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Posts from ‘November, 2017’

Lupe Valdez appears to be in for Governor as well

Wow. Lupe Valdez has resigned as Dallas County sheriff and is expected to soon file her candidacy for governor. Valdez, who has led the department since 2005, could file in the Democratic primary as early as next week. She could not immediately be reached for comment. Valdez, the state’s first gay female Hispanic sheriff, wrested […]

Five out of six ain’t bad

Five Democratic candidates for six statewide judicial positions, all from Harris County. Four state district and county-level judges from Harris County and a Houston civil-litigation lawyer filed for seats on the Texas Supreme Court and the state Court of Criminal Appeals at state Democratic headquarters. “The only time they open the courts is when it […]

Endorsement watch: HISD and HCC runoffs

In two of the three runoffs on the ballot, the Chron endorsed candidates who did not make the cut. As early voting begins for the runoffs, they make their new choices and reiterate the one they got right. Houston Community College System, trustee, District IX: Pretta VanDible Stallworth Experience as a teacher in higher education […]

Texas blog roundup for the week of November 27

The Texas Progressive Alliance is stocked up on leftovers as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Andrew White “on the brink” of announcing for Governor

We’ll know shortly, but it seems to me that if the answer was going to be “nah, I’m outta here” we wouldn’t be hearing pre-announcement teasers. Houston entrepreneur Andrew White, a conservative Democrat and son of the late former Gov. Mark White, is close to announcing he will become a candidate for Texas governor. Supporters […]

The 100-year-storm isn’t what it used to be

They’re bigger. More than three months after Hurricane Harvey battered southeast Texas with unprecedented and costly flooding, an analysis of rainfall trends across Texas suggests the standards used to develop floodplain regulations, map flood zones and design flood control projects routinely underestimate the severity of the Houston area’s downpours. That analysis by the National Oceanic […]

Nobody likes Smokey Joe any more

Pobrecito. One day after a group of local Republicans met privately with U.S. Rep. Joe Barton about a nude photo of him that ended up online — and his political future — a number of Tarrant County Republicans are calling on the longtime congressman to not seek re-election. “Since Mr. Barton’s highly-publicized issues have come […]

Early voting for HISD and HCC runoffs begins today

From the inbox: Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart announced today that nine Early Voting locations will open starting Nov. 29 where eligible voters may cast a ballot during the early voting period for theDecember 9, 2017 Joint Runoff Election. The Early Voting Period for the Runoff Election runs from Nov. 29 to Dec. 2 and resumes Dec. 4 to Dec. 5. “To […]

Rep. Al Green’s revelation

Not totally sure what to make of this. More than a decade ago, Congressman Al Green had a “romantic encounter” with a former aide in Houston, which later led to an allegation of sexual assault and talk of lawsuits and employee discrimination. As quickly as the incident popped up, it quieted down in a 2008 […]

Houston’s health care costs

Because dealing with pensions wasn’t enough. Taxpayers also face a $2.1 billion liability for retiree health care costs in the coming decades, and Houston – like many state and local governments – has not set aside a penny to pay for those promises. This burden is the city’s “next major long-term fiscal challenge,” according to […]

Hey, how about another opponent for Ted Cruz?

Sure, why not? At first blush, it appeared that former La Marque Mayor Geraldine Sam filed as a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate because she was mad at incumbent Ted Cruz. As a delegate to the Republican National Convention last summer, she unloaded on Cruz when he made a prime-time speech and declined to endorse […]

Post-holiday weekend filing update

Pulling this together from various sources. – According to the Brazoria County Democratic Party, Beto O’Rourke has company in the primary for Senate. Sema Hernandez, whose campaign Facebook page describes her as a “Berniecrat progressive” from Houston, is a candidate as well. I’d not seen or heard her name before this, and neither she nor […]

A little concern trolling from the WSJ

This is a story that tries to stir up concerns about all those Democratic Congressional candidates spending money and energy running against each other in the primaries. I flagged it mostly because of the CD07 content at the end. In Houston, the Seventh Congressional District is ethnically diverse, well-educated, suburban and includes some of the […]

Downtown of the Future

It’s very futuristic. City planners’ ambitious 20-year vision for downtown Houston includes more of everything that has transformed the central business district into a more vibrant destination. More apartments, restaurants and shops. More walkable parks and attractions. More innovative startups and Fortune 500 businesses. But with new technological advances and cultural shifts, Central Houston Inc. […]

Weekend link dump for November 26

You tell me there’s an inhabitable planet within feasible travelling distance, I’m so there. “So if you’re feeling adventurous, here’s how you can make your very own roast Facehugger“. “Targeted ads that seem to follow you everywhere online may soon be doing the same on your TV.” So, when are people going to start calling […]

Republicans are worried about Culberson

They should be, though I bet they wish they didn’t have to be at this point in the cycle. Republican strategists are warning that some of the party’s veteran House incumbents aren’t adequately preparing for the 2018 election, putting the GOP majority at risk by their failure to recognize the dangerous conditions facing them. Nearly […]

Sports betting at SCOTUS

A case you might want to watch. Internet gambling in the United States has been limited to just three states since it began in 2013, but it could soon get a big boost from an unlikely source: the U.S. Supreme Court. Some gambling industry officials, regulators and analysts think that a favorable ruling by the […]

The last American baseball glove maker

Cool story, if you overlook the obnoxious Trump references. Baseball gloves, like many other things, aren’t really made in America anymore. In the 1960s, production shifted to Asia and never came back. It might be America’s favorite pastime, and few things are more personal to baseball-lovers than their first glove — the smell, the feel, […]

Saturday video break: So Far Away

Here’s Carole King performing one of her many hits from Tapestry: I’m always entertained to see James Taylor with long hair, because by the 80s he had become such a short-haired clean-cut type. According to the comments on this video, the show at which this was recorded was before Tapestry was released; Carole King opened […]

Harris County to consider floodplain regulations change

Seems like a good idea to me. Nearly three months after Hurricane Harvey, Harris County is proposing using 500-year floodplains instead of 100-year floodplains for new development, the first significant overhaul of county elevation requirements in nearly two decades. The regulations, which still must be approved by Commissioners Court, would force developers to build new […]

Early Congressional odds

Decision Desk provides an early view of the 2018 Congressional election. The 2018 House Midterm Election is bound to be one of the more interesting in recent memory. With Donald Trump in the White House, infighting on both sides of Congress, and an American public that is bursting at the seams we have a recipe […]

You’ve never seen Smokey Joe quite like this before

Oh my bleeping God. U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Ennis, released a statement on Wednesday apologizing for a graphic nude photo of him that circulated on social media earlier this week. “While separated from my second wife, prior to the divorce, I had sexual relationships with other mature adult women,” he said. “Each was consensual. Those […]

Friday random ten: Blue bayou, part 3

One more for the holidays. 1. Blue Sky – The Allman Brothers Band 2. Blue State Girl – Michael Clem 3. Blue Uniforms – Yung 4. Bluebird – Tufts Bellzebubs 5. Bluebonnets – Clandestine 6. Blues For A Graying Walrus – Trinity University Jazz Band 7. Blues Music – G. Love & Special Sauce 8. […]

Rep. Walle files for re-election, not CD29

From the inbox: State Representative Armando Walle (D-Houston) released the following statement to announce his run for re-election to the Texas House of Representatives: After much consultation and consideration with my family, friends, and community, I have decided to run for re-election to the Texas House to represent House District 140 for my sixth term. […]

Federal court permanently blocks Trump “sanctuary cities” order

Good. A federal judge has permanently blocked President Trump’s efforts to bar cities that limit cooperation with U.S. immigration forces from receiving funding, the most decisive blow yet to the White House’s efforts to crack down on so-called sanctuary cities. In a ruling issued Monday, U.S. District Court Judge William Orrick ruled Trump’s January executive […]

Abortion procedure ban struck down

Good news, for now. A federal district judge handed a victory to abortion rights groups Wednesday when he struck down part of a Texas law curbing access to the most common second-trimester abortion procedure, called dilation and evacuation. In a decision that will be appealed before the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge Lee […]

Abandon hope, all ye who drive here

Just stay away. Far, far away. Houston’s worst chokepoint is about to be a construction zone for the next five or six years, in the hopes that drivers eventually reap the rewards. Federal, state and local lawmakers gathered Monday on the HOV ramp overlooking the Loop 610 interchange with Interstate 69 near Uptown, to kick […]

Add Boykins to the “mulling a run for Governor” list

The line forms to the left. As Democrats look for a serious candidate to challenge Gov. Greg Abbott in 2018, another big-city official is surfacing as a potential contender: Dwight Boykins, a member of the Houston City Council. “I have had an opportunity to travel across our great state and meet a lot of hardworking […]

An incomplete filing update

First, a little Republican action in CD02. Hurricane Harvey is reshaping congressional campaigns in Houston. When the flood waters socked the Meyerland area, it also washed out the home of former hospital CEO David Balat, a Republican, who was hoping to unseat fellow Republican and current U.S. Rep. John Culberson, R-Houston. “Like so many people, […]

Texas blog roundup for the week of November 20

The Texas Progressive Alliance wishes everyone a Happy Thanksgiving as it brings you this week’s roundup.

There’s scared and there’s strategy

What we’re seeing from the GOP is some of both. Republicans are beginning to worry that a “blue wave” of Democratic voters angry with the Trump administration could crash into the 2018 election, even in the deep red state of Texas. Gov. Greg Abbott’s top campaign adviser and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick are both sounding […]

The First Amendment remains in effect in Fort Bend

For now, at least. Karen Fonseca, the owner of a white truck at the center of a social media dispute with Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls, is considering a civil rights lawsuit against the sheriff’s office. Fonseca’s attorney, Brian Middleton, made the announcement during a press conference on Monday. Middleton added that the American […]

That decline in international students is here

We knew it was coming. UHCL is among several universities around Texas that this year have seen a sharp drop in international enrollment, as the number of international student applications to four-year public universities has plummeted by more than 10,000 after three years of growth, according to recently compiled data. Experts and college administrators blame […]

Early voting set for HISD and HCC runoffs

Here’s the schedule and locations. Note that while the early vote period covers a week, from Wednesday, November 29 through Tuesday, December 5, there are only six days to vote, as there is no voting on Sunday the 3rd. Runoff Day itself is Saturday, December 9, which may be a bit complicated in my neck […]