Politics | KERA News

Politics

Political news from North Texas, across the state and beyond.

Bernie Sanders filed Monday to be a candidate for the Senate in 2024 — as an independent.

But last month, Sanders filed as a Democrat for president.

It's not unusual for candidates to file with the Federal Election Commission for re-election to their current office, which allows them to begin raising money. Most candidates file shortly after Election Day, in fact.

A hemp plant is pollinated in Springfield, Ore., in April 2018. For Texas farmers, growing hemp will present some challenges. One is that it's delicate: Farmers who used pesticides in the past on crops like cotton will need to invest in soil remediation.
Associated Press

Kris Taylor was accepted into medical school. But instead of becoming a doctor, the Texan moved to California to pursue something he was really passionate about. Hemp.

Rep. Joaquin Castro 'Seriously' Considering Run Against Sen. John Cornyn

Mar 1, 2019

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro's camp released a statement early Friday morning making clear that the San Antonio Democrat is mulling whether to forgo re-election next year and instead challenge U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, two days after Beto O'Rourke made clear he won't be vying for the seat.

The United States House Permanant Select-Committee on Intelligence heard closed-door testimony Thursday from President Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen. 

Congressman Joaquin Castro, a San Antonio Democrat, said the American people can expect to see more criminal charges for key operatives in the Trump campaign based on testimony they received.

The day after a federal judge in San Antonio criticized Texas Secretary of State David Whitley’s effort to remove alleged noncitizens from voter rolls, a state Senate committee approved his nomination.

Beto O’Rourke says he will not run for the U.S. Senate in 2020, but signaled a possible run for president.

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former lawyer, testifies before the House Oversight and Reform Committee, on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019, in Washington.
Associated Press

In a damning depiction of Donald Trump, the president's former lawyer on Wednesday cast him as a racist and a con man who used his inner circle to cover up politically damaging allegations about sex, and lied throughout the 2016 election campaign about his business interests in Russia.

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer, reads an opening statement as he testifies before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019.
Associated Press

Michael Cohen, President Trump's former lawyer, testified to the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday. He called Trump a "racist," a "con man" and a "cheat" — and endured sharp criticism from House Republicans.

The next Chicago mayor will either be a self-described political outsider who has never run for office or a longtime city alderman and chair of the county's Democratic Party. Either way, for the first time, the city's top political official will be an African-American woman.

Updated at 11:49 p.m. ET

Donald Trump apparently blessed the meeting his son held with a Russian delegation to get dirt on opponents in 2016 and welcomed advance word of efforts by WikiLeaks to disrupt the election, his former lawyer told Congress.

Read Michael Cohen's Full Prepared Congressional Testimony

Feb 26, 2019
The U.S. Capitol is seen during a sunrise in Washington, Wednesday Feb. 27, 2019. Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer, will testify today before the House Oversight and Reform Committee in an open hearing.
Associated Press

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TESTIMONY OF MICHAEL D. COHEN COMMITTEE ON OVERSIGHT AND REFORM U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

FEBRUARY 27, 2019

Chairman Cummings, Ranking Member Jordan, and Members of the Committee, thank you for inviting me here today.

Shutterstock

With the legislature at work in Austin, constituencies of all kinds are working to make their wants and needs clear. The Texas Municipal Police Association’s executive editor, Kevin Lawrence, says his wish list focused less on what he wants from lawmakers, but what he hopes they won’t do.

Texas Secretary of State David Whitley, left, arrives for his confirmation hearing in Austin, Texas, on Feb. 7, 2019.
Associated Press

Opposition has intensified against Texas' new election chief as a key lawmaker said he won't back Gov. Greg Abbott's nominee, who called into question the U.S. citizenship of 95,000 voters using faulty data.

President Trump Endorses U.S. Sen. John Cornyn For Re-election

Feb 22, 2019

President Donald Trump endorsed the re-election bid Thursday of U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who is seeking his fourth term in 2020.

The Russia investigation could be on the verge of a spectacular finale — or it could be about to puff out like a damp firecracker.

Or, as has been the case so often before, Washington could be gearing itself up for a fireworks display that doesn't even happen. Despite some indications that special counsel Robert Mueller could be wrapping up, there has been no official word from the Justice Department confirming that's so.

Presidential candidate Julián Castro, left, has chosen his brother, U.S. Rep Joaquin Castro, to serve as his campaign manager, which is typically a volunteer position that involves managing big-picture tasks.
Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune

For his 2020 campaign for president, Julián Castro selected his twin brother, a Democratic representative from San Antonio, as his campaign chairman. Are there rules around Joaquin Castro promoting his brother's run?

Shutterstock

The lineup is now final: Nine people will compete to become the next mayor of Dallas. So just who are they? Find out here.

Laura Skelding for The Texas Tribune

In what state Sen. Angela Paxton describes as an effort to safely expand Texas’ burgeoning financial tech industry, the freshman Republican from McKinney has filed a bill that would empower the office of her husband, Attorney General Ken Paxton, to exempt entrepreneurs from certain state regulations so they can market “innovative financial products or services.”

A construction crew works to erect a portion of the border wall along Oklahoma Ave. south of Brownsville on June 9, 2009.
Brad Doherty for The Texas Tribune

Once again, the Rio Grande Valley is seeing the signs that more border fencing is coming: construction equipment gathering near the Rio Grande, brush being cleared, residents receiving letters from the government asking to survey their property and possibly claim some of it through eminent domain. 

Texas lawmakers in Washington reacted to President Trump’s national emergency declaration with bipartisan uncertainty or disapproval.

Updated at 6:15 p.m. ET

Calling it "a great thing to do," President Trump declared a national emergency on Friday in order to help finance a long-promised wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. It's a highly unusual move from an unconventional president.

The bill would prohibit fencing at the National Butterfly Center in Mission and four other landmarks.
Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune

U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar said Thursday that he's added language to a compromise bill aimed at avoiding another government shutdown that would prohibit border fencing at five major landmarks in the Rio Grande Valley.

Texas Secretary of State David Whitley at a state Senate Committee on Nominations hearing on Feb. 7, 2019. Whitley was appointed to the job by Gov. Greg Abbott, but Whitley must first clear the committee, then win a two-thirds vote in the Texas Senate.
Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

Facing an uncertain path to confirmation after ordering a deeply flawed voter citizenship review that seemingly focused on naturalized citizens, Texas Secretary of State David Whitley is now apologizing to state lawmakers for the way his office rolled out the review — but he is still holding firm behind the overall effort.

President Donald Trump speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Friday, Jan. 25, 2019, to announce a temporary deal to open the government.
Associated Press

President Trump is expected to to speak at the White House Rose Garden beginning at 9 a.m. Central Friday to declare a national emergency in order to help finance a long-promised wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. It's a highly unusual move from an unconventional president.

The Democratic Party is increasingly focused on and organized around diversity. It also has the most diverse field of candidates in the history of presidential politics. And voters in South Carolina, the first primary state with a predominantly African-American Democratic electorate, have been inundated with 2020 hopefuls in these early weeks of the campaign.

An excavator west of Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, next-door neighbor to the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas
National Butterfly Center via Facebook / @NatButterflies

The nonprofit National Butterfly Center has asked a federal judge to stop border wall activity on its property as the Trump administration gears up to build new barriers in South Texas and may soon win funding for more.

President Trump took his fight for a wall to the U.S.-Mexico border on Monday night, promising a crowd in El Paso, Texas, that he would press forward for its construction — even as news was breaking in Washington that a deal reached between congressional negotiators would fall far short of his funding demands.

President Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the El Paso County Coliseum, Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, in El Paso, Texas.
Associated Press

President Donald Trump on Monday presented the border wall as a work in progress, hailing the start of a "big, big portion" with much more coming soon. That's a hefty exaggeration from a president who has yet to see an extra mile of barrier completed since he took office.

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with a group of sheriffs from around the country before leaving the White House in Washington, Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, for a trip to El Paso, Texas.
Associated Press

President Donal Trump's signature pledge to American voters — a border wall on the U.S.-Mexico border — is threatening to become a model of unfulfilled promises.

He will try to turn the debate back to his political advantage with a rally at 8 p.m. Central Monday in El Paso. We will livestream PBS NewsHour's coverage and commentary here.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton assured lawmakers on Friday that his office hadn’t launched criminal investigations into nearly 100,000 voters flagged by the secretary of state’s office for citizenship review.

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