Baby formula, vouchers and Trump’s visit to Austin

The temperature and political rhetoric have risen this week, especially in Texas politics. FOX 7 Austin’s Rudy Koski and our panel of analysts take a look at the hot topics that dominated this week.

Read the full transcript of the chat below:

Rudy Koski: Here we are back in the LBJ penthouse to talk about This Week in Texas Politics. And some of the big stories of the week include: Governor Greg Abbott continues to make school part of his re-election campaign by endorsing a voucher program. The political slurs escalated in the Attorney General’s GOP runoff where Ken Paxton called George Bush a liberal, pushing a woke agenda to remake the Alamo. The governor’s migrant-trespassing border strategy won its first court victory in Kinney County. Congressional Democrats have launched an investigation into Governor Greg Abbott and whether he illegally used COVID relief money to pay for Operation Lone Star. Governor Abbott pushed back, blaming the Biden administration for sending formula to migrant families when store shelves across the country are empty. And a federal appeals court on Wednesday reinstated a Republican-backed Texas law that prohibits major social media companies from banning use based on political views.

Rudy Koski: So let’s take our headlines now from our analyst panel and start first with Eleanor Dearman, who is with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Eleanor, what’s your title now?

ELEANOR DEARMAN: The runoff is heating up in Texas with early voting beginning Monday.

Rudy Koski: Greg Groogan with Fox 26 Houston. Greg, what is your title of the week?

GREG GROOGAN: No asterisk next to freedom of expression in the Constitution.

Rudy Koski: And Brian Smith with St Edward’s University. Brian, what’s your title of the week?

BRIAN SMITH: With the Legislature Home and DC Gridlocked, the judiciary takes center stage.

Rudy Koski: We will touch base with this formula situation that has arisen.

GREG GROOGAN: If Title 42 is ripped off by the Biden administration, we’re talking about 50,000 new Texans every week. So, you know, the formula, the lack of patrol on the federal side, actually the border. It’s just a colossal mess.

BRIAN SMITH: I think the biggest issue is the supply chain. And when you think of formula, it’s specifically a lose-lose. I think Republicans will be able to capitalize on supply chain issues in the fall and they can blame the Biden administration for it.

ELEANOR DEARMAN: Formula milk is something that is a necessity in many homes across the state, across the country. So I think supply chain scarcity and the economy are certainly issues that a lot of people are concerned about.

Rudy Koski: Are we going to move away from the border or will that be the problem for the summer? Brian.

BRIAN SMITH: In Texas, the borders will always be at the top of the economy. I don’t think it’s going to go away anytime soon.

GREG GROOGAN: Things aren’t getting any better there when it comes to criticism of Abbott for spending COVID money there. Well, everyone at every level of government robs Peter to pay Paul, and that includes Democratic cities and counties.

ELEANOR DEARMAN: I think crossing the border will be a major issue in many campaigns. I can see it in the ripples. And I think that’s certainly a brewing question, brought up by candidates as they campaign for office in the state.

Rudy Koski: The runoffs really start next week. But this week, some strong rhetoric is coming out in the GOP attorney general’s race. Is this race a window on what will happen next week? Greg?

GREG GROOGAN: Look, I don’t even know if Vegas is even putting odds on George P. Bush winning this second round. I mean, look, Rich Strike was probably a better bet.

ELEANOR DEARMAN: Ken Paxton, with a Democrat in the general election, may be one of the best shots for a Democrat to win statewide office, but it could be, you know, a potentially more competitive race than we don’t. saw some of the other statewide races.

BRIAN SMITH: The problem, of course, is; an injured Ken Paxton will always be a tough candidate to beat, no matter how many indictments hang over his head.

Rudy Koski: The Trump rally arrives in Austin on Saturday. It’s going to be noisy, inside and out. So my question is, who wins this rally, or this political circus, as some might say, is the show winning on the inside or is the protest on the outside?

GREG GROOGAN: It depends on how many people show up and how loud they want to be. You know, maybe it’s yesterday’s news to some extent. Do people see it as the lightning rod it once was?

ELEANOR DEARMAN: I think he will be able to answer this question better after the Texas runoff and maybe even until the November election.

BRIAN SMITH: I think coming here to Austin right after hearing about the Supreme Court decisions, it really stings the bear.

Rudy Koski: And with that, let’s end this week on Texas politics with our one word, and we’ll start with Eleanor. Eleanor, what’s your one word of the week?


Rudy Koski: Greg, your word for the weak?

GREG GROOGAN: Constitution.

Rudy Koski: Brian your word for the week?


Rudy Koski: And with that, we wrap up another week in Texas politics.

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