Ted Cruz Responds To Senate Challenge

Our daily roundup of Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelApril 11, 2017 3:10 pm

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

Sen. Ted Cruz took time out during a visit to a space contractor near Houston to react to an El Paso Congressman’s efforts to unseat him. Democrat and U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke announced his Senate bid at the end of March. Cruz had this to say about the challenge:

“You’ll recall nobody thought I had a prayer – nobody thought we had any chance at all,” he said. “All the money, all the institutional power in the state was opposed to us, and we saw an incredible grassroots army rise up.” 

O’Rourke is arguably taking a page out of Cruz’s 2012 campaign playbook by announcing his bid early and focusing on a grassroots approach. Texas hasn’t elected a Democrat statewide since 1994.

The ACLU of Texas has sent letters to 13 state counties over concerns that they’re considering joining a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement program.

Under the 287(g) program, members of local law enforcement learn how to assist and to some extent function as federal immigration authorities. (You can learn more about the Harris County Sheriff’s recent decision to stop participating in the program here.)

Astrid Dominguez is with the ACLU. She says participating in this program will sow distrust:

“The community and especially the immigrant community is going to see them as immigration agents and we’re going to have less people reporting crimes and less people stepping forward and collaborating with the police and that makes everybody less safe,” Dominguez says. 

None of the counties – which include Brazoria, DeWitt, and Walker – have responded to the letters of concern yet according to Dominguez.

The Rolling Stones famously sang…

“You can’t always get what you want….”

That is unless you’re a member of the current Galveston City Council. Then you can get what you want – almost all of the time.

Samantha Ketterer with the Galveston County Daily News figured out that the city council has voted unanimously almost 94 percent of the time over the last 8 months – and that’s on more than 140 votes.

“This council started its term in July of 2016 and since then they’ve only kind of strayed from the unanimous vote 9 times,” she says.

Ketterer wanted to know what made this city council so much more agreeable than councils past. Here’s what council members credited for the kumbaya-like atmosphere:

“They said a lot of it just had to do with like-mindedness but a lot of it also, they said, had to do with the leadership, and the people surrounding them in city council and at city hall,” she says. “They’ve largely cited a lot more cooperation with the city manager and a lot more open communication in meetings.” 

Ketterer says despite the smooth-sailing so far, upcoming issues on zoning and hotels will likely divide the council.