16 minutes | May 29, 2016
ITP: Rep. John Ratcliffe
U.S. Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Rockwall, said he supports eliminating the $85 sign-up fee for TSA’s Pre-Check and asking airlines to stop charging for luggage in order to reduce the wait times at security checkpoints inside airports. Ratcliffe also said he expects likely Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to soften positions like his proposed ban on Muslims entering the United States and withdrawing from military alliances like NATO. Sounds hard to believe, but the last time Rockwall had its own Republican in the Texas House of Representatives was 1915. Now, more than a century later, Justin Holland hopes to break that streak from the state's smallest county. He just won the Republican runoff last week and joined host Jason Whitely to stake out his positions on issues facing this state.
20 minutes | May 15, 2016
ITP: The Bathroom Policy Dilemma
If Texas legislators pass a law next session on transgender bathrooms it will put local school districts in a predicament; either follow state law or risk losing federal funds. It’s the first question we asked Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick in studio. Critics slammed him for showing up in Fort Worth to represent parents. But now the Obama administration is doing the same thing and involving himself nationally by threatening to withhold money from districts that don't let transgender students use the restroom of their choice. Following our interview with Patrick, Cinto Ramos, president of Fort Worth ISD’s school board, took our questions and was asked, among other things, whether the district would reconsider its policy. Ross Ramsey, the executive editor and co-founder of the Texas Tribune came to Dallas this week along with Matt Mackowiak, president of Potomac Strategy Group. Both shared insight on Ted Cruz’s re-election to the U.S. Senate and where he’s vulnerable, Ken Paxton’s YouTube statement, and how Gov. Greg Abbott’s book tour looks a lot like he’s campaigning for something. delima
18 minutes | May 8, 2016
ITP: Trump's GOP Support
North Texas Republicans are split over whether to support Donald Trump as the likely Republican nominee. The most vocal critic is State Representative Jason Villalba, a Dallas Republican. He wrote a scathing opinion piece in the Texas Tribune, one of WFAA’s media partners. Villalba came to the studio to defend his position and explain what he plans to do on Election Day in November. Rockwall hadn't seen anything like it in years. Last Monday night, more than 100 LGBT protesters marched around city hall and packed the council meeting in opposition to an ordinance that would have fined transgender people if they were caught using a public restroom that didn't match the sex listed on their birth certificate. Surprisingly the council in this conservative city unanimously killed the mayor's bill. Equality Texas is one of the organizations trying to kill legislation like this across the state. Its chairman, Dallas attorney Steve Rudner, was in studio to explain why he thinks Texas lawmakers will also have trouble getting laws like this passed on a state level.
19 minutes | May 2, 2016
ITP: Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick sat down with Inside Texas Politics host Jason Whitely this week to discuss how pivotal Tuesday’s Republican primary is in Indiana, what parents can expect to happen with rising college tuition and why it's so important for Texas to pass its own bathroom bill – an issue Patrick said he would stake his job on. On Wednesday, Dallas’ so-called tent city will be gone for good. For months, hundreds of people lived in tents under the freeway overpasses just southeast of the skyline. It was a city within a city. The homeless there elected their own mayor, had their own stores and violent crime. But Dallas is erasing the eyesore which leads to questions about where will so many of them end up. Larry James, CEO of CitySquare – a well-known organization fighting poverty in Dallas – offered insight on how the city ended up in this situation, where homeless will go, and what state lawmakers can do next session to help the working poor in Texas.
18 minutes | Apr 17, 2016
ITP: Bankrupt Oil Companies
State Comptroller Glenn Hegar predicts more oil companies will go bankrupt and warns to expect more job losses, as well. But Hegar stressed the situation in our state is much more encouraging than some of our neighbors and overall he forecasts modest growth in Texas. Hegar sat down with host Jason Whitely and columnist Bud Kennedy of the Star-Telegam to explain what it will mean for legislators next session. There's talk of Ted Cruz recruiting double-agent delegates – Republicans who are bound to vote for Donald Trump on the first ballot in Cleveland but people who will switch to Cruz on the second or third round of voting. Jordan Powell, founder & President of Red Right Strategies, was Deputy Campaign Manager for Gov. Mike Huckabee's 2016 campaign and appeared in studio to shed light on what could happen in Cleveland.
18 minutes | Apr 10, 2016
ITP: Michael McCaul and Cecile Richards
A perplexing question is up for debate in right now: should the government be able to look inside mobile phones while perhaps investigating terrorism? It is personal privacy versus national security. Texas Congressman Michael McCaul chairs the House Homeland Security Committee which is tackling that very question. He spoke to host Jason Whitely and the Star-Telegram’s Bud Kennedy about digital privacy, the terror threat facing the United States and whether ISIS has any terror cells in the Lone Star State. Cecile Richards is in her tenth year leading Planned Parenthood. During a visit to Dallas last week, she sat down with host Jason Whitely to discuss the 2016 race, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, the Texas Legislature and the one thing that keeps her up at night.
14 minutes | Apr 3, 2016
ITP: Dallas Police Turmoil
Is the furor over Dallas Police Chief David Brown over? After a revolt from the rank and file, Brown backed down from his plan to move 600 officers to the night and overnight shifts to fight a surge in violent crime. The chief was invited on Inside Texas Politics but DPD said he had a scheduling conflict. WFAA also requested an interview with Dallas City Manager A.C. Gonzalez, Brown's boss. The city spokeswoman did not respond to that request. One person who is willing to talk about this situation is Thomas Glover, a police lieutenant, and president of the Black Police Association. Glover revealed what led up to his board withdrawing support of the chief. Dwaine Caraway served on Dallas City Council, chaired the Public Safety Committee and is friends with embattled Police Chief David Brown. Caraway has nothing at stake in this current situation but he appeared in studio to shed light on what's happening behind the scenes at city hall right now, whether Brown can restore morale, and if not how a dignified exit is deserved for the chief.
16 minutes | Mar 27, 2016
ITP: Cuba and the Stockyards
Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott made a trip to Cuba recently and Fort Worth-based American Airlines is planning scheduled flights to the island nation including one from DFW Airport. But America's future with Cuba depends on whether Congress lifts the 56-year-old trade embargo. Republican Congressman Michael Burgess explains why he opposes it and he also talks about recent suicide bombings in Brussels with host Jason Whitely and Bud Kennedy of the Star-Telegram. Progress versus preservation is coming to a head in Fort Worth. The Stockyards are the city's crown jewel but developers want to bring restaurants, retail and hotels to the area. At issue, how much of the Stockyards should the city save? A week from Tuesday, Fort Worth City Council will decide what to protect and what to redevelop. Mayor Betsy Price, one of the proponents of progress, appeared in studio to push for change.
20 minutes | Mar 20, 2016
ITP: Cruz's Chances
Donald Trump has widened his lead in the delegate count – surpassing the halfway mark to secure the nomination. The latest estimate has Trump at 673 delegates, Ted Cruz second with 411 delegates and after his win in Ohio, John Kasich is up to 143. Trump has to win half of the remaining delegates to get the nomination. Cruz has to win 80% of them. It’s possible for Cruz. But how probable? State Representative Matt Krause, who has campaigned for the Texas Senator out of state, cautioned against ruling Cruz out. The GOP could be headed for something it hasn't seen in decades. Delegates might arrive at the convention in Cleveland without a presidential nominee. That would set up some possibilities. Jordan Powell, Founder & President of Red Right Strategies in Dallas, a Republican consulting firm, joined host Jason Whitely to explain the difference between a contested and a brokered convention. Powell was the Deputy Campaign Manager for Gov. Mike Huckabee's 2016 presidential campaign, as well. Ross Ramsey, co-founder and executive editor of the Texas Tribune, discussed Gov. Greg Abbott’s claim that voter fraud is 'rampant' when the facts show it is not. The other fascinating story developing in Austin is a fight over fonts. Yes, letters. The feds want to change lettering you see on highway signs. It is a slight change. But would cost a whole lot of money.
13 minutes | Mar 13, 2016
ITP: Rep. John Ratcliffe
The Republican race for president is all anyone in the political world is talking about right now. Can Texas’ freshman senator defeat Donald Trump? Perhaps the bigger question is what does the GOP look like five years from now? Congressman John Ratcliffe, (R) Texas District 4, representing Rockwall, Sherman and Texarkana joined host Jason Whitely and Bud Kennedy of the Star-Telegram to discuss the GOP race. Critics have sounded the alarm for several years now. Dallas police officers and firefighters might be in trouble when they retire because their pension fund is going broke. The former administrator of the fund made a lot of bad investments in real estate. Dallas Councilman Philip Kingston is on the board, trying to stop the bleeding and right the ship. He appeared in studio to discuss what it will take to make the fund whole again and where that money will come from.
15 minutes | Mar 6, 2016
ITP: Can Trump Be Stopped?
Many predicted Super Tuesday would shape the Republican presidential race. It helped. But the country is now ten days away from what will likely be more culling when big “winner take all” states like Florida, Illinois and Ohio go to the polls. Can Donald Trump be stopped? Do Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have a realistic path to the nomination? Republican State Representatives Jeff Leach of Collin County and Jason Villalba of North Dallas appeared to discuss paths forward and whether they would support Trump if he became the nominee. Months ago, the phrase ‘brokered convention’ surfaced. It’s something Republicans haven't experienced in 68 years. What exactly would that look like this summer? And how possible is it? Two questions we put to Matt Mackowiak, a Republican consultant, who owns Potomac Strategy Group.
19 minutes | Feb 28, 2016
ITP: Super Tuesday
It has been years since Texas played such a prominent role in the primaries. Carson, Rubio, Sanders, and Trump all visited North Texas the last few days and Ted Cruz plans a Dallas rally tomorrow morning. Offering insight on what’s at stake, Matt Mackowiak, a Republican consultant and owner of Potomac Strategy Group in D.C., Debbie Georgatos, a Republican strategist, author and attorney and J.D. Angle, a Democratic consultant from AMM political strategies in Fort Worth. They all joined host Jason Whitely and Bud Kennedy of the Star-Telegram.
15 minutes | Feb 21, 2016
ITP: Primary Preview
Ted Cruz had a tough night in the South Carolina Republican Primary finishing third behind Marco Rubio in a state full of evangelicals which he has campaigned so hard to win. Two elections on Saturday solidified some campaigns and now raise questions about the future of others. Since early voting is underway in Texas we're not putting candidates on the program but turning to campaign experts from both sides. Debbie Georgatos is a Republican strategist and Matt Angle is a Democratic consultant – both joined host Jason Whitely and Bud Kennedy of the Star-Telegram to examine campaign strategies approaching Super Tuesday. Besides candidates on the ballot, voters will also see a number of referendums and propositions when they go vote. The political parties want opinions but what will they do with the results? Party platforms are decided at state conventions. Victoria Farrar-Myers, a senior fellow and Director of the Tower Scholars Program at Southern Methodist University, explained the purpose of these questions for the parties.
18 minutes | Feb 14, 2016
ITP: Fiesty Debate
The two Republicans running to represent North Dallas and Lake Highlands in the Texas House clashed in a feisty debate this morning. Jason Villalba is the incumbent who is now seeking his third term. Dan Morenoff is a conservative who is making his first run for public office. Both men attacked each other’s comments and positions quickly after the segment begins leaving little time for questions. It has been around since 1944 but for the first time in years, the United Negro College Fund can't keep up with demand of students wanting to go to college. On Saturday, some of the state's biggest political names are coming to Dallas to help raise money for more African-Americans to get a degree. State Sen. Royce West is leading the effort and appeared in studio to discuss that and the on-going investigation in College Station after Texas A&M students used the N-word to berate visiting high schoolers from Dallas.
22 minutes | Feb 7, 2016
ITP: Sheriff Debate
It is arguably the most watched race in Tarrant County right now. Who will be the next Tarrant County Sheriff? Incumbent Dee Anderson is locked in a close battle to keep his job. The challenger, Bill Waybourn, is the long-time police chief of Dalworthington Gardens. Both lawmen met for a debate in our studio on Friday. You can watch the entire debate at wfaa.com/politics Can we trust public opinion polls anymore to predict political races? They were wrong in Iowa. We're about to see how accurate they are in New Hampshire. Chris Krok, from WBAP 820 AM, makes his argument in My Voice, My Opinion. The New Hampshire Primary is Tuesday and polls show Donald Trump leads by almost 20 points there. Marco Rubio just edged into second place, according to a Wall Street Journal poll. But Ted Cruz, fresh off a win in Iowa, has momentum. Vinny Minchillo, a veteran of political campaigns and principal at Glass House Strategy, makes predictions about New Hampshire and is asked what other states Cruz is likely to win after Super Tuesday. Polls show Bernie Sanders way ahead in New Hampshire. Does that mean Hillary Clinton is in trouble? That’s where Flashpoint begins. From the right – Mark Davis of 660 AM The Answer and from the left former Democratic State Representative Domingo Garcia. Now that Rand Paul is out, Ted Cruz is picking up some of his support in North Texas. But what kind of support exists here for Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush or Carly Fiorina? Plus, some local Tea Party candidates are getting $100,000 and more from two West Texas oilmen. What kind of influence are they looking for? And in the last year, the price of a barrel of oil has fallen from $65 to $31. When are we supposed to get nervous about low oil prices?
21 minutes | Feb 1, 2016
ITP: Live in Iowa
Inside Texas Politics is on the road in Des Moines this Sunday for the Iowa Caucuses. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is here, as well, campaigning for U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz. Patrick joined host Jason Whitely to analyze the Republican race, explain how he can help the Texas senator, and what would constitute a win for Cruz on Monday night. Gov. Greg Abbott's proposal to change the U.S. Constitution and allow states to override federal law hasn't gotten much political traction. In My Voice, My Opinion, Ed Gray of The Commish Radio Show compares Abbott to Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederate States. Polls show Ted Cruz has fallen to second place in the Republican race in Iowa. What would a second place finish mean for Cruz's momentum? It is a question we posed to him on the campaign trail. The District Attorney in Houston is defending herself against fellow Republicans right now. Conservatives wonder how a grand jury in Harris County indicted the people who went undercover and filmed Planned Parenthood rather than the organization itself. Flashpoint focuses on the political fallout from here. From the right, Mark Davis of 660 AM The Answer and from the left author and producer Katie Sherrod. Patrick Svitek, political reporter for The Texas Tribune, joined Jason in Des Moines to analyze Cruz's challenges ahead, how a snowstorm on Monday night would affect the race, and what a second place finish might mean to Cruz's momentum going forward.
21 minutes | Jan 25, 2016
ITP: Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick sits down with host Jason Whitely talking about one issue he really wants passed next legislative session, Gov. Abbott’s proposed constitutional amendments, what the drop in oil prices might mean to the state budget, open carry at private colleges, and his thoughts on the bullet train between Dallas / Fort Worth and Houston. Barbara Mallory Caraway says Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson is out of touch with her southern Dallas constituents and now more vulnerable than ever. Caraway is making her third attempt to unseat the veteran lawmaker in the March 1 Democratic primary. The AFL-CIO sent out a mailer criticizing Johnson for supporting the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which the AFL-CIO said, will “kill jobs.” Caraway said the national unemployment rate is 5% but the unemployment rate in District 30 is 11%.
12 minutes | Jan 17, 2016
ITP: Speaker Ryan Comes to Town
Clearly he has clout, how did a Dallas minister get U.S. Speaker Paul Ryan to make a visit to his church tomorrow? Speaker Ryan will attend a private forum on Monday discussing the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King. Pastor Omar Jahwar explains how he and Ryan became friends and what the speaker will add to the conversation.
21 minutes | Jan 10, 2016
ITP: Keeping the Rangers
Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams appeared in studio to talk about efforts to keep the Texas Rangers baseball team in his city. Plus Donald Trump strengthens his ground game in Texas, Dallas drops to one Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade, and Ted Cruz faces distractions in his presidential campaign.
21 minutes | Jan 3, 2016
ITP: Headed to Iowa
Candidates are closing in on the February 1st Iowa caucuses. Laura Barnett, a vice president at Spaeth Communication, appeared with Vinny Minchillo, a principal at Glass House Strategy, to talk about strategy, politics and the players to watch in the coming weeks. Dallas Democrats haven't done it in decades. The party put candidates for every single spot on the ballot for the first time since the 1960s. Carol Donovan, the new chairwoman for Dallas County Democratic Party, appeared in studio to discuss priorities.