• Texas Republicans gunning for David Dewhurst's job

    Since the chaotic end to the Texas Legislature’s first special session Tuesday, Lt. Governor David Dewhurst has gained opponents for the 2014 election for his position.

    Texas Senator Dan Patrick, Houston-R announced Thursday he will run for lieutenant governor because the Senate is in need of leadership that is “unapologetically conservative.” While making the announcement, Patrick criticized Dewhurst's leadership abilities during the filibuster Tuesday night.

    Patrick said although the position is said to be the most powerful in the state and Republicans have held it for more than a decade, little has been done to further conservative initiatives including border security, debt and property tax relief. 

    Patrick supported the 2011 sonogram bill requiring Texas women to have an ultrasound and known details of a fetus at least 24-hour prior to an abortion.

    The special session ended after an 11-hour filibuster to block abortion legislation by Texas Senator Wendy Davis, Fort Worth-D. Debate about proper procedure and handling of the filibuster lasted until nearly midnight, when the Senate gallery’s cheering crowd overwhelmed the room and halted action on the floor.

    A vote on the bill was taken minutes after midnight, when the special session finished, with more than 100,000 online viewers watching. The vote prompted senators and reporters to document the vote’s listed date as June 26, before it was altered online and in print copies to June 25.

    Patrick joins two others who previously announced their run against Dewhurst  —Agricultural Commissioner Todd Staples and Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson.

    Follow Christine Ayala on Twitter @christine_ayala.

  • Perry addresses Davis at anti-abortion convention

    While addressing the National Right to Live Convention on Thursday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry commented on Texas Senator Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, and her family relations.

    Davis helped prevent abortion legislation from passing on Tuesday with an 11-hour filibuster. The legislation would have reduced the number of abortion clinics legally available in Texas from 42 to five.

    Perry said even children born into the worst of circumstances could eventually lead successful lives and pointed to Davis as an example.

    “In fact, even the woman who filibustered the Senate the other day was born into difficult circumstances, the daughter of a single mother and a teenage mother herself. She managed to eventually graduate from Harvard Law School and serve in the Texas Senate,” Perry said in his speech, which was posted online.  “It's just unfortunate that she hasn't learned from her own example: That every life must be given a chance to realize its full potential, that every life is precious.”

    The filibuster closed out the first special session, without passing items on abortion, transportation or juvenile sentencing. All three topics will be taken up during a second special session starting July 1.

    Follow Christine Ayala on Twitter @christine_ayala.


  • Lawmakers already filing bills for second special session, no abortion legislation yet

    Lawmakers have already started filing legislation just one day after Texas Gov. Rick Perry's announcement of the second special session.

    One joint house resolution and one house bill have been filed. HJR1 provides Texas with additional transportation funding through a constitutional amendment. HB4 has to do with juvenile sentencing. No abortion legislation has been filed, as of 12:45 p.m. on Thursday. 

    Trasnportation funding, juvenile sentencing and abortion legislation were all issues Perry wanted to pass in the first special session. However, because of a filibuster on abortion legislation by Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, all three of those issues failed to pass on the last day of the first special session. 

    The only issue to successfully pass through the first special session was redistricting maps. The second special session will begin July 1

    Follow The Daily Texan on Twitter @thedailytexan for updates on bills filing during the second.

  • Wendy Davis appears in Taiwanese animation

    Following her filibuster of abortion legislation in the Texas Senate, Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, has been the subject of intense internet attention. She's appeared in mutliple interviews with national news organizations, and has been made the subject of several internet memes.

    But now, the Texas Senator is the star of a Taiwanese animation video. Next Media Animation, a Hong Kong company, posted a parody video on Davis' filibuster on YouTube. Next Media Animination is well-known for their CGI-animated videos of news. The company has even partnered with Jon Stewart's The Daily Show in the past.

    The video can be watched in both Mandarin and Engilish.

    The video, which has an obvious slant against SB5, casts Davis in a Superwoman suit. It also features the ghost of Ann Richards, a giant T-Rex and a scene where two Republican senators are vaporized and turned to dust.

    SB5 would have banned abortion after 20 weeks. It also would have placed several additional restrictions on abortion. Supporters of the bill claimed it made the procedure safer. However, Democratic lawmakers and activists said the bill would close many abortion clinics statewide, and would make getting an abortion in Texas difficult. Texas Gov. Rick Perry has called a second special session, with abortion included on the agenda.

    Update: This story has been updated to include information about when the video was posted.

  • The Morning Texan: Heat, special session and more

    According to the National Weather Service, Thursday's high could approach 101 degrees. The day will start with a few clouds in the sky, but it is expected to clear up quickly.

    It has been an intense news week. On Monday, the Supreme Court of the United States announced several landmark cases, including the long awaited Fisher v. Texas case. On Tuesday, the abortion filibuster lasted all day and legislation in the Senate was killed in the late hours of Tuesday evening. It also broke on Tuesday that the Texas Legislature would be investigating UT System Regent Wallace Hall for possible impeachment. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court released two decisions on the same-sex marriage cases, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced a second special session.

    The Daily Texan has covered this week every step of the way. For live-updates on whatever happens on Thursday, follow us on Twitter @thedailytexan.

    Here is some morning reading:

    Yesterday's most read article: Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced a second special session that includes abortion, transportation and juvenile sentencing. The second special session will begin July 1. 

    In case you missed it: In partnership with Art in Public Places, the City of Austin is investing $105,500 in two downtown public art projects

    What you have to read: The UT Medical Branch-Galveston has been sued over the death of four inmates. The university provides health care to many inmates, as does the entire UT System, and the Texas Civil Rights Project says the school is liable for their deaths.