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Politics

Ryan E. Poppe / TPR News

The Texas House Homeland Security & Public Safety Committee lined up several state agencies and city leaders from the Rio Grande Valley to detail how the thousands of Central American children coming to Texas is affecting various functions of state and local government.  

The Department of Public Safety’s Steve McCraw said there is a lack of security related to the large number of border patrol agents who are having to spend more time processing unaccompanied children. 

Flickr user TN Drum Guy / cc

Last month's Texas republican party platform aimed to rouse the base, inspiring action. Blowback inside and outside the party of endorsing reparative therapy for homosexuals and the party's abandoning a guest worker program had party leaders walking back the importance of the document.  As the democrats wrapped up their own convention this weekend, we want to know how important these conventions and platforms really are. 

Trey Martinez Fischer

State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, caused a stir among Texas Republicans for comments he made during this weekend’s Texas Democratic Party convention.

During his keynote speech, Martinez Fischer said the GOP "should stand for gringos y otras pendejos."

Republican candidates immediately took issue with the comment.

Martinez Fischer said his comments were meant to address the name-calling and disrespect he says Democrats have been shown by Republican candidates in 2014 and meant to address some the items in the Republican party platform.

David Martin Davies / TPR News

Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott’s campaign confirmed they have spent $10 million to secure prime advertising spots in the last month of the general election.

Political expert Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University, said an early buy-in can mean locking in lower rates and the campaign’s ability to reserve the best ad placement. 

Jillson said the timing of this news, which comes the same time of the Texas Democratic Party convention, is also a "shot across the bow."

Eileen Pace / TPR News

Soon after word began to circulate about San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro’s appointment to President Barack Obama's cabinet, state Rep. Mike Villarreal, D-San Antonio, began announcing his intentions to run for mayor.

Villarreal has now made it official with a fundraising email to his past supporters, telling them he is stepping down from the Legislature to organize a campaign to be the next mayor of San Antonio.

Texas Democratic Party

The Texas Democratic Party’s 2014 state convention starts today and party officials say they are not expecting any major divisions in the party or surprises concerning the party’s platform.

Communication Director Manny Garcia said the conversations they have had with party delegates haven’t been about making any major changes to the party’s platform, just some tweaking.

Republican Party of Texas

This week the Republican Party of Texas released it’s finalized 2014 platform, which includes a line item addressing support for voluntary "reparative therapy" for gays and lesbians.

"We recognize the legitimacy and efficacy of counseling, which offers reparative therapy and treatment for those patients seeking healing and wholeness from their homosexual lifestyle. No laws or executive orders shall be imposed to limit or restrict access to this type of therapy."

The country hasn't been this politically divided in recent history, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center. Growing distaste for opposing viewpoints and parties has led to a shrinking middle ground. Just how little the two groups have in common is punctuated time and again in the report.

David Martin Davies | Texas Public Radio

A group of state lawmakers concerned with the surge of unaccompanied minors making their way to Texas are petitioning Gov. Rick Perry to call a special session to address the issue. But the governor is showing no sign that he will oblige.

A group of state lawmakers have draw up some estimates of what it would cost the state to use Department of Public Safety state troopers to run 24/7 border operations: about $67 million. One of the only ways to get the money appropriated is for the governor to call a special session.

Between Rick Perry, Ted Cruz and Wendy Davis, Texas politicians in recent years have lived up to their state's reputation for producing larger-than-life characters.

That makes the Texas political scene a natural for the Hollywood treatment.

HBO has given God Save Texas, a drama about the state's often raucous political culture, the green light for development. It's set to unfold at the Texas statehouse, a perennial flashpoint for national debates about issues ranging from abortion to gun rights to the size and role of government.

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