Texas Matters

Fridays at 12:30 p.m. & Sundays at 9:30 p.m.

Texas is a big state with a growing, diverse population and as the population grows, the issues and challenges facing its residents multiply.  Texas Matters is a statewide news program that spends half an hour each week looking at the issues and culture of Texas.

Texas Matters is hosted by David Martin Davies, who talks directly with policymakers and newsmakers in a lively discussion designed to shed light on issues often overlooked by other media.

David Martin Davies:

Davies is the host of "The Source" and a veteran journalist with over 25 years’ experience covering Texas, the border and Mexico. He is a regular contributor to NPR and American Public Media's "Marketplace." Davies also has written for "The San Antonio Light", "The San Antonio Express-News," "The Texas Observer" and others, and hosted KLRN public television’s interview program "Conversations."

Texas Matters is made possible by the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures.

Chris Eudaily / TPR News

During the last two weeks of the 2012 campaign, candidates make their final sell to voters, but in close races like that between Francisco Canseco and Pete Gallego there is a different kind of urgency. The Quorum Report's Harvey Kronberg talks about some of the interesting storylines he is watching as we approach Nov. 6, and we take a look at some other election issues from across the American Southwest.

Chris Eudaily / TPR News

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is threatening an international democracy observer group with criminal charges if they interfere with Texas election locations. The education system in Texas is on trial this week to answer the question: Is the present system violating the state’s constitution? 150 years ago there was a hanging in Gainesville that claimed the lives of 40 men.

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The Texas Legislature will be back in a few months facing a budget deficit. Will the next round of state budget cuts clip Texas high school football? Or could expanded gambling in the state help solve education funding shortfalls? Nate Silver writes the New York Times political blog about polls and political probability, Five Thirty Eight, and talks about how useful (and reliable) pre-election opinion polls can be.

Chris Eudaily / Texas Public Radio

Increasing voter turnout in the Texas Latino community - Ben Philpot, a reporter for KUT Austin and the Texas Tribune, explores some of the issues. Ted Cruz and Paul Sadler are trying to position themselves as defenders of a great Texas tradition: gun ownership. What happens if Texas Legislators win their court battle and zero-out state dollars for the Planned Parenthood clinics? A celebrity tour bus rolls into the West Texas town of Sierra Blanca and the there’s a drug bust that makes national headlines.

Fred Lewis, the Director of Texans Together, says the real challenge is getting people involved more often on a local level, so they can see concrete results from participating. University of Texas at San Antonio political science professor Walter Wilson says poorly distributed congressional districts contribute to poor Latino voter turnout. Saul Elbein's article, “No Shows: why so few Texans bother to vote” also explores the reasons why so many people don't even try to get to the polls.

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