Politics | Texas Public Radio

Politics

Chris Eudaily / TPR News

1 million TV ads filling the nation's airwaves and record outside PAC spending are putting 2014's midterm elections on pace to possibly become the most expensive midterm cycle in U.S. history, beating 2010's $4 billion mark. 

David Martin Davies

As Texans head to the polls on Tuesday there will be many choices to make, issues to weigh and candidates to consider. But is the gender of the candidate a factor in Texas elections?

A first-of-its-kind data set reveals that Texas is among the worst in the country in the number of women represented in elected positions, ranking number 46 out of 50 states.

But are Texans less likely to vote for women candidates? Or are women candidates less likely to run for office?

What separates Americans the most?

Race ... religion ... gender ...

According to Shanto Iyengar, a political scientist at Stanford University, often the most divisive aspect of contemporary society is: politics.

Divided We Stand

During the first gubernatorial debate between Democratic Fort Worth State Sen. Wendy Davis and her Republican opponent, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, Davis went on the attack. Political experts say Davis’ offensive strategy was anticipated, but not what she needed to gain enough traction.

dwidude.com

The race for Texas attorney general already has it’s oddities: The Democrats are fielding a candidate named Sam Houston and the Republican candidate, state Sen. Ken Paxton, has pleaded guilty to securities fraud and more criminal charges could be coming.

Enter the Libertarian in the race, attorney Jamie Balagia, who is also known as the "DWI Dude," a moniker he acquired for his stalwart defense against DWI and drug charges. His website is dwidude.com

Ryan E. Poppe

Wendy Davis' Republican gubernatorial opponent Greg Abbott has gone from asking for a general inquiry regarding Davis' book sales and promotional activity to launching a formal complaint with the Texas Ethics Commission.

The Abbott campaign filed the formal complaint during the first stop of Davis’ book signing tour in Austin.

In a statement, the Abbott campaign’s Matt Hirsch writes:

"Sen. Davis' book promotion has gone from ethically questionable to outright unlawful,"  

Ryan Poppe / TPR News

Update (9/3): The debate scheduled for Sept. 30 is back on the schedule for both campaigns.

State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, and Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott have reached an agreement for a debate in Dallas.

Last week the Abbott campaign backed out of the event because it was formatted as a roundtable debate and they were concerned about response times.

KERA, Public Media for North Texas, was able to reach an agreement between the two campaigns by switching to a stricter debate format.

David Martin Davies / TPR News

A federal judge in Corpus Christi began hearing arguments this week in a case challenging the state of Texas’ 2011 voter ID law.

The federal case is the first of its kind in the nation, which is one of the reasons University of Texas at Austin law professor Joseph Fishkin said that it’s being followed closely by other state governments.

"I do think it’s a case that a lot of people outside of Texas are watching because it will be the first real test of the question of whether section 2 of the Voting Rights Act calls voter ID laws into any sort of question,” Fishkin said.

Travis County Jail

Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s legal team has filed a constitutional challenge seeking to dismiss his two-count felony indictment.

In a writ of habeas corpus filed today, the governor’s legal team contends there are problems with separation of powers, rights to free speech, and say the penal code used to charge Perry is vague and overboard; that it doesn’t clearly define what is and isn’t permissible under the law.  

University of Texas at Austin School of Law professor Jennifer Laurin said this type of challenge has a very limited set of arguments.

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