The State of Texas: Aggies Prep For Big ‘Bama Matchup
Plus: Austin’s police chief gets gets caught on tape, a Texas House candidate experiences an embarrassing polo match snafu, and a Katy married couple sticks it out despite being split between Clinton and Trump.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“He’s got to decide what his own answers are. My view is, we have a democratic process, and we have elections. I’ve won elections, I’ve lost elections, and I respect the results of an election.”
—Senator Ted Cruz to the Dallas Morning News. Cruz weighed in on Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s refusal to say that he’ll accept the results of the upcoming election if he loses. Cruz also expressed concern that people feel “demoralized” by this election cycle, but he encouraged everyone to cast a ballot because “the stakes are too high in Texas for people to stay home.” True that, Ted.
Sixth-ranked Texas A&M football plays Alabama—the top-ranked team in the country—Saturday afternoon in a matchup of unbeaten teams, and the hype machine has been running full blast all week. And understandably so, considering this game could determine the shape of the college football playoffs (it also helps that, as the Washington Post notes, all the other games this weekend kind of stink). According to ESPN, this is the last chance this year for the Aggies to come up with a truly impressive win (they’re favored to win in each of the remaining games on their schedule), and if they lose to Alabama, it’d make earning a playoff berth pretty difficult. Las Vegas doesn’t have much faith in the Aggies, listing Alabama as favorites to win by as many as 19 points. But Aggie quarterback Trevor Knight has knocked off Alabama once before (he threw for 348 yards and four touchdowns against the Crimson Tide in 2014, when he was playing for the Oklahoma Sooners), and a Texas A&M win in Tuscaloosa isn’t unheard of. Back in 2012, quarterback Johnny Manziel led the Aggies in a shocking upset of then-number-one Alabama. Of course, that was the Johnny Football Era—an era that, as the Wall Street Journal explains, the Aggie program is in a way still trying to recover from. A win Saturday would go a long way toward separating the current Texas A&M program from its past. The Houston Chronicle has the story about how coach Kevin Sumlin transformed the team into SEC contenders, and the Ringer has a cool profile on star Aggies defensive end Myles Garrett, a team leader who may very well be the top pick in the next NFL draft and loves to write poetry. The game kicks off at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, on CBS.
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
Austin police chief Art Acevedo was caught on tape commenting on some of Austin’s most controversial use-of-force incidents. According to the Austin American-Statesman, the comments he made in the private, secretly recorded meetings weren’t all that different from those he made in public, where he was quick to condemn the fatal police shooting of unarmed, naked teen David Joseph, and said he was “highly disturbed” after viewing video of the unnecessarily violent arrest of Austin teacher Breaion King. Not everyone in the department agreed with those public comments, and in the leaked recordings, Acevedo really went off on those critics. “I have given nine years of my life to the Austin Police Department,” Acevedo said in the recordings. “I don’t care if you like me. I don’t care if you don’t like me. I don’t really care.” Perhaps more interesting and important than Acevedo’s actual comments on tape is that, as the Statesman notes, the leaked recordings reveal that there’s significant tension within the Austin Police Department.
Kyle Biedermann will likely win his campaign for Texas House District 73, but he’s experienced an incredibly rocky road for someone running unopposed. First, there was the, uh, “gay Hitler” incident. Yeah. Not much we can do but send you to the San Antonio Express-News and let them try to explain that one. Now, Biedermann is back in the news, this time for pologate. Apparently Biedermann sent out letters inviting several state legislators to a polo match in Austin, offering free tickets to the pols and their staff. Writes the Texas Tribune: “Days later, Biedermann followed up with another letter, slipped under legislators’ doors at the Capitol, rescinding the free tickets amid ethical questions, sources said.” Awkward. Apparently the ticket offering “fell into an ethical gray area, possibly requiring lawmakers to disclose the gift under state law.” Hence the mass un-invite. On top of that, Biedermann called himself “State Representative Elect” in the letter. One big problem there: he hasn’t been elected yet. According to the Tribune, it’s against the Texas election code for a candidate to say in campaign material that they’re holding office when they, you know, aren’t.
Nicole supports Hillary Clinton. Murray pulls for Donald Trump. No, they’re not battling it out on Twitter or Facebook. They’re married. Like, living in the same household, together, by choice. In love with each other. How can this be? According to the Houston Chronicle, the Katy couple gets by just fine without ripping each other apart. The secret to Nicole and Murray Pawloski’s bipartisan success? “We decided a long time ago, we’re just not going to talk about it,” Nicole says. The couple is a statistical anomaly. As the Chronicle notes, a recently released Pew Research survey said that just 3 percent of people who support Trump or Clinton reported that their partners plan to vote for the other candidate. There’s definitely a weird dynamic in the Pawloski home. Nicole told the Chronicle that she thinks Trump is racist and sexist and sets a bad example for the family’s two young sons. Murray, meanwhile, thinks Trump is a good businessman, and Murray proudly wears a tee-shirt bearing the phrase “I’m deplorable.” They’ve had to watch the debates in separate rooms of the house. But they seem to be approaching the divide with good humor and empathy. If the Pawloskis can do it, maybe the rest of the country can too.
WHAT WE’RE READING
Most interesting raid in the world? Law enforcement agents seized 719 twelve-packs of Dos Equis in Bastrop County Austin American-Statesman
Selena will be inducted into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame on Friday Corpus Christi Caller-Times
Rogue sprinklers destroyed evidence at the Houston Police Department Houston Press
Someone seems to be on a cat-killing spree in Southeast Houston KTRK
There’s a $50,000 reward for information that leads to an Alpine woman who’s been missing for more than a week KOSA