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Posts under ‘Election 2014’

We will have exit polls this year

Good. Two years ago, a consortium of news outlets that conducts nationwide exit polls during every November election announced it was scaling back efforts in Texas and 18 other states. The move left political researchers with little data to study shifts in the Texas electorate. This year, with a high-profile gubernatorial race on the November […]

Dems prep for voter ID

It’s good to have a plan. Texas Democrats are renewing their opposition to the state’s voter-identification law, rolling out a program to educate voters ahead of a decisive few months that could see the controversial statute become a top issue in the governor’s race. The law is considered one of the toughest of its kind […]

HERO repeal petitions announcement today

Today’s the day we find out what happens. The city’s controversial HERO ordinance prohibits discrimination based on federally recognized groups such as race and age, but also extends those rights to sexual orientation and gender identity. Opponents of the ordinance led a petition drive to bring the issue to a public vote. It now appears […]

July finance reports for Harris County candidates

All of the July finance reports for Harris County candidates are in. You know what that means. County Judge Ed Emmett Ahmad Hassan Candidate Raised Spent Loan On Hand ================================================== Emmett 312,885 177,017 0 532,257 Hassan 0 0 0 0 Judge Emmett is the big dog, and he has the finance report to show it. […]

Who watches the fox while he guards the henhouse?

The Railroad Commission needs an ethics upgrade. The race for Texas railroad commissioner has revived — at least in the short term — debate around a series of thwarted legislative proposals to overhaul the state’s curiously named oil and gas agency. Calling the Railroad Commission too heavily influenced by the industry it regulates, Steve Brown, […]

Endorsement watch: Chron for Creighton

Hey, did you know that there’s an election coming up? It’s the special election runoff for SD04 to succeed Tommy Williams and it features the ghastly Rep. Steve Toth and the slightly less ghastly Rep. Brandon Creighton. The Chron, who had endorsed third-place finisher Gordy Bunch back in April, now chooses the lesser evil of […]

Planned Parenthood comes out swinging

Good to see. Planned Parenthood’s political arm is embarking on the most aggressive campaign it has ever waged in Texas, with plans to spend $3 million to turn out voters for Democratic candidates including Sens. Wendy Davis for governor and Leticia Van de Putte for lieutenant governor. Bolstered by a $1 million donation from a […]

Collier hits the road

Talking taxes, and our state’s screwed-up appraisal process. With about as many local candidates as voters in attendance, the Travis County Democratic Party hosted a “town hall” on property tax reform Friday morning, where everybody agreed with would-be County Commissioner (Precinct 2) Brigid Shea: “The appraisal process is broken.” To fix it – in the […]

Fracking ban on the ballot in Denton

This has the potential to be even bigger than the HERO repeal referendum. Voters will decide whether this North Texas college town will become the state’s first city to ban hydraulic fracturing. After a public hearing Tuesday night that stretched into Wednesday morning, the Denton City Council rejected a proposal to ban the method of […]

The relevant numbers in the finance reports

The headlines will say one thing but you need to dig a little deeper to get the picture. Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott has amassed a $35.6 million war chest in his campaign for Texas governor, a figure his aides called unprecedented Tuesday. Abbott’s cash-on-hand figure dwarfs the $13.1 million that his Democratic opponent, Sen. […]

Sam Houston enters the chemical disclosure fray

From the inbox: Sam Houston, Democratic Nominee for Texas Attorney General, today promised to reverse the current AG’s letter ruling on the release of the locations of dangerous chemicals, putting the safety of our families and children first. “I have reviewed the law that General Abbott cited when his office upheld the state health department’s […]

Believing in – and lying about – monsters

This Chron editorial about the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance and the frenzied, fanatical opposition to it gets right to the heart of the matter. On its face, there is nothing controversial in the NDO. One could even claim that it is rather conservative, in the sense that this policy has been tested elsewhere time and […]

Is this really the end for Kinky Friedman?

I’ll believe it when I see it on my 2018 ballot. It’s been more than a month since he lost his bid to be the Democratic nominee for Texas agriculture commissioner, and the cigar-smoking author-musician can’t shake the loss — or how he was treated by fellow Democrats. Friedman, in D.C. for a recent performance […]

The Trib on the AG race

What do you do when you have an ethically compromised candidate on your ticket? Thank your lucky stars that you’re the majority party and hope like hell the challenger can’t get any traction. A political candidate’s troubles are supposed to be a gold mine for the opposition, but that has not been the case with […]

Close enough for Greg Abbott

What more do you need to know? Attorney General Greg Abbott first stirred things up by saying the state would not release information about the locations and amounts of hazardous chemicals held by private companies, reversing nearly three decades of public disclosure. The Republican front-runner for governor then suggested Texans could “drive around” to find […]

Davis takes her attack on Abbott’s chemical info obstruction on the road

Keeping it going. Democratic Sen. Wendy Davis on Tuesday recalled the deadly explosion just up the road in West as she lambasted her GOP opponent for governor, Attorney General Greg Abbott, over his decision restricting disclosure of information about chemical facilities’ hazardous caches. “Texans deserve to know where these chemicals are located,” Davis told supporters […]

Davis presses the attack on Abbott’s obstruction on chemical info

I know, it’s a little lazy of me to do a post based on a campaign email, but this missive from the Wendy Davis campaign is the best roundup of the incendiary chemical disclosure issue and the potential fallout from it. So here it is, which will both serve to catch you up if you […]

One point of perspective on the repeal petitions

Here’s the Chron story about the HERO-haters turning in their repeal petitions. Opponents of Houston’s new non-discrimination ordinance Thursday turned in well more than the minimum number of signatures needed to trigger a November vote on whether to repeal the measure. Staff in the City Secretary’s office will have 30 days to verify that the […]

Get ready to defend the HERO

From the inbox: Surrounded by members of the community who are impacted by the ordinance, Mayor Annise Parker announced today that the City will mount a vigorous effort to defend Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance from being repealed. “The Houston I know does not discriminate, treats everyone equally and allows full participation by everyone in civic […]

Petition deadline coming

Scott Braddock takes a look at the petition effort to repeal the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, which must turn in its homework this week. Opponents led by longtime – and now former because he was recently ousted – Harris County Republican Party Chairman Jared Woodfill are working to turn in at least 17,000 signatures of […]

Greg Abbott sure doesn’t like whistleblowers

He sure does seem to have a lot of them, though. The office of Attorney General Greg Abbott — the Republican gubernatorial candidate — is appealing a whistleblower’s lawsuit and $1.2 million verdict, arguing that an El Paso jury was wrong when it decided that the agency fired an employee in retaliation for alerting supervisors […]

Convention coverage

Wendy and Leticia and a whole host of others rally the crowd in Dallas. Wendy Davis and Leticia Van de Putte shared the spotlight at the Texas Democratic Party convention on Friday night, promising to change the direction of the state, ripping their Republican opponents and imploring Democrats to break the GOP’s two-decade grip on […]

The enduring mystery of Lawrence Meyers

People are still speculating about why the enigmatic CCA Judge switched parties. Lawrence “Larry” Meyers did something last year that no other politician in Texas has done in nearly two decades: He became a statewide Democratic officeholder. As Democrats gather in Dallas this week for their state convention, Meyers — a Court of Criminal Appeals […]

What would you have done differently?

Lisa Falkenberg remembers the Wendy Davis filibuster and complains about what has and hasn’t happened between then and the one-year commemoration of it. You don’t just dust off a social movement because a year has passed and you need to raise money. The fire Davis lit has to be fed and tended if it’s going […]

The filibuster one year later

It still resonates. And I believe it will continue to resonate for a lot longer. The thousands of Texans whose screaming protest of anti-abortion legislation brought the Capitol to a standstill June 25 will mark the one-year anniversary much more quietly this week, yielding to the reality of abortion as a political issue in the […]

Great moments in false equivalence

The headline reads Money from disputed tax bills flowing to candidates for top tax chief, and then the story tells us that more than 99% of that money is going to one of those candidates. Business entities and taxpayers are pumping thousands of dollars into the campaign coffers of candidates who, if elected state comptroller, […]

On defining success

It depends on what your goals are. Suppose you were a Texas Democrat and a realist. You want your candidates to win in November and to break the spirit-killing string of losses that started after the statewide elections in 1994. But you have been scratching for reasons that this year will be different, from the […]

Of course some people will split their votes

It’s just a matter of how many of them do so, and if the races in question are close enough for it to matter. Democrats are hoping the Republicans will eventually make some of the mistakes Democrats themselves made back when they were on top and the GOP was trying to break down the doors […]

Perry appoints Pratt replacement

As expected. Gov. Rick Perry on Friday appointed Houston family lawyer Alicia Franklin as presiding judge of Harris County’s 311th state District Court, a position left vacant in March after the resignation of disgraced freshman jurist Denise Pratt. Franklin won a May 27 Republican primary runoff against Pratt, who appeared on the ballot despite her […]

I repeat: Greg Abbott owns the RPT platform

This is what I’m talking about. At its state convention in Fort Worth last week, the Texas GOP amended its platform to include support for reparative therapy “for those patients seeking healing and wholeness from their homosexual lifestyle.” In response to the headline-grabbing plank, a spokesman for Davis’ campaign confirmed this week in an email […]

UT/Trib poll: Abbott 44, Davis 32

Whatever. Republican Greg Abbott leads Democrat Wendy Davis by 12 percentage points in the race for governor, according to a new University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll. That result is close to the 11-point spread, also in Abbott’s favor, in the February UT/TT Poll. In this most recent survey, he maintained a 14-point lead among male […]

Yes, Greg Abbott owns the RPT platform

Sorry, Greg. You can mumble all the vague platitudes you want, but this baby’s all yours. In the wake of the GOP’s approval of a platform that includes a hardline stance on immigration, Attorney General Greg Abbott finds himself at the top of the ticket for a party whose members are deeply divided over the […]

A tale of two perspectives

The Democratic perspective. Much has been written about the importance of groups like suburban women and Hispanics in the 2014 Texas governor’s race. But Democrat Wendy Davis said this week in her first interview of the campaign focused on LGBT issues that another, less-talked-about demographic—LGBT voters—could also be critical to her chances of upsetting Republican […]

Burnam drops electoral challenge

A good decision, in my opinion. After months of legal wrangling, state Rep. Lon Burnam announced Thursday that he will not continue with his challenge of his primary election loss. Shortly after losing on March 4 by 111 votes to local businessman Ramon Romero Jr., Burnam, D-Fort Worth, sued, saying the election for state House […]