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Government/Politics

Texas Take: Harvey And Irma And Greg And Miss Texas

Political shots as the recovery begins in earnest, with President Trump still a target for his comments about Neo-Nazis

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.

With the recovery from Hurricane Harvey ramping up to full speed in Texas, the first political shots were fired over Washington's  approval of an initial aid package for Texas -- and why four U.S. Texas congressmen voted against it. They're all from Dallas-Fort Worth and North Texas.

At the same time, Gov. Greg Abbott was confident that additional federal funding will soon be on its way to bolster the recovery in the Lone Star State, where Harvey cut a 300-mile swath of devastation along the Texas coast, from Corpus Christi to Houston and points east.

Though it's been called a once-in-a-thousand-years storm, it's the third in a decade.

Along with the federal disaster aid, Abbott and other Texas leaders seem to be together in using several billion dollars from the state's so-called Rainy Day Fund -- its $10 billion savings account -- to make the recovery complete. A final decision on just how much is needed may await the Texas Legislature's return to Austin for its next regularly scheduled legislative session in January 2019.

Add to the week's political chatter a U.S. Supreme Court decision most likely leaving Texas' current legislative boundary maps in place for next year's elections. Those maps are the ones drawn by the Republican-controlled legislature that have been facing legal challenges for years over court findings that they discriminate against Hispanic and African-American voters.

And then there's Miss Texas, who was asked at the Miss America pageant about President Trump's lack of a strong enough denunciation of the Neo-Nazi demonstrators after a protest over a Confederate monument in Charlottesville, Va, turned deadly. It took her 15 seconds to blister Trump on national TV.

This is Texas. You can't make up stuff this good.

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.We've got the lowdown on all the political action under the Pink Dome in this week's Texas Take, a weekly insiders look at Texas politics  -- in what it means to average Texans.