desperate need of new leadership. Energized Texas democrats are the result of the failed leadership of David Dewhurst. By allowing Democrats to take over the Senate, Dewhurst made a national hero out of Wendy Davis and inspired Obama’s Battleground Texas. For the majority of Texans who support a record of lower taxes, secure borders and job creation, I ask for your support in the Republican Primary so that I can stand up and fight for our shared conservative values next November.
Nov 23rd - 1:21 pm
After months of speculation, Sen. Leticia Van de Putte formally announced Saturday that she is running for lieutenant governor. In a firey speech in San Antonio, Van de Putte told a crowd of more than 500 supporters, “Texas families deserve better than they’ve been getting. Texas can do better than this. And that’s why I announce that I’ll ask the people of Texas to hire me to be your next lieutenant governor.”
Van de Putte has been mulling the decision for months, citing the need to reflect on the need to weigh the challenges of a statewide campaign with her family. The Van de Puttes suffered several tragedies this year, including the death of the Senator’s father, infant grandson and father-in-law.
In her announcement Saturday, Van de Putte focused on women’s rights, transportation, immigration issues and the need for a better public education system for the state’s poorest residents. She did not shy away from taking direct aim at the crowded field of Republican candidates.
“While they’ve bickered amongst themselves, funding for neighborhood public schools has been cut by billions. Class sizes have swelled, and too often we’re losing our best teachers,” she said. “Texas is investing less in our school children than almost any other state. It’s by no coincidence that we’re last in the nation in the percentage of adults with a high school diploma.”
The senator kept her hispanic heritage and her family front and center during Saturday’s remarks, often times speaking to supporters in Spanish. The refain “Mama’s not happy” garnered loud cheers from the crowd.
Van de Putte faces one Democratic challenger in the 2014 primary. Maria Luisa Alvarado, who was the party’s nominee in the last election, announced her candidacy earlier this month. Should Van de Putte win the nomination this time around, she faces one of four Republican challengers. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Sen. Dan Patrick, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples are all vying for the GOP nomination.
Nov 22nd - 8:04 pm
The city of Dallas and people from across the country paid tribute to President John F. Kennedy Friday, 50 years after his life was cut short.
In Friday’s Capital Tonight, we looked at how those who gathered at Dealey Plaza are choosing to remember a tragic moment in history without getting mired in the past.
REPORTING FROM THE STORM
For those who were covering the president, November 22 was just the start of decades worth of repercussions and investigation. Veteran broadcast journalist Dan Rather joined us to talk about the rollercoaster that followed.
A SEPARATE LEGACY
The presidency of Lyndon Baines Johnson will be forever linked to Kennedy’s death and the Vietnam war, but we spoke to one man who says LBJ’s time in office has been chronically underrated. LBJ Presidential Library Director Mark Updegrove joined us to explain why.
Nov 21st - 8:48 pm
In Thursday’s Capital Tonight, we reported live from Dallas as the city prepares to remember a moment that changed history and the man whose life was cut short.
AFTER THE OATH
Hours after the bullets struck, a new president was sworn in on Air Force One at Dallas Love Field. We spoke to Mark Updegrove of the LBJ presidential library about how Lyndon B. Johnson handled the transition from tragedy.
WITNESS TO HISTORY
And millions of Americans remember where they were when they heard the news, but one man had to be among of the first to tell them. Click on the image below to see radio broadcaster Gary DeLaune tell his story.
Nov 20th - 8:38 pm
State Board of Education members are busy this week, coming up with the best way to implement new graduation requirements approved as part of a curriculum overhaul last session. Lawmakers reduced the number of standardized tests high school students must pass from 15 to five, and they rewrote course requirements to promote vocational training.
In Wednesday’s Capital Tonight, we looked at where the process stands now, and why Algebra II is the main sticking point.
The state’s new abortion law has survived another test in court, but a newly published article in the journal Contraception argues that its real-world implementation could be negatively affecting women’s health.
We spoke to Daniel Grossman and Joseph Potter of the Texas Policy Evaluation Project about the data they’ve seen.
50 YEARS LATER
In the days leading up to President John F. Kennedy’s visit to Dallas 50 years ago, the working media all had their assignments, eager to capture history. Ahead of our special coverage this week, we looked back at a young radio reporter who wasn’t prepared for the news he had to deliver to listeners across the state.
Nov 19th - 8:56 pm
In Tuesday’s Capital Tonight, we spoke to an undocumented University of Texas student about what he hopes to see in the larger political debate.
The David Dewhurst campaign is out with its first statewide TV ad, touting the Texas miracle. Our capital commentators, Harold Cook and Ted Delisi, weighed in on where Dewhurst stands in his bid for another term as lieutenant governor.
While most of the Republican races for statewide office have multiple candidates, few have dared to challenge a member of the Bush family in the race for land commissioner. We sat down with David Watts to talk about why he’s giving it a shot
Nov 19th - 6:12 pm
In a 5-4 ruling today, the U.S. Supreme Court decided not to block parts of a Texas abortion law.
The law took effect on Oct. 31, after the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a temporary injunction put in place by a lower federal court. It requires doctors who provide abortions to obtain admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and provides strict oversight for the way abortion-inducing drugs are administered. Planned Parenthood joined several other abortion providers in a lawsuit in September, claiming the law placed an undue burden on women and would force nearly a third of the state’s abortion facilities to close.
A lawsuit over the law’s constitutionality remains on appeal in a federal appeals court. A three-judge panel will hear arguments on that case in January.
Nov 19th - 1:07 pm
The head of a campus conservative group has agreed to cancel a planned event, known as the “Catch an Illegal Immigrant Game,” after negative feedback from University of Texas officials, immigrant rights groups, Democrats and Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott.
In a statement, Young Conservatives of Texas Chairman Lorenzo Garcia announced he would call off the event, which was planned for Wednesday.
“After the University President and the Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement released statements denouncing the event we planned as violating the university’s honor code, I spoke with our chapter’s members, and they are both concerned that the university will retaliate against them and that the protest against the event could create a safety issue for our volunteers.”
At least one counter-demonstration will go ahead as planned. The University Leadership Initiative will march from the UT tower to the district office of Congressman Roger Williams to call for a conversation on immigration reform.
Nov 18th - 8:30 pm
In Monday’s Capital Tonight, we talked to one of the organizers of the event, along with those who say it goes too far.
ON THE AGENDA
Earlier in the day, Gov. Rick Perry tackled a less controversial debate: Which state has the better economic plan? Perry spoke at an event hosted by the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tank.
The Quorum Report‘s Harvey Kronberg joined us to talk about the event, along with Perry’s so-called rebranding effort ahead of a possible 2016 run.
HEALTH CARE CONCERNS
Plus, we spoke to a local health care administrator about Obamacare’s latest hiccups, and whether they’re affecting more than just private insurance holders. Click the image below to hear from Dr. Mark Hernandez, who heads up Travis County’s Community Care Collaborative.
Nov 18th - 5:54 pm
Gov. Rick Perry announced Monday the special election runoff in the Texas House District 50 race will be held Jan. 28.
Democrat Celia Israel and Republican Mike VanDeWalle are vying to serve out the rest of Rep. Mark Strama’s term. Strama, who is from Austin, stepped down from the legislature earlier this year for a job in the private sector.
The winner of the special election will still have to survive a primary and a general election to secure a full term.