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Posts under ‘Show Business for Ugly People’

How much do you hate same sex marriage?

Not as much as this guy does. Ammon J. Taylor of San Antonio is so vehemently opposed to same-sex marriage that he took the unusual step of forming a federal super PAC to fight it. The 27-year-old salesman is taking a seldom-tried — some would say improbable — approach. He wants to muster a convention […]

2015 Texas Lyceum poll

Issues first, election stuff to come. From the press release: The 2015 Texas Lyceum Poll Finds:  Immigration remains the most important issue facing the state and Texans support lawmakers’ increased spending on border security. Texans’ views on  gay marriage are changing. Forty nine percent of Texans support gay marriage – up from 29 percent in 2009. […]

BGTX 2.0

They will have a lot to prove, let’s just leave it at that. Battleground Texas, nearly a year after it and Wendy Davis were crushed in an uphill governor’s race, officially has launched an effort to re-brand itself in light of new — and some old — challenges. The group aimed at breaking Republican dominance […]

The local minimum wage fight

Not quite on the radar here, but it could be. After years of failed proposals in the Texas Legislature to raise the minimum wage, organizers and advocates for higher hourly wages are going local. Leaders in two major Texas cities and two large counties will vote soon on raising minimum wages for public employees and, […]

As if we needed a reminder that Sid Miller is an idiot

We got one anyway. Don’t expect Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller to apologize over a social media post that appeared to call for the atomic bombing of “the Muslim world” – despite an outcry from critics. Miller, who is currently on a trade mission to China, did not personally share a controversial photo that appeared […]

We wouldn’t be having these problems if we had just expanded Medicaid

The chickens, they are roosting. Hospitals that serve large uninsured populations in Texas stand to lose critical funding if the state can’t convince the federal government to continue helping with the cost, doctors and health advocates told the state health department Thursday. With the expiration date of a five-year, $29 billion program approaching, the Health […]

Montgomery County “voter fraud” case update

Glad to hear this. The whole case is ridiculous. A self-described “egghead,” Jim Jenkins accomplished his dream by founding his own microsystems company. He also takes satisfaction in being a Christian conservative who is unabashedly proud of his 11 grandchildren. At the same time, the 64-year-old Woodlands resident acknowledges being “bullheaded” and willing to risk […]

Where are the ladies?

Not in Congress, where only three of the 36 members Texas sends to the House are of the female persuasion. Week after week at the U.S. Capitol, the Republican congressional delegation from Texas gathers for a ritual Thursday lunch. And year after year, U.S. Rep. Kay Granger of Fort Worth has been the lone woman […]

Your daily Paxton update

This guy. I can’t even. Despite promising last year to “wind down” his involvement in dozens of real estate and business ventures, Attorney General Ken Paxton continued to expand his holdings in 2014, according to personal financial documents. Paxton pledged during last year’s campaign to begin divesting from his sizable business portfolio and funnel these […]

Texas sues the EPA again (and again, and again, and…)

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Attorney General Ken Paxton on Wednesday filed a lawsuit over the agency’s rejection of parts of a Texas clean air program, launching the state’s second battle against EPA regulations in less than two weeks. Texas has sued the agency 21 times since President Obama took office in […]

SOS to review motor voter complaints

I hope this amounts to more than lip service. The Texas Secretary of State has agreed to study why thousands of Texans have complained over the past year and a half that they had problems registering to vote despite a federal law that requires all states to offer voter registration in offices where citizens apply […]

Paxton’s cronies

This guy really is a piece of work. When seeking a job at the Texas attorney general’s office, it’s less about what is on your résumé than who you know. In Attorney General Ken Paxton’s first weeks in office, he filled his higher ranks with at least 14 people connected to him and other prominent […]

Wilson thwarted again

Dave Wilson’s latest troll job: applying for a spot in the annual Pride parade. It did not go well. Wilson told me he received preliminary approval to appear in the parade, and paid $805 in fees. He said he crossed out portions of the contract that said he supports LGBT equality. He planned to drive […]

The next steps for equality advocates

Marriage equality will be a huge step, but there are many more steps to be taken. The newly launched Texas Wins campaign—a multiyear, multimillion-dollar effort—aims to increase the number of LGBT Texans protected by local nondiscrimination ordinances. “We want to take the momentum for LGBT equality coming out of the session, build on it, and […]

On judicial elections and campaign finance

Ross Ramsey raises an interesting point. It might seem silly to elect people who promise they won’t represent you, their political party or their donors, but that’s what we expect judges to do. They’re supposed to apply the law, and if they do any of those other things, they’re probably out of line. Florida elects […]

Pointless pastor protest

Where to even begin? Some prominent Houston church leaders put their names on a full-page open letter to the U.S. Supreme Court in major U.S. newspapers, promising to defy the court should it decide same-sex marriage is a civil right. Pastor Gregg Matte of Houston’s First Baptist Church, Pastor Dave Welch of the U.S. Pastor […]

Sid Miller confirms that he’s a joke

Sadly, the joke’s on us. Across the U.S., officials waking up to the nation’s obesity epidemic have been moving to cut down on unhealthy food in schools. Not in Texas. Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller announced Thursday that schools around Texas, one of the states struggling most with childhood obesity, soon will regain the right to […]

Maybe Ratliff won’t step down from the SBOE after all

Just when he thought he was out, they (might) pull him back in. Gov. Greg Abbott appointed a social conservative and former staffer for Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick to chair the Texas State Board of Education on Thursday. Donna Bahorich will lead the 15-member board, whose duties include setting curriculum standards and approving the textbooks […]

Why don’t younger people vote in local elections?

It’s a great and confounding question, isn’t it? The folks at the Knight Foundation tried to answer it. Local government often has more real-world impact on the everyday lives of citizens than other levels of government. Police departments, libraries and schools all fall under local government jurisdiction, and for homeowners, local government significantly afects their […]

Further lessons in throwing money at dishonest people

It’s so sad seeing such savvy businessmen being so badly fleeced, isn’t it? A second major donor to the conservative group that secretly recorded elected officials and lobbyists says he stopped providing financial support after growing dissatisfied with how his money was being used. Anthony Holm, a staple in Texas conservative circles and a consultant […]

A brief lesson in the value of disclosure and transparency

I confess, I have not been following the “wingnut activists videoing everyone at the Capitol” clown show very closely, but the absurdity of it all has been kicked up to the point where I couldn’t ignore it any more. The activist group employing people who have been secretly recording lawmakers have talked about having a […]

Another redistricting update

Once again from Russ Tidwell, writing at Letters from Texas. The three judge federal panel in San Antonio is nearing a final decision on redistricting litigation for the Texas House and congressional delegation. As previously discussed here, multiple weeks of trial have provided a mountain of evidence of intentional discrimination and dilution of the opportunity […]

Point/counterpoint on online voter registration

Point. Texans can use for nearly 1,000 services, such as applying for concealed handgun licenses and driver records, and renewing driver licenses, vehicle registrations and many state-required professional licenses. It is time to allow Texans to use this proven, secure online portal to register voters. Online voter registration does not allow online voting. Under […]

No, seriously, expand Medicaid or else

Bring. It. On. The federal government is officially holding state leaders’ feet to the fire, hoping to get Texas to expand its Medicaid program to provide health insurance to more low-income Texans. Federal officials called the state’s health agency this week to say that Texas’ reluctance to expand Medicaid — a key tenet of President […]

Vote centers in Fort Bend

I continue to like this idea. Voters may get more flexibility on Election Day as Fort Bend become the largest county in the Houston area to consider moving away from precinct polling sites. “A voter could vote at any location on Election Day just like they do in early voting,” said John Oldham, Fort Bend’s […]

State-run Women’s Health Program continues to be a failure

Quelle surprise. Thousands fewer women are getting health services through the now state-run Women’s Health Program after Planned Parenthood was barred from being a provider. A report released Monday by the state Health and Human Services Commission showed that almost 30,000 fewer women were served through the program in 2013 than in 2011, and 63,581 […]

The At Large trend

From Think Progress: Yakima, WA is one-third Latino, but a Latino candidate has not been elected to the city council for almost 40 years. Santa Barbara, CA is 38 percent Latino, but only one Latino has been elected to its council in the last 10 years. And Pasadena, TX is 43 percent Hispanic, but the […]

The scared institution of marriage

Smell the fear and desperation. Several hundred Christian fundamentalists gathered on the south steps of the Capitol today in a rally that was less about the defense of traditional marriage than about preparing for civil disobedience if, as expected, the U.S. Supreme Court later this year declares bans on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. Beneath a sweltering […]

Republicans demand something for nothing on Medicaid

Um, okay. Leading Texas Republicans on Monday asked the Obama administration for greater flexibility to administer Medicaid — a move that has gotten little traction in the past — while reiterating that they would not participate in an expansion of the program under the Affordable Care Act. “Any expansion of Medicaid in Texas is simply […]

Voter fingerprint ID

This has superficial appeal, but I don’t believe it holds up under close scrutiny. Fingerprints can now be used to unlock smart phones, car engines, even guns. Why not ballots, too? A New Mexico legislator has just proposed that his state’s election officials study the feasibility of a biometric voter identification system. The idea is […]

Abbott waffles on vaccinations

Come on, dude. Weighing in on a national debate, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott made clear this week that he supports laws that include exemptions to requirements that parents vaccinate their children. “Abbott recognizes the public health benefits of vaccines and encourages all parents to have their children vaccinated, as he and the First Lady did […]

We still have those outsourcing blues

We never learn from history. That’s just how we roll in this state. In 1991, the Texas attorney general’s office signed an $11 million contract to computerize its child-support payments system. By 1997, the deal with Andersen Consulting had ballooned to more than $68 million and was three years behind schedule. A state audit found […]

How the appraisal game is rigged

The Observer tells the tale of how we got to where we are with the appraisal process and how easy it is for the big boys to get their taxes drastically reduced. At the heart of Valero’s lawsuits in Moore County was a complicated question: What is a refinery worth? For that matter, what is […]

Local control, schmocal control

From Lisa Falkenberg: So, let me get this straight. Government is the problem, not the solution. It’s a bumbling bureaucracy run by tyrants, cronies and other self-important suits who think they know better than you or I how to live our lives – UNLESS, of course, that bumbling bureaucracy operates under a pink dome on […]