Austin Bombings Bring Race Issues To The Forefront In The State Capital

This week in Texas politics with the Texas Tribune.

By Rhonda FanningMarch 23, 2018 2:44 pm| ,

Time for the week that was in Texas politics with Emily Ramshaw, editor-in-chief of the Texas Tribune.

The Austin bombings have brought race issues at the forefront of discussions in the capital city. The possibility of these crimes being racially motivated has sparked conversations about how hospitable the city is to people of different ethnic backgrounds, and Ramshaw says these conversations will be a part of the narrative surrounding the ongoing investigation.

Also this week, the American Phoenix Foundation has been back in the news. The group had been stalking legislators with undercover cameras. They were looking to find lawmakers having affairs or doing other corrupt things.

“They’ve resurfaced in this federal fraud case against former Congressman Steve Stockman,” Ramshaw says. A man testified that he was planted as an undercover intern in the office of one Stockman’s perceived political rivals, Republican State Rep. James White.

“That goes even further than what we thought,” she says. “It’s duplicitous at a minimum.”

Early Friday morning, Congress passed a $1.3 trillion spending bill that included funds for the border wall and Senator John Cornyn’s Fix NICS bill, designed to strengthen background checks for gun purchases. But, the future of the bill itself may be in doubt.

“I would say it is potentially on the chopping block,” Ramshaw says. “Trump has threatened to veto this spending bill if it doesn’t address a fix for DACA.”