Texas Standard For October 5, 2020

Texas’ top lawyer is in the crosshairs of his own colleagues as they accuse Attorney General Ken Paxton of bribery and other possible crimes. A one-page letter signed by seven of his top aides asks for an investigation – we’ll hear more about the complaint, and how Paxton and other top Texas officials are responding. And: The president and other top Republicans urging supporters to be poll watchers: just who can become a poll watcher, what does that involve and what are the limits to their activities? Also: The Hispanic Republican, spanning the Nixon to Trump eras, plus a whole lot more today on the Standard:

By Texas StandardOctober 5, 2020 9:25 am

Here’s what’s coming up on Texas Standard for Monday, October 5, 2020. Listen on your Texas public radio station, or ask your smart speaker to play Texas Standard. We’ll have full posts for each story, including audio, a little later today.

Paxton Bribery Complaint 

It’s been a busy weekend for Austin reporters. Tony Plohetski of KVUE and the Austin American-Statesman broke a bombshell of a story: Seven top aides for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton have accused their boss of bribery and they want the FBI to investigate. Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said the accusations raise concerns but are withholding further comment. Paxton has been accused of accepting bribes before. And he has yet to face trial on security fraud charges. Here to untangle the latest accusations is Tony Plohetski, reporter for the Statesman and KVUE-TV.

Being A Poll Watcher In Texas

Gov. Greg Abbott also ordered that poll watchers be allowed at Texas counties’ ballot drop-off locations. KUT Austin’s Matt Largey talks to the Standard about what Texas law says about poll watchers and how to do so, legally.

Evangelical Voters And Trump

About a third of Texans identify as evangelical Protestants. President Donald Trump is counting on them to vote for him in November – especially evangelical women living in the suburbs. But as Houston Public Media’s Andrew Schneider discovered, not all are onboard with the political gospel according to Donald Trump.

Update On The Texas Housing Market

The Dallas Morning News reports that home loan defaults are soaring in Texas during this pandemic. At the same time, Texas has become one of the hottest housing markets in the nation with demand exceeding supply, prices going up in many parts of the state, and many experts predicting that home sales this fall will remain strong. So, what gives? Luis Torres, a research economist at Texas A&M University’s Real Estate Center in the Mays School of Business explains how all of these things can be possible at the same time.

Pandemic Presidents

President Trump is being treated for COVID-19 at Walter Reed Hospital. The data that we have about COVID-19 tells us that odds are good Trump will come through this just fine. History tells us there are no sure things. Texas Public Radio’s Bonnie Petrie said this isn’t the first time an American president has become infected with a novel virus that sickened the world.

The Hispanic Republican 

Hispanics in Texas will soon become the majority of the population in the state. That doesn’t necessarily mean that this will translate into a large voting bloc of Democrats turning Texas blue. Although Hispanics tend to vote more for Democratic candidates, understanding the political identity of the Hispanic Republican could arguably be key to understanding the future of politics. Geraldo Cadava, associate professor at Northwestern University and author of the book “The Hispanic Republican: The Shaping of an American Political Identity, from Nixon to Trump,” talks to the Standard.

West Texas Nuclear Waste Decision

For decades, the United States has searched for a long-term home for its nuclear waste. A plan to store it in Nevada has been stalled for years. So now, federal energy officials are looking for a temporary place to store radioactive material for up to 60 years. One site in the running is Andrews, a West Texas oilfield community about 35 miles north of Odessa. But the plan has powerful opponents, including Gov. Greg Abbott. Travis Bubenik, a West Texas-based reporter for Courthouse News talks to the Standard.

All this and Texas News Roundup, plus Social Media Editor Wells Dunbar with the talk of Texas.

If you found the reporting above valuable, please consider making a donation to support it here. Your gift helps pay for everything you find on texasstandard.org and KUT.org. Thanks for donating today.