The Brief: "Texas Solution" Survives First Platform Test
The Big Conversation
The unveiling of revised Republican Party platform language on immigration and homosexuality highlighted coverage of the state convention in Fort Worth on Wednesday.
• "A committee hammering out changes to a blueprint of the 2014 party platform unveiled the new version of the Texas Solution — one that directly seeks to address critics by bluntly saying the plan doesn't support amnesty and by urging Congress and state lawmakers to put new measures in place to secure the border," reported the San Antonio Express-News' David Saleh Rauf. "One key term was dropped all together from last year's language: guest worker program."
It seemed, though, that as of late Wednesday night as the temporary platform committee continued to work, nothing would forestall more robust debate in the coming days on the party's approach to immigration. "There will be a fight on the floor," one anti-Texas Solution activist told Rauf.
• The platform committee did away with language stating that "homosexuality tears at the fabric of society and contributes to the breakdown of the family unit," reported The Dallas Morning News' Christy Hoppe. That change had been demanded by two gay Republican groups — the Metroplex Republicans and the Log Cabin Republicans. Still, the platform keeps language that excludes gay marriage.
• The Houston Chronicle's Mike Ward and Brian M. Rosenthal, meanwhile, turn their eyes forward, seeing the debates on open carry and immigration as precursors to the 2015 legislative session. "Because of a tea party surge in the recent GOP primary that saw several longtime Republican officeholders get the boot, including Lt. Gov David Dewhurst, the convention is being seen by some Texans as a bellwether for the legislative session that convenes next January."
• And the Austin American-Statesman's Jonathan Tilove got RPT Chairman Steve Munisteri to predict who would win the presidential straw poll on Saturday. “I’m not taking sides here, but I think Sen. (Ted) Cruz is just so incredibly popular,” Munisteri said.
The Day Ahead
• The Republican Party of Texas state convention officially kicks off today in Fort Worth. Scheduled for the first general session this morning are a tribute to Gov. Rick Perry as well as a speech from land commissioner nominee George P. Bush.
Today in the Trib
Immigration to Be Key Topic at Texas GOP Convention: "With the long and contentious 2014 primary season over in Texas, it's state party convention time. And as Texas Republicans meet this week in Fort Worth to work on their party platform, immigration is set to be a key point of discussion."
Further Tensions at UT System Revealed in Emails: "For months, UT Regent Wallace Hall has been trying to have a private meeting with Kedra Ishop, the director of admissions at UT-Austin. The strife it has caused is the latest dispute involving Hall, UT-Austin and system leaders."
Consumer Advocates Scrutinize Prepaid Electricity Plans: "Consumer advocates fear prepaid electricity plans could leave low-income Texans vulnerable to hidden fees and sudden electricity shutoffs. But companies that offer the plans say there is great consumer demand for them."
Cornyn predicts smooth sailing for Julián Castro’s Cabinet nomination, The Dallas Morning News
Texas GOP taking aim at parts of Perry's legacy, The Associated Press
Judge David Peeples to decide Dietz school-case recusal, Austin American-Statesman
Texas Ethics Commission fines state Rep. Linda Harper-Brown $5,000 for obscuring campaign loans, The Dallas Morning News
NRA tries to soften criticism of open carry groups, Houston Chronicle
VA scandal spreads to West Texas, Politico
Perry orders state universities to review benefits spending, The Dallas Morning News
Top Texas energy official wants step back from wind power subsidy, Austin American-Statesman
Quote to Note
"The young conservatives have completely moved on, but I think even some of the old guard are pretty tired of him."
— Austin-area Tea Party activist Don Zimmerman on the waning clout of Gov. Rick Perry in Texas
Today in TribTalk
The pro-life movement is a justice movement, by Melissa Conway: "Pro-choice advocates' framing of their activism as 'reproductive justice' masks the true horrors of a brutal procedure. Here's the truth: Abortion ends a life. Where's the justice in that?"
Trib Events for the Calendar
• The Texas Tribune Festival runs from Sept. 19-21 at the University of Texas at Austin. Tickets are on sale now.