Inside Texas Politics (2/16)



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Posted on February 16, 2014 at 11:35 AM

Updated Friday, Apr 11 at 3:53 PM

We start this week with the 30th Congressional District, where Eddie Bernice Johnson is the long-time Democratic incumbent. Johnson's primary challenger is former State Rep. Barbara Mallory Caraway. One of Caraway's campaign ads went viral, but will it translate to votes? Inside Texas Politics host Jason Whitely and Fort Worth Star-Telegram columnist Bud Kennedy talk to Caraway about the race. We invited Johnson to appear, but did not hear back from her office.

Evan Smith, CEO and editor-in-chief of The Texas Tribune, joins us from Austin to discuss higher education. A Tribune study found that only 20 percent of children who entered eighth grade in 2001 received a college degree within six years of graduating high school. How does that record impact the Texas governors' race?

Jon Stewart skewers ambassadorial appointments in this week's Sunday Funnies.

State Rep. Jason Villalba (R-District 114) joins us to discuss a scathing letter he sent to his party's own four candidates for lieutenant governor, critical of their rhetoric on illegal immigration.

Republican Greg Abbott's gubernatorial campaign focuses on uniting cultures. But community affairs correspondent Mercedes Olivera questions recent comments he made which antagonized Hispanics, who represent 40 percent of the state's population.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis says she supports a 20-week abortion ban and the right to carry a firearm in public. That's the focus of Flashpoint this morning — from the right, Mark Davis with 660 AM The Answer, and from the left, author and producer Katie Sherrod.

We put the week's political headlines in perspective on Reporters Roundtable with Bud Kennedy and Evan Smith. Among the topics: Wendy Davis' right turn; marijuana becomes a campaign issue in Texas; and Rep. Stefani Carter's "life-changing" car accident.