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“Forgive and Remember”

This analysis originally appeared in the Quorum Report. Join us there daily for coverage of Texas politics and government.  The apology tour is on as Speaker Dennis Bonnen and former Texas House GOP Caucus Chairman Dustin Burrows seek to make amends after admitting to saying “terrible things” about members in a private meeting while the […]

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Doubling down on sales tax swap, Abbott puts Texas Republicans in a box

Months ago when the Big Three first unveiled this session’s signature property tax “relief” bill, and remember it was introduced as the “Property Tax Reform and Relief Act of 2019,” they were flanked at a news conference by Senate Property Tax Committee Chairman Paul Bettencourt and Ways and Means Chair Dustin Burrows. Without those chairmen […]

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Flashback: Lt. Gov. Patrick gives Sen. Cruz a lesson in how to lead Texas Republicans

Note: This article first appeared in the Quorum Report in September of 2016. Given the fact that Lt. Gov. Patrick reportedly brokered the deal for President Trump to campaign for Sen. Cruz in Texas, it seemed appropriate to revisit this analysis – SB  A clear-eyed assessment of the long-term strength and influence of the Tea […]

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Maybe the GOP Civil War in Texas Really is Over

Perhaps every column should now start like this: Before you’re done reading, the president may tweet something that changes almost everything I’m about to say. In his speech at the Texas GOP convention last month and again in emails to supporters, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick – who finished about 15 points behind Gov. Greg Abbott […]

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Abbott’s New Hampshire-based consultant Dave Carney pulls back the curtain on the governor’s disdain for all Texas House members

Gov. Greg Abbott has now traveled to two Republican Texas House members’ districts to campaign against them, repeatedly call them “liberals,” and make clear that even uttering opposition to a key mechanism for his fundraising will be severely punished. Even if they win their races on Tuesday, Chairmen Sarah Davis, R-West University Place, and Lyle […]

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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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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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