Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of May 5, 2014. 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 or on your iPhone/Android with the radioPup App.

Important Election Dates:

Early Voting for City and School Board Election: TODAY – May 6

Election Day for City and School Board: May 10

Early Voting for GOP and Dem. Primary Runoff: May 19 – May 23

Election Day for GOP and Dem. Primary Runoff: May 27


Perry Meets the Press

The Dallas Morning News reports that Governor Rick Perry appeared on MBC's Meet the Press Sunday. Among the topics discussed were 2016 aspirations and the death penalty.

Is there room enough in the 2016 GOP field for two Texans and a former governor whose brother and dad, both former presidents, reside in Texas?

Gov. Rick Perry brushed aside the suggestion Sunday that this would be a problem.

“It’s a big state,” he told NBC’s David Gregory on “Meet the Press.”

By our count, five potential contenders have strong ties to Texas: Perry, Sen. Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Rick Santorum and Sen. Rand Paul.

As he has before, Perry readily conceded that his 2012 bid was “botched.” But he said, “I think America is a place that believes in second chances.”

Perry was in the capital to attend Saturday night’s annual White House Correspondents dinner, a guest of CNN. Potential 2016 rival Chris Christie, the embattled New Jersey governor, sat one table away. Cruz sat close to the head table, a guest of the Wall St. Journal.

Gregory covered several topics with Perry, including Oklahoma’s botched execution last week of murderer Clayton Lockett, who died of a heart attack after a failed effort to administer lethal injections.

Perry said that incident shouldn’t cause any delays on Texas’ death row.

“I think we have an appropriate process in place from the standpoint of the appeals process to make sure that due process is addressed. And the process of the actual execution I will suggest to you is very different from Oklahoma. We only use one drug but I’m confident that the way that the executions are taken care of in the state of Texas are appropriate and humane,” he said.

He declined to weigh in on whether the Lockett execution fit that description.”

“I don’t know whether it was inhumane or not but it was botched. …Obviously something went terribly wrong.”

He pushed back against President Barack Obama’s suggestion Friday at a Rose Garden news conference that the Oklahoma incident is cause for analysis and reflection on the death penalty.

“It may be appropriate for a pause in Oklahoma but here is where the President and I disagree. He all too often –whether it’s on health care or whether it’s education or whether it’s on this issue of how states deal with the death penalty — he looks for a one size fits all solution centric to Washington, D.C.”

Patterson Backs Dewhurst

Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson has officially endorsed David Dewhurst in his bid for re-election. Patterson was of of four candidates who ran for Lieutenant Governor in the Republican Primary. According to KERA, Patterson is backing Dewhurst because Patrick is can't tell the truth.

On primary night in March, Patrick, a state senator from Houston, had a comfortable 13-point edge over Dewhurst. Third- and fourth-place finishers, Todd Staples and Patterson, together collected 30 percent of the votes – support that Dewhurst has to have to catch up.

Now with three weeks left until Republicans choose their nominee, Patterson tells KERA he will encourage his supporters to back Dewhurst.

“He thinks if I endorse him that may be helpful and I intend to do that,” Patterson said in a phone conversation Sunday.

Patterson says it's about telling the truth 

Patterson says he’ll try to help Dewhurst because he says Patrick doesn’t always tell the truth.

“It is a very clear choice," Patterson told KERA. "We have a person who has consistently proven to be unable to tell the truth versus one who has had some hiccups along the way but is a substantially better choice for lieutenant governor than somebody who has a history of not being able to tell the truth.”

The question of who’s telling the truth has been a central theme as Dewhurst and Patrick go mano-a-mano in aggressive television ads.

Candidates take battle to the airways 

Dewhurst’s latest ad continues to claim that Patrick has lied about his personal finances.

“We know Dan Patrick has been caught pocketing employees’ federal withholding taxes, caught not paying his taxes 28 times, caught hiding assets from his creditors,” the Dewhurst ad maintains.

Patrick says Dewhurst is making that up.  He’s produced his own attack ad.

“Dewhurst’s lies won’t hide his failed record on illegal immigration," the Patrick ad claims. "Under Dewhurst’s leadership, the Senate passed an expansion of in-state tuition and free health care to illegal immigrants."

Sparring heats up in Friday debate

In their Friday night debate in Houston, Dewhurst called those statements false as he and Patrick clashed over immigration.

Each claimed to be the candidate who can secure the border. Dewhurst said he’s already made an impact with a pilot project that he called a surge.

“[We’ve appropriated] $800 million, high-altitude spotter aircraft, helicopters, gunboats," Dewhurst said. "We’ve got DPS [Department of Public Safety] on the ground. We showed in a one-month long empirical surge, Operation Strong Safety, that we could shut down the border -- illegal immigration, drugs, human trafficking.”

Patrick fired back.

“Yes they did run a surge," Patrick said. "But the difference is he cut border security spending in the last session.  If he wanted to prioritize this why didn’t we fund it year-round?  As lieutenant governor it won’t be a surge, it will be a 365 day, 24/7 operation by Texas law enforcement.”

During the debate, each candidate said creationism should be taught along with evolution. Patrick said he’d continue to fight for school choice. Dewhurst wants to find enough money to offer pre-kindergarten to all Texas 4-year olds.

But mostly the candidates argued over who has a record of integrity and of implementing a conservative agenda.

Patterson says he hopes to add to the debate by campaigning for Dewhurst.

“I talk to David frequently," Patterson told KERA. "I’m helping on some opposition research that I’ve had.  I found out some things and was not able to use that information, didn’t have time to do so, and so I’m helping now and will continue to do so."

Staples, the other primary candidate, says he’s still not endorsing Dewhurst or Patrick.

Dewhurst responded to Patterson’s endorsement Sunday by saying: “To win the endorsement of a fellow veteran and public servant after such a tough primary battle is a real honor that strengthens my resolve to keep fighting for what's right."

A spokesman for Patrick said his campaign isn’t responding to Patterson’s endorsement or comments.

What impact is this likely to have on the race? Probably not much at all.

Other Top Stories:

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