Inside Texas Politics (4/6/14)

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by JASON WHITELY

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonwhitely

WFAA

Posted on April 6, 2014 at 9:55 AM

Updated Friday, Apr 11 at 3:56 PM

There's been another mass shooting at Fort Hood. It resurrects the divisive political question: Who should be able to purchase weapons? Plus: More controversy as Greg Abbott rolls out his education plan.

Also: A shake-up in the staff of the David Dewhurst campaign. What signal does it send as the clock ticks closer to the runoff?


We have talked at length to the two Republicans in the runoff for lieutenant governor. This week, we’re talking to the Democratic challenger one of them will face in November, State Sen. Leticia Van De Putte of San Antonio, as she makes her first campaign trip to North Texas. Van De Putte is also a pharmacist who has been in the legislature for 23 years. She is questioned by Inside Texas Politics host Jason Whitely and Fort Worth Star-Telegram columnist Bud Kennedy.


Every Sunday morning we go to Austin to get context from the Capitol. Ross Ramsey, editor and co-founder of WFAA media partner The Texas Tribune, discusses Gov. Rick Perry's refusal to implement new federal rules aimed at preventing sexual assaults in prison. Plus, Ramsey discusses the legacy of influential Texas Republican Ray Hutchison, who died last week.


"Home rule" is a term that has Dallas' education community in upheaval. If implemented, home rule would let the Dallas Independent School District move away from state mandates and completely control itself. But Mayor Mike Rawlings has apologized the poor rollout of the campaign. Our community affairs contributor Mercedes Olivera wonders if the change will really help children.


Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott is working hard for the Hispanic vote, but rhetoric from other Texas Republicans is causing some in the GOP to cringe. One of them is State Rep. Jason Villalba, a Republican from House District 114 in Dallas.


Equal pay is not front and center in the governor's race this week, but the issue is still simmering on Flashpoint. 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 at the Reporters Roundtable with Jason Whitely, Bud Kennedy and Ross Ramsey. Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz and Gov. Perry all made trips to Fort Hood within days of last week's mass shooting. Why the rush? And will the tragedy resurrect gun control for mental health patients? Two aides left David Dewhurst's campaign over strategy differences. Is it ever a good idea to change at this point in a campaign? And Greg Abbott has rolled out his education plan, which is more detailed and costs less than the proposal of Democratic rival Wendy Davis. But Abbott is under fire for using ideas from Charles Murray, a man who has bashed women. Did Abbott's team fail to research Murray?


E-mail jwhitely@wfaa.com

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