<![CDATA[NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth - Dallas-Fort Worth and Texas State Political News]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/politics http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC+5-KXAS+Logo+for+Google+News.png NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth http://www.nbcdfw.com en-us Wed, 16 Apr 2014 16:58:18 -0500 Wed, 16 Apr 2014 16:58:18 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Wendy Davis to Undergo Neck Surgery]]> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 13:16:48 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/AP13062509029.jpg

Texas state Senator and gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis announced she will have "routine" surgery to correct an issue with her neck.

Communications Director Zac Petkanas released the following statement:

"After experiencing shoulder and right arm pain in recent weeks, Senator Davis will have a routine surgical procedure to remove bone spurs and degenerative discs that are creating compression on the nerves in her neck."

Petkanas said the condition is commonly experienced by runners and endurance athletes.

The campaign announced Davis plans to have the surgery in Fort Worth on Wednesday morning and has planned to resume campaigning following the Easter holidays.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Lone Star Politics - April 13, 2014]]> Sun, 13 Apr 2014 11:11:41 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/lone-star-politics-show-041314_1200x675_223825987573.jpg NBC 5’s Kristi Nelson, The Dallas Morning News’ Gromer Jeffers and Congressman Marc Veasey about his lawsuit to overturn the Texas voter identification law, the F-35 budget and the effort to have a Hispanic represented congressional district in North Texas.]]> <![CDATA[Willie Nelson Singing at Wendy Davis Fundraiser]]> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 13:59:49 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/1-WillieNelSon.jpg

Legendary singer Willie Nelson will be featured at a high-dollar fundraiser for Democratic governor nominee Wendy Davis.

The event will be held April 27 in the Houston backyard of plaintiff’s lawyer Steve and Amber Mostyn, featuring barbecue, Nelson and — for those who stay overnight at the Hotel ZaZa — a campaign briefing on Monday morning.

Click here to read more from our partners at The Dallas Morning News.
 



Photo Credit: Getty ]]>
<![CDATA[Elder President Bush to Endorse GOP Nominee in Ga.]]> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 10:13:13 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/george+hw+bush.JPG

President George H.W. Bush is featured in a Democrat's campaign commercial, but he plans to endorse the eventual Republican nominee in Georgia's Senate race, his spokesman said Thursday.

Likely Democratic nominee Michelle Nunn, a former executive at the Bush-inspired Points of Light Foundation, uses images of the former president in her first campaign ads that try to paint her as a bipartisan leader.

"While leading President Bush's Points of Light Foundation, we grew it into the world's largest organization dedicated to volunteer service," Nunn says in the ad.

Hoping to head off confusion, Bush spokesman Jim McGrath on Thursday tweeted:

Republicans are in the middle of a seven-way primary race in Georgia, with no clear front-runner emerging as voters start paying attention ahead of the May 20 primary.

Republican Reps. Paul Broun, Jack Kingston and Phil Gingrey are facing former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel and attorney Art Gardner. Conservative activist Derrick Grayson and businessman David Perdue are also in the race to replace Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss, who is retiring.

The messy race lacks a clear favorite in polls, among activists in Georgia or Washington insiders.

On the Democratic side, Nunn is favored over rivals Steen Miles, Branko "Rad" Radulovacki and Todd Anthony Robinson.

Republicans need to hold all of their current seats and pick up six more to become the Senate majority. Democrats are eyeing Georgia as one of the few places where they could wrest a seat from the Republicans' column.

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<![CDATA[Today's Civil Rights Marches: Different Issues; Same Format]]> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 13:30:29 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/immigration+rally+national+mall.jpg

The black and white images of civil rights-era marches are burned into the collective memories of our nation. Some images are grainy, others crystal clear of mostly black Americans marching in solidarity. Their message: we want fairness, we want equality, we want to feel safe.

Their signs and songs, like "We Shall Overcome" made history.

Now, across the country, there are new demonstrations with new marchers.

"A host of other issues have emerged surrounding civil rights in today's world that we don't think of as black and white issues," said Dr. Jason Shelton, sociology assistant professor at the University of Texas at Arlington. "Things such as gender, men and women's issues, wage inequality in the workplace between men and women, gay rights, immigration issues."

Shelton said they still share a common theme.

"You see the idea of groups — multitude of groups coming together under the guise of changing, under the perception of fairness, the perception of inequalities to fundamentally change rights and laws," Shelton said.

As anchor/reporter for Telemundo 39 in Dallas/Fort Worth, Norma Garcia has seen the complex immigration debate evolve.

"People used to say, 'Well just send them back to their country;' but they have become such an integral part of society that you cannot just ship them away, you cannot just deport them," Garcia said.

In April 2010, nearly 100,000 people took to the streets of Dallas to march for immigration issues.

Politics aside, she said the bottom line is civil rights.

"You have 11 to 14 million immigrants with no real access to health care, with limited access to education and with no real avenues to seek justice when their basic human rights are violated."



Photo Credit: Chris Gordon, NBCWashington.com]]>
<![CDATA[LBJ's Civil Rights Legacy: Long, Nearly Forgotten]]> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 13:17:16 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/LBJ+Library+276-10-WH64_web.jpg

President Lyndon Baines Johnson's legacy has long been overshadowed by the way he escalated the United States' involvement in the Vietnam War.

While the April 2014 Civil Rights Summit in Austin will not erase that, the LBJ Presidential Library is hoping the summit will help more people understand LBJ's role in two domestic policies that changed the United States of America forever.

In 1954, segregation was the standard across the U.S. south, including Texas. From classrooms to cafes, blacks and Hispanics were forbidden to be in the company of white people.

Blacks who dared to vote paid poll taxes or were forced to take impossible exams.

In 1963, at the urging of civil rights leaders, President John F. Kennedy held a nationally televised address on civil rights.

"100 years of delay has passed since [President Abraham] Lincoln freed the slaves yet their heirs, their grandsons are not fully freed," said Kennedy.

Just months later, on Nov. 22, 1963, Kennedy's life ended in Dallas. But the work continued through a new president, a Texan, LBJ.

"My fellow citizens, we've come now to a time of testing. We must not fail," said President Johnson during an address to the nation before signing into law the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The act outlawed discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex or national origin. It affected schools, governments and businesses that accommodated the public like hotels and restaurants.

There were protests and leaders who wouldn't enforce it. But LBJ pressed on.

"It is wrong, deadly wrong to deny any of your fellow Americans the right to vote in this country," said Johnson in another address to country.

In 1965, civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was on hand as LBJ signed the Voting Rights Act into law, stopping racial intimidation at the polls.

The impact was swift. In Mississippi, voter registration among blacks increased from seven percent in 1965 to 60 percent in 1967.

In 1972, just a month before his death, Johnson told an audience at the LBJ Presidential Library the work was far from over.

"Until education is unaware of race, until opportunity is unconcerned with the color of men's skin, emancipation will be a proclamation not a fact," said Johnson.



Photo Credit: LBJ Library photo by Cecil Stoughton]]>
<![CDATA[Mansfield: Nearly 60 Years of Racial Change]]> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 13:22:47 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/040814+no+negroes+allowed+sign.jpg

The Mansfield, Texas, of 1956 was very different from the busy, diverse and rapidly growing city we know in 2014.

It was the country back then and, as in most other parts of the southern United States, everything was segregated: the neighborhoods, the cemeteries and the schools.

The Rev. Floyd Moody of the Mount Horum Missionary Baptist Church in Fort Worth remembers he and other black students had to catch a Trailways bus to get to an all-black school in Fort Worth. 

"It would come through Mansfield, stopped at the little drugstore over there about 7 a.m.," Moody said. "Eight or 10 black kids, going to James E. Guinn or I.M. Terrell in Fort Worth."

At the time I.M. Terrell was Tarrant County's only all black high school.

But change was in the air. Moody, who was 16-years-old at the time and a high school junior, was part of the plan.

A court ordered the Mansfield ISD to desegregate and allow three black boys to enroll in Mansfield High School, which was all white. Moody was one of them.

"The next thing I knew, we had a total uproar," Moody said. 

Many white citizens resisted. Moody's father was a sharecropper and was told his family had to leave the farm.

Moody recalled the white farm owner saying, "if you send that boy to school down at that school, you're going to have to move."

And in August 1956, a crowd of hundreds of angry white people gathered in front of Mansfield High School with shotguns and dogs. The Mansfield desegregation incident made national headlines. 

"The mobs kind of grew around the school, they watched the school. They would hang effigies [of black people] in the street," Moody said.

The effort to integrate failed then. Mansfield ISD remained segregated until 1965 and for a time it retained that image of a place hostile to diversity and change.

But no more. From 2000-2010, the number of black and Asian residents grew more than 500 percent with the Hispanic population rising more than 140 percent. It is one of the fastest-growing and ethnically diverse cities in the region.

The Mansfield ISD website states that among it's 32,000 students, 38 percent are white, 26 percent are black, 24 percent are Hispanic and six percent are Asian.

Moody looks at the long history with pride.

"Now I'm proud to say that I was raised in Mansfield ... everything's going real good," Moody said. "That's what I'm proud of — the fact that I was used to help get things to where they are today."

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<![CDATA[Civil Rights Summit]]> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 12:31:05 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/President-Obama.jpg President Barack Obama is one of the four presidents who mark the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act signed by President Lyndon Johnson in 1964. ]]> <![CDATA[Civil Rights Law Anniversary Celebration]]> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 17:00:53 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/199*120/276-10-wh64_medb.jpg A civil rights summit is underway in Austin. This year marks 50 years since President Lyndon Johnson signed the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Photo Credit: LBJ Library photo by Cecil Stoughton]]>
<![CDATA[Sen. Dan Patrick Says Equal Pay Laws Not Needed]]> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 05:57:28 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Dan_Patrick_%28R%29_on_Equal_Pay_1200x675_220499523717.jpg

On the same day President Barack Obama pushed for equal pay for women, candidate for Lt. Gov. state Sen. Dan Patrick (R-Houston) insisted new equal pay laws are not needed.

Speaking after a fundraiser luncheon in Fort Worth Tuesday, Patrick told NBC 5 he opposes any new federal or state equal pay protections.

"Women and men should be paid the same wage for doing the same job. But the government should not be enforcing it. We have too much government in our lives. In some cases women are making more than men. In other cases men are making more than women. But if they are doing the same job then there should be equal pay. It's just the government shouldn't be calling the shots," Patrick said.

This week the U.S. Senate will vote on a provision making it easier for women to sue their employers over pay.

Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis frequently criticizes her Republican opponent Greg Abbott for supporting Gov. Rick Perry's 2013 veto of a bill to give women more time to sue for equal pay.

Patrick faces incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in a Republican run-off next month.

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<![CDATA[Lone Star Politics - April 6, 2014]]> Sun, 06 Apr 2014 18:55:24 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Lone_Star_Politics_040614_ENTIRE_SHOW_1200x675_216577091512.jpg NBC 5's Kevin Cokely and Gromer Jeffers of The Dallas Morning News talks with candidates Kinky Friedman, David Alameel and more.]]> <![CDATA[Dallas Advances to Next Phase of RNC Convention Selection]]> Wed, 02 Apr 2014 13:21:57 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/generic-dallas-skyline.jpg

Dallas is one of a six-pack of cities still in the running to host the 2016 Republican National Convention.

During a conference call today, the Republican National Committee's Site Selection Committee voted to eliminate two of the eight cities -- Columbus and Phoenix -- who were vying to host the 2016 RNC convention.

"In any other year, Columbus and Phoenix could have topped the list, but with so many strong cities competing, the committee had to make the difficult decision to narrow the field.  Phoenix and Columbus are great American cities, and I hope they’ll pursue a future bid for an RNC convention," Chair Enid Mickelsen said in a statement following the vote.

The six cities that did make it through for the next phase of consideration include Dallas, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Kansas City, and Las Vegas. 

The next phase will send a small team of RNC staffers to each of the cities to check out venues, hotels, media workspaces, and the all-important financing.

Following those site surveys, the selection committee will get together and decide which cities will receive officials site visits from the full RNC delegation. After those official, full delegations kick the tires -- maybe then we'll see the RNC in Big D for their next Presidential nomination.

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<![CDATA[Ted Cruz at Liberty University]]> Wed, 02 Apr 2014 11:48:56 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Ted_Cruz_at_Liberty_University_1200x675_214383683950.jpg Texas U.S. Senator Ted Cruz told students at Liberty University Wednesday that “religious liberty has never been more under attack" than it is today. And he urged students at the school founded by evangelist Jerry Falwell to stand up for their faith. Cruz also discussed the Supreme Court case involving Oklahoma based Hobby Lobby. The Republican said the Affordable Care Act unfairly imposes requirements on businesses to provide access to contraception. Cruz’s father, evangelist Rafael Cruz, also recently spoke at Liberty University.]]> <![CDATA[Lone Star Politics March 30, 2014]]> Sun, 30 Mar 2014 10:05:30 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NEW+013114+lone+star+politics.jpg NBC 5’s Kevin Cokely and The Dallas Morning News’ Gromer Jeffers talk to Rep. Michael Burgess about the Affordable Care Act; talk to the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate who wants President Obama impeached; and talk to Dallas Morning News Senior Political Writer Wayne Slater about the impact abortion may have on the race for Texas governor. ]]> <![CDATA[Lone Star Politics: Impact of Abortion Rulings In Texas]]> Fri, 28 Mar 2014 16:35:38 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NEW+013114+lone+star+politics.jpg Dallas Morning News Senior Political Writer Wayne Slater and his colleague Gromer Jeffers talk to NBC 5’s Kevin Cokely about the impact abortion may have on the race for Texas governor. Watch Lone Star Politics Sunday at 8:40 a.m. on NBC 5.]]> <![CDATA[Lone Star Politics: Rep. Burgess on Obamacare]]> Fri, 28 Mar 2014 15:43:07 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NEW+013114+lone+star+politics.jpg NBC 5’s Kevin Cokely and The Dallas Morning News’ Gromer Jeffers talk to Lewisville Congressman Michael Burgess about the Affordable Care Act. The physician wants more details about the Obama Administration’s claim that six million people have signed up. Watch Lone Star Politics Sunday at 8:40 a.m. on NBC 5.]]> <![CDATA[CA State Senator Arrested]]> Fri, 28 Mar 2014 18:15:19 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/03-26-2014-leland-yee-leaves-court.jpg

California state Sen. Leland Yee is facing a slew of corruption charges as part of a massive FBI sting operation that surfaced allegations of firearms trafficking, money laundering, murder-for-hire and drug distribution.

A federal complaint unsealed Wednesday accuses the San Francisco Democrat of engaging in a conspiracy to traffic firearms and accepting campaign donations in exchange for official acts. In one instance, Yee, who has been a strong advocate for gun control during his decade in the state Legislature, warning that such business dealings are "not for the faint of heart," according to the complaint.

He was charged with conspiracy to traffic in firearms without a license, and to illegally import firearms as well as a scheme to defraud citizens of honest services.

Yee and Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow, leader of the Chee Kung Tong Free Masons in San Francisco, were among 26 defendants charged in the federal criminal complaint Wednesday, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag of the Northern District of California said. 

The federal criminal complaint, filed on March 24, charges the defendants with firearms trafficking, money laundering, murder-for-hire, drug distribution, trafficking in contraband cigarettes and honest services fraud, the FBI announced. According to the affidavit

If convicted on all charges, Yee could face more than 100 years in prison. His bail was set at $500,000, unsecured, with the provision that he not leave the state. He was released from custody late Wednesday afternoon.

Yee is due back in court on Monday.

Chow's charges include money laundering and conspiracy to traffic contraband cigarettes.

One of the places the FBI searched Wednesday was at the San Francisco Chinatown office of the Chee Kung Tong at 36 Spofford Street, where Chow, a notorious former Chinatown gangster, conducts business. Chow was arrested during the raid.

Firefighters were seen going inside with a circular saw and later said they had cracked a safe.

According to the complaint, a pattern of alleged racketeering activity emerged as FBI undercover agents infiltrated the CKT through introductions made by Chow and others.

Over the course of the undercover agent's relationship with Chow and other defendants, the complaint shows, the undercover agent informed the group that he was interested in generating income from illegal schemes. He was then inducted into CKT as a "consultant," and allegedly introduced to a number of the defendants in order to launder money, traffic narcotics, firearms and purpotedly stolen cigarettes and liquor and engage in murder-for-hire schemes over the course of multiple undercover operations.

The FBI also arrested Keith Jackson, a well-known political consultant who owns San Francisco-based political consulting firm Jackson Consultancy.

Leland Yee leaves the federal building in San Francisco, Wednesday, March 26, 2014.

State Senator Yee leaves the federal building in San Francisco, Wednesday, March 26, 2014.

Chow also introduced Jackson -- a "consultant" to the CKT -- to the undercover agent. Jackson and his son Brandon Jackson allegedly responded to the undercover agent's request for weapons, selling him various types of firearms and two ballistic vests.

Jackson, Brandon Jackson and another defendant allegedly conspired on a murder for hire scheme at the undercover agent's request.

The complaint also says that Jackson is a close associate of Lee and has been involved in raising campaign funds for him from at least through May 2011 to the present.

Yee, who has served in the state Legislature for more than a decade, was elected to the State Senate in November 2006 and represents District 8, which includes San Francisco and San Mateo County. The former San Francisco supervisor and 2011 mayoral candidate is currently running for secretary of state.

The complaint alleges that starting in 2012 and continuing until now, Yee and Keith Jackson allegedly raised money and campaign funds for Yee's secretary of state campaign by soliciting donations from undercover FBI agents in exchange for multiple official acts.

The compaint also alleges that Yee and Jackson were involved in a conspiracy to traffic firearms.

The complaint details how, starting in May 2011 and continuing for several months, Jackson allegedly asked an undercover FBI agent to make contributions to Yee's San Francisco mayoral campaign. The agent declined to make contributions but introduced Jackson and Yee to a business associate, who was another undercover agent. When Jackson and Yee asked the agent for campaign contributions, it resulted in at least one personal $5,000 donation.

The complaint claims that Yee tried to get rid of a $70,000 debt after losing the November 2011 election by making a call to the California Department of Public Health in support of a contract with the second undercover agent's purported client and writing an official letter of support in exchange for a $10,000 campaign donation.

Yee allegedly made the call on Oct. 18, 2012, and provided the letter around Jan. 13, 2013. Jackson accepted the $10,000 on Nov. 19, 2012.

Yee is known for his efforts to strengthen open records, government transparency and whistleblower protection laws.On his website, Yee promises that if elected as secretary of state, he will be "committed to fair elections and expanding access to our democracy."

He was honored last week by the Northern California chapter of the Society of Professional journalists for his efforts to uphold the California Public Records Act.

Chow, who ran a Chinese criminal organization and was convicted of gun charges, was released in 2003 after spending 11 years in prison. He has since been praised for his involvement in the community and for trying to turn his life around.

On what appears to be Raymond Chow's Facebook page, Chow displayed a picture of a certificate of honor presented to him by Lee that honored him "for his tenacity and willingness to give back to the community and working 'in the trenches' as a change agent."

Chow also appears to have been tweeting from the Twitter handle @RaymondChow10, using hashtags that included "sunoftheunderworld," "mafia." and "chinatown." His last tweet was on Nov. 17, which shows him at his sister's birthday, enjoying a glass of red wine.

Chow has also posted pictures of him with other notable public figures and local business owners, including former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, and a picture of another certificate of recognition from state Assemblyman Tom Ammiano.

Yee's arrest shocked the Chinese-American community, many of whom view him as an important figure in San Francisco politics.

Officers from the California Highway Patrol and Sergeant at Arms were stationed outside Yee's state Capitol office in Sacramento Wednesday morning, where the FBI agents conducted a raid, taking computers and other documents, according to KCRA-TV.

The FBI confirmed to KCRA-TV that it had raided homes and businesses in the Bay Area and Sacramento Wednesday morning, issuing multiple search warrants and making arrests.

State Senator Yee was arrested Wednesday morning on public corruption charges. (Photo: Diane Dwyer)

Yee’s press secretary, Dan Lieberman, declined to comment when contacted by NBC Bay Area. An official statement would be released sometime Wednesday afternoon, he said.

Yee's arrest would make him the third Democratic state senator fighting charges this year.

His arrest comes just one month after prosecutors announced federal bribery and corruption charges filed against state Sen. Ron Calderon.

Prosecutors say the Los Angeles-area Democrat accepted about $100,000 in cash bribes and other perks in exchange for his supporting or opposing bills. Calderon has pleaded not guilty.

Earlier in the year, Democratic Sen. Rod Wright was found guilty of multiple charges that stemmed from accusations he did not actually live in the Southern California district he represents. Wright is appealing the conviction.

Both Wright and Calderon have taken a leave of absence from the state Senate.

Democrat Derek Cressman, who is one of several candidates also running for secretary of state, called Yee's arrest a "wake-up call."

"We are clearly beyond the point of looking at one bad apple and instead looking at a corrupt institution in the California senate," Cressman said in a statement. "The constant begging for campaign cash clearly has a corrosive effect on a person's soul and the only solution is to get big money out of our politics once and for all."

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said that he was shocked and disappointed by the news.

"Leland Yee has been a part of public service for a long time, sorry to see that tainted by these allegations," Lee said.

A man was charged last year for threatening Yee over legislation that he proposed to limit rapid reloading of assault weapons.

Yee is the first Chinese American ever elected to the California State Senate. He emigrated to San Francisco from China at age 3. Yee graduated from the University of California at Berkeley and receieved a master's degree from San Francisco State University. Yee and his wife Maxine have four children.




Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Local Tea Party Defends Itself Against Harassing Phone Calls]]> Tue, 25 Mar 2014 00:44:00 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/robocalls-tea-party.jpg

Hundreds of complaints are coming into the Northeast Tarrant Tea Party about robocalls, however the group claims the calls aren’t from them.

Complaints started getting reported Friday night. Hundreds of calls have been made to people all over the United States, even Canada.

The calls contain a recorded message that states:

"Please go to www.NorthEastTarrantTeaParty.com. Thank you."

The website provided in the recorded message is not the correct web address for the group.

“It's clearly a fraud," said Tea Party president Julie McCarty. "It's not us. We wouldn't do that."

McCarty posted an apology on the group’s website, hoping people visit it and understand that the party is not behind the harassing phone calls.

People have complained that they’ve received calls every 15 minutes during the early morning hours.

The group is working with federal and state officials to find the person responsible. They’re encouraging anyone who receives a call to write down the number, date, and time of the call and forward it to them. 



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Lone Star Politics - March 23, 2014]]> Sun, 23 Mar 2014 18:47:29 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/LSP+Slater+032114.jpg NBC 5’s Kevin Cokely and the Dallas Morning News’ Gromer Jeffers talk to Dallas Congressman Pete Sessions about whether Sen. Ted Cruz tried to help Katrina Pierson defeat his fellow Republican in the GOP primary. Dallas Morning News Senior Political Writer Wayne Slater discusses whether Greg Abbott’s opposition to a bill that would make it easier for women to file equal pay lawsuits will boost Wendy Davis in the race for governor and Gromer Jeffers' conducts a one-on-one interview with incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst ahead of the upcoming runoff election.]]> <![CDATA[Dallas Could Be Front Runner to Host 2016 RNC]]> Fri, 21 Mar 2014 18:53:34 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Dallas+Skyline+032114.jpg

Dallas could emerge as the front runner among eight cities vying to host the 2016 Republican National Convention.

On Friday, the selection committee heard pitches from the final three cities hoping to host the event today.

A snow storm had kept Dallas, Las Vegas, and Cincinnati from attending the official pitch day in the nation's capital earlier this month.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings told the RNC’s selection committee Friday that the city already has already raised $40 million and plans to have all $60 million needed to host the convention secured a year before the event.

"I'm terrifically confident about what Dallas has to offer," said Rawlings. "We are big enough to pull this off, but we are also not so big they will get lost."

Kansas City, Denver, Cleveland, Columbus and Phoenix are also competing for the bid.

The site selection committee has said its primary consideration is finances followed by access to transportation and hotels, and delegate experience.

Las Vegas may be Dallas' strongest competitor. Vegas is promising 150,000 hotel rooms, a strong donor base and no athletic conflict. Dallas could have a tight window to prepare the American Airlines Center for the convention if the Dallas Mavericks make the NBA Playoffs.

Todd Gillman of the Dallas Morning News says one thing could work against Vegas. "There are a lot of people in the Republican party who are going to be very uncomfortable about bringing the Republican party to Sin City," he said.

After hearing all the pitches RNC chairman Reince Preibus said all of the pitches were impressive.

"The amount of interest the level of interest the preparedness of these cities has been extraordinarily impressive and it honestly makes the decision very difficult," said Priebus. "I think it’s wonderful that all three of these cities are interested in the republican convention but as you know there is not a great history of turning states just for a particular party just based on where the convention is held."

In a few weeks, the selection committee will announce which of the eight cities they plan to visit, and in late spring they will announce the finalists.

The committee is hoping to select a winner by late summer.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>