Nicole Cobler
19 hours ago - Politics

Texas lawmakers take home large portion of gun lobby dollars

Data: OpenSecrets; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

The gun lobby makes Texas-sized donations to the state's congressional delegation.

Details: Texas Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, both Republicans, are among the top three lawmakers whose campaigns or PACs have accepted the most money from the gun rights lobby.

Nicole Cobler
19 hours ago - Politics

Shooting renews political debate in gun-friendly Texas

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke interrupts a press conference held by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott following a shooting Tuesday at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. Photo: Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images

The political divide over guns was on full and raw display during a Wednesday press conference, just one day after 19 children and two adults were fatally shot at an Uvalde elementary school.

Driving the news: Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke approached the stage, extending a pointer finger toward Gov. Greg Abbott, and interrupting to deliver a message: "This is on you."

Asher Price
May 25, 2022 - News

Where Texas public opinion stands on guns

A gun rally at the Texas Capitol
2nd Amendment activists held an open carry rally at the state capitol on Jan. 1, 2016. Photo: Erich Schlegel/Getty Images

Even as pluralities of Texas voters support stricter gun control measures, the voters who elect statewide leaders generally favor keeping the laws the way they are.

The big picture: Pluralities, or majorities, of Texas voters going back to late 2015 have supported stricter gun control laws, per polling data from the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas.

Asher Price
May 24, 2022 - News

Where to vote in Austin on primary runoff election day

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

It's primary runoff election day.

Who's on the ballot: On the Democratic side, voters in Central Texas can weigh in on nominees for lieutenant governor, land commissioner and attorney general, among other state, county and federal offices.

Asher Price
May 23, 2022 - News

How Austin medical supplies end up in Ukraine

A woman packing a suitcase with supplies bound for Ukraine.
Tonya Levchuk's mother, Larysa Levchuk, packs a suitcase bound for Ukraine. Photo courtesy Tonya Levchuk

Tonya Levchuk's mother is a master packer — which comes in handy when you're trying to win a war.

The big picture: The Liberty Ukraine Foundation, based out of Levchuk's East Austin home, sends medical supplies, combat boots, military garb and other material to Ukraine to supply troops in the grinding war.

Asher Price
May 23, 2022 - News

In Trump's shadow, Paxton and Bush square off for Texas AG

george paxton and bush
George P. Bush, left, Ken Paxton, right. Photos: Matthew Busch/Bloomberg via Getty Images; Hannah Gaber/USA Today

Trump ally and embattled Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton squares off tomorrow against challenger George P. Bush, the scion of the Bush family dynasty, in a Republican runoff.

Why it matters: The Paxton-Bush race is a distillation of the internecine politics in the Trump-era GOP.

Asher Price
May 16, 2022 - News

Why Texas' enviro agency avoids the term "environmental justice"

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

One year after announcing an environmental justice initiative, the state agency leading the charge has no apparent budget for the effort and has suppressed virtually any mention of the term on its website, per an Axios investigation.

Why it matters: The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has long regulated polluters with a light touch — and members of low-income communities bordering the state's industrial sites have historically had little sway at the agency.

Asher Price
May 10, 2022 - News

A look-back at William Wayne Justice and the Plyler case

William Wayne Justice
William Wayne Justice, pictured in the 1980s. Photo: Bettmann / Contributor via Getty

After Gov. Greg Abbott said recently he'd like to challenge the 1982 U.S. Supreme Court decision requiring public schools to provide education to children of all residents — including undocumented immigrants — we read through some of the decades-old letters to William Wayne Justice, the late and famously liberal federal judge from East Texas who originally presided over the case.

Driving the news: In the wake of a draft opinion leaked last week that suggests the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to overturn precedent on abortion rights, Abbott said "we will resurrect that case."


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