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Posts under ‘Show Business for Ugly People’

Expanding Medicaid the hard way

A lot smaller than it should have been, but it’s still something. More than 80,000 additional Texans have enrolled in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program since the rollout of the Affordable Care Act last fall despite Republican state leaders’ decision not to expand eligibility to poor adults, according to federal figures. The 80,435 […]

Don’t sweat that court ruling on Obamacare tax credits just yet

It’s too soon to say what effect, if any will be felt in Texas. Opposing rulings from two federal courts Tuesday left unclear the future prospects of federal financial aid to Texans who qualify for assistance to purchase health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled […]

Another perspective on residency requirements

The Texas Election Law blog looks at my coverage of the Dave Wilson residency saga and offers his thoughts on the matter. The saga of gaming residence for the sake of running for office – what a tangle of legal precedent it provides. Mr. Kuffner has used the occasion of the Wilson lawsuit to suggest […]

Four for interim Mayor

Four of out five San Antonio City Council members that had said they would like to file a letter of interest for the post of interim Mayor actually filed those letters of interest. Submitting letters of interest by Wednesday’s 5 p.m. deadline were District 2 Councilwoman Ivy Taylor, District 5 Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales, District 6 […]

In defense of Ivy Taylor

Ivy Taylor is a San Antonio City Council member. She’s currently considered a frontrunner to succeed outgoing Mayor Julian Castro once he leaves to become Housing Secretary. Her elevation to Mayor would be historic, as she would be the first African-American Mayor of San Antonio, but it has also generated some controversy because in 2013 […]

The Texarkana experience

The city of Texarcana literally sits on the border between Texas and Arkansas, partly in one state and partly in the other. That means that some of its residents may be eligible for a health insurance subsidy under Arkansas’ Medicaid expansion/privatization hybrid. Or they may be in Texas and be screwed like anyone else. Arkansas […]

Another entry for the judicial election files

Get Wallace Jefferson on the phone for me, will ya? Three justices on the Tennessee Supreme Court are facing an election-year attack, not for any particular decision they have authored or even for any unpopular opinion they have espoused. No, in an ugly campaign in Tennessee that appears to be getting ever uglier, Senate Speaker […]

The Mayoral succession process starts in San Antonio

With the confirmation as Housing Secretary seemingly in the bag for San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, the process of naming an interim Mayor has begun. Not too surprisingly, there’s some conflict about this, though the issue at the root of the conflict may not be what you expected. City Council is set to approve Thursday […]

Once again, where are the jobs Rick Perry was trying to poach?

Politico revisits a familiar subject. Since as early as February of last year and as recently as April of this one, Perry has made eight trips to six different states, all of which have one very particular thing in common: They’re run by Democratic governors. Perry has used his visits to hammer on a consistent […]

Being an idiot, on the other hand, is totally treatable

It’s actually a little amazing that stuff like this doesn’t happen more often. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, speaking in San Francisco on Wednesday night, said the U.S. would better serve its diverse population by letting the states handle many economic and social policies, a point he perhaps inadvertently drove home when he compared homosexuality to […]

Two million Texans used healthcare.gov

Yeah, we had lots of demand for health insurance. That’s what happens when you have so many uninsured people in a state. Almost all adult Texans knew of the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplace before its open enrollment ended March 31, new research shows. In a report released Wednesday, Rice University’s Baker Institute for […]

California AG office does better on pay equity than Texas AG office

That’s gotta sting. Female lawyers in the California state prosecutor’s office don’t fall as far behind their male counterparts in pay as do female lawyers in the Texas attorney general’s office, according to a Texas Tribune analysis. Since March, the question of equal pay has been a key issue in the Texas gubernatorial contest between […]

Some grassroots action on the unfairness of commercial property valuation

From the inbox: Parents, homeowners, teachers, and community members from Houston gathered at the park in front of Nathaniel Q Henderson Elementary School to kick off local efforts in a statewide campaign called Real Values for Texas to fix the state’s broken property tax system. “Our broken property tax system works against kids, homeowners, and […]

The case against Castro for HUD

While we wait for further word on San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro’s reported appointment to be Secretary of HUD – he is keeping quiet about it for now – it’s worth considering some of the political implications behind it. Brian Beutler does the honors. Castro is currently the Mayor of San Antonio, an office with […]

Meet your “education reform” groups

The Observer provides a primer. For 20 years, Texans for Lawsuit Reform (TLR) has been protecting our hospitals and business leaders from meddling trial lawyers, convincing the Texas Legislature to cap damage awards and closing the courthouse doors to some potential plaintiffs. For two decades, TLR has been wildly successful, perhaps the most successful special […]

The money is the problem

A story of interest from North Carolina. The ad first appeared on television the Friday before last, a black-and-white spot charging that Justice Robin Hudson coddled child molesters and “sided with the predators” in a North Carolina Supreme Court dissent. It has run constantly since. As notable as the ad’s content and frequency, though, is […]

FEC ponders Bitcoin donations

For those of you that might want to make political contributions via Bitcoin. The Federal Election Commission appears poised to rule on whether and how campaigns and PACs can accept bitcoins as political contributions. The news comes as Attorney General Greg Abbott’s campaign for governor announced Wednesday that he will accept contributions made in bitcoin. […]

Wallace Jefferson is still going on about judicial elections

In an interview in The Atlantic, former Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson rides his favorite hobbyhorse of partisan judicial elections. I’ve been talking about this for a long time. And I am not the first one. Republican or Democrat Chief Justices for the last 30 or 40 years have been calling on the legislature […]

Castro v Patrick

Who do you think won? Democratic Mayor Julián Castro and GOP lieutenant governor candidate Dan Pat- rick of Houston clashed over immigration policy on Tuesday in a rowdy debate that left both politicians claiming victory. The politicians stood by the sharply different stances that brought them to their much ballyhooed face-off, at times in conciliatory […]

What’s the health insurance enrollment status in Texas?

The short answer is that we don’t know. The longer answer, as this Express-News story indicates, is that we’ll never really know. Self-sufficiency. Distrust. Desire for flexibility. Those are some reasons many consumers bypassed health insurance plans sold on government-run exchanges and instead chose to buy coverage directly from insurance agents or brokers before open […]

We really should have expanded Medicaid

We know it would have done a lot of good, at a very reasonable cost. Turns out that cost was even less than what we had been told. News reports and state officials have commonly stated that expanding the Medicaid program in this fashion would cost the state about $15 billion over 10 years. Except, that figure, provided […]

James O’Keefe is a lying liar

Don’t take my word for it. Listen to the special prosecutors that investigated the allegations by O’Keefe’s group Project Veritas made against Battleground Texas. A conservative activist’s allegations that Democratic group Battleground Texas illegally acquired voter information in San Antonio have been rejected by a Bexar County district court after a pair of special prosecutors […]

Would pot be a cash crop?

The Trib takes a serious look at Kinky Friedman’s campaign platform. Currently, it is illegal to grow and possess marijuana in Texas and most other states, and while hemp is legal for consumption, Texas and most other states do not allow farmers to grow it. Experts with experience in the legal pot industry in other […]

Always going backwards

That’s the Republican Party of Texas. When the Texas Republican Party made a guest worker program part of its 2012 platform, it was hailed as an important step forward for the party. The GOP needed to adjust itself, people said, to appeal to a new generation of Texas voters, and reorient itself toward some kind […]

Vote fraud by impersonation just doesn’t exist

I mean, if Greg Abbott can’t find it, who possibly could? Since taking office in 2001, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has called voter fraud an “epidemic,” and made cracking down on it a top priority. Now, as he runs for governor, he’s touting his ongoing battle to implement the state’s strict voter ID law, arguing […]

Pot polling

Our favorite pollsters aren’t optimistic about pot legalization despite some good looking poll numbers for it. In the February 2014 University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll, we asked respondents for their opinions on marijuana possession and gave them four options to choose from: “marijuana possession should not be legal under any circumstances;” “marijuana possession should be […]

The backlash to marriage equality

It’s been almost two weeks since a federal judge struck down Texas’ anti-gay marriage law. The sky hasn’t fallen, rivers continue to run downstream, dogs and cats are not cohabitating, and strangest of all, the Republican Party of Texas has not gone into full freakout mode. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a backlash coming, of […]

Perry’s No Jobs Tour continues

TrailBlazers takes the bait. Rick Perry is on the road again. But then, he’s rarely off it these days. This weekend, he’s in Western Kentucky at Murray State University to headline a Republican Party fundraiser. Then, it’s off to California to talk to their businesses about uprooting and moving en mass to the Lone Star […]

Once again, the cost of not expanding Medicaid

Short answer: It’s a lot. A team of Harvard researchers recently released a deeply sobering study quantifying how many Americans stand to die needlessly in the unflinching states hellbent on denying Medicaid expansion, as provided by the Affordable Care Act. The study singles out Texas: “In Texas, the largest state opting out of Medicaid expansion, […]

More Obamacare enrollments, still lots more needed

That’s pretty much the story. Texas enrollment in the online insurance marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act rose steadily in February but did not meet expectations set forth by the Obama administration, according to figures that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released Tuesday. “As more Americans learn just how affordable marketplace […]

The Texas Future Project

Very interesting. High-powered Democrats from Texas and California have joined with national labor unions in an effort to mobilize out-of-state donors and raise millions of dollars to build a progressive majority in the Lone Star State that could change state policy and national elections. The Texas Future Project – that also will seek to convince […]

Harris County GOP to yell at cloud on Monday

Lone Star Q: Calling gay people “sodomites” and U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia a “would-be dictator,” the Harris County Republican Party announced it will host a news conference Monday morning in response to Garcia’s ruling Wednesday striking down Texas’ bans on same-sex marriage. The event at county GOP headquarters seems like a pretty obvious ploy […]

Don’t worry, Abbott and The Nuge are still besties

Everyone who thinks what happened last week was bad for his campaign is just too stupid to see the big picture. Right about the time Nugent was firing up the second crowd of North Texas voters last week in Wichita Falls, Abbott’s chief strategist, Dave Carney, wondered out loud on Twitter if the campaign’s Democratic […]

BGT fires back

Good for them. Allegations that Battleground Texas broke the law during its voter registration activities are “entirely without foundation,” the Democratic group wrote in a letter to Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst on Tuesday. Dewhurst, citing a secretly recorded video of Battleground volunteers in Bexar County, had earlier called for a criminal investigation because of allegations […]