Houston Matters

Political Roundup: The runoff election, the end of a special session, and a campaign ad transgression

Political analysts Brandon Rottinghaus and Nancy Sims share their thoughts on these developments and more in recent local, state, and national politics.

Houston Matters Political Roundup

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Saturday is runoff election day, and not long after we should know who the next Houston mayor will be.

That runoff is down to State Senator John Whitmire and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee. In the final days, the candidates are pushing to get their base out to vote on Saturday. That effort for the Jackson Lee campaign was probably not helped by the airing of a campaign ad indicating the wrong date for the election.

In the audio above, we discuss that and other developments in recent politics in our regular Wednesday political roundup. Joining us today: Nancy Sims, political science lecturer from the University of Houston, and her UH political science colleague Professor Brandon Rottinghaus, who also co-hosts Houston Public Media's Party Politics program.

This Wednesday also marks the end of the fourth special session in Austin, where both houses adjourned yesterday. Once again, a school vouchers bill did not pass. Nor did a bill to raise teacher salaries. The Texas House and Senate did approve a bill to appropriate $1.5 billion to continue to build a border barrier between Texas and Mexico, and a bill to allow state police to arrest anyone illegally entering the state from Mexico, though that seems destined for a court battle. Governor Abbott thus far has stopped short of saying anything about yet another special session.

Then, we discuss U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville finally releasing his months-long hold on military appointments, which even his fellow Republicans criticized as damaging military readiness. Tuberville did it to object to a Pentagon policy to reimburse service members for travel to seek abortions in states where it's legal. Tuberville's still blocking promotions of 11 officers to four-star generals overseeing key command posts.

Plus, we talk about the legacy and impact of television producer and creator Norman Lear, who died at the age of 101. Lear was the driving force behind 1970s and 1980s sitcoms like All in the Family, and its spinoffs including Maude, Good Times, and The Jeffersons. Those and other Lear-led shows incorporated social issues and helped Americans understand and engage in political discourse. Lear was also active in Democratic politics throughout much of his life.