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Posts under ‘Show Business for Ugly People’

Complaint filed against Cruz campaign for “check enclosed” stunt

This ought to be fun. A liberal Texas political group has filed a formal complaint alleging that a recent fundraising solicitation mailed by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign violated state law. The solicitation came in an envelope featuring a return address in official government type and the words “check enclosed.” The “check” was a […]

Mary Beth Rogers’ prescription for Texas Democrats

I’m sure you’ve seen this article by Mary Beth Rogers, onetime campaign manager for Ann Richards, about how Democrats can compete and win statewide again. DEAR TEXAS DEMOCRATS… First, let’s get the numbers out of the way. Let’s use the analytics as a backdrop for all that we do, but not as the only factor […]

Our obsolete voting machines

From the Brennan Center: Executive Summary In January 2014, the bipartisan Presidential Commission on Election Administration (PCEA) issued a stern warning that should be of grave concern to all Americans: There is an “impending crisis … from the widespread wearing out of voting machines purchased a decade ago. … Jurisdictions do not have the money […]

One million plus Texas Obamacare enrollments

It keeps going up. Just over one million Texans had signed up on the federal health insurance exchange as of last Saturday, signaling a steady drumbeat of interest and giving local advocates a chance for some celebration. “I will take it,” Ken Janda, president and CEO of Community Health Choice, a Houston-based non-profit health plan […]

Maybe we just shouldn’t have nativity scenes on government property

Seems like the obvious answer to me. A “winter solstice” display by the Freedom From Religion Foundation has been ordered removed from the Texas Capitol after Gov. Greg Abbott called it a “juvenile parody.” The display had been approved by the State Preservation Board, of which Abbott is chairman, after it was sponsored by state […]

State cuts off funds to Planned Parenthood for HIV testing

Seriously? Amid an ongoing battle over Planned Parenthood’s participation in the state Medicaid program, Texas health officials are cutting off funding to a Planned Parenthood affiliate for an HIV prevention program. In a notice received by Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast late Monday, an official with the Department of State Health Services informed the Houston-based provider […]

The state was full of it all along on Planned Parenthood

Shocked, shocked I am. Almost two months after Texas Republican leaders announced they would kick Planned Parenthood out of Medicaid, it hasn’t happened. The organization is still receiving federal and state funds to provide health care for about 13,500 low-income women a year, and the state officials who called for a cutoff, including Gov. Greg […]

Just leave already

Seriously. State GOP leaders, in a predictable but closely watched vote, have defeated a proposal to ask Texas voters whether they favor secession. In a voice vote Saturday afternoon, the State Republican Executive Committee rejected a measure that would have put the issue on the March 1 primary ballot. The ballot language would have been […]

Feds say No to Abbott on refugees

What now, Greg? The federal government on Wednesday informed refugee resettlement agencies in Texas and across the country that states do not have the authority to refuse to accept Syrians. The statement, made in a letter obtained by the Houston Chronicle, appears to mark the first time federal refugee program officials formally have rejected statements […]

The Mexican abortion option, part 3

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Between 100,000 and 240,000 Texans have attempted to terminate their pregnancies without medical assistance, according to new research released Tuesday. Based on interviews and a statewide survey, the unprecedented study by the Texas Policy Evaluation Project (TxPEP) estimates that between 1.7 and 4.1 percent of Texas women […]

Now who’s messing with religious freedom?

What is Greg Abbott’s beef with faith organizations? A prominent Texas faith organization signaled Friday that refugee resettlement agencies in the state may not comply with Gov. Greg Abbott’s order to turn away Syrian refugees, writing a letter “to express shock and dismay” with the directive. The governor’s order “constitutes an unprecedented attempt on the […]

The Dallas Equal Rights Ordinance

Buckle up. Chapter 46 of the Dallas City Code, which was passed in May 2002, makes it illegal to discriminate against someone based on sexual orientation. The ordinance, which applies to everything from employment to housing, has defined sexual orientation as “an individual’s real or perceived orientation as heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual or an individual’s […]

Feds warn Texas about Planned Parenthood

We’ll see what happens. The Obama administration has warned state officials that pushing Planned Parenthood out of the state’s Medicaid program could put Texas at odds with federal law. Officials with the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services contacted the state Medicaid director on Tuesday to give notice that removing Planned Parenthood from the […]

If you really want to improve turnout in city elections

This is a plan that would do it. Councilman Ron Nirenberg [recently] called for a major change to local elections that he says would boost voter turnout and bolster public participation. The councilman said he’s spent years considering ways to address abysmal turnout in municipal elections, which are held in May of odd-numbered years. His […]

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 […]