Bill Powers's Exit

UT president Bill Powers has been under pressure from UT regents for months, if not years, but the outcome of the debate over his future is now clear. Powers was the winner, and Rick Perry was the loser.

Powers got everything he wanted:

State Readies for Second Phase of Redistricting Trial

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas is going to reopen the redistricting case left over from 2011. The first phase of the case involves the maps for the Texas House of Representatives; the second involves the U.S. House maps for 2011. The case comes at an inconvenient time for Attorney General Greg Abbott, who will be spending considerable time on the campaign trail.

Asleep at the Switch

Wendy Davis is asleep at the switch again. The Obama administration has opened a new front on the battle over Medicaid expansion. By 2016, says the White House, states that have adopted expansion will have saved $4.3 billion. In addition, expansion states would have experienced 3.3 million annual physicians' visits, 176,000 more cholesterol screenings, 44,000 more mammograms, and 97,000 fewer people experiencing depression. This ought to be a heaven-sent opportunity for Davis to distinguish herself from Abbott. Expansion would have saved Texas $3.1B in 2014, $10.4B by 2017. And yet, the state's Republican leaders are willing to allow their hatred for Barack Obama to get in the way of improving Texans' health, not to mention providing billions of dollars for doctors and hospitals.

A Tale of Two Sisters

Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” blasted from the speakers as Leticia Van de Putte took the stage and snapped a selfie with the crowd at the Texas Democratic Convention Friday night. Later that evening, after Wendy Davis finished her speech, she left the stage to Katy Perry’s “Roar”. 

It was one of many not-so-subtle reminders that this is the first time in Texas history that two women have been at the top of their party’s ticket. Both Davis and Van de Putte, the Democratic nominees for governor and lieutenant governor respectively, invoked their gender a number of times, and for several reasons: in criticizing Republicans for certain policy positions, in telling voters about their respective life stories, and—intriguingly—in highlighting the camaraderie between the two of them, which is noticeably not present in the relationship between their Republican opponents, Greg Abbott and Dan Patrick.

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