Texas Standard For October 20, 2020

Politicians often hope that political coattails can boost their chances, now it appears Republicans are trying to cut them off as fast as possible.We’ll hear why John Cornyn is trying to distance himself from the White House and what may reveal about how the GOP sees its chances for November. And: Gov. Greg Abbott is concerned too, digging into his own political pocketbook to back Texas Republicans down-ballot. Also: Cutting the cord, involuntarily – pandemic protections against utility disconnections slip away leaving many in danger. Plus: You’ve heard of the “sleeping giant” in Texas politics? It may be time to put the metaphor to rest. Those stories and a whole lot more, today on Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardOctober 20, 2020 9:30 am

Here’s what’s coming up on Texas Standard for Tuesday, October 20, 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.

GOP Members Distancing Themselves from Trump

Some Republican politicians, like Sen. John Cornyn, haven’t largely differed from Trump during his presidency. But now, they’re trying to distance themselves. Is it just the race, or something more? We’re exploring the question today with Rice University’s Baker Institute professor Mark Jones.

 Abbott Spending on GOP Down Ballot Races

This election, Gov. Greg Abbott is focused on keeping the Republican majority in the Texas House and making voters aware of judicial races on the ballot. His campaign gave some of the details to The Texas Tribune, where Patrick Svitek is political reporter. Svitek talks to the Standard.

Utility Cutoffs in Texas

There’s never a good time to have your utilities cut off. A pandemic might be a particularly bad one though, not to mention dangerous for public health. That’s why utility companies suspended cutoffs at the start of the COVID 19 outbreak. But now, many of those protections are ending, leaving some Texans in danger of losing electricity, water, or gas. The Texas Standard’s Michael Marks has more.

And Dana Harmon, executive director of the Texas Energy and Poverty Research Institute talks to the Standard about resources people can tap to keep utilities on.

The History of Black Business in Houston

Houston has always had its arms wide open for business. But historians, sociologists and economists say the markets that built Houston were never very free at all for Black residents. Job discrimination and redlining during the 1940s meant Black homeowners and business owners were cut off from access to credit. And segregation prevented full participation in the economy while environmental contamination disproportionately sickened Black neighborhoods. Houston Chronicle reporter Erin Douglas talks to the Standard.

 The Sounds of Texas: Michelle Reinhardt on Project to Vote Safe

Don’t Call Latinos  Sleeping Giants

Texas’ potential Latino voting populace is often thought of as a “sleeping giant” – a group that could tip an election if tuned out in large numbers. But there’s a giant problem with that metaphor, according to Cecilia Ballí. She writes in Texas Monthly that “Latinos are by and large informed, independent political thinkers, whom our political system hasn’t properly understood or engaged.” She joins us today on the Standard,

The Asylum Trap, part 1

Since 2019, under a policy known as Remain in Mexico, the Trump administration has sent tens of thousands of asylum seekers back across the border. The government says this helps weed out fraudulent asylum claims. Then COVID-19 struck, putting an already rickety system of asylum hearings on hold, and leaving migrants stuck in legal limbo. KERA News’ Mallory Falk offers the first part of an in-depth look at what she calls “the asylum trap.” 

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

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