Texas Matters
1:42 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

The Cost Of A Statewide Campaign In Texas

Texas Matters: Wendy Davis and Greg Abbott released fundraising numbers this week, leading to a bigger conversation about the cost of campaigning in Texas, which considering the size of the state and inclusion of two of the top 10 media markets is expensive to say the least. Also on this show: Marijuana in Texas, prescription drugs from Mexico, ACA navigators and Google invests in a Texas wind farm.

Release the numbers! Campaign finance in Texas

This week politicians running for office in Texas were able to tell us how much money they have raised for their campaigns and they will need ever penny in a state like Texas.

There are 20 rated media markets and two top 10 media markets -- Dallas and Houston -- so for a candidate to get their ads on the 10 p.m. news they are going to need lots of cash.

We learned that Republican Greg Abbott and Democrat Wendy Davis -- both candidates more than likely to get their party's nomination in the governor's race -- have both raised a lot of money.

Katie Glueck is a political reporter and writes about the fund raising for POLITICO

"Her team has emphasized that a significant portion of her funds come from in state, they say they have donations from all the counties in Texas, and there certainly are a lot of those, and that many of them are relatively small dollar donations. The Abbott side is emphasizing that 97 percent of their money is coming from in state. Some Republicans have been critical of Davis because she's been celebrated at fundraisers from Democrats on the East Coast -- Washington, New York, places like that -- but her team vas very careful to point to the percentage coming from within the state."

Also on this edition of Texas Matters:

Nearly 100 years after marijuana was banned, will Texas legalize it?

Just weeks after Colorado began to enjoy the legalized recreational sale of marijuana, advocates for reform are gathering this weekend for the Texas Drug Policy Conference in Dallas.

Texas has some of the country’s strictest marijuana laws, but new polls show solid support for legalization here. From Dallas KERA’s Lauren Silverman looks into whether Texas could ever go in the direction of Colorado.

Mexico to Texas: The risk in illegal trade of prescription medicine

On the Texas-Mexico border drug smuggling isn’t that unusual, but there’s a new breed of contrabander on the Texas borderlands caused by the widespread lack of health insurance.

People are looking for ways to treat their diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis and other ailments and if you don't have health insurance the medication can be expensive. Cheaper prescription drugs to treat these conditions are available across the border in Mexico.

Physicians and law enforcement are tracking a relatively new trend---the smuggling of medicine in bulk from Mexico to U.S. patients who no longer feel safe shopping for them in Mexico.

Fronteras correspondent Lorne Matalon of Marfa Public Radio reports.

Credit U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Texas regulations for ACA navigators

The Affordable Care Act and the expansion of Medicaid were supposed to make getting health care easier in America, but in Texas there have been many conservative-constructed road blocks keeping that from happening for many.

One issue is the set of regulation that Gov. Rick Perry established for the ACA navigators.

This week Texas congressional Democrats are calling on U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to stop Texas’ proposed rules for Obamacare navigators that they say impose "abritrary, burdensome and discriminatory restrictions" on those working to help citizens purchase health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

Congressman Joaquín Castro of San Antonio:

"The state's are allowed to impose regulations on the navigators unless it can be shown that those regulations are meant to stop the navigators from doing their job. We believe that the kinds of regulations that are being imposed are way out of whack with the job that the navigators are trying to do. So if you look not only at the rhetoric, but also the regulations, that the purpose is to stop these people from doing their jobs."

Google putting money where the wind is

Google continues to invest big in Texas wind energy. The $75 million investment in the Panhandle 2 wind farm in Carson County is the 15th renewable energy investment overall and the second in Texas.

Kojo Ako-Asare is Google's senior manager of corporate finance.

"Here at Google we see clean energy as a business opportunity, we believe the world needs better energy options so we look for projects that not only generate attractive returns for our shareholders, but also help support the growth of the clean energy sector."

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