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Texas Take


Mar 23, 2018

In a week dominated by news about the Austin bombings, Texas politics gave up a few surprise headlines to make things interesting.

The bombings came to an end after the suspect, a jobless, 23-year-old college dropout, blew himself up as police closed in. While no motive has emerged, police revealed some of his last words from a taped confession on his call phone: "I wish I were sorry but I am not."

He labeled himself a "psychopath."

In Houston, a federal criminal trial of former U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, provided this stunner: The same folks who created a stir at the State Capitol in 2015 by secretly taping lawmakers partying two years earlier shadowed state Rep. James Whitelooking for dirt, when Stockman thought White might run against him.

Result: They confirmed that White, R-Hillister, was boring. About the most exciting thing he did was go to a frozen yogurt shop.

Political chatter this week also focused on the ugly U.S. Senate race between Republican incumbent Ted Cruz and Democratic challenger Beto O'Rourke, who agreed with a TV show host who labeled Cruz a crude name.

Texas counties that are bigger than Iowa also made the story line.

Our sponsor this week: The Texas Association of Counties.

With Scott Braddock, editor of the Quorum Report, and Mike WardAustin Bureau chief for the Houston Chronicle, with special guest Ryan Poppe, Texas Public Radio's Capitol reporter.

Texas politics are entertaining but never boring, as this edition of the state's leading political podcast, produced in collaboration with partner Texas Public Radio, clearly shows.