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Chad’s Morning Brief: Kent Hance to Retire, Abbott and the DREAM Act, and Other Top Stories

Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of October 11, 2013. Give me your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11am. Remember, you can listen online at KFYO.com or on your iPhone/Android with the radioPup App.

Rob Snyder, KFYO.com

Hance to Retire

It’s the end of an era at Texas Tech University or at least the beginning of the end. The Texas Tribune first reported then confirmed that Chancellor Kent Hance would be stepping down. Hance is expected to make the announcement today that he will retire in the Summer of 2014

KFYO’s Rob Snyder had this write-up on Hance’s tenure at Texas Tech.

Hance replaced Dr. David Smith as Texas Tech University System Chancellor on December 1, 2006.

Texas Tech earlier this year wrapped up the $1 billion Vision & Tradition capital fundraising campaign.

“This is a historic moment for the Texas Tech University System,” said Chancellor Kent Hance in February. “Surpassing the $1 billion milestone nearly a year ahead of schedule is a remarkable accomplishment and a direct testament to the overwhelming support from our loyal donors. So many people have contributed to the success of this campaign, and we cannot thank you all enough.”

During Hance’s tenure at Texas Tech, the system added Angelo State University, Health Sciences Center campuses in a number of cities including the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at El Paso and continued toward his goal of 40,000 students at Texas Tech University by 2020.

So now the discussion turns to who will replace Kent Hance. Speculation has swirled for months about this with many names popping up. Two names are interesting and would have big impacts on Lubbock politics. One name that keeps popping up would be Texas Senator Robert Duncan. The other? Congressman Randy Neugebauer.

Just because their names have popped up though doesn’t mean it’s one or the other of course. Who do you think should replace Chancellor Kent Hance?

Abbott and the DREAM Act

Interesting story from the Texas Tribune today about the Abbott campaign and the DREAM Act.

Republicans running for Texas lieutenant governor are practically tripping over themselves to oppose the 2001 law that gives in-state college tuition rates to young undocumented immigrants living in Texas.

But at the top of the GOP primary ballot in the race for governor, where Attorney General Greg Abbott is considered the runaway favorite, it’s been radio silence.

Case in point: A reporter asked Abbott to state his position on the issue after a speech in Austin on Thursday, but he ignored the question and left without talking to the media. It was a similar story for The Dallas Morning News the day before, when the paperreported that Abbott’s campaign took a pass on the controversy.

Late Thursday night, Abbott’s campaign finally broke the silence — sort of. In a written statement, Abbott spokesman Matt Hirsch said Abbott believes the goal of the law is laudable but needs revamping.

“Greg Abbott believes that the objective of the program is noble,” Hirsch said. “But, he believes the law as structured is flawed and it must be reformed.” Hirsch declined to elaborate but said Abbott would unveil specific policy initiatives on the tuition law and other major issues in coming months.

One aspect of the law that has drawn fire — and is sure to get scrutiny from the Abbott policy team — relates to the provision that requires undocumented students to sign an affidavit promising they will apply for permanent residency. The Austin American Statesman reportedin 2010 that the state isn’t required to verify whether that is actually happening, a lapse conservatives have criticized.

But Abbott’s hyper-careful, muted approach to the hot-button issue speaks volumes about the trouble confronting Republicans who try to balance their outreach to the exploding Hispanic population with their ongoing courtship of Tea Party activists who fiercely oppose any perceived benefits going to illegal immigrants.

“For Attorney General Abbott, the fact that this issue has come up places him right in the middle of one of the central dilemmas facing the Republican Party in Texas, and the Republican Party in the United States for that matter,” said Jim Henson, a Tribune pollster and the director of the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin. “They have their eye on the increasing Latino vote, but their primary voting base is not taking the same view.”

Polls that Henson has conducted demonstrate the problem: Republicans who identify with the Tea Party oppose discounted in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants by a margin of 76 percent to 16 percent. Hispanics favor it 55-33.

Abbott’s best-known Republican opponent, former GOP chairman Tom Pauken, isn’t shy about his views on the law: He wants to repeal it, just like many Republican candidates in more competitive races do. Pauken, who is hoping to gain traction for his uphill battle by questioning Abbott’s conservative bona fides, accused the attorney general of ducking the tuition issue so he’ll have room to recast himself as a moderate should he face Democratic Sen. Wendy Davis of Fort Worth in a general election.

“He thinks he’s going to waltz through the primaries without any debate,” Pauken said. “He’s going to move to the middle as soon as the primaries are over.”

For her part, Davis supports keeping what’s known as the Texas DREAM Act, which allows young undocumented immigrants who establish Texas residency and qualify for college admission to pay in-state tuition rates at state universities, her campaign said in an email Thursday.

“Sen. Davis supports the DREAM Act as written and passed by the bipartisan Texas Legislature. She believes that expanding access to quality education in our Texas colleges and universities will secure our state’s future, help create high-skill, high-wage jobs and make Texas even stronger,” said Davis spokesman Bo Delp. “All Texans should have an opportunity to contribute to our growing economy, including children who were brought here through no fault of their own.”

Other Top Stories:

Lubbock City Council Meeting

Cornyn Tries His Own Political Luck

Cruz Wants Healthcare Reform

Deal or No Deal?

Republicans Investigate Glitches

The Year Government Broke

White House Not Celebrating

Establishment vs. Tea Party

60% Want to Throw Everyone Out

51,000 Signed Up for Obamacare This Week

These and many more topics coming up on today’s edition of The Chad Hasty Show. Tune in mornings 8:30-11am on News/Talk 790 KFYO, streaming online at kfyo.com, and now on your iPhone and Android device with the radioPup App. All guest interviews can be heard online in our podcast section after the show at kfyo.com.

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