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Don Huffines gave $150K to ‘dark money’ group, which then attacked his brother’s GOP primary opponent, Angela Paxton

Lauren McGaughy, Texas Government Reporter

DALLAS — Sen. Don Huffines made a six-figure donation to a shadowy nonprofit weeks before it trashed fellow Republican and Senate hopeful Angela Paxton.

Huffines, R-Dallas, gave the American Liberty Network$150,000 in January, the only donation from a politician it received all year, according to ethics filings. Soon after, the group’s Texas chapter sent mailers and made robocalls attacking Paxton and her husband, Attorney General Ken Paxton.

At the time, Angela Paxton was locked in a brutal Republican primary race for the Senate District 8 seat with Huffines’ twin brother, Phillip. Despite these attacks and the $8.4 million that Phillip Huffines spent, Angela Paxton won the party’s nomination with 54.4 percent of the vote.


Pharmacists ask state for ‘flexibility’ on pain pill program deadline

By: Wes Rapaport

AUSTIN (Nexstar) — Pharmacists are asking Texas lawmakers for an extension on the deadline to implement the state’s Prescription Monitoring Program. The program helps medication prescribers and pharmacists track patients’ controlled substance history.

Those pharmacists and prescribers will be required to integrate into the Prescription Monitoring Program by Sept. 1, 2019. But industry representatives told lawmakers they do not think they will be ready.

“Build in some flexibility into the timeline to allow for more system integration, I think there would be benefit in that,” Walgreens senior manager of professional affairs Thompson George requested to the legislators in a hearing of the Interim Joint Committee on Prescribing & Dispensing Controlled Substances.

The program’s deadline has received some pushback, according to state Board of Pharmacy executive director, Allison Benz.

“People do not think that the systems will be ready to handle that,” she said after the hearing. “We are asking for the legislature to fund some enhancements to the program that would allow for integration into the system which would allow it to automatically collect the data.”


The Governor of Texas Suggested the Anti-Trans ‘Bathroom Bill’ Is Dead. It’s Very Much Alive


Rumors of the Texas bathroom bill’s death are greatly exaggerated.

During a Saturday gubernatorial debate against Democrat Lupe Valdez, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott appeared to satiate a nation starved for good news when he declared the legislation is “not on [his] agenda” for the upcoming 2019 legislative session. Instead the incumbent outlined a plan to provide relief to Hurricane Harvey victims, cut taxes, tackle America’s school shooting epidemic, and create jobs.

“That is going to be my agenda this coming session,” Abbott said. “Period.”

The governor’s soundbite made for a good headline in Monday morning takes published by NBC News and the San Francisco Chronicle, but the insinuation that the bathroom bill sleeps with the fishes isn’t accurate. It also doesn’t reflect what the governor actually said.

When debate moderator Steve Spriester prodded Abbott on the bathroom bill question, he dodged answering it.



Texas man’s shooting by police overshadowed despite momentum


DALLAS (AP) — It was the kind of shooting that had spurred national interest before: A police officer had opened fire into a vehicle, leaving a black man dead.

For residents in the Dallas area, the Sept. 1 killing of 24-year-old O’Shae Terry in Arlington brought to mind the shooting of Jordan Edwards in another Texas city last year. The 15-year-old Edwards and four other black teenagers were in a car and leaving a house party in Balch Springs when a white officer shot into the moving vehicle, killing the high school freshman who was in the front passenger seat.

The officer was fired and, in a rare move, convicted of murder and sentenced to 15 years in prison. The shooting, like Terry’s, highlighted a use-of-force tactic that law enforcement experts say is dangerous: firing into a moving vehicle.

Five days after Terry’s shooting, police released footage and the case was starting to gain momentum. But hours after the video images of Terry’s fatal traffic stop made headlines, attention was already turning to the Sept. 6 shooting of another black man, 26-year-old Botham Jean, a St. Lucia native killed by a white off-duty officer who lived in the same Dallas apartment complex as him.


Houston City Council approves raise for police officers

By Jasper Scherer

Houston City Council on Wednesday approved a 7 percent pay raise for police officers over two years, a deal that includes an option for a 2 percent “cost of living increase” for a third year if the two sides do not reach a new agreement.

The approval comes less than three weeks before Houston residents begin voting on a ballot item that proposes to grant firefighters pay “parity” with police officers of corresponding rank and seniority.

The measure, which will appear on the ballot as Proposition B, has proven contentious as Mayor Sylvester Turner seeks to convince voters the city cannot afford it, a claim hotly disputed by the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association, the union that negotiates contracts on behalf of the rank and file of the Houston Fire Department.


Texas governor calls Beto O’Rourke ‘cult-like’ figure [video]

Bethany Blankley

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott described Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke as “cult-like” in the way that he’s receiving attention in his attempt to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz.

“He’s been a cult-like, very popular figure the way that he’s run the campaign, but you don’t vote on cult, you don’t vote on personality when you get to the U.S. Senate. You vote on the issues,” Abbott said on “Fox & Friends.”

Abbott was critical of O’Rourke’s liberal policy views, saying Texas voters won’t approve of “George Soros policies,” including higher taxes and open borders.