During a panel with all four Republican candidates in the lieutenant governor's race at the Ronald Reagan Republican Women's Conference this week, current Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst defended his record of appointing Democrats to chair Senate committees.
"I’ve been reducing the number of Democrat chairs since I came in," Dewhurst said. "You know how many committees we have? 17. You know how many Democrat chairs we have? five. Okay? So, I’ve been reducing them and not one of them is one of the critical committees."
According to Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa, state Sen. Leticia Van De Putte of San Antonio has been extremely busy this summer.
Hinojosa said the Texas Democratic Party and other groups have approached Van DePutte about a run for lieutenant governor, or even running against George P. Bush for land commissioner. Hinojosa said Van DePutte has been gathering information on a run since August and wants to see numbers that give her a chance to win before she announces what she will do.
Hinojosa said she has an advantage in the race for land commissioner:
This week Gov. Rick Perry issued a declaration naming September "Craft Distilled Spirits Month" in to celebrate the passage of four bills all authored by state Sen. Leticia Van De Putte, D-San Antonio.
"There were so many laws that we had that were outdated and really didn’t foster the type of entrepreneurship and Texas jobs in both the craft beer industry and in the distilled spirits side," Van De Putte said. "We looked at those and looked at everything that we could do to promote our Texas economy."
With Attorney General Greg Abbott now advising the Texas National Guard about the legal side of their refusal to process federal same-sex couple benefits, a group of House Democrats are urging Maj. Gen. John Nichols, the head of the Texas National Guard, to rescind his decision and start processing the benefits.
But the issue is more complex than you might imagine.
The Democratic Caucus in the Texas Senate has submitted a letter to Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst requesting that lawmakers be allowed to study how family planning and better women’s health services could help reduce the number of abortions.
The Democratic Caucus wants to know how much actual funding goes into women’s healthcare and family planning.
Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, said a study of these issues leading up to the next legislative session would reduce unplanned pregnancies and the need for abortions.
Thousands of people swarmed to the state capitol to cheer on state lawmakers on both sides of the abortion debate, and what some thought would be mayhem turned out to be a peaceful but loud rally both inside and outside the capitol.
Mounted police in riot gear watched over the crowds at the rally, but were not needed after all.
Inside, pro-life groups sang "Amazing Grace" over and over, following a press conference from mothers who had had an abortion that went wrong and who now wanted more restrictions for abortion providers.