In poll of Texans, Cruz tops Cornyn

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn Star-Telegram

Texas’ U.S.GOP senators are getting a reputation for not getting along, largely because Sen. Ted Cruz likes to challenge everything that the establishment, i.e. Sen. Majority Whip John Cornyn, does.

But it seems to be making Cruz more popular in Texas than Cornyn.

According to a poll of all senators by Morning Consult, a media/polling company, Cruz has a 52 percent approval rating among Texans while Cornyn is at 45 percent.

Cruz does have a higher disapproval rating of 32 percent to Cornyn’s 23 percent of the 4,695 polled.

Local honor

Marty Leonard, a longtime community activist and philanthropist, will receive the 2016 Terry Hershey award honoring outstanding female leaders in Texas conservation.

Leonard, an avid golfer and bird-watcher and longtime benefactor of a number of local causes including the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge, will receive the award March 3 at the Fort Worth Club.

She is one of four women who will receive the award. The others are Janice Bezanson of Salado, Deborah Clark of Henrietta and Ann Hamilton of Houston.

“We’re thrilled to honor these outstanding Texas conservationists,” said Brian Trusty, executive director of Audubon Texas. “They exemplify the very best in Texas conservation leadership, and it is our hope that these awards will serve as inspiration to other women and will encourage young girls to get involved and stay involved in conservation.”

New leadership

The Foundation for the Young Women’s Leadership Academy of Fort Worth has named Debby Stein to chair the board of directors.

She follows Cathy Hirt, a former Fort Worth city councilwoman who, along with her husband Darrell, died two months ago in a car accident in Hungary.

Other officers include Vice Chairwoman Daphne Brookins, Secretary Haily Summerford, Treasurer Sharon Croxton and past Chairwoman Deborah Ferguson.

The foundation raises money for YWLA enhancement programs for students.

Climate change

U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Ennis, chairman emeritus of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and a climate change skeptic, hopes to get to Paris this week for the United Nations Climate Change Conference.

But he and others, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., are on hold as Congress grapples with funding for the fiscal year by Dec. 11 — which is the last day of the Paris summit.

Meanwhile, California Gov. Jerry Brown is Paris-bound, and before he left he took aim at Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and W. Va. Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.

The two attorneys general had written Secretary of State John Kerry and world leaders ahead of the Paris summit warning that President Obama’s plan to limit emissions from power plants was not approved by Congress and that there were “legal limits” on enforcing any agreement that comes out of the summit.

Brown fired back in a letter that his state suffers from a lengthy drought and severe winter storms, exacerbated, he said, by climate change. “We don’t have the luxury of playing politics on this important issue,” he said.

Upcoming political dates

Candidates filing for a position on the 2016 ballot have until Dec. 14 to submit their paperwork.

Maria Recio, 202-383-6103

Twitter: @maria_e_recio

Anna Tinsley, 817-390-7610

Twitter: @annatinsley