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Texas Take: Political Storms At The Capitol Continue Post Special Session

Ryan Poppe
Texas Public Radio

Editor's note: Mike Ward, who appeared on this podcast, was a reporter for the Houston Chronicle whose reporting was called into question in August, 2018. Although the podcasts were primarily analysis of current events, in the interest of disclosure, we thought it wise to include this information.
The Houston Chronicle retracted eight reports and issued corrections in multiple others, saying they were based on fabricated information, after an outside investigation revealed 44 percent of people quoted in Ward’s stories did not appear to exist. Ward resigned earlier this year while the investigation was underway.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick continues to criticize House Speaker Joe Straus over the death of property-tax reform in the special legislative session.

In a series of interviews since the 30-day summer session concluded a week ago, Patrick has labeled Straus "a quitter" for not letting the bill pass the House, even to the point of suggesting Straus should get the boot as speaker.

He continues to call Straus a "big-spending liberal Republican."

For his part, the speaker has been silent, apparently having moved on after some acrimonious exchanges with his rival in recent weeks.

It is rare for a lieutenant governor -- and governor, for that matter -- to be as critical of a speaker as Texas' No. 1 and 2 officials have been of Straus.

Make no mistake: The unpleasantness of the special session is as much about the Republican primary election next March as it was about any legislation that did or did not get passed.

Patrick and Abbott want new leadership in the House. The House seems content with keeping Straus.

The political storm continues not just in Texas, but also in Washington, where, like Austin, Republicans control both the legislative and executive branches of government.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban offers a new take on the Trump presidency, which he has criticized: It's like political chemotherapy, where a guy who is not a politician if offering America a taste of what it's like to elect a real outsider, not a politician, just as voters wanted.
We've got the lowdown on all the political action under the Pink Dome in this week's Texas Take, where we give the inside scoop on what's really going on in state government -- from the recent federal court decisions on redistricting and voter ID to Abbott's firing of a San Antonio lawmaker who blasted him about ethics.

From Mike Ward, the Houston Chronicle's Austin Bureau chief, and Scott Braddock, editor of the Quorum Report, comes Texas' leading online podcast about Lone Star politics -- now coming to you in collaboration with Texas Public Radio.