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Rick Perry’s footwork has been fancier in political arenas

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry in his first performance on “Dancing with the Stars.”
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry in his first performance on “Dancing with the Stars.” ABC

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus sent former Gov. Rick Perry — the latest Texas politician to join Dancing with the Stars — a shout-out recently.

Straus wanted to tip his hat to Perry.

“In his career he has competed against Kinky Friedman, Donald Trump and now Vanilla Ice,” Straus, who also served as House Speaker during Perry’s tenure, said during a Dallas Regional Chamber luncheon.

“Trust me when I say I have seen him dance a whole lot better than he did [Monday].”

New leadership

There’s a new mayor pro tem in Fort Worth.

Fort Worth’s District 7 Councilman Dennis Shingleton was chosen for the two-year term, replacing District 2 Councilman Sal Espino.

Mayor pro tems preside over council meetings when the mayor is absent, but also represents the city at events and other functions. Shingleton, who has been on the council since 2011, said he appreciates the council’s support.

“I look forward to assisting the mayor and mayor’s office,” he said. “Most of all, I appreciate the great things this city does and the ability to be a part of it.”

Mayor Betsy Price said she already had a laundry list of things for Shingleton to do. And she thanked Espino for his service.

Football madness

U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, R-Austin, is well known for his love of baseball, and he's a big football fan, too.

He just launched the Congressional College Football Caucus with a — you betcha — kickoff breakfast event. He’s teamed up with Rep.Terri Sewell, D-Ala., to lead the caucus.

“I am proud to launch this bipartisan gathering of lawmakers who can set aside politics and unite behind their love of college football. We want to ensure great opportunities remain available for our student-athletes who may otherwise be unable to further their education,” he said.

The Congressional College Football Caucus is a bipartisan group to promote the values and principles that are developed through playing football, say the founders, who promote the value of scholarships in supporting players. Williams, a former TCU baseball coach, also chairs the Congressional Baseball Caucus and coaches the Republican congressional baseball team.

Science committee smack-down

Don’t get between House Science, Space and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio, and ranking member Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Dallas.

At the latest confrontational hearing of the panel, Smith wanted to hear from legal experts about his subpoenas of the New York and Massachusetts attorneys general and several environmental groups. Smith claims their working together on investigations of ExxonMobile’s alleged suppression of research on climate change has had a “chilling impact on scientific research and development.”

All of those subpoenaed have refused to comply. “The refusal of the attorneys general to comply with the committee’s subpoenas should trouble everyone sitting on this dais, everyone in this room, and every American,” said Smith.

But Johnson doesn’t see it that way — she called the hearing “the latest embarrassment of the committee.” And there’s more, she said it’s the GOP’s “brazen attempts to assist ExxonMobil in the face of legitimate fraud investigations.”

“The majority has claimed that their investigation is about protecting the First Amendment rights of ExxonMobil,” Johnson said. “However, the law is clear ― fraud is not protected by the First Amendment.”

Staff writer Sandra Baker contributed to this report.

Maria Recio, 202-383-6103

Twitter: @maria_e_recio

Anna Tinsley, 817-390-7610

Twitter: @annatinsley

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