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Posts from ‘October, 2012’

Are Texas Latinos like Latinos elsewhere or not?

Latino Decisions bemoans a disconnect between its poll numbers for Latino voters and what it’s seeing in the crosstabs of other recent national polls. In 1998 Harry Pachon and Rudy de la Garza wrote a report for the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute titled “Why Pollsters Missed the Latino Vote – Again!” in which they argued […]

Eight billion dollars

That’s how much is needed per year to make public education whole. Lynn Moak told state District Judge John Dietz that it will take more than $8 billion a year in additional money to get students on target to graduate and to meet new college and career readiness standards. About 150,000 9th-grade students, or 47 […]

If no one owns the problem then no one will fix it

Reading this Chron story about the problem of voter registrations done via the Department of Public Safety, it’s clear why this is an ongoing issue. Neither the DPS nor the secretary of state tracks motor voter complaints. Nor can state officials say whether any individual offices or workers process abnormally low numbers of new drivers’ […]

Mapping oil usage

From the Natural Resources Defense Council America buys 18.8 million barrels of petroleum products every day, accounting for more than 20% of all global usage. This can drain roughly $1 billion on average every day out of the economy. This oil use also accounts for more than a quarter of the heat-trapping carbon pollution emitted […]

Draft Julian?

Who wants to see Julian Castro run for Governor in 2014? His fellow Bexar County Democrats, at least. Bexar County Democratic Party Chairman Manuel Medina launched a social media movement last week to draft Castro for the 2014 Texas governor’s race. Medina, who unseated former party Chairwoman Choco Meza in May, describes the push as […]

Patrick teases his school choice proposals

He doesn’t want to call it “vouchers”, but if it walks like a duck… “If there’s one message that I want to send, it’s that I want to champion public education,” said Patrick, the new chairman of the Senate Public Education Committee. Whether the education community is ready to embrace Patrick in that role is […]

UT/TT: Romney 55, Obama 39

Here are some new poll numbers for Texas from UT and the Tribune. Republican Mitt Romney has a commanding lead over Democrat Barack Obama in the presidential race in Texas, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll. The survey of likely voters found that 55 percent support Romney while 39 percent support the […]

Endorsement watch: The Statesman gets in the game

In addition to their Sunday endorsement of Paul Sadler, the Statesman made up for lost time last week by finally getting around to making endorsements in various races. Among their first was a nice recommendation of John Courage. Texas Senate, District 25 District 25, which stretches from South Austin to northern San Antonio and Bexar […]

Early voting, one week in

We have completed one full week of early voting, and through Sunday a total of 362,827 people had voted in person, with an additional 53,131 ballot being cast by mail, for a grand total of 415,958. The updated spreadsheet is here for your perusal. For comparison, there were 314,252 in person ballots cast through Sunday, […]

Lampson-mentum

I always thought that with Nick Lampson in the race, CD14 would be competitive. Looks like national perception is catching up to that belief. Texas Republicans are ringing the alarm over a House race that had seemed a safe bet to remain Republican. The reason for worry is the third-quarter fundraising and spending totals that […]

The Heights Wal-Mart is now open

On the plus side, the world did not come to an end. On the minus side, it’s still a lousy location for a Wal-Mart and a giant missed opportunity for better, more urban-oriented development. For nearly 2½ years, Heights-area residents fought against one of the largest corporations in the world, employing yard signs, meeting with […]

Endorsement watch: The scoreboard for Sadler

More endorsements for Paul Sadler from the past week. Here’s the El Paso Times: We need a U.S. senator who will work on border issues with our members of Congress in Dists. 16 and 23. We are endorsing Democrats Beto O’Rourke and Pete Gallego in those districts, respectively. We like that Sadler, since leaving the […]

Weekend link dump for October 28

Obsessing about “Mark Trail” is a game the whole family can play. Adultery is the bigger sin even when there are plenty of other big sins to choose from. Why “follow the money” is so often good advice. “What the hell are we gonna do with photos in the modern age?” “Maybe one day, with […]

The Women’s Health Program fight needs to be won at the ballot box

This was a strange week in the courts for Planned Parenthood and the Women’s Health Program. On Thursday, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals refused to rehear Planned Parenthood’s case against the state over the WHO, meaning that its awful ruling that threw out the original injunction against the state would stand and PP would […]

The opening argument against vouchers

We’ve been hearing about vouchers since Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst named Sen. Dan Patrick to be Chair of the Senate Education Committee, but we haven’t heard – or at least, I haven’t seen – a lot of information about what exactly that would mean. This Chron op-ed by Ronald Trowbridge brings some facts and figures […]

New passenger rail study

We’ll see if this goes anywhere. The Texas Department of Transportation is launching a two-year, $14 million study of passenger rail service between South Texas and Oklahoma City. That could mean bringing high-speed rail or, at the least, finding ways to connect the state’s major cities with some type of rail service. The study also […]

Endorsement watch: Wu and Vo

Clearly I was wrong about the Chron ignoring legislative endorsements, as they now have two more to follow Ann Johnson‘s. First up is an endorsement of Gene Wu to be Rep. Scott Hochberg’s successor in HD137. We believe that Democrat Gene Wu has the educational background and passion for policy that make him the best […]

Saturday video break: Every Time You Go Away

Song #46 on the Popdose Top 100 Covers list is “Every Time You Go Away”, by Hall and Oates and covered by Paul Young. Here’s the original: Okay, that’s not actually Hall and Oates, but how could I resist Daryl Hall backed by Billy Joel, Bonnie Raitt, and the most amazing flowing-locks-and-sideburn combination since, I […]

Cuts are not increases, no matter how you spin it

This is the Chron overview of HD134, which is once again the highest profile legislative race in the county, in part because it’s a referendum on the 2010 election and the cuts to public education funding that resulted from that election. In an area that takes great pride in its schools, [Rep. Sarah Davis] went […]

The 85 MPH toll road is now open

So far, it seems like the only people on the newly-opened 85 MPH Texas 130 toll road are reporters writing about what it’s like to legally drive that fast. About an hour after road workers removed the hundreds of bright orange cones blocking the entrances and exits to the new State Highway 130 toll road, […]

Metro’s new trains

Last week, Metro announced that it had received delivery of a new train, the first of a batch of new light rail vehicles (LRVs) scheduled to arrive in town. Gilbert Garcia, METRO board chairman, said the light-rail Siemens S70 represents a savings of almost a year’s time in getting optimal service to our riders. METRO […]

Endorsement watch: Martin and Sullivan

The Chron can’t quite believe that Steve Stockman is on the verge of being foisted on us again as a member of Congress, so they do what they can by endorsing his opponent, Max Martin. Max Martin is a credible, if long-shot, candidate. Martin, a retired pilot who now owns an education software business in […]

Friday random ten: For the ladies, part 3

Still more songs with ladies’ names for titles. 1. Emily – Elana James 2. Emily de Muse – The Buddhacrush 3. Erin – Jiggernaut 4. Evangeline – Los Lobos 5. Fanny – Asylum Street Spankers 6. Ginger Faye – Eddie From Ohio 7. Gloria – Patti Smith 8. Gloria – Santa Esmerelda 9. Gloria – […]

More early voting

Early voting continues to go gangbusters in Harris County – here’s my updated spreadsheet for your perusal. The numbers are certainly impressive, but to keep things in perspective, it’s an increase of about 20% over 2008, whereas 2008 was more than double the turnout of 2004 through Day Four. Year Day 4 total =================== 2004 […]

Overview of the Keller-Hampton race

This story covers a lot of familiar ground, but it’s worth going over again. Three judges on Texas’ highest criminal court are seeking re-election in November, including Presiding Judge Sharon Keller, who’s been a lightning rod for controversy since her last test of voters in 2006. Elected to Texas’ Court of Criminal Appeals in 1994, […]

Children continue to be our future

The mother of all school finance lawsuits, which commenced on Monday, will take many weeks to conclude. I don’t expect to follow it every day since there’s just so much else going on, but I wanted to point out a couple of things from the Chron story of the trial’s opening day. By 2050, Texas […]

Endorsement watch: The Parent PAC November slate

For your approval. Texas Parent PAC is delighted to endorse the following candidates in the general election.  They are men and women of integrity, open and responsive to parents, actively involved in their communities, and committed to investing in public education to achieve economic prosperity in Texas. Please vote for these endorsed candidates and encourage […]

Carona comes out for equality

I have three things to say about this. In a rare if not unprecedented move for a Republican state legislator in Texas, Dallas Sen. John Carona expressed support for three key pieces of pro-equality legislation on Monday. Carona told Instant Tea he would support bills in Texas to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and […]

Will the Astrodome derail our Super Bowl bid?

Heaven forbid. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told a crowd on Tuesday that by 2017, Reliant will be 15 years old and therefore in need of some upgrades like digital scoreboards. Texans owner Bob McNair says the city must look at all its venues when wooing the NFL, and on the top of that list is […]

Endorsement watch: Lampson and Gallego

I mentioned on Monday that the Chron had endorsed Nick Lampson for CD14. Yesterday, they wrote the endorsement editorial for him. Lampson, a native of Beaumont, first came to Congress in 1996 and served four terms from the Golden Triangle area before being defeated in 2004. He served another term from 2008-2010 in the district […]

Texas blog roundup for the week of October 22

The Texas Progressive Alliance reminds everyone that early voting is now underway as it brings you this week’s roundup.

30 Day campaign finance reports, selected legislative races

Here’s a sampling of 30 day finance reports from state legislative campaigns. I used the Back to Blue list as a starting point and added a few races of interest to me from there. Dist Candidate Raised Spent Loan Cash ========================================================== SD10 Davis 843,878 346,466 0 1,537,783 SD10 Shelton 606,586 153,204 0 566,825 SD25 Courage […]

Everybody loves early voting now

From the County Clerk’s office: The Chief Election Officer of the County, Stan Stanart, announced [Monday night] that Harris County voters set a new record for voting during the first day of Early Voting in person. 47,093 persons voted on Monday, shattering the November 2008 first day total of 39,201. “We had a record breaking […]

On the city bonds

Here’s an overview of the city bond issues. The city of Houston is asking voters on Nov. 6 for permission to borrow $410 million to shore up its parks, police stations, libraries, other government buildings and substandard housing. Propositions A, B, C, D and E for the most part are what Mayor Annise Parker calls […]