The State of Texas: A Very Texas GOP Convention
Plus: The Big 12 takes on Baylor, Julián Castro gets in trouble, and Greg Abbott moves to make attacks on police a hate crime.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“We’re a very proud state and we like to show it. My high school students take the Texas pledge every morning. I don’t think there’s a California pledge.”
—Bill Pozzi, a delegate from Raisin, Texas, to the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. Expert California-shade-thrower Pozzi and the rest of Texas’s delegates who are attending the GOP Convention in Cleveland wore their Texas pride on their sleeves (literally) by dressing in matching cowboy hats and button-downs bearing the Lone Star flag.
Texas Takes Cleveland
We’re only one day into the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, and the party gathering already has a distinctly Texan flavor. That’s partly because a few of the first day’s scheduled speakers were Texans—Rick Perry, Marcus Luttrell, and U.S. Representative Mike McCaul—but the state delegation also played a big role in the #NeverTrump crowd’s ill-fated last stand. The convention quickly devolved into chaos as the anti-Donald Trump attendees vocally tried to force a roll-call vote to change convention rules, which could have capsized Trump’s presidential nomination. According to the Texas Tribune, members of the Texas delegation participated in raucous chants of “Roll call vote!”, and an organizer of the movement told the Tribune that about 70 Texas delegates signed a petition attempting to force a new vote that would unbind pledged delegates, allowing them to vote any way they pleased (there was no vote and the floor eventually calmed down). Despite the attempted uprising, Texas’s top political voices seem to be rallying around Trump. Perry spoke of “making America great again” and told reporters that he’d like to serve in a Trump administration. and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick has gone from former Ted Cruz supporter to full-blown Trump “cheerleader,” according to the Dallas Morning News. Meanwhile, former state GOP Chairman Steve Munisteri, who pulled for Rand Paul in the Texas primary, appears to have reached the realization that Trump is the last man standing for Republicans. “There’s only one candidate left,” Munisteri told the Morning News, before dubiously asserting that the party is definitely, totally unified behind Trump.
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
The Big 12 conference isn’t happy about Baylor’s sexual assault scandal, saying the school “sullied” the conference’s reputation, according to the Waco Tribune-Herald. The Big 12 has lots of questions of its own for Baylor, and conference leaders plan to meet with university officials today in an attempt to get answers. The Big 12 had previously requested that Baylor turn over all of its documents related to the investigation conducted by independent law firm Pepper Hamilton. A partial summary of the report released by Baylor in May showed that the university utterly failed to respond to allegations of sexual assault, particularly when it came to allegations made against members of the football team. The Big 12 isn’t alone in calling for the full original report to be released, but it apparently doesn’t exist, since Baylor asked the law firm to present its report orally. As the New York Times recently noted, there’s no paper trail.
Former San Antonio mayor, current housing and urban development secretary, and potential Hilary Clinton veep Julián Castro has run into trouble after a federal report found that he violated the Hatch Act during an interview with Katie Couric in April, according to the San Antonio Express-News. The U.S. Office of Special Counsel claims Castro “impermissibly mixed his personal political views with official agency business,” which is what the Hatch Act is in place to prevent, when he praised Clinton during the interview, telling Couric and Yahoo News that “Hillary Clinton is the most experienced, thoughtful and prepared candidate for president that we have this year.” During the interview, Castro prefaced that statement by clarifying that he was “taking off my HUD hat for a second and speaking individually,” but it turns out that’s not really a thing you can do. Castro responded to the report by just admitting that he messed up. “When an error is made—even an inadvertent one—the error should be acknowledged,” Castro wrote in a letter to the agency. “Although it was not my intent, I made one here.”
Governor Greg Abbott announced Monday that he plans to propose the “Police Protection Act,” which would cover police under hate crime protections, according to the Dallas Morning News. The proposed law would also create harsher penalties for crimes in which police are victims, and would “create a campaign to educate Texans about the value law enforcement officers provide to communities,” writes the Morning News. The announcement comes on the heels of the sniper attack in Dallas that killed five officers and Sunday’s fatal shooting of three officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It’s unclear what effect this proposed law would have in preventing such acts, and it may not amount to much more than a rhetorical showing of support for police. As the Austin American-Statesman notes, crimes against police already carry significantly heavier penalties. Texas Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz introduced similar legislation in Congress last week that would make killing a police officer a federal crime.
WHAT WE’RE READING
The Baton Rouge police shooter was in Texas days before the attack Houston Chronicle
This Lubbock dude is one of the top 40 CrossFit competitors in the world Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
Midland city officials are super confused by Chuck E. Cheese’s request for an alcohol license Midland Reporter-Telegram
The long-lost art of raising ostriches in Texas Texas Observer
A real idea that someone had: speed dating, but make it more awkward, like just toss two people in an elevator or whatever Houston Press