Political wonks and reporters converged on the University of Texas at Austin campus for the 2016 Texas Tribune Festival and your favorite daily Texas news show was there. We spoke to mayors and former mayors from around the state, political figureheads, and two of this year's third-party presidential candidates.
Here are a few juicy tidbits we heard in our mobile studio.
From independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin, on what a two-party system does to competition:
“We need more competition in the arena of ideas and in the political space. We believe in competition in our economy. ... I think the two major parties now, sadly, are limiting the competition of ideas and therefore, are not serving the public well."
From U.S. Rep. Joaquín Castro, D-San Antonio, on the role of Congress after incidents in Charlotte, N.C.:
“We have to make sure the interactions between law enforcement and our citizens are as transparent as possible. ... In the interest of transparency, in the public interest, we do have to know the truth of what happened in that interaction and you have to let the chips fall where they may. That’s the only way things are going to change. ... We’re getting a glimpse now at things we just didn’t see before. That is not going to stop, that is only going to blossom.”
From Libertarian presidential candidate and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson on race, policing and police violence:
“Black lives do matter, and black lives matter because blacks are being shot at the rate six times that of whites. ... There should not be any violence directed against police, but we’ve had our heads in the sand about discrimination. ... I’ve had my head in the sand on this issue.”
Former Houston Mayor Annise Parker on LGBTQ rights:
"I used to be infuriated when folks on the other side would talk about that 'Gay Agenda' as if it were something really scary and I kept saying 'There is no gay agenda. We didn't get into a room together and create this written manifesto.' But now, some 40 years later, I have decided that there truly is a LGBTQ agenda – and it's a fundamental human rights agenda. "