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News roundup: Does Nike give more to Democrats or Republicans? … Lafayette hatmaker’s iconic Bendel stores closing … Texas company gets $300M loan for high-speed train project

Campaign contributions: Nike‘s controversial advertising campaign with Colin Kaepernick has driven a new wedge between liberals and conservatives. But when it comes to Nike’s federal campaign contributions, Republicans are getting more than three times as much money as Democrats, the Center for Responsive Politics reports. Nike employees and the company’s political action committee have given GOP candidates $424,000 in the 2018 election cycle, and only $122,000 to Democrats who generally are seen as more aligned with what backers call Nike’s “progressive” message. Read the full story.

Lights out: Henri Bendel, the New York department store known for bringing Coco Chanel to the U.S.— is shutting its doors after 123 years. The decision to turn out the lights in January at all 23 of Bendel’s swanky stores was announced today by parent company L Brands. Bendel was opened in New York’s Greenwich Village by former Lafayette hat maker Henri Bendel, who moved from Louisiana to New York in the 1880s. Read the full story.  

How fast?: A Texas company has secured a $300 million loan for a proposed high-speed rail project from Dallas to Houston. Texas Central Partners will use the funds from Japanese sources to move forward with permitting, design and engineering. The company plans to use Japanese bullet train technology for the project, which could be the first high-speed rail service in the U.S. The privately funded project would cost $12 billion to $15 billion, according to Texas Central officials. The train would make a 90-minute trip from Dallas to Houston, with one stop near Texas A&M University. Read the full story.

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