Texas Matters | Texas Public Radio

Texas Matters

Fridays at 12:30 p.m. & Sundays at 9:30 p.m.

Texas is a big state with a growing, diverse population and as the population grows, the issues and challenges facing its residents multiply. "Texas Matters" is a statewide news program that spends half an hour each week looking at the issues and culture of Texas.

"Texas Matters" is hosted by David Martin Davies, who talks with policymakers and newsmakers to help shed light on issues often overlooked by other media outlets.

David Martin Davies:

Davies is the host of "The Source" and a veteran journalist with more than 25 years of experience covering Texas, the border and Mexico. He is a regular contributor to NPR and American Public Media's "Marketplace." Davies' work has appeared in "The San Antonio Express-News," "The Texas Observer" and other print publications, as well as KLRN public television’s interview program "Conversations."

Texas Matters is made possible by the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures.

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David Martin Davies / TPR

In what was one of the wildest rides in the Texas - Congressional District 23 - Democrat Pete Gallego beat incumbent Francisco Canseco in a race the GOP candidate finally conceded today (Friday). Republicans still control the Texas House, but Democrats gained seven seats to eliminate the Republican super-majority. The influential Latino vote is a hot topic, and both Castro brothers were on news networks this week to talk about the future. Sylvia Manzano from Latino Decisions talks about her thoughts going forward. Finally, Harvey Kronberg joins us to size up the Texas results.

Chris Eudaily / TPR News

During the last two weeks of the 2012 campaign, candidates make their final sell to voters, but in close races like that between Francisco Canseco and Pete Gallego there is a different kind of urgency. The Quorum Report's Harvey Kronberg talks about some of the interesting storylines he is watching as we approach Nov. 6, and we take a look at some other election issues from across the American Southwest.

Chris Eudaily | Texas Public Radio

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is threatening an international democracy observer group with criminal charges if they interfere with Texas election locations. The education system in Texas is on trial this week to answer the question: Is the present system violating the state’s constitution? 150 years ago there was a hanging in Gainesville that claimed the lives of 40 men.

Wikipedia Commons

The Texas Legislature will be back in a few months facing a budget deficit. Will the next round of state budget cuts clip Texas high school football? Or could expanded gambling in the state help solve education funding shortfalls? Nate Silver writes the New York Times political blog about polls and political probability, Five Thirty Eight, and talks about how useful (and reliable) pre-election opinion polls can be.

Chris Eudaily / Texas Public Radio

Increasing voter turnout in the Texas Latino community - Ben Philpot, a reporter for KUT Austin and the Texas Tribune, explores some of the issues. Ted Cruz and Paul Sadler are trying to position themselves as defenders of a great Texas tradition: gun ownership. What happens if Texas Legislators win their court battle and zero-out state dollars for the Planned Parenthood clinics? A celebrity tour bus rolls into the West Texas town of Sierra Blanca and the there’s a drug bust that makes national headlines.

Fred Lewis, the Director of Texans Together, says the real challenge is getting people involved more often on a local level, so they can see concrete results from participating. University of Texas at San Antonio political science professor Walter Wilson says poorly distributed congressional districts contribute to poor Latino voter turnout. Saul Elbein's article, “No Shows: why so few Texans bother to vote” also explores the reasons why so many people don't even try to get to the polls.

Oops! (A Diary from the 2012 Campaign Trail)
Jay Root

Texas Tribune reporter Jay Root has written a book about the Perry presidential run called “Oops! A Diary From the 2012 Campaign Trail.” The latest issue of Texas Monthly says there’s a battle over the future of UT; Paul Burka is the Texas Monthly senior editor and wrote the article “Storming the Ivory Tower.” Joe Nick Patoski talks about writing his new book: “The Dallas Cowboys: the outrageous History of the Biggest, Loudest, Most Hated, Best Loved Football Team in America.”

Howard Chandler Christy

Governor Rick Perry appeals to the religious right by talking about the "myth" of the separation of church and state and Rob Boston from Americans United for the Separation of Church and State responds. Wind energy is revitalizing rural Texas, so what is the future for the renewable energy source? How a Texas winery is using renewable energy to be self-sufficient.

Chris Eudaily / Texas Public Radio

Dead voter letters are one way that Texas scrubs its voter registration rolls. Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector and voter registrar Don Sumners says he’s not going along with the Texas plan to scrub the voter rolls, and the state says he is violating the law. Gardner Selby with Politifact Texas talks about how they check statements made by politicians.

Wikipedia Commons user Angr / cc

More from the Democratic National Convention from TPR's Ryan Loyd. Is Texas on the verge of being a fertile ground for Democratic candidates? The Quorum Report's Harvey Kronberg shares his thoughts on future elections in Texas. An update on the Texas juvenile justice system five years since the scandal broke at the Texas Youth Commission.

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