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Posts from ‘July, 2017’

July 2017 campaign finance reports – City of Houston

Let’s continue our survey of campaign finance reports with reports from the city of Houston. Name Raised Spent Loans On Hand ================================================ Turner 520,430 138,068 0 1,643,519 Stardig 59,470 36,402 0 102,289 Davis 5,500 13,231 0 147,050 Cohen 5,000 8,382 0 63,120 Boykins 93,839 40,547 0 57,358 Martin 20,092 8,221 0 106,427 Le 12,250 1,788 […]

Pushing the NFL Draft angle

Every angle is going to be needed, and this is one that ought to speak to some folks. The Cowboys’ efforts to land the NFL draft and how it could be derailed by the legislative push for a bathroom bill is part of a $1 million ad buy that will begin to play on radio […]

The Observer talks to Kim Ogg

A good read: You decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana. Jeff Sessions has signaled that he seeks to ramp up the war on drugs. What power does the federal government hold over your policy decisions? I enjoy total discretion under Texas law as to who I charge and with what crime. The federal […]

Weekend link dump for July 30

“There’s no public indication yet what Trump Jr., Kushner, and Manafort specifically hoped to receive from the Russians. But if they were aware of (and believed) these conspiracy-theory reports regarding the Russians and Clinton’s emails—real-life fake news that had been bolstered by right-wing media and Trump’s own social media guru—they probably would have been particularly […]

The bathroom bill would affect disabled people, too

Yet another problem caused by this harmful “solution”. As lawmakers this summer debate yet another controversial measure regulating bathroom use based on biological sex, disabled Texans say they — like many transgender men and women — believe the Legislature is further complicating something that’s already difficult to navigate. On Tuesday, the Texas Senate advanced Senate […]

More on Jeffrey Payne

The Trib talks to the first declared Democratic candidate for Governor. The Tribune spoke to Payne about his ideas for the state and how he plans on building momentum ahead of the election to mobilize Texans. The following is an edited and condensed version of the interview. What changes would you try to implement as […]

From the “we don’t want those people coming here” files

Stay classy, Spring. The headline wasn’t subtle: “Stop Metro from coming to Spring.” The article,published July 15 on the website Spring Happenings, warned that bus service would “give criminals an easy way in and out” of the north Harris County suburb. A range of experts I interviewed this week agreed that little evidence supports the […]

Saturday video break: September

The only thing that can rival the 80s for video awesomeness is the 70s, and when you think of the 70s, you should think of Earth, Wind & Fire: The glitter, the dashikis, the groovy video effects – it’s all there, in one spectacular package. The vocals and the horns are pretty great, too. A […]

House takes a different direction on trees

Better than the Senate version, for sure. The Texas House added a potential wrinkle to Gov. Greg Abbott’s special session agenda on Thursday, giving early approval to a bill that would allow property owners to plant new trees to offset municipal fees for tree removal on their land. The initial 132-11 vote on House Bill […]

Public Works Director Sreerama is out

From the inbox, a Friday afternoon special: Statement by Mayor Sylvester Turner on city Public Works and Engineering director “Karun Sreerama has accomplished much in Houston as a businessman and involved citizen. I am sure he will continue to be an asset to our community. However he and I have agreed that it would be […]

New county risk assessment system coming

We’ve been waiting. Harris County officials on Tuesday touted their revamped strategy for deciding whether tens-of-thousands of individuals should be jailed before their criminal trials, a process that critics and a federal judge say disproportionately affects the poor who are unable to come up with the money to make bail. On July 29, the county […]

Friday random ten – Another one

Hey, it’s another list! 1. Another Brick In The Wall Part 2 – Pink Floyd 2. Another Christmas Song – Stephen Colbert 3. Another Day – Sting 4. Another Day In Paradise – Phil Collins 5. Another Man’s Cause – SixMileBridge 6. Another Nail For My Heart – Squeeze 7. Another One Bites The Dust […]

Stanart pushes back on election security claims

Our County Clerk is not happy with recent stories about the potential for vulnerability in our election systems. Despite reports from federal intelligence agencies and media outlets of Russia’s widespread targeting of state and local elections around the country and in Texas, election administrators in the nation’s third-largest county say Vladimir Putin’s government does not […]

The bathroom bill in the House

Mostly good news here. Dangerous. Discriminatory. Chilling. Hurtful. Those are words used by House State Affairs Chairman Byron Cook to describe bathroom legislation headed to his committee in the Texas House in the coming days. The Republican from Corsicana said legislation that would force transgender people to use bathrooms in line with their birth sex […]

Paxton’s trial date set

Mark your calendars. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton will face trial in December for the first of three criminal charges, a Houston judge ruled Thursday. Jury selection will begin Dec. 1 and testimony will start on Dec. 11 for the single count of failing to register as an investment adviser with the state. Paxton, who […]

Abbott versus the cities

The continuing story. If Gov. Greg Abbott has disdain for how local Texas officials govern their cities, it didn’t show in a Wednesday sit-down with three mayors who were among 18 who jointly requested a meeting to discuss legislation that aims to limit or override several municipal powers. “Whether we changed anybody’s mind or not, […]

House committee hears largely pointless property tax bills

Something will probably come out of this, but it’s hard to understand why. A Texas House committee on Tuesday spent more than seven hours plowing through more than 30 bills that aim to tackle rising property tax bills — months after similar legislation died amid an intra-GOP war over how conservatively state officials should govern. […]

The process for I-45

This time it’s different, more or less. The region’s largest looming highway project – a massive rebuild of Interstate 45 from the Sam Houston Tollway to downtown Houston – has a lot of people looking into the rear-view mirror, pressing officials to make sure the job does not come with some of the downsides of […]

Texas blog roundup for the week of July 24

The Texas Progressive Alliance is dancing like nobody’s watching them delete their old tweets as it brings you this week’s roundup.

There will be no city elections this November

Here’s the early version of the story. I’ll add a link to the full story in the morning. The Texas Supreme Court on Monday denied plantiffs’ attempts to expedite their case challenging the [2015 term limits referendum] ballot language that lengthened city officials’ terms two years ago, making it unlikely the matter will be resolved […]

Law enforcement against the bathroom bill

Add another group to an ever-expanding list. Police chiefs from three of the five biggest cities in the state gathered at the Texas Capitol on Tuesday to spurn proponents’ claims that such legislation is needed to protect privacy, arguing that proposals being considered by the Legislature are discriminatory, won’t keep people safe and would divert […]

The “death by a thousand cuts” strategy

How To Kill A Health Insurance Market, Non-Legislative Division: The move by the White House to quietly end the contracts of two companies key to assisting people enrolling for insurance under the Affordable Care Act caught Houston health advocates off guard – but not by surprise. Given the temperature in Washington these days and efforts […]

Collins responds to Farenthold

Please keep this up forever. On Monday, Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX) offered a novel — and sexist — explanation and solution for the Republican health care bill’s struggles: He blamed “some female senators from the Northeast” for holding up the legislation. Then he went on to argue that “if it was a guy from south […]

Senate has mostly completed the Abbott special session agenda

I’m just going to hit the highlights here because this stuff is happening quickly and often late in the day, but most of the Abbott 20-point special session agenda has been turned into bills that have as of this morning passed the Senate. Yesterday’s action included vouchers and still more unconstitutional abortion restrictions, while the […]

Lawsuit filed over giving voter data to bogus Trump commission

I missed this last week. The League of Women Voters of Texas and the Texas NAACP said Thursday they have sued Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos over plans to release voter information to President Donald Trump’s election commission. Texas law requires that safeguards be met to ensure such data isn’t used improperly, the groups […]

You’re never so weak as when you try to act tough

Blake Farenthold, ladies and gentlemen: A Texas GOP congressman says if the three female Republican senators who oppose a bill repealing Obamacare were men from South Texas, he might challenge them to a duel. “The fact that the Senate does not have the courage to do some of the things that every Republican in the […]

July 2017 campaign finance reports – Congress

It’s July, and that means it’s campaign finance report season. Everyone has reports due at the end of June, so at every level of government there are reports to look at. I’ll be working my way through them, starting today with reports from the many people running for Congress as Democrats this cycle, some of […]

ACLU seeks information about state’s compliance with Trump election commission

From the inbox: Today the ACLU of Texas filed an open records request with the Texas Secretary of State seeking documentation related to the State’s compliance with the federal Election Integrity Commission, which had asked states to submit voters’ full names, the last four digits of their social security numbers, their voting histories and information […]

One side benefit of the continued Republican repeal follies

It depresses the base. Texas-based Republican political consultant Brendan Steinhauser’s early read of the fallout was that the party has reasons to be worried about next year’s midterm elections. “I think that you will see that if this fails, Republicans in Congress will get blamed,” he said. “I think you will see a very angry […]

The bathroom bill is a threat to Quidditch

How much more do you need to know? It’s not quite time to get out the broomsticks in Round Rock. A national quidditch tournament headed to town next year has been put on hold while legislators consider the bathroom bill during their special session, said Round Rock Mayor Craig Morgan. U.S. Quidditch recently told the […]

Weekend link dump for July 23

Same sex marriage is likely to be safe from future SCOTUS rulings even if Justice Kennedy retires in the next couple of years. I’d rather not test that hypothesis, though. Those hot girls on Twitter who want to follow you? It’s a scam. Don’t fall for it. “I don’t want to have the Bible debates […]

Was the Harris County election system hacked?

Wouldn’t you like to know? Despite widespread alarm over the breadth of Russian cyber attacks on state and local election systems last year, including revelations of Dallas County being targeted, Harris County officials are refusing to say whether hackers similarly took aim at the nation’s third-largest county. Releasing information on whether Harris County election systems […]

Cruz gets a primary challenger

Meet Stefano de Stefano. With no heavy hitters in the Texas Republican hierarchy emerging to challenge U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz for the party’s nomination in 2018, a Houston energy attorney is stepping forward. Stefano de Stefano, who bills himself as a jilted voter and “free market Republican,” represents a challenge from the center of the […]

Will we have enough candidates for the opportunities?

There’s always something to worry about. With the Texas case moving forward, the boundaries of the congressional districts remain in question with the 2018 elections less than 18 months away. The Lone Star State’s primary filing deadline is in six months. So, incumbent lawmakers and potential challengers are watching to see where the districts’ boundaries […]