This Week in Texas Politics: Immigration, Campaigns, Immigrant Bus Trips

We had a lot of hot topics this week in Texas politics.

Let’s start first with Texas Democrats celebrating the votes of Kansas who rejected a constitutional ban on abortion, claiming that a similar backlash at the polls is coming to Texas in November.

Governor Greg Abbott is making policy moves, now expanding immigrant bus trips to New York City.

Senators Cruz and Cornyn are under fire for opposing a veteran relief bill and casting some shadow on the Democrats’ inflation bill.

Ag Commissioner Sid Miller, who recently called for expanded legalization of medical marijuana, is criticizing state officials for not overhauling the network, prompting a quick outcry on social media by Beto O’Rourke.

O’Rourke is facing his own criticism for another flip, this time on Critical Race Theory, which he didn’t initially support, but then this week said parents shouldn’t be afraid of it.

As for politics and education, another war on Texas textbooks this week appears to be brewing. The state school board is considering a proposal to make the calendar symbols BC and AD with a possible shift to the more scientific and non-religious way of counting years.

Is Trump’s presidential restart about to happen? Former President Donald Trump is scheduled to speak in Dallas this weekend as part of the CPAC Conservative gathering that has begun.

Now let’s get our addresses off the board.

Addresses

We’ll first start with Scott Braddock with The Quorum Report. Scott, what’s your address for this week?

Scott Braddock: Rudy, to me, he’s the conservative making the immigration problems worse, so he can complain that they’re worse.

Rudy Kosky: Stephen Dial, FOX4 Dallas, what’s your title this week?

STEVEN DIAL: Abbott’s new bus service has been discontinued.

Rudy Kosky: And Patrick Svetic from The Texas Tribune. Patrick, what’s your address for this week?

Patrick Svetik: Yeah, I had to go with the immigrant bus, by the governor and the expansion we learned about on Friday.

GRID GRIPE AND BIG APPLE BUS

Rudy Kosky: Let’s talk a little bit about that and then also about Mr. Miller in his hanging curve ball for Beto O’Rourke. You know, it looks like both sides aren’t playing hard yet, with such easy pitches on these political issues. Patrick, I noticed Sid Miller’s tweet on ERCOT. Was that too easy or was it a legit pass?

Patrick Svetik: What Mr. Miller did is he sent an email to his campaign supporters arguing that the Texas network is not secure, not in all caps. This obviously goes against the whole narrative that Governor Abbott is advancing in his campaign for reelection against Beto O’Rourke.

Scott Braddock: The network, you know, just like the one issue the Abbott Democrats can get over on this topic has nothing to do with national politics. It’s a winning message for them. Although the flip side of that, of course, is whether the network is seen to perform well all summer long, which is also possible.

Rudy Kosky: Stephen, the Democrats gave the governor an easy chance to hit her.

Stephen Dial: Yeah, definitely with the bus plan. I mean, who knows how many buses they’ll send to New York. So it’s a win for Governor Abbott.

CPAC & Trump

Rudy Kosky: Governors are gathering in Dallas for a CPAC conference or event, and Donald Trump is coming to town. Scott, is Donald Trump stealing the wind?

Scott Braddock: Well, it’s definitely taking oxygen out of the room, just like all the other people out there. I’ll tell you it looks like attendance has dropped a bit.

Patrik Svetik: Maybe they’re getting a little popular because, you know, it’s no longer a single, one-time-a-year event.

Stephen Dial: I think people are just getting overwhelmed with it.

KANSAS VOTE ON ABORTION

Rudy Kosky: Kansas voters rejected the constitutional ban on abortion. Texas Democrats think they can repeat what happened in Kansas, here in Texas in November. Scott, are they exaggerating?

Scott Braddock: If you look at the voter turnout that has to do with abortion, it was great to see that it was 20% higher, and the turnout on the abortion issue was 20% higher than what the Republicans and Democrats had in the first place. Obviously, people were looking for it.

Stephen Dial: But I think Kansas is a very different situation than Texas, based on; Kansas doesn’t have that many people, and it’s these suburbs that really paid for it.

Patrick Svetik: But I think this Kansas vote is a warning sign for Republicans that on this specific issue in this Texas general election, there’s a lot of enthusiasm and energy on the Democratic side, and you’re clearly seeing Republicans interacting with which — that.

Scott Braddock: But I think what Patrick is saying is true on this, which is that Republicans, look, they would like to talk about other things. The things Republicans talked about before the March primary are very different from what they wanted to talk about before the November general election.

Stephen Dial: I think I agree with Patrick and Scott. I don’t think Republicans are going to beat their chest with Roe v. Wade because they know, you know, if there are smart people in Peto’s ear, that’s what will draw Democrats and independents to the polls.

Scott Braddock: This election is never just about one issue. the correct. It is a dynamic situation. It is about the economy. It could also be about a miscarriage. It could also be about gun violence. It could be about a lot of things. But when you look at the results in Kansas, it’s no exaggeration to say they’re pretty amazing.

word week

Rudy Kosky: Right. Let’s wrap up this week’s politics with our word for this week. We’ll start with Patrick Svetik. Patrick, your word.

Patrick Svetik: CPAC, an acronym, I think.

Rudy Kosky: Stephen, your word.

STEVEN DIAL: Campaigns.

Rudy Kosky: And Scott Braddock, your word for this week.

Scott Braddock: Immigration.

Rudy Kosky: And with that, we’re ending another week in Texas politics.

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