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.

"Honey, Let's Go Look for Dangerous Chemicals Tonight"

Wendy Davis clearly won her exchange with Greg Abbott over whether the public had the right to know where dangerous chemicals may be stored. Abbott had previously ruled that “government can withhold state records of dangerous chemicals locations [from the public].” Abbott’s advice to families concerned about the issue bordered on the preposterous: “You know where they are if you drive around,” he said. “You can ask every facility whether they have chemicals or not. If they do, they can tell which ones they have. Homeowners who think they might live near stores of dangerous chemicals would simply ask the companies what substances are kept on site."

Arson Science Under the Microscope Again

In 1993, Sonia Cacy was convicted of killing her uncle, Bill Richardson, by dousing him in an accelerant and burning him to death in their home in Fort Stockton. She was sentenced to 99 years, what essentially amounted to life in prison. But six years into her sentence, the parole board released her. Gerald Hurst, a leading fire investigator, had submitted a brief on her behalf, detailing the questionable evidence of arson used by the prosecution against Cacy.

Road to Nowhere

The issue of the state's inadequate highway infrastructure has reared its head again. Most of the issues should be well known by this time:

(1) First and foremost, to keep up with demand for roadbuilding, TxDoT needs around $4 to $5 billion a year, every year.

Another inch forward

Yesterday brought a small setback for Greg Abbott, who is, as attorney general, tasked with defending Texas’s current system for funding public schools: a visiting judge has decided that John Dietz, the district judge who has been presiding over the school finance lawsuits that have been inching their way through the courts for two and a half years, can remain on the case.

Your Friends and Contributors

The list of recipients of Emerging Technology Fund grants in particular is replete with Perry's longtime friends and campaign contributors. The Dallas Morning News has reported on who received some of these grants, and have contributed large sums to his campaigns. The list includes:

•$2.75 million to Terrabon Inc., a Houston company. Its backers have included Phil Adams, a college friend of Perry's who has given his campaign at least $314,000.

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