Win this Prickly Pear Tea Towel!

Who is Cactus Jack and how did he get such an odd nickname?

John Nance Garner IV, or “Cactus Jack” as he was known, was a Texas politician, a presidential contender in 1932 and our 32nd Vice President under FDR. While Garner was in the Texas House of Representatives, the legislature worked to choose a state flower, and he lobbied hard for the prickly pear cactus. Of course, it was the bluebonnet that won out, but hence was born his nickname Cactus Jack.

To commemorate Texas and the prickly pear cactus that Garner so loved, we’re giving away this adorable tea towel. This item is locally made by Austin artist Carolyn Kimball and provides the perfect pop of whimsy for any kitchen.

Tune into KLRU for Cactus Jack: Lone Star on Capitol Hill at 7 p.m. to learn more about this fascinating man. 

Engage with us on social media or make a donation to #yourKLRU to win
the Prickly Pear Tea Towel. There are 4 ways to enter, which means 4 chances to win!

Comment with your choice for Texas state flower and you’ll be entered. Had you been able to cast a vote in 1901, what would you have picked?
1. Facebook: Tag @KLRU-TV, Austin PBS
2. Instagram: Tag KLRU and add #yourklru
3. Twitter: Tag @klru
(note: For KLRU to see your entry, settings for your FB post, Instagram, or Tweet must be public.)
4. You can also gain an entry by simply donating on the form below.

Winners will be notified by March 21.

In the Studio: KLRU & Texas Tribune host GOP Railroad Commission Candidate Forum

Join us in studio to hear from six of the Republicans running for an open seat on the Texas Railroad Commission. The Texas Railroad Commission is the primary regulator of oil and gas production and drilling in the state. These candidates are seeking their party’s nomination in the March primary for the open seat on the three-member commission.

During this hourlong forum, the candidates and moderator Evan Smith of the The Texas Tribune will discuss their ideas about the industry, regulation, the state economy, and other issues that will confront the commission in the years ahead. This forum will air on KLRU Feb. 15th at 7 pm.

Monday, February 8th
6PM-7PM, doors at 5:30PM
KLRU’s Studio 6A (map)
Please RSVP

Lance Christian has worked as a geoscientist for the Texas Railroad Commission since 2013. Previously, he served as a geoscientist for the Texas Water Development Board.

Wayne Christian served in the Texas House, representing District 9, from 1997 to 2013. During his time in the Legislature, he served as vice chairman of the Regulated Industries Committee and president of the Texas Conservative Coalition. Christian is also a member of the SunAmerica President’s Club and owns his own financial consulting business, Wayne Christian Financial.

Gary Gates serves as CEO and owner of Gatesco, Inc., a real estate investment company in the Texas Gulf Coast region. He has also served as a delegate for the State Party Convention since 2002 and is a lifetime member of the Fort Bend County Fair Association. Previously, Gates served as board member for the Fort Bend Pregnancy Resource Center.

John Greytok is an attorney based in Austin and has worked as a briefing attorney to the chief justice of the Austin Court of Appeals. Previously, Greytok served as a special assistant attorney general for the State of Texas, and he has worked as a precinct chair, election judge, campaign treasurer, convention delegate and member of the county resolutions committee.

Ron Hale serves as CEO for Duboise Industries LLC and as director of operations for the private security company NZ Control Specialists, which specializes in anti-terrorism consulting for the oil and gas industry. Hale previously ran for the District 15 seat in the Texas Senate.

Doug Jeffrey manages his family’s cattle farm and ranch business in Vernon, Texas. He is also an investor in the oil and gas industry. Jeffrey was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Air Force, where he served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Weston Martinez is an oil and gas business development and government affairs strategist and works as a political commentator. He was appointed in 2011 by then-Gov. Rick Perry to serve as a public member of the Texas Real Estate Commission. Previously, Martinez worked in the regulated telecommunications industry.

This production is a partnership with The Texas Tribune and will be livestreamed on TexasTribune.orgSupport for the livestream is provided in part by the Texas Oil & Gas Association, CenterPoint Energy, and Texas Pipeline Association. Photo copyright Jerod Foster. 


Civic Summit: 2012 Senate Race

Civic Summit: 2012 Senate Race airs tonight (6/23) at 7:30pm. This co-production with the Texas Tribune features the four leading GOP politicians who have announced their intentions to run for the Texas U.S. Senate seat being left by Kay Bailey Hutchinson.

If you’re unable to catch the broadcast the entire program can be viewed online.

Civic Summit: 2012 U.S. Senate Forum from KLRU-TV on Vimeo.

We also recorded a web-only Q&A with questions submitted from the audience.

Civic Summit: 2012 U.S. Senate Forum Audience Q&A from KLRU-TV on Vimeo.

Candidates forum 4/29

Austin’s leading environmental organizations, in partnership with channelAustin will host the only City Council candidates forum on April 29. The forum will air on KLRU-Q at 8 pm and can be streamed live here from 5-7 pm. Watch the live stream from channelAustin here.

Participating environmental organizations include Austin EcoNetwork, Austin Sierra Club, Clean Water Action, Environment Texas, PODER, Save Barton Creek Association, Solar Austin, Texas Campaign for the Environment, and Texas Green Network.

channelAustin is Austin’s community television studio and digital media center. The forum will air live on channelAustin from 5-7 pm. Find out more at

Two candidates for governor debate the issues

The debate is scheduled to stream live online at

Leading Democratic candidates in the primary race for Texas governor convene for their first live debate on Monday, February 8, at 7 p.m. The Texas Debates: Race for Governor includes former Houston Mayor Bill White and Texas businessman Farouk Shami.

The Texas Debates will originate from the CBS-11/TXA-21 studios in Fort Worth. The debate will be moderated by CBS 11 News Anchor Karen Borta who will also take questions via social media. KUVN Univision 23 Reporter María Renée Barillas will host questions from voters in the live audience.  Questions will also be posed by panelists Shelley Kofler, KERA-FM and KERA-TV and Dave Montgomery of the Star-Telegram.

Three candidates for governor debate the issues

UPDATE: The debate is scheduled to stream live online at

Republican candidates in the highly-anticipated Texas gubernatorial race will square off in The Texas Debates: Race for Governor on Thursday, January 14, at 7 p.m. The live debate broadcast to millions on television, radio and online throughout the state will include two-term Texas Governor Rick Perry, three-term U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and former Wharton County Republican Party chair Debra Medina.

The Texas Debates will originate from the Murchison Performing Arts Center on the campus of the University of North Texas in Denton. The candidates will answer questions from a panel of North Texas journalists as well as members of the live audience which will include Republican voters from Denton and Tarrant counties.

Austin Mayoral Debate and Forum

Program: Austin Mayoral Debate
Airs: Wednesday, April 15 at 7 p.m.
Have a question for the candidates? Email it here

The Austin American-Statesman, KLRU-TV, Austin PBS, and KUT 90.5 are hosting a citywide forum featuring all five mayoral candidates at 7 p.m., April 15 in KLRU’s Austin City Limits Studio.

The two-hour forum — the first citywide forum not specific to a neighborhood or organization — will feature questions from a panel including David Lowery, editorial writer for the Austin American-Statesman, and Jennifer Stayton, host of KUT’s “Morning Edition.” The second hour of the forum will feature members of the studio audience directly posing questions to candidates. Austin American-Statesman editorial writer Bruce Hight will moderate the forum. more

Ifill in the news

Gwen Ifill talks about her job moderating the upcoming Vice Presidential debates in a recent Washington Post article. Read the article here.

Be sure to watch Ifill tonight at 7 p.m. on KLRU as she kicks off the general election season with a special Campaign ’08 edition of Washington Week from The George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium in front of a live audience.

Democratic Convention Coverage

Program: Democratic Convention Coverage
Date: Monday to Thursday, 8/25 to 8/28
Time: 7 p.m.

PBS’ convention coverage, anchored by Jim Lehrer of The Newshour, includes extended uninterrupted coverage of podium activities and speeches; reporting from the floor of the convention; newsmaker interviews; political analysis and historical perspective. The Newshour senior correspondents Gwen Ifill, Ray Suarez, Judy Woodruff and Margaret Warner will join Lehrer. Political analysis will be provided by New York Times columnist David Brooks and syndicated columnist Mark Shields. Presidential historians Michael Beschloss and Richard Norton Smith will add historical perspective; Andy Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center, will update viewers with the latest polling information.

Some highlights planned for each night’s coverage include (subject to change):

Monday, August 25:
Coverage begins from the Pepsi Center in Denver
Speeches by Michelle Obama, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (CA) and Sen. Claire McCaskill (MO)
Convention’s daily theme is: the importance of the West in the political landscape.

Tuesday, August 26:
Speeches by Sen. Hillary Clinton (NY) and former Gov. Mark Warner (VA)
Daily theme: economy and energy.

Wednesday, August 27:
Speeches by the presumptive Vice Presidential nominee and by former President Bill Clinton
Daily theme: national security and foreign policy.

Thursday, August 28:
Events move from the Pepsi Center to Invesco Field at Mile High
A tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. begins the evening, followed by musical performances and speakers. Presumptive Presidential nominee Barack Obama is scheduled to deliver his acceptance speech at the close of the evening.