This Week in Texas Politics: Immigration, campaigns, migrant bus trips

We had a lot of hot topics this week in Texas politics

Let's start off first with Texas Democrats celebrating Kansas voters who rejected a constitutional ban on abortion, claiming a similar ballot box backlash is coming to Texas in November.

Governor Greg Abbott is making political moves, expanding his migrant bus trips now to New York City. 

Senators Cruz and Cornyn taking heat for opposing a veteran's relief bill and throwing some shade on the Democrats' inflation bill. 

Ag Commissioner Sid Miller, who recently called to expand legalizing medical marijuana, is now criticizing state officials for not fixing the grid, which triggered a quick social media shout out by Beto O'Rourke

O'Rourke is facing his own criticism for another flip-flop, this time on Critical Race Theory, which at first he didn't support, but then this week said parents should not fear it. 

As for politics and education, this week, another Texas textbook war appears to be brewing. The state school board is considering a proposal to make the calendar notations B.C. and A.D. history with a possible shift to the more scientific, non-religious way to count the years. 

Also is a Trump presidential reboot about to happen? Former President Donald Trump is set to speak in Dallas this weekend as part of the conservative CPAC gathering that got underway. 

Now let's get our headlines from the panel.


We'll start first with Scott Braddock with The Quorum Report. Scott, what's your headline for the week? 

SCOTT BRADDOCK: Rudy, for me, it's the governor making immigration problems worse, so he can complain that they're worse.

RUDY KOSKI: Steven Dial, FOX4 Dallas, what is your headline for the week?

STEVEN DIAL: Abbott's bus service gets new stop. 

RUDY KOSKI: And Patrick Svitek with the Texas Tribune. Patrick, what's your headline for the week? 

PATRICK SVITEK: Yeah, I was going have to go with the migrant bus, by the governor and its expansion that we learned about on Friday. 


RUDY KOSKI: Let's talk a little about that and then also about Sid Miller in that hanging curveball he gave Beto O'Rourke. You know, it seems like both sides are not really playing hardball yet, with these easy pitches on these political issues. Patrick, you noticed the Sid Miller tweet on ERCOT. Was that just too easy to get or is that a legitimate swipe? 

PATRICK SVITEK: What Sid Miller did is he sent down an email to his campaign supporters arguing that the Texas grid is not secure, not in all caps. That obviously cuts against the entire narrative that Governor Abbott is advancing in his reelection campaign against Beto O'Rourke. 

SCOTT BRADDOCK: The grid, as you know, just as the sole issue that Democrats can beat up on Abbott about that has nothing to do with, with national politics. It's a winning message for them. Although, of course, the flip side of that is if the grid is perceived as doing just fine all the way through the summer, which is also possible. 

RUDY KOSKI: Steven, the Democrats gave the governor an easy pitch to hit. 

STEVEN DIAL: Yeah, definitely with the bus plan. I mean, who knows how many busses they're going to send to New York. So it's a win-win for Governor Abbott. 


RUDY KOSKI: Conservatives are gathering in Dallas for the CPAC convention, or event, and Donald Trump is coming to town. Scott, does Donald Trump steal the wind? 

SCOTT BRADDOCK: Well, he definitely takes the oxygen out of the room, right, for all the others who are there. I will tell you that it does seem that the attendance is down some. 

PATRICK SVITEK: Maybe they're just getting spread a little thin because, you know, it's no longer a singular large event once a year. 

STEVEN DIAL: I think people are just getting inundated with it. 


RUDY KOSKI: Voters in Kansas rejected a constitutional ban on abortion. Democrats in Texas believe that they can replicate what happened in Kansas, here in Texas in November. Scott, are they overreaching? 

SCOTT BRADDOCK: If you look at the turnout for the ballot initiative that had to do with abortion, it was fascinating to see that it was 20% higher, the turnout was 20% higher for the abortion issue than it was for the Republican and Democratic primary. So clearly, people were coming out for that. 

STEVEN DIAL: But I think Kansas is a totally different situation than Texas, just based on; Kansas doesn't have a lot of people, and those suburbs really is what drove that. 

PATRICK SVITEK: But I do think this Kansas vote is a warning sign to Republicans that on this specific issue in this general election in Texas, there is a lot of enthusiasm and energy on the Democratic side, and you're obviously seeing Republicans react to that. 

SCOTT BRADDOCK: But I do think what Patrick is saying is right on this, which is that, look, the Republicans would like to talk about other things. The things that Republicans talked about before the March Primary are very different from what they want to talk about before the General Election in November. 

STEVEN DIAL: I think I agree with Patrick and Scott. I don't think Republicans are really going to beat their chest talking about Roe v Wade because they know and, you know, if there are smart people in Beto's ears, that's what's going to get Democrats and independents to the polls. 

SCOTT BRADDOCK: These elections are not ever about just one issue. Right. It's a dynamic situation. It's about the economy. It can be also about abortion. It can also be about gun violence. It can be about a lot of things. But when you look at the results in Kansas, it's not hyperbole to say it's pretty stunning. 


RUDY KOSKI: All right. Let's wrap up this week in politics with our word for the week. We'll start with Patrick Svitek. Patrick, your word. 

PATRICK SVITEK: CPAC, an acronym, I guess. 

RUDY KOSKI: Steven, your word. 

STEVEN DIAL: Campaigns. 

RUDY KOSKI: And Scott Braddock, your word for the week. 

SCOTT BRADDOCK: Immigration.

RUDY KOSKI: And with that, we're wrapping up another week in Texas politics.