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Posts Tagged ‘Congress’

State ordered to pay fees in redistricting litigation

They don’t seem to be interested in doing that, however. In a scolding tone, a federal appeals court panel in Washington, D.C., ordered the state of Texas on Tuesday to pay more than $1 million in attorneys’ fees in a case challenging district boundaries drawn by the Republican-led Legislature. First under the direction of then-Texas […]

Voter ID may have had broader effects than we thought

Interesting. Texas’ strict voter identification requirements kept many would-be voters in a Hispanic-majority congressional district from going to the polls last November — including many who had proper IDs — a new survey shows. And the state’s voter ID law – coupled with lackluster voter education efforts – might have shaped the outcome of a […]

The future of Fort Bend transit

Public transportation in Fort Bend County has grown quite a bit since its inception, and there’s a lot of potential for future growth if the pieces can be put into place. On Tuesday, county leaders, staff and transit partners gathered in Richmond to celebrate the rapid evolution of the Fort Bend Public Transportation Department since […]

Where are the ladies?

Not in Congress, where only three of the 36 members Texas sends to the House are of the female persuasion. Week after week at the U.S. Capitol, the Republican congressional delegation from Texas gathers for a ritual Thursday lunch. And year after year, U.S. Rep. Kay Granger of Fort Worth has been the lone woman […]

Metro and Culberson announce the terms of their agreement

Gotta say, this all sounds pretty good. First, Congressman Culberson supports METRO’s proposed legislation pending in the State Legislature that expands the size of the METRO Board, increases the eligible length of Board member service and allows the existing board to elect a chairman in October with an odd initial term. These changes will help […]

Another redistricting update

Once again from Russ Tidwell, writing at Letters from Texas. The three judge federal panel in San Antonio is nearing a final decision on redistricting litigation for the Texas House and congressional delegation. As previously discussed here, multiple weeks of trial have provided a mountain of evidence of intentional discrimination and dilution of the opportunity […]

Metro reaches detente with Culberson

Holy cow! Metro and U.S. Rep. John Culberson have called a truce in their war over a planned light rail line on Richmond Avenue, suggesting an end to an impasse that has stymied local transit development. Culberson, a Republican from Houston, has stood in the way of the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s federal funding efforts for […]

Will the high speed rail opponents get a bill passed?

Seems unlikely at this point, but I wouldn’t count them out. “The vast majority of the folks between Dallas and Houston are against it,” said Kyle Workman, president of the recently formed Texans Against High-Speed Rail. “They don’t want their land to be taken. They don’t want a train going through their quiet country landscape.” […]

SCOTUS rejects North Carolina redistricting

Of interest. On Monday, the Supreme Court vacated a ruling from North Carolina’s highest court that had upheld Republican-drawn maps of the state’s congressional and legislative districts. While we don’t yet know what the final outcome will be, the court’s decision could have a real impact on one of the most aggressively partisan gerrymanders in […]

More on the potential Hillary effect in Texas

From the Trib, from shortly before Hillary Clinton made her official announcement. 2. She could resuscitate Texas’ Democratic farm teams. Beyond the presidency, Democrats are betting on gains in the U.S. House in 2016. They’ve got nowhere to go, they say, but up. And the notion of a Clinton atop the ticket is a recruitment […]

High speed rail opponents go to Congress

Here’s a press release from Texans Against High Speed Rail: Lawmakers in Austin who represent thousands of Texans along the proposed Dallas Houston high-speed rail project being promoted by Texas Central Railway (TCR) have officially requested opposition to the project from the Texas delegation in Washington, DC. With an application to the federal level Surface […]

Gallego-Hurd 2.0 is on

As anticipated. As expected, former U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego will seek to win back the congressional seat he lost to current U.S. Rep. Will Hurd. Hurd, R-San Antonio, ousted Gallego, D-Alpine, by a 2-point margin in 2014. The race for the 23rd Congressional District is likely to be Texas’ most exciting federal race in the […]

National Dems say they’re looking at Farenthold’s seat

I’ll believe it when I see it. The hunt is on in Southeast Texas for a Democrat to challenge U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi. At first glance, it might seem like an absurd notion; Farenthold won re-election by a 2-to-1 margin in 2014. But some Democrats say they have designs on the seat because […]

Cruz may go on Obamacare

Go ahead, laugh it up. You know you want to. Ted Cruz, one of the loudest critics of Obamacare, will soon be using it for health insurance coverage. “We will presumably go on the exchange and sign up for health care and we’re in the process of transitioning over to do that,” Cruz, a Republican […]

Sports betting

There may soon come a day when you can place a bet on your favorite team without having to travel, visit offshore Internet websites, or interact with people who don’t have necks. [NBA Commissioner Adam] Silver, in a November op-ed submission to the New York Times, said he supports federal regulation creating “a safe and […]

Farenthold replies to the lawsuit against his office

Here we go. U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi, has formally denied a former employee’s claims that he sexually harassed and discriminated against her. Instead, he fired the staffer for “poor performance and failure to report to work,” his legal team said in federal court filings Thursday. Lauren Greene, Farenthold’s former communications director, alleges “gender […]

The Fair BEER Act

I’m in. The act would reform the federal beer tax imposed on brewers and beer importers and give a special boost to small brewers. The idea is to create a laddered rate that is based on how much a brewer produces, much the same way the income tax rate is higher the more money you […]

Gallego/Hurd 2.0 seems likely

I won’t be surprised. A congressional rematch may be nigh in southwest Texas. National Democrats still reeling from their midterm clobbering are intent on picking up seats in 2016, and their eyes already are on Texas’ only competitive congressional district, the 23rd. U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, R-San Antonio, won the seat by a mere 2,422 […]

The Farenthold files

The Farenthold lawsuit continues to have promise as the underrated scandal of the year. In his first interview since the suit was filed in December, [Rep. Blake] Farenthold said he was shocked by the allegations made by Lauren Greene, the former staffer. “I was surprised,” he said. “I didn’t imagine us having any problems in […]

Flying to Cuba

You can get there from Houston, or at least you will be able to soon. United Airlines made it clear Thursday it intends to offer regular commercial flights between the U.S. and Cuba, saying it would look to offer service from its Houston and Newark hubs to the Caribbean island. The Chicago-based carrier’s statement came […]

Louie, Louie

Great news, everyone. Christmas isn’t over yet. U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Tyler, announced Sunday morning that he will challenge House Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio to be the leader of the House Republicans. Gohmert is, for now, likely a long-shot threat to Boehner. But two years ago, Boehner won re-election as speaker by one […]

Ty McDonald for HD17

As you know, the special election to replace Rep. Tim Kleinschmidt in HD17 has been set for January 6, with early voting to begin on December 29. This is the same schedule as the elections in HD123 and SD26. As you also know, I have been an advocate for running a Democrat in HD17, on […]

I’ll see you in C-U-B-A

Among the many likely winners of the new US policy towards Cuba will be the city of Houston. As an established travel gateway to Latin America and the Caribbean, Houston is positioned to benefit from any potential easing of tourism restrictions in Cuba. “There’s a lot of fascination with Cuba,” said Michelle Weller, a travel […]

Lawsuit filed against the office of Rep. Blake Farenthold

Um, wow. A woman who worked for U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold filed a federal lawsuit against his congressional office, alleging she experienced gender-based discrimination and that a hostile work environment prompted her termination in July. Former Communications Director Lauren Greene alleges that Farenthold, the two-term Republican from Corpus Christi, made lewd and inappropriate comments, according […]

Romo to run in SD26

The race to succeed Sen. Leticia Van de Putte just got a little more interesting. Sylvia Romo, former tax assessor-collector for Bexar County, on Tuesday morning entered the race to replace state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, bringing to four the number of candidates in the special election for Senate District 26. For […]

Please get a flu shot

It’s always a good idea, even if it’s more effective in some years than in others. The flu vaccine may not be very effective this winter, according to U.S. health officials who worry this may lead to more serious illnesses and deaths. Flu season has begun to ramp up, and officials say the vaccine does […]

Steve Stockman may leave Congress but his stench will linger

Steve Stockman, ladies and gentlemen. When Rep. Steve Stockman won a long-shot bid in 2012 to return to the House of Representatives, he credited a dream team of tech-savvy volunteers who worked long hours and slept on the floor of a cluttered Webster motorcycle-repair shop that was eventually shut down for building-code violations. At the […]

DCCC wants Gallego for a rematch in 2016

No surprise here. Rep. Pete Gallego lost his re-election bid two weeks ago — and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is already pushing for him to run in 2016, Roll Call reports. Gallego, a freshman Democrat from Alpine, was unseated by Republican Will Hurd by about 2,000 votes. Hurd, a former CIA operative, will now […]

Kleinschmidt to resign in HD17

Just in case you thought there weren’t enough special elections on the horizon. Newly elected Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller is reaching out to a former House colleague to fill a key staff position in his new administration. A source close to the Miller transition team said Friday afternoon that Miller reached out to state Rep. […]

Paper ballots make a comeback

From the Everything Old Is New Again department: States have abandoned electronic voting machines in droves, ensuring that most voters will be casting their ballots by hand on Election Day. With many electronic voting machines more than a decade old, and states lacking the funding to repair or replace them, officials have opted to return […]

The Battleground effect in legislative races

So here’s a crazy idea. Rather than judge Battleground Texas by our own beliefs about how things should have gone, what say we take a look at the actual numbers of a few races and see what they tell us? In particular, let’s look at the numbers in the Blue Star Project races, which were […]

First impressions of the 2014 results

My initial thoughts, for what they are worth. – Let me begin by saying that for all the criticism I had of the UT/Texas Trib’s polling and the skepticism of Internet-sample methodology, they were fairly accurate in the end. In particular, the last YouGov result just about nailed it. I still think what they do […]

Endorsement watch: DMN drops the ball

The Dallas Morning News got off to a good start as it wrapped up its election endorsements by making the crystal-clear case for Leticia Van de Putte. There are a couple of ways to keep your house warm this winter. You could choose the reliable heater you’ve known for years. Or you could keep gasoline […]

Saving SD10 and other benchmarks

The Observer looks at the race to succeed Wendy Davis in SD10. It’s a steamy, hot summer morning in the Metroplex, and at the Dixie House, a Southern-style diner in east Ft. Worth where gravy flows like water, Libby Willis can’t find a moment to dig into her eggs and hash. She’s too excited about […]