Abbott strategy against Texas House Republicans is ready, fire, aim

Note: This analysis originally appeared in The Quorum Report in August. It seems approproriate to revisit it now that Abbott is inserting himself into House GOP primaries.  After nearly a solid week of non-stop broadside attacks on Texas House Republicans by Gov. Greg Abbott, a common refrain around the Capitol among lawmakers and lobbyists goes […]

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As hardliners push Texas House GOP to flex muscle in selecting speaker, Abbott works to reduce their numbers

HOUSTON – Confession: Few things in this world are as fascinating and fun as the literal and figurative swamp of Harris County politics. The creatures lurking here in the murky bayou waters are powerful and petty, colorful and crazy. And they’ll get you if you’re not careful. That’s why it was especially striking that as […]

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Straus retirement may set the stage for a responsible redistricting cycle

During the 2007 session of the Legislature, Rep. Byron Cook took to the front mic of the Texas House to rally the troops against then-Speaker Tom Craddick. Longtime observers will remember Cook’s words included a call to arms from Shakespeare, quoting from the Saint Crispin’s Day speech in Henry V: “We few, we happy few, […]

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With Patrick in Background, Abbott Has Chance to Lead After Harvey

Gov. Greg Abbott has said in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey that a second special session to address the needs of communities along the coast is not necessary while paradoxically pointing out that fiscal hawks have been wise to leave plenty of cash in the Economic Stabilization Fund, or “Rainy Day Fund.” That, of course, […]

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Patrick meets Straus on the Speaker’s preferred battlefield

Throughout his ascendancy at the Texas Capitol, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has proven time and again the ability to adapt to the political environment. Unlike many in the Tea Party faction of the Republican Party from which he derives his support, Patrick comes to government to govern, not to protest. As Patrick rolled out his […]

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Criminal investigation opened into fraudulent pro-school voucher letters

Note: This story first appeared on the Quorum Report. Join us there for daily coverage of Texas politics and government.  As Texas House members continue to ask questions about the legalities surrounding those “fraudulent” pro-school voucher letters sent to their offices, two criminal complaints have been filed and an investigation has been opened by prosecutors […]

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Hotze’s Bathroom Bill Campaign Just Latest Episode in Long-Running Anti-Gay Crusade

As the Texas Senate was getting down to work on the “bathroom bill,” Dr. Steve Hotze, an anti-gay activist and longtime business partner of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, began running television ads against Speaker Joe Straus in his district demanding the measure receive a vote in the House. After Senate Bill 6 passed the full […]

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On bathrooms, Patrick speaks for Abbott because Abbott lets him

There was much chuckling and chatter at the Texas Capitol following the release of Texas Monthly’s cover story featuring Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick holding the gavel standing over the words “In Charge.” One recurring reaction went something like this: “Maybe the magazine should have done a vote count on Patrick’s priority bills before making that […]

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Amid accusations of fake news, phony organizations help AG Paxton in felony case

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, parroting President Donald Trump, has recently taken to calling news coverage he dislikes “fake news.” As a distraction, it works. When it comes to transparency, the Texas Senate’s recent moves to restrict media coverage are in line with Patrick’s order to the Legislative Budget Board to suppress staff reports – a […]

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On restrooms, Patrick sides with Texas House foe Steve Hotze over business

Note: This story originally appeared in The Quorum Report. Join us there for daily coverage of Texas politics and government.  Texas House Speaker Joe Straus has suggested Gov. Greg Abbott should articulate a clear position on one of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s top priorities for the legislative session: Restrictions on bathroom access based on gender. […]

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