It’s time for the week that was in Texas politics with Matthew Watkins, managing editor of news and politics for The Texas Tribune.
The Trump campaign launched a bus tour in Texas this week. Watkins said President Trump’s surrogates, including Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, said that they’re confident Trump will win in Texas in November. But Watkins pointed out it’s unclear why the campaign would go to the trouble and expense of a tour if Texas isn’t in play.
“That’s, I guess, a question they would have to answer themselves,” Watkins said.
Polls show that Texas might not be a sure bet for Trump.
“It does seem to show a race that is at least in reach for the Biden campaign,” he said.
In state political news, Gov. Greg Abbott says Texas Republicans are considering pursuing legislation during the 2021 legislative session to crack down on local governments like Austin that are cutting police funding in the wake of protests against police violence against Black Americans.
“The latest proposal would be what is essentially a state takeover, where a city like Austin, with the police resources it would have, DPS [Texas Department of Public Safety] could basically come in, run that department and basically set the budget for them,” Watkins said.
Watkins said it’s unclear if such a proposal could pass in the Texas Legislature, especially if more Democrats are elected to the House of Representatives in November. But, he said for Republicans, the stance “could be a political winner for them.”
The annual Texas Tribune Festival is still on this year, but virtually. Speakers include U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz; director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Anthony Fauci; U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw and more. Visit The Texas Tribune’s website for tickets and more information.