Politics | Texas Public Radio

Politics

Ryan E. Poppe / TPR News

Indicted Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s legal team is dismissing accusations that the governor’s veto of the state public integrity unit’s budget was related to another ongoing investigation involving the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.   

Travis County Jail

Update (8/20):  Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s legal team are waiving their client's right to an arraignment and Perry has pleaded not guilty to both felony counts involving abusing the power of his office.

Perry is charged with abuse of power, a first-degree felony punishable by 5-99 years in jail, and coercion, a third-degree felony punishable by 10 years in jail. 

rickperry.org

Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s legal team said the governor’s 2013 announcement and veto of the state public integrity unit budget was the governor’s right to free speech and his desire to be transparent about his intended plans. Perry's attorneys say the court will see that the governor’s words did not constitute a threat.

In downtown Austin on Monday, just a few blocks from the state capitol, Houston attorney Tony Buzbee announced that he is Perry’s lead counsel on the case and then called the indictment "Banana Republic politics." 

Office of the Governor

The indictment of Gov. Rick Perry on two corruption-related felony counts took the state by surprise on Friday.

The abuse of power charge stems from Perry threatening to veto the funding of Travis County's public integrity unit unless Travis County District Attorney Rosmary Lehmberg resigned. She didn't and Perry vetoed the funds.

rickperry.org

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is calling the criminal indictments filed against him for coercion a political play. Perry contends he was only exercising his constitutional right to threaten and then veto the budget for the state’s public integrity unit and then called the indictments a partisan attack.

Flickr user Adam Fagen (afagen) / cc

This might be hard to believe, but there was a time when people trusted the government to do the right thing "always or most of the time."

In the early 1970s over 50% of people felt that way, with a large number also in the "only some of the time" category.

Then there was Watergate and the Nixon resignation, the latter's 40th anniversary was over the weekend. 

Eileen Pace

  Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor Leticia Van De Putte Tuesday unveiled her plan for a statewide education policy for pre-K through high school.

It's a comprehensive plan that promises to expand access to broadband for students, increase parent access to school board members, and restore school funding reduced by the last Legislature.

Van de Putte’s education plan is formed on the pillars of early childhood education programs, adequate funding for local schools, and getting rid of or cutting back on standardized testing.

Flickr user Emad Ghazipura / cc

The Texas House Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety is considering legislation for the 2015 session that would completely revamp the Texas Driver Responsibility Program.  

The program allows the Department of Public Safety to assess surcharges on traffic tickets on top of the fine and court cost. DPS notifies the drivers via mail through a private contractor, the Municipal Service Bureau or MSB.

Lawmakers have expressed concern about the interface between the DPS and MSB and local law enforcement.

San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor has unveiled her vision for the city at a North San Antonio Chamber luncheon after being on the job for two weeks.

“In those two weeks I’ve had to address streetcars, charter changes, storm water fees, and continuing negotiations on police and fire contracts,” Taylor told an audience of high-ranking officials. “It seems a lot longer than two weeks.”

The chamber luncheon is the first time she has had the chance to present her vision for San Antonio while she is in office over the next 300 days.

Joey Palacios / Texas Public Radio

State Rep. Mike Villarreal. D-San Antonio, has announced he will resign his Texas House position to run for mayor of San Antonio.

Villarreal, of House District 123, is the only person so far to formally announce intent to run for San Antonio mayor in 2015.

“That election takes place during regular legislative session," Villarreal said. "I cannot be in two places at once, so I have decided not to participate to allow somebody to replace me.”

He said decisions on hot topics, like the state’s education system, need to be in the hands of the right person.

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