This Week’s Texas Politics: Sid Miller, Campus Carry and Ted Cruz

Sid Miller provokes outrage over an anti-Muslim Facebook post, the University of Texas announces an Austin campus carry think group and a new system admissions policy, and GOP hopeful Ted Cruz hangs ten on Donald Trump’s publicity wave.

By Rhonda FanningAugust 21, 2015 8:11 pm,

Joining the Standard to discuss the week that was in Texas politics is Ayan Mittra, Managing Editor for the Texas Tribune.

On Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller’s anti-Muslim Facebook post:

“There hasn’t been this strong backlash in terms of the Facebook post. His campaign took the post down pretty quickly, but it got saved…. His campaign spokesman didn’t shy away from saying Miller does have strong feelings about and has been vocal about Muslims before. We’re not going to apologize, he’s not going to try to figure out who posted it, someone from the campaign, it wasn’t Miller himself. They’re going to move forward, no punishment here.”

On the University of Texas at Austin’s campus carry working group:

“They have to implement plans. The law goes into effect in 2016, so there’s still time this year to implement a plan. What UT has announced this week is they’re going to have a working group made up of faculty, students, staff members, parents, a group around 15 to 20 people that are going to meet and decide how they want to implement campus carry at UT-Austin. They will report to the President by November who is going to try and formulate a plan. It will be interesting to see because not too many other universities have yet taken the next step.”

On the entire University of Texas System’s new admissions policy:

“The Board of Regents [Thursday] took a vote to amend its admission policy. This is primarily to take aim that politics isn’t playing a factor, that people with powerful friends aren’t getting extra help if they don’t qualify on their own. They say this is trying to address some of the controversy that’s been in the news. There’s still language in there that says in very rare circumstance the President may possibly make an exception but it has to be submitted to the Chancellor as well, so that of course is still raising concerns for Regents Wallace Hall…. He was the lone vote against it, so he still has concerns ,and he still thinks there’s a reason to investigate the past admissions policy. This is far from over.”

On Ted Cruz holding his tongue about Donald Trump:

“For Ted Cruz, he is kind of riding against this current against Trump. He see no reason to go against Trump. There’s a poll that came out by this Florida firm that showed Trump actually leading Cruz in Texas, so it’s kind of interesting how Cruz moves from there. Cruz has been very outspoken, [but] not going out against Trump, while people like Rick Perry have been more outspoken against Trump.”