Texas Take

Texas Take

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Texas Politics
Ep121: Castro moves toward a run for the White House and Beto gets the biggest celebrity dollars
Dec 14 • 32 min
Now that much of the national conversation about politics has moved to the 2020 race for the White House, former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro is inching toward entering the race. Join the conversation featuring Scott Braddock, editor of The Quorum…
Ep 120: Bush 41 Laid to Rest in Texas
Dec 7 • 41 min
The nation paused this week to pay tribute to former President George Herbert Walker Bush, who was laid to rest at his presidential library on the campus at Texas A&M University in College Station. Meantime, the Republican Party of Texas was…
Ep119: Paxton Sues San Antonio Over Sanctuary Cities Law and Beto Has a Change of Heart
Nov 30 • 41 min
exas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Friday announced his office is suing the City of San Antonio over alleged violations of the state’s ban on so-called “sanctuary cities.” The move comes ahead of the next legislative session when lawmakers are…
Ep118: A new presumptive Texas House Speaker and an outbreak of decency
Nov 16 • 37 min
The race for Texas House Speaker was declared over this week by Rep. Dennis Bonnen, who provided a list of 109 pledges to his candidacy. He only needed 76 votes of House members to get the job, but Republicans and Democrats came together in a unique…
Ep117: The election is over, but what does it all mean?
Nov 8 • 33 min
The historic 2018 Texas election is in the books and even though some of the dust has yet to settle — the vote counting continues in a few races — there is plenty to be said for what it all means. The race between Sen. Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke was…
Ep116: What’s Scarier? Halloween or the campaigns?
Nov 1 • 27 min
President Trump this week ratcheted up his rhetoric on illegal immigration, threatening to send as many as 15,000 troops to the US-Mexico border in response to a caravan of people traveling north from Central America. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has fully…
Ep115: Trump comes to Texas as Senate race surpasses $100M milestone
Oct 26 • 32 min
President Donald Trump arrived in Houston this week to a warm welcome at a rally in support of Sen. Ted Cruz as Texas’ junior senator fends off a spirited and well-funded challenge by Rep. Beto O’Rourke. Plus, Ryan Poppe has an in-depth report on…
Ep114: Is a vote for Cruz a vote for Trump?
Oct 18 • 32 min
Sen. Ted Cruz is getting backup from President Trump on Monday when he comes to Houston to rally for the senator fending off a challenge from Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke. Trump’s theme at campaign rallies around the nation has been that a vote for…
Ep113: Critics say “Come on, Ted.” And the polls show he’s coming on.
Oct 11 • 33 min
Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Beto O’Rourke are making their final arguments to voters across the Great State in the home stretch of the U.S. Senate campaign. Richard Linklater, the renowned Austin filmmaker, has now directed TV ads for an anti-Cruz PAC in…
Ep112: Cruz Teams With Donald Trump Jr, O’Rourke Teams with Willie Nelson
Oct 4 • 40 min
The star power is now coming out in the Texas US Senate race as Sen. Ted Cruz and challenger Rep. Beto O’Rourke look to offer voters a dramatic contrast. Sen. Cruz welcomed First Son Donald Trump Jr. to Wichita Falls, O’Rourke welcomed Texas icon…
Ep111: It’s Round Two for Ted and Beto
Sep 27 • 40 min
Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Beto O’Rourke are set to clash in their second debate this weekend in Houston. On the show, we break down the first debate in Dallas and offer a preview of how the Senate candidates may throw down in Houston Sunday night. …
Ep 110: Willie Nelson doesn’t care what you think of his politics
Sep 20 • 44 min
Willie Nelson took a lot of heat this week for his upcoming concert to fundraiser for Democratic Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke, but he doesn’t seem to care. Meantime, O’Rourke’s trailing Sen. Ted Cruz in one new poll this week and leading him in…
Ep 109: The Mission to Rescue Ted Cruz
Sep 14 • 39 min
Republicans are sounding the alarm that Sen. Ted Cruz could be in real danger of losing his reelection bid to Rep. Beto O’Rourke. That’s why Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick reportedly went to the White House earlier this year to ask that President Trump come…
Ep108: Showing the #@%* up in the Cruz and O’Rourke race; plus Dan Patrick’s jet-fueled campaign kickoff
Sep 6 • 38 min
Now that Labor Day weekend has come and gone, the campaigns for statewide office in Texas kick into high gear. Sen. Ted Cruz keeps doing all he can to define Rep. Beto O’Rourke, his Democratic challenger, as “too liberal” and “too vulgar”…
Ep107: Trump to Head to Texas, But Does it Help or Hurt Cruz?
Aug 31 • 42 min
Trump to Head to Texas, But Does it Help or Hurt Cruz? The race between Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Beto O’Rourke is heating up this week as President Trump promised to campaign for Cruz in October. The venue? “The biggest stadium in Texas we can…
Ep106: O’Rourke and Cruz Clash Over What it Means to Be American
Aug 24 • 45 min
Beto O’Rourke and Ted Cruz clash over the controversy surrounding protests by NFL players kneeling during the national anthem to draw attention to shootings of African-Americans by law enforcement. Meantime, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick says…
Ep105: What-a-mistake in the Senate race, Abbott’s staff rolls in dough, and where is Valdez’s gun?
Aug 16 • 47 min
What a show this week as Ted Cruz’s campaign really stepped in it when it comes to an iconic burger chain. The state started awarding letter grades for public schools. And a gun belonging to the Democratic nominee for governor went missing. Yes, you…
Ep 104: Cruz cozies up to Trump, a Russian invite and ‘Easy Rider’ Abbott
Aug 9 • 26 min
Plus: Bail reform, a new DACA showdown and ‘Winning for Texas’ as campaign season rachets up
Ep 103: A red wave, heroin and support for abortion rights
Aug 3 • 48 min
Plus ‘indictment’ cake, GOP in-fighting and a passel of summer polls
Ep102: Medical marijuana, debate talk and Russian spies, it’s all Texas; plus, a growing political storm over DACA, family reunification and gun control
Jul 26 • 39 min
A growing push to expand the availability of medical marijuana is taking place in conservative rural Texas, of all places, and the effects of the ongoing drive are likely to show up in the legislative session next year. Voters in Oklahoma…
Ep101: Will this be the year of ‘reverse coattails’ in Texas? Plus, as Texas-size campaign totals come in, Trump sets off another storm in The Swamp
Jul 20 • 36 min
Money, and lots of it, is flowing into several top-ballot races in Texas, even as some top statewide candidates are having trouble raising much of anything. Consider that incumbent Republican Greg Abbott has $29 million in the bank, while…
Ep100: Big money for Beto and herding angry cats; Plus, a fight over paid sick leave, a $2.8 billion bonus on our 100th episode
Jul 12 • 32 min
Call this the week of fights. U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso, is raking in loads of campaign cash in his bid to unseat incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, raising more than all the other Democrats running for statewide…
SPECIAL EVENT: Ask Texas Take (almost) anything
Jul 6 • 1 min
On Thursday, July 12 at 2PM, join the Texas Take hosts Mike Ward of the Houston Chronicle, Scott Braddock, editor of the Quorum Report and Texas Public Radio’s Ryan Poppe for a Facebook Live Q&A followed by the recording of Ep100. Get your…
Ep99: A fight over sex ed, special elections galore, and more
Jun 29 • 31 min
This week’s hodgepodge of Texas political news includes Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s legal troubles and his fight with the Fort Worth School District over sex ed curriculum. There are also special elections playing out across the state to…
SPECIAL EDITION: Texas Democratic Party Convention
Jun 23 • 40 min
The Texas Democratic Party met in Fort Worth this weekend to hammer out their platform and celebrate their slate of candidates for the fall. The crowd in the convention hall was on their feet for big Democratic stars like Beto O’Rourke and Julian…
SPECIAL EDITION: Texas GOP Convention
Jun 16 • 39 min
A fight over party chair, saluting President Trump; The inside skinny, direct from the GOP state convention in San Antonio Two years ago, nobody wanted to talk about The Donald, even as he was winning his takeover bid of the Republican Party. At this…
Ep98: Were Texans sightseeing in boats as Hurricane Harvey blew in? Plus, presidential pardons, LGBTQ politics and a basketball shoot off
Jun 7 • 29 min
President Trump thinks Texas sightseers were the reason that thousands of Coast Guard rescues, but chagrined Houston officials have another thought: Next storm, we’ll push Trump out into Galveston Bay in a small boat to watch the storm blow in….
Ep97: Ted Cruz, Jimmy Kimmel and a Blobfish
Jun 1 • 42 min
In a week dominated by school safety concerns, a basketball challenge lightens things up
Ep96: Dan Patrick blames school shootings on a ‘culture of violence’ as Lupe Valdez explains her $12,000 in unpaid property bills, the fall campaigns heat up
May 24 • 26 min
As state officials began looking for solutions to curb school shootings like the tragedy at Santa Fe High School that left 10 people dead and 13 people wounded, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick blamed the “culture of violence” prevalent in the United States as a…
Ep95: Santa Fe school shooting spurs new gun-safety debate; plus, Gov. Greg Abbott promises quick action to protect schools, as Dan Patrick warns about Fake News
May 18 • 42 min
The school shooting in Santa Fe that left 10 dead and 10 injured has state officials lining up to offer possible solutions to prevent another such tragedy, so Texas students can be safe in their classes. Gov. Greg Abbott says he will be leading a…
Ep94: Greg Abbott after ‘liberal’ Lupe Valdez; plus, before the runoff election, Texas GOP governor ramps up his attac
May 10 • 26 min
The Democratic runoff for governor is a week away, but incumbent Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has already declared war on the candidate he wants to run against. In a new website, Greg The Guv is blasting away at Lupe…
Ep93: Was Gov. Abbott trolled by the Russians on Jade Helm? Plus, the NRA show comes to Dallas, Blake Farenthold tells Abbott to pound salt and more
May 3 • 43 min
As the National Rifle Association opened its annual meeting in Dallas, the former CIA director says that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott got trolled by the Russians in his Jade Helm response three years ago. Say what? According to Michael…
Ep92: Texas throwdowns starring Blake Fahrenthold, HISD and Congress; plus, shade gets thrown at low minority college rates and media stars Diamond and Silk
Apr 27 • 36 min
Call this the week of the throwdowns. It started with a raucous Houston Independent School District board meeting over controversial plans involving several school campuses, in the nation’s seventh-largest district, where cops were…
Ep91: Will Texans get a chance to roll the dice at casinos? Plus, discussion about a possible expansion of medical marijuana and Barbara Bush remembrances
Apr 19 • 38 min
Andrew White, the Democrat running a long-shot campaign to become Texas’ next governor, thinks Texans should get the chance to roll the dice for improved schools. Literally. Under his plan, casino gambling in the Lone Star State would be…
Ep90: A silver tsunami and warnings about Chinese spies in Texas, plus; National Guard troops head back to Texas’ border with Mexico, as Washington politics go wild again
Apr 12 • 25 min
New forecasts are predicting that a mushrooming population of senior Texans, and a shortage of doctors to care for them, could produce a ”silver tsunami” in coming years. This, in a state targeted for years by complaints that it was not…
Ep89: GOP Gov. Abbott picks Democrat Valdez as runoff victor? Plus; border security an issue again, NAFTA changes and Ted Cruz as the ‘unity’ candidate
Apr 5 • 36 min
Gov. Greg Abbott surprised Democrats with a tweet where he acknowledged for the first time that former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez would be the party’s nominee to face him next November. “The next 7 months will be a battle between…
Ep88: Jeb Bush says his kids actually love him, plus; a fight over the census, opoids, Bollywood and Mars also on the dance card
Mar 30 • 28 min
Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor who was Donald Trump’s favorite punching bag during the 2016 GOP presidential primary, is at it again with the orange-haired guy who is now POTUS. In a speech at Yale University (he graduated from…
Ep87: A psychopath, secret cameras and frozen yogurt; plus, political debate intensifies as runoffs, general election fights come closer
Mar 23 • 45 min
In a week dominated by news about the Austin bombings, Texas politics gave up a few surprise headlines to make things interesting. The bombings came to an end after the suspect, a jobless, 23-year-old college dropout, blew himself up as…
Ep86: ‘You can’t be a liberal man’ becomes new GOP ditty; Plus, tariffs, Trump and a West Texas woman with 46 grandkids
Mar 9 • 35 min
With the primary election now in the rear-view mirror, Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas is amusing himself with a short song, “You Can’t Be a Liberal Man,” that pokes at his Democratic general election opponent, U.S. Rep….
Ep85: Record early voting, nasty campaigns and deer semen donations
Mar 2 • 36 min
The Texas primary season is nearly over as early voting closes Friday and election day is Tuesday. All across the state, Texans have been turning out in record numbers for a non-presidential election, with huge enthusiasm on the Democratic…
Ep84: P is for Primary, U is for Unpleasantness
Feb 22 • 31 min
Early voting has started in Texas’ spring primary elections, and Democratic turnout is reported to be at record levels. Republicans, on the other hand, seem focused on attacking each other in several high-profile contests. Gov. Abbott is campaigning…
Ep83: ‘Liberal’ the GOP stink bomb in primary races; plus, bathrooms, heartburn over mail ballots and complaints over ‘crappy articles’
Feb 8 • 39 min
Forget that civilized political discourse thing that you may think elections are all about. Texas’ Republican primaries are beginning to look more like a full-on street fight. It’s a state where GOP leaders pride themselves as being conservative with…
Ep82: ‘I agree with President Trump’ new GOP mantra: As primary election draws closer, president’s popularity drives kudos in Texas
Feb 2 • 37 min
Not so long ago, a lot of Texas Republicans were running for cover from President Trump. Now, with The Donald’s approval ratings high in Texas on the even of the March 6 primary, many are running to embrace him. “I agree with President Trump” seems to…
Ep81: Harvey relief versus DACA, as sparks fly over toll roads: Plus, as primary season gets serious, the political rhetoric becomes a blow torch
Jan 25 • 33 min
After a three-day shutdown of the federal government, Congress is back at working trying to resolve the issue that triggered it: What to do with The Dreamers, the undocumented immigrants that were brought to this country by their parents. Texas U.S….
Ep80: Tax talk stirs the election debate, cuts and no new hikes: Plus, as state costs from Harvey, foster care, special education continue to grow
Jan 19 • 31 min
Within hours after Republican Gov. Greg Abbott rolled out his plan put the brakes on skyrocketing property taxes in Texas, to GOP cheering, Democrats and a variety of other groups were shooting at it right and left. Lupe Valdez, at an Austin forum a…
Ep79: President Trump uses another expletive, but Dan Patrick calls him ‘greatest’: Plus, DACA, state border-security funding, Astros’ Series win become bookmarks in a busy political week
Jan 12 • 41 min
As the elbowing among dozens of little-known Texas candidates in both parties intensifies as they scramble to get attention just eight weeks before the election, President Trump is again stealing the limelight with an explosive remark featuring an…
Ep78: Ted Cruz touts tax cuts and throws shade on Washington Democrats
Jan 4 • 48 min
As U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz touts the Republican-pushed tax cuts recently approved in Washington, he predicts that Texans will see more in their paychecks by next month. A prophecy, he calls it, that will refute the claims of Democrats who opposed the cuts….
Ep77: Tax cuts, cuts, cuts signed into law as Washington politicians jockey for credit In Austin; plus, brawling begins for what promises to be some raucous March primaries
Dec 22, 2017 • 44 min
Tax cuts, cuts, cuts, as President Trump loves to say, were approved by Congress to great Republican jubilation, and predictions by Democrats that the bill could be a GOP Waterloo. Hmmm. The two parties had much the same stance just a few years ago…
Ep76: ‘F-tards,’ jail bait and ‘cowardly RINOs’ as sex dominates the political debate in Washington and Texas
Dec 14, 2017 • 43 min
Sex continues to dominate politics in Texas and Washington. U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold of Corpus Christi becomes the latest casualty of the sex-harassment scandal in Washington, even as new allegations surface that he crudely treated staffers and was…
Ep75: Candidates line up in droves to run for office: Plus, busy filing period for Dems, GOP makes for excitement in 2018 elections
Dec 8, 2017 • 43 min
Texas Democrats have eight — count ‘em, eight — candidates running for governor in the spring 2018 primary. Eleven candidates, seven Republicans and four Democrats, have signed on to replace Ted Poe in Congress. Outspoken Republican Agriculture…
Ep74: Joe Barton, sex pics and Sid Miller’s ‘Jesus Shot’; Plus those hated toll roads and a wild political filing season
Nov 30, 2017 • 40 min
Amid continuing revelations about lurid details from his last, and demands from fellow Republicans to step aside, U.S. Rep. Joe Barton decides not to seek another term. He becomes the first casualty of the national uproar over sexual harassment. …
Ep73: Roy Moore, communist Democrats and the alt-left press as political rancor intensifies in Washington and Austin
Nov 16, 2017 • 47 min
In Texas and Washington, politics seems to be getting uglier and uglier. Take, for instance, the U.S. Senate campaign of Alabama justice and conservative icon Roy Moore, who has been accused of groping and trying to date young girls years ago….
Ep72: Tragic church shooting renews gun-control debate
Nov 9, 2017 • 40 min
Plus: Piers Morgan goes after Ken Paxton, Ted Nugent and more
Ep71: Is Congress gonna cut taxes for Average Texans, or what? Plus; Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick gets a GOP opponent, and the Astros win the World series
Nov 2, 2017 • 37 min
Politicians in Washington are arguing over how to cut taxes, and Texans are suggesting they should quit all the talking and just get it done. Let’s not make this another drawn-out debate by Republicans where nothing happens in the end, like the…
Ep70: Straus retires, Patrick says it ain’t personal, and frustration mounts about Harvey recovery
Oct 27, 2017 • 36 min
Texas House Speaker Joe Straus delivered a stunner this week when he announced he will retire from his job as presiding officer. Unlike other top Texas Republicans who retired, he’s not expected anytime soon on Dancing with the Stars….
Ep69: A week of ‘asinine, insensitive and insane’; plus the Ted Cruz-Bernie Sanders show on socialist and right-wing views, and the bathroom bill
Oct 19, 2017 • 33 min
The President started it all, with some Trump-speak about how some former presidents didn’t call the families of dead soldiers to express condolences. After he walked those comments back, Energy Secretary Perry, a veteran himself, called the public…
Ep68: Fighting over Harvey aid and a bathroom bill; plus, Ted Cruz, impeachment and medical marijuana
Oct 12, 2017 • 42 min
An angry Gov. Greg Abbott takes on fellow Republicans in the U.S. House for getting “rolled” by not demanding that Texas gets an additional $18 billion now in Hurricane Harvey relief funding. And former top Trump adviser Steve Bannon says he’s fixin’…
Ep67: Fierce new debate over gun control, cutting taxes: Plus, Arnold Schwarzenegger wants to ‘terminate’ gerrymandering, of all things
Oct 5, 2017 • 40 min
The worst shooting massacre in modern U.S. history sparks an intense new debate over gun control, including a ban on “bump stocks” that can make rifles function like an automatic weapon. Gov. Greg Abbott shuts down complaints in Houston about the pace…
Ep66: Amazon and bathrooms, ‘taking a knee’ cap a fractious week; Plus, Texas’ political entertainment features a Greg Abbott-Sylvester Turner spat, as the 2018 campaign begins
Sep 29, 2017 • 39 min
If you thought (or hoped) the mention of the controversial “bathroom bill” would never come up again, think again. In competing to snare the location of Amazon’s second headquarters, a mega-big get for whichever city the online retail…
Ep65: Confederate statues in The Woodlands, Satan and a ‘dictator’
Sep 21, 2017 • 38 min
AUSTIN — There are weeks when no one seems happy, especially when public officials are giving them such good reasons to be grouchy. Take Gordy Bunch, who heads The Woodlands township board, suggested at a community meeting that the Confederate…
Ep64: Harvey and Irma and Greg and Miss Texas
Sep 17, 2017 • 39 min
Political shots abound as recovery begins in earnest, with Trump still a target for his comment about Neo-Nazis
John Sharp takes on Harvey, as Irma moves in on Florida; Plus, sideshows by Jeff Sessions, Ken Paxton and his ‘pistol packing mama’
Sep 7, 2017 • 50 min
Just when Texans were getting past their hurricane fears from the destructive Harvey, a stronger Irma was bearing down on Florida — and Jose and Katia were churning away in tropical waters with no threat to the Gulf Coast. As the cleanup in…
Ep62: Hurricanes Harvey and Dan come ashore, with political chemotherapy; Donald Trump, Greg Abbott, Joe Straus, Lyle Larson, Mark Cuban co-star in the drama
Aug 24, 2017 • 42 min
As Hurricane Harvey approached landfall, gale-force political winds continued to howl in Austin as Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick continued criticizing House Speaker Joe Straus over the death of property-tax reform in the special legislative session. In a…
Ep61: Listen: A new Civil War in the Republican party, and revisiting the real one
Aug 17, 2017 • 35 min
Gov. Abbott blasts House Speaker Joe Straus after half of Abbott’s must-pass issues died in the special session
Ep60: The special session draws to a close, plus Beto O’Rourke and ‘soda pop’ politics
Aug 11, 2017 • 39 min
As the special legislative session heads to its finale, Gov. Greg Abbott will be getting a few of his 20 must-pass priorities on his desk. A few. Maybe six, perhaps seven. On Friday, after weeks of political bickering and gamesmanship, the House and…
Ep59: With just over a week left, no bills yet on Gov. Abbott’s desk
Aug 4, 2017 • 39 min
While Texas’ Senate approved all of Gov. Greg Abbott’s priority bills in just seven days, the House is taking a more deliberative approach, debating the issues in more detail and tweaking many of the issues Abbott wanted them to address in ways that…
Ep58: Fight over Texas bathrooms quickly flushes through state Senate
Jul 27, 2017 • 37 min
As Texas’ special legislative session enters its second week, it just keeps getting more and more special. So special, in fact, that the fight over bathrooms has now become a fight pitting Big Business against their usual Republican friends.
Ep57: Dan Patrick declares open warfare on Republican Texas House leadership
Jul 21, 2017 • 28 min
Houston Chronicle Austin Bureau Chief Mike Ward is once again on assignment in Washington, DC. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of material being offered up by Texas’ elected leadership. As always, we’ve got the lowdown on…
Ep56: If you don’t have an actual opponent, feel free to make one up
Jul 14, 2017 • 34 min
[Mike Ward is on special assignment, traveling to Washington this week so Scott tackled the podcast duties solo today.] It’s official: Governor Greg Abbott announced his re-election campaign just after 3 p.m. today in San Antonio, where he also…
Ep55: Pushing the reset button on Texas’ special session
Jul 5, 2017 • 38 min
Fresh off the long holiday weekend, it appears the reset button has been pushed on the upcoming special session of the Texas Legislature. Mike Ward is on assignment this week so Quorum Report Editor Scott Braddock welcomed journalist Erica Grieder to…
Ep54: Is Dan Patrick really the conservative North Star of Texas politics? Plus, Austin’s mayor applauds Lege action on school finance … no, wait, forget that
Jun 29, 2017 • 33 min
Is Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick really the Conservative North Star of Texas Politics? That’s what a confidant, Houston Sen. Paul Bettencourt, told a group of pastors, explaining that the Senate’s presiding officer “doesn’t change. He doesn’t move. Every…
Ep53: Driving past a bad car wreck with serious injuries, without stopping? Plus, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn pushes for Obamacare repeal, faces pushback from Texas colleague Ted Cruz
Jun 22, 2017 • 60 min
If the Texas political fight of the week was most recently in Austin, it’s now moved to Washington. U.S. Senate. John Cornyn of Texas has pushed ahead on a GOP Senate plan to dump Obamacare, and Democrats have all jumped ship, saying it was hatched in…
Ep52: House Speaker compares special session agenda to a pile of manure: With unusual bluntness, Joe Straus takes on fellow Republicans Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick
Jun 15, 2017 • 31 min
House Speaker Joe Straus seems sick and tired of it all. After months of critical swipes from Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick at him and his legislative chamber, and a week after Gov. Greg Abbott said lawmakers will be lazy if they don’t pass all 20 of his…
Ep51: Abbott says Lege ‘lazy’ if they don’t pass his special session agenda: Crack not likely to draw applause from lawmakers still recovering from a fractious 140-day regular session
Jun 8, 2017 • 38 min
On July 18, the Texas Legislature will be back to finish its business — and then some. And if they don’t pass all 20 items that Gov. Greg Abbott has put on the agenda for a special session, then they’ll just be lazy. In an interview on a…
Ep50: Legislature adjourns amid accusations, protests and death threats: Plus, Gov. Abbott takes charge of special agenda, Lt. Gov. Patrick pushes bathroom bill, property-tax reform
Jun 1, 2017 • 34 min
As House Speaker Joe Straus gaveled his chamber to adjournment, he acknowledged that the end of the 140-day legislative session had been, well, a bit exciting. And he wished members the best until he sees them again, “which, like you, I hope won’t be…
Ep49: Final Lege firefight erupts over bathrooms, property-tax cuts
May 25, 2017 • 27 min
Lunch shaming, disabled children and burning puppies take center stage
Ep48: High-stakes showdown between the Texas Senate and House: Plus, Patrick demands House pass his priority bills; Straus says his chamber sets own agenda
May 19, 2017 • 28 min
High-drama is marking the final days of the Texas Legislature, starring House Speaker Joe Straus and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. Straus started the week off by penning a letter to Patrick suggesting that the chambers should work together to pass “two…
Ep47: Republican Civil War erupts in the Texas House, with late-night drama: Plus, hundreds of bills left dead as first casualties of leadership challenge by Freedom Caucus members
May 12, 2017 • 32 min
So, those reps used a procedural maneuver to kill all 120 bills on the calendar they had been denied. And then they started a talkathon to keep hundreds of other bills from being voted on. By the time the political theater ended at midnight Thursday,…
Ep46: Banning ‘sanctuary cities’ and crying sounds as bills die: Plus, a throwdown over beauticians and U.S,-made steel, and a rare Senate apology
May 5, 2017 • 34 min
Republican-supported legislation banning so-called “sanctuary cities”’ proved controversial to the very end, as the Texas Senate played out the final drama before approving and sending to the governor a House version that includes a “show your papers”…
Ep45: Sanctuary cities sparks a Texas-style House showdown: Plus, Fights over “Buffet Bill,” charter schools, pensions give Lege a busy last month
Apr 28, 2017 • 27 min
Unpleasantness was the order of the day as the Texas House passed Senate Bill 6, the controversial legislation to ban sanctuary cities in the Lone Star State. Democrats opposed to the bill angrily argued with Republicans who supported it, like two…
Ep44: Budgets, bathrooms and Warren Buffett
Apr 21, 2017 • 40 min
Legislature enters its last month with big issues contentious, unresolved
Ep43: Texas House flushes Senate’s ‘bathroom bill,’ offers alternative
Apr 13, 2017 • 37 min
The Texas House has come up with its own, much different of the “bathroom bill” that the Senate passed as one of its priorities. Instead of using a birth certificate to determine which Texans could use which restroom, the House has decided to prohibit…
Ep42: Dan Patrick wanted a House vote on vouchers, and he got it. As the House moves ahead with its version of the budget, it soundly rejects ‘school choice’
Apr 6, 2017 • 36 min
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said he wanted a House vote on “school choice,” vouchers to opponents. He got one. The result was an overwhelming smackdown of the concept that Patrick and the Senate tagged as a top priority. As the House moved ahead to adopt its…
Ep41: A weekly trifecta with Paxton, bathrooms and vouchers. Plus, as political tensions mount at the Texas Legislature, the entertainment level grows
Mar 31, 2017 • 40 min
As Texas’ legislative session passes its midpoint, name-calling and unpleasantness seem to be the order of the day under Pink Dome. Attorney General Ken Paxton got bad news, as a judge in his home county of Colin County decides to move his…
Ep40: Not ‘Dancing With The Stars,’ but former Gov. Rick Perry at it again. Plus, the now-U.S. energy secretary weighs into Texas A&M election flap, as tensions boil in the Legislature
Mar 23, 2017 • 38 min
Just when many Texans thought Rick Perry had moved on past making headlines, he’s b-a-a-a-a-c-k. Perry took time out from his new job as U.S. energy secretary, safeguarding the nation’s nuclear stockpiles, to blast the election of Texas A&M…
Ep39: Battle lines form between the House and Senate on budget, bathrooms. Plus, as tensions flare, both legislative chambers appear to dig in for a fight on several fronts
Mar 17, 2017 • 38 min
The growing fight between the Senate and the House is appearing like an ugly divorce in the making. After House Speaker Joe Straus suggested the Senate needed to step up its pace in writing its version of the the state’s spending blueprint, the…
Ep38: Bathroom politics flood the Texas Capitol. Plus, SB 6 opponent: Wrong ‘If you know what’s between someone’s legs’
Mar 9, 2017 • 31 min
As bathroom politics continue to dominate the debate in Austin, a showdown appears to be nearing between the state Senate and the House over privacy in the stalls and transgender rights. Before the Senate State Affairs Committee approved Senate…
Ep#37: Immigration, foster care are volatile mix in Texas House. Plus, bathroom bill, prison time for rogue votes, school choice heat up crazy week
Mar 2, 2017 • 34 min
As immigration and foster care collided in the Texas House, the state Senate was arguing over whether to send rogue lawmakers to prison. This is a wild political season in Texas, for sure, and the debate over legislation to fix the state’s…
Ep36: Can you pee with the LGBT? Lots of bathroom humor at the Texas Capitol, plus immigration issues and the Convention of States
Feb 22, 2017 • 37 min
The fight at the State Capitol over bathrooms is getting a bit personal. Thanks to a video from the American Civil Liberties Union opposing Senate Bill 6, the controversial measure limiting who can use which loo, the new watchword has become:…
Ep35: Greg Abbott versus The World: taking on pre-K programs, bathrooms, the Constitution and pro football
Feb 17, 2017 • 30 min
In just a week, Gov. Greg Abbott seems to be taking on all comers. First, in an interview on Fox News, Abbott blasted the National Football League for, as he put it, trying to make Texas “come to heel” on enacting a so-called bathroom bill that will…
Ep34: Week of throwdowns over sanctuary cities, bathrooms, even the KKK. Plus, partisan tensions grow in Austin, Washington as Abbott promises to punish, and as Trump targets a Texas senator.
Feb 9, 2017 • 38 min
Call it the week of the throwdowns. First came Gov. Greg Abbott, blasting away at Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez and the “liberal Austin city” that he blames for allowing a wrong-headed “sanctuary city” policy to take hold, a policy he wants to…
Ep33: Arguing and fighting spread on the budget, ‘sanctuary cities’ and bathrooms. Plus, John Cornyn sticks up for Ted Cruz against Al Franken, the former SNL comedian
Feb 2, 2017 • 40 min
The arguing and fighting of Washington has come to Austin. Gov. Greg Abbott’s State of the State speech, where he gently lectured the House and Senate to approve more money for Pre-K and child-protection programs, has some lawmakers rolling their eyes…
Ep32: A border wall and border taxes, plus where to find the ‘unvarished truth’
Jan 26, 2017 • 35 min
In a raucous week in Austin, arguments over Muslim radicals and sanctuary cities drove the day If President Trump’s plans to start construction soon on a border wall in Texas caught some Texans off guard, his subsequent suggestion to levy a 20-percent…
Ep31: Rick Perry and Al Franken joke about ‘couch time,’ as a budget fight starts in Austin. Plus, controversy over Trump inauguration tickets, an indictment of a Texas House member and more.
Jan 19, 2017 • 39 min
A cringeworthy joke it was, for sure, but conservative Texas Republican Rick Perry and liberal Minnesota U.S. Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota nearly brought down the house during Perry’s confirmation hearing in Washington. “Thank you so much…
Ep30: Showtime in Austin: Bathroom bill, budget crisis and an official state gun; plus, as Texas Legislature opens its 140-day session, tensions quickly emerge over social-agenda bills and money
Jan 12, 2017 • 34 min
As expected, the “Texas Privacy Act” has quickly touched off arguments, triggering a lengthy debate while the House was trying to establish its operating rules. The Senate was quickly enmeshed in a snit of its own, over whether to restore a rule…
Ep29: ‘Texas Privacy Act’ filed as battle lines drawn for legislative session, plus, tight budget, contentious issues promise to liven the legislative debate
Jan 5, 2017 • 31 min
The “Texas Privacy Law,” legislation that was known at various times in the past year as the Transgender Bathroom Bill and the Women’s Privacy Act, has finally been filed — setting up what promises to become one of the most contentions issues…
Ep28: A reality star appoints a reality star, as Donald Trump appoints Rick Perry. Texas leaders look to Washington to help them balance the state budget, plus a court throwdown over ‘Charlie Brown Christmas’
Dec 15, 2016 • 34 min
A reality star picks a reality star, as President-Elect Donald Trump picks former Texas Gov. Rick Perry to serve in his cabinet as the nation’s energy czar. Perry’s nomination is sparking controversy and discussion. As Gov. Greg Abbott gears up for…
Ep27: Will the so-called bathroom bill flush the state’s economy down the toilet? Plus, what’s next with foster care, should women call 9-1-1- if they feel abortion pressure — and queso
Dec 11, 2016 • 29 min
Will the Texas bathroom bill flush the state’s economy down the toilet? A business group says yes, but supporters say no. What’s next with the state’s growing foster-care crisis, which carries a huge price tag to repair, and should the state tell…
Ep26: Governing Texas in the Donald Trump era; Plus, a bathroom bill, a throwdown over property-tax cuts and fetal remains
Dec 1, 2016 • 42 min
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is promoting his bathroom-protection bill with a poll he paid for that says a majority of all Texans — Republicans, Democrats and everyone else — agree that the controversial bill is a good idea. If you thought the…
Ep25: Ted Cruz is back, promising pitchforks and torches if the GOP doesn’t deliver
Nov 18, 2016 • 32 min
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz is back in the limelight, promising pitchforks and torches if the new Republican majority in Washington doesn’t deliver on its promises to drain the swamp and make American politics work for the people again. If the Washington…