The Midday Brief: January 26, 2010

Your afternoon reading.

Your afternoon reading:

“Shapleigh contends Buddy Garcia, then chairman of the TCEQ, met out of school with lawyers for Asarco, which operated a smelter in El Paso. At the time, Asarco was petitioning the state agency for a renewal of its air permit. The TCEQ eventually issued the renewal to Asarco. Closed-door meetings with an applicant are typically not allowed. Violating open meetings rules can lead to a misdemeanor charge.” — Showdown between senator and Texas environmental agency on Wednesday — Austin-American Statesman

“GOP governor's candidate Debra Medina spent $2,437 on clothing for herself from her political donations, generally considered an ethics no-no. The state Ethics Commission has issued opinions, following the law that campaign contributions can't be converted to personal use of a candidate. On clothing, the rule of thumb is that shoes, dresses, suits and whatnot would only be appropriate for a campaign appearance and couldn't be converted to everyday wear.” Debra Medina pays for wardrobe from campaign contributionsThe Dallas Morning News

“An Iraqi doctor encouraged security officers at Brooke Army Medical Center to shoot him earlier this month after telling others that he planned to free accused Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, a federal agent testified Monday.” —  Would-be Hasan visitor is freed San Antonio Express-News

“Some conservative activists are already taking aim at Massachusetts Senator-elect Scott Brown by calling him a RINO, or Republican in Name Only.” — New Wingnut Target: 'RINO' Scott Brown —The Daily Beast

 New in the Texas Tribune:

"If you've been paying attention to Texas politics, you know that candidates collected millions in campaign cash during the last six months of 2009, and that the men and women at the top of the ballot — the ones running for governor — are at the highest point on the political food chain." — Twenty Who Gave Twenty

We asked the House Democrats from Texas what should happen next. While some are still mulling and contemplating, others have decided how they think health care should proceed — or, at least, how it definitely shouldn’t. Here’s what they told us. — The Remedy

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