This Week in Texas Politics: Paxton impeachment trial, more battles … – FOX 7 Austin

Access to the impeachment trial and more battles on the border were some of the hot topics in This Week in Texas Politics.

The big stories This Week in Texas Politics started early, and it didn’t take long for them to heat up, literally and figuratively. 

It began Sunday, August 21, with members of the Texas Young Republicans Federation wrapping up their convention in Dallas by voting to disassociate from the Texas GOP. 

There were a couple of notable political court fights with the state’s Supreme Court ending Harris County’s attempt to save its election administrator position, and the Biden administration was in Austin at federal court trying to sink Governor Abbott’s border buoys. 

Meanwhile, the border did briefly come up in Wednesday’s GOP presidential debate. We also learned that public access to the Paxton impeachment trial, well, that’s going to require a ticket. 

On Thursday, the power grid got political again as it was pushed to the brink, again. 


RUDY KOSKI: Let’s see what our panel thinks was the headline for the week. And we’ll start with political analyst Mark Wiggins. What’s your headline for the week, Mark? 

MARK WIGGINS: If there’s a debate and no one watches, did it really happen? 

RUDY KOSKI: County Swinney with The Highlander. What’s your headline? 

CONNIE SWINNEY: Border Crossings hit close to home. 

RUDY KOSKI: And Brian Smith from St. Edward’s University put the week in a headline for us. 

BRIAN SMITH: Greg Abbott takes fellow Republican governors on a road trip to the border. 

GOP, Ken Paxton fallout:

RUDY KOSKI: There’s certainly a lot to unpack with this week. Let’s start with the fallout between the young Republicans and the state GOP. Brian. This is all about the Paxton trial, another indication that the pressure really is starting to build, right? 

BRIAN SMITH: Right. This is the same fissure we’re seeing at the statewide GOP between Paxton’s guilt and innocence. But now it’s percolating down to the younger voters. The GOP has a young voter deficit already, so they don’t want this to widen. They want to solve this problem sooner rather than later. 

RUDY KOSKI: Connie, House Manager Andrew Mur, who’s from the Hill Country, wants Paxton to testify, reportedly. Is he just poking the bear or do you think this is going to happen? 

CONNIE SWINNEY: It appears that he may be challenging Paxton to basically say what he needs to say in his own words and set aside some of the legal tactics. 

RUDY KOSKI: Mark, it’s going to take a ticket for the public to see this trial. What are you hearing? 

MARK WIGGINS: Rudy I’m honestly racking my brain trying to figure out who’s going to buy a ticket to this sort of thing. You look who’s come out now and in support of the House process. Rick Perry, Konnie Burton, Texans For Lawsuit Reform. It’s hard to call that some kind of liberal cabal.

Texas border battles:

RUDY KOSKI: The border crisis played out in a couple of events over the week, the River Buoy trial in a federal court and the presidential debate taking place. Out of the two. I think Abbott is going to be the winner in this discussion with the buoys, regardless of how it comes out. If the court throws it out or whatever, he wins the PR battle, right? 

BRIAN SMITH: He does, because he keeps winning the border because it’s all reward and no risk. 

RUDY KOSKI: Connie, the border, kind of hit home there in the Hill Country recently with a woman being arrested trying to smuggle two of her nieces and a friend’s son to Texas from Mexico. You know, this is a different take on the smuggling. Does it kind of give a different look? 

CONNIE SWINNEY: She basically made the plea that she was doing so, so that she could help give them a better life. And so it just basically magnifies the issue that folks are seeing at the border. 

Texas Supreme Court, elections and home rule:

RUDY KOSKI: Harris County lost its bid to overturn the state law that shuts down their election administrator position. Mark, did we get a sneak peek at what’s going to happen with this fight over the Home Rule that some of the cities want more power than the state? 

MARK WIGGINS: I think the most important thing you have to remember is that the Texas Supreme Court is an elected body. They’re politicians. They run as Democrats and Republicans. So they’re elected to ratify whatever their party passes. So I would say you can assume with a pretty high probability that’s what they’re going to do.  

BRIAN SMITH: In any Case, the big cities are going to sue. But like Mark said, it’s a Republican legislature that passed the bill and a Republican Supreme Court that will then interpret it. So it’s definitely an uphill climb. 

CONNIE SWINNEY: Yes, for the most part, the cities here try to maintain autonomy. And when they feel like the state is trying to step in to tell them how to do anything from running an election to whether or not to annex, which, of course, you know, that was a basically ended the last legislative session. You are going to hear some folks be rankled about that. 

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