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Posts from ‘October, 2017’

October campaign finance reports: Congress

Here are the Q2 fundraising reports for Texas Democratic Congressional candidates. I’ll sum up the data below, but here’s the Trib with some highlights. After Democratic challengers outraised four Texas Republicans in Congress earlier this year, some Republicans recaptured fundraising momentum in the third quarter – but not all of them. Campaign finance reports for […]

In support of the Paxton prosecutors

Good to see. In an unusual step, six prosecutors and Texas’ criminal defense attorneys association have joined a continuing legal storm over how much the special prosecutors overseeing the criminal case against Attorney General Ken Paxton should get paid. Preventing the three special prosecutors in Paxton’s case from getting paid would thwart justice, according to […]

Paxton officially appeals redistricting ruling to SCOTUS, part 2

The state House version. Attorney General Ken Paxton on Friday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a lower court ruling that ordered nine of Texas’ statehouse districts redrawn after being found discriminatory. In August, a three-judge panel in a federal district court in San Antonio ruled that parts of Texas’ statehouse maps were discriminatory […]

School districts don’t need gift registries

They need to have their needs met by the state. Texas school districts ravaged by Hurricane Harvey still need thousands of textbooks, dictionaries and other instructional resources, so the state’s education agency is borrowing a page from the wedding industry to help cover the costs. The Texas Education Agency has modified its textbook ordering system […]

Framing the 2018 question

This Chron story asks the question “what might it take for a Democrat to win statewide in Texas in 2018, then never actually engages it. At the five-top table in the corner at Russell’s Bakery, a northwest Austin restaurant and coffee bar, the conversation among the five women, all self-described as “recovering Republicans,” veered from […]

Texans take a knee

Good for them. On Sunday afternoon, before the Houston Texans faced off against the Seattle Seahawks in Washington, all but approximately 10 Texans took a knee during the national anthem. This was a direct response to Texans owner Bob McNair after an ESPN report on Friday revealed that, during a meeting with other NFL owners, […]

2017 EV daily report: Day 6

Here are the numbers through Saturday. Sunday’s numbers didn’t come in last night, but it’s the shortest EV day so its numbers are always the smallest. Here are the daily totals from previous years: 2015 2013 2011 2009 2007 And here’s a select comparison: Year Early Mail Total Mailed ======================================= 2017 19,425 8,201 27,626 19,873 […]

Weekend linkdump for October 29

And the gold medal in pole dancing goes to… Frank Oz talks Muppets and Little Shop of Horrors. “Over the past 30 years, food companies like Nestlé, Mars, Barry Callebaut, and Hershey’s — among the world’s biggest producers of chocolate — have poured millions of dollars into scientific studies and research grants that support cocoa […]

Michael Sorrell

Gromer Jeffers of the DMN floats a name for Governor. On the rugged campus of Paul Quinn College, Michael Sorrell, the school’s president, could be the last hope for Democrats to field a credible candidate to face incumbent Greg Abbott in next year’s governor’s race. Operatives in the Texas Democratic Party have been trying to […]

JJ Watt announces his plan for Harvey relief funds

This had been much anticipated. Hurricane Harvey victims, nonprofits and Texans fans alike have been on the edge of their seats to hear what J.J. Watt planned to do with the $37 million he raised for storm relief. As of Thursday, he has a plan. In a Twitter video posted Thursday afternoon, Watt explained that […]

Should we remove the concrete from White Oak Bayou?

That’s an interesting question, one worth considering, if there’s a way to pay for it. A feasibility study conducted for the Harris County Flood Control District and released Friday offers three options to do just that. What it does not offer is a way to pay for the three alternatives, which range from $30 million […]

Poker clubs

I wish them luck. Michael Eakman, a poker aficionado from a very young age, has hosted poker tournaments from around the country, but Texas gambling laws have long shut him out of his own state and his hometown of Houston. This year, however, he opened the city’s first restricted membership-based poker club, joining several Texas […]

Saturday video break: The Altuve Polka

We interrupt the procession of cover/same name songs to bring you this, the most important video of 2017: If the Astros don’t adopt that as their official team song, they are badly mistaken. This is easily the best Houston-centric sports song since It’s a Ming Thing.

No bribery charges against Paxton

I didn’t expect this to amount to anything, and indeed it hasn’t. A $100,000 donation to Attorney General Ken Paxton’s legal fund did not constitute bribery, Kaufman County District Attorney Erleigh Wiley said Friday in announcing her office had closed its investigation into the gift, which came from a CEO whose company was under investigation […]

City buys out some flooded homes

Expect to see more of this. Houston City Council on Wednesday approved funding nearly 60 home buyouts across three flood-prone neighborhoods, the first such step from City Hall in recent memory. The city typically leaves buyouts to the Harris County Flood Control District and, in fact, the measure approved by the council would send $10.7 […]

By the way, CHIP is still running out

Just in case you were wondering. Advocates say Texas will run out of funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program sooner than they thought. The program, which Congress failed to reauthorize last month, covers nearly 400,000 children from working-class families in the state. “It’s expected that Texas will run out of CHIP funding in January,” […]

Friday random ten: Black and blue, part 2

My odds are stacked/I’ll go back to black 1. Black Horse And The Cherry Tree – KT Tunstall 2. Black Is The Color – SixMileBridge 3. Black Lipstick – Chicano Batman 4. Black Magic – Little Mix 5. Black Night – Deep Purple 6. Black Rain – Fastball 7. Black Water – The Doobie Brothers […]

Ken Paxton is officially running for re-election

In case you missed it. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton will seek re-election as he fights three criminal indictments that are expected to go to trial next year. Paxton, who was expected to run again despite his legal woes, made it official in an email to his supporters Wednesday. “Without a doubt, it’s been my greatest honor to […]

Curbside recycling will resume November 13

Hooray! Houstonians stockpiling cardboard and aluminum cans, rejoice: the city will resume curbside recycling service next month. Recycling service has been suspended since Aug. 30, when city waste crews dropped all efforts other than weekly trash pickup to focus on removing the thousands of piles of debris resulting from Hurricane Harvey. Residents wondering whether their […]

2017 EV daily report: Just remember, the reports we get are all of Harris County

Here are today’s numbers, and here are the daily totals from previous years: 2015 2013 2011 2009 2007 And here’s a select comparison: Year Early Mail Total Mailed ======================================= 2017 11,953 7,513 19,466 19,581 2015 36,322 19,789 56,111 42,520 2011 10,818 3,823 14,641 13,697 2007 8,080 3,126 11,206 12,775 So 2011 appears to be the […]

Speaker Straus not running for re-election

A bombshell no one saw coming. Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, a San Antonio Republican, announced Wednesday he will not run for re-election in 2018, a decision that has the potential to upend the political balance of power in the state. Straus, who has lately been the most powerful moderate Republican in the Texas Capitol, […]

What about those constitutional amendments?

Would you like someone to explain to you what those seven Constitutional amendments are about, in painstaking detail, with a recommendation for how to vote on each? Daniel Williams is here for you. It’s that time of the biennium again! Time for voters to consider constitutional amendments on small minutia of public policy. Texas has […]

More on the Paxton bribery investigation

It’s good to have rich friends. Attorney General Ken Paxton says the man who shelled out the most money to help him combat securities fraud charges is a “family friend,” but a review of campaign finance records show his main financier is also a major Republican donor for candidates up and down the ticket. In […]

Texas blog roundup for the week of October 23

The Texas Progressive Alliance congratulates the Houston Astros on winning the AL pennant as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Chron overview of the HISD races

It’s not much, but it is what it is. As Houston ISD faces a possible state takeover, a $106 million budget shortfall and millions of dollars in needed repairs from Hurricane Harvey, six of its board’s nine seats are up for election on Nov. 7. Fifteen candidates are vying for school board seats in regular […]

Andrew White

We’ll see about this. Houston investor Andrew White—the son of the late Texas governor Mark White and one of the small boat heroes of Hurricane Harvey—plans to launch an exploratory bid for governor in the 2018 elections this week. Although White wants to run as a Democrat, he aims to appeal to moderate Republicans who […]

What Houston is showing to Amazon

Meet the Innovation Corridor. Houston leaders hope to entice Amazon with a spot somewhere within the four-mile stretch of the Metro rail line that runs from downtown to the Texas Medical Center, an area they’re calling the Innovation Corridor – and the city’s best shot at winning the Seattle tech giant’s $5 billion second headquarters. […]

Charges against Dukes dropped

She beat the rap. Travis County prosecutors have dropped their criminal charges against state Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, saying Monday that a felony case against the state lawmaker should never have been brought. The announcement ends a months-long legal saga in which Dukes was accused of abusing public office after a grand jury indicted her […]

UT/TT poll: We need more context

Time for another UT/Texas Trib poll, in which the pollsters do a mighty fine job of failing to find anything interesting about their data. Donald Trump remains highly popular with Texas Republicans nearly a year after his election as the 45th president, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll. “Trump’s overall job approval […]

Is MLB expansion on the menu?

Before I answer the question in the headline, let me say Congratulations to the Astros, the first team ever to win the pennant in both leagues. (The Brewers, who won the AL flag in 1982, is the only other team to switch leagues, and thus the only other candidate to join that club.) And if […]

LWV to look at Harris County election security

I look forward to seeing their results. The League of Women Voters of the Houston Area plans to study the cybersecurity of Harris County’s election system, but the non-partisan group may not be able to gather all the information it wants. The League, working with the non-profit civic-tech activist group Sketch City, hopes to finish […]

2017 EV daily report: Day One

Happy first day of early voting! If you’re expecting me to have today’s EV totals from Harris County, as well as EV totals from past elections, you’re right. Here are today’s numbers, and here are the daily totals from previous years: 2015 2013 2011 2009 2007 And here’s a select comparison: Year Early Mail Total […]

Early voting for November 2017 begins today

From the inbox: “The best option to vote in the upcoming Nov. 7 election is during the early voting period,” advised Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart. Early Voting for the November 7, 2017 General and Special Elections begins Monday, October 23 and will run through Friday, November 3. There will be 45 Early Voting locations […]

People who oppose the Uptown Line continue to oppose the Uptown Line

Film at 11. A plan for faster bus service along Post Oak, the centerpiece of a larger project to remake Uptown’s Main Street, continues to divide its supporters and transit skeptics, even as work accelerates and commuters brace for limited lanes through the holiday season. The latest dust-up over the dedicated lanes is over a […]