PoliTex: Texas House has purple hue on Thursdays

Posted Saturday, Mar. 02, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

Topics: Texas, Kay Granger

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The plethora of purple on the Texas House floor every Thursday might easily be mistaken for a display of boosterism by TCU supporters

Instead, its a fashion statement by the biggest freshman class in four decades. Men wear purple ties. Women adorn their wardrobes with the color purple.

The 41 new members -- 29 Republicans and 12 Democrats -- decided to purple-fy their wardrobes each week as a badge of freshman pride. Purple, explained state Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, R-Southlake, represents a fusion of Republican red and Democratic blue.

"While we may disagree on the issues, we have to work together," the first-year Tarrant County lawmaker said last week as he sported a purple patterned tie he bought for $30

State Rep. Stephanie Klick, R-Fort Worth, wore a purple jacket that sent a double a message. She's not only a first-termer, she's also a TCU alum.

Journey to Africa

U.S. Rep. Kay Granger's journey to Kenya last year -- to learn about threats to the landscapes and wild animals at the Ol Jogi ranch featured in the 1985 movie Out of Africa -- was recently detailed in an article entitled "The Bonner Party" in a recent issue of Mother Jones magazine.

The liberal magazine alleges that Granger and fellow Republican U.S. Reps. Jo Bonner of Alabama and Diane Black of Tennessee went on a "10-day, $47,000 adventure" -- that included "Bonner's and Black's spouses and Granger's son" -- that was funded by the International Conservation Caucus Foundation.

Granger and other lawmakers did travel to Kenya, and other countries, hoping to address long-standing concerns about poaching that generates funding for internationally recognized terrorist organizations such as Al-Shabaab and al Qaeda, a Granger spokesman said.

The article states that the ICCF funded this trip "because a loophole in congressional travel and lobbying restrictions allows educational foundations to wine and dine lawmakers in ways lobbyists can't. It has filed tax returns that contradict congressional ethics disclosures and failed to report key financial information, leaving the public in the dark about how it pays for expensive trips like Bonner's."

The article also mentions a "$30,700, 10-day tour of Bostwana and South Africa that Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock, and his wife took in August 2011, (which) was the second most expensive on record for any member of Congress."

'Ann' on Broadway

Ann, the high-spirited one-woman play about Ann Richards, the late Texas governor and liberal champion, opens on Broadway on Thursday.

Already, the play's star and author, Holland Taylor, has gotten some high-profile visitors during previews at Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont Theater. Movie star Tom Hanks and his longtime friend and actor Peter Scolari surprised Taylor, with whom they had starred in the 1980s on a TV sitcom Bosom Buddies. Hanks, making his Broadway debut, and Scolari are in rehearsals for another play, Lucky Guy, which also opens this month.

Opening night, there will be some of Richards' family in the audience: daughter Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, and granddaughter Lily Adams, who is following in the family business as a press secretary to Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va.

Ann has already played in Texas -- in Galveston, San Antonio and Austin.

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