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Posts Tagged ‘Dallas County’

Don’t expect the Harris County Clerk to be ready for the SCOTUS same sex marriage ruling

The Press follows up on a question that we have examined before. [Harris County Clerk Stan] Stanart isn’t planning on staying open later or doing anything to prepare to handle an influx of same-sex couples should the Supremes decide in favor of gay marriage, and he doesn’t seem concerned about getting the right application forms […]

One Ratliff wants to come back

Rubber match in HD115. Bennett Ratliff will run for the Dallas-area House seat he lost to state Rep. Matt Rinaldi by just 92 votes in the 2014 GOP primary, the Coppell Republican announced Monday. “What the district has noticed is that there is a huge contrast between our records,” Ratliff, a civil engineer and longtime […]

TPJ refiles complaint against Paxton

We’ll see if they have any better luck this time. Texans for Public Justice on Monday re-filed its criminal complaint against Attorney General Ken Paxton with local prosecutors in Dallas and Collin Counties, arguing the latter should recuse himself because of conflict of interest concerns. “Mr. Paxton’s conduct demands a thorough and independent investigation,” Craig […]

On BGTX, Wendy Davis, and the future

This has been a pretty busy Christmas break, as far as blog-worthy news has gone, so in order to preserve the small illusion that I’m taking a breather and recharging my batteries, I’m just going to give three quick thoughts on this Observer postmortem of the 2014 election and Battleground Texas, which you really should […]

How much do payday lenders suck?

This much. Pursuing, or even threatening, criminal charges against payday and title borrowers is strictly prohibited by Texas law, with very few exceptions. The Texas Constitution unequivocally states, “No person shall ever be imprisoned for debt.” But new research released this morning by Texas Appleseed shows that criminal charges against payday borrowers for missing payments […]

What will the clerks do?

Some of Texas’ county clerks are making plans to accommodate same-sex marriage license applicants in the event that federal judge Orlando Garcia lifts the stay on his ruling that tossed out the state’s ban on same-sex nuptials. Some other clerks are planning to be jerks about it. Jeff Nicholson, chief deputy for Tarrant County Clerk […]

A look at how Democratic legislative challengers did against the spread

It’s been long enough since the election that I feel like I can go back and look at some numbers. Not a whole lot of good out there, but we’ll try to learn what we can. To start off, here are all of the Democratic non-incumbent candidates for the State House and a comparison of […]

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 […]

The two Dallas districts to watch

There’s HD105: Hispanics make up 41 percent of Irving’s population — up from 31 percent in 2000 and 16 percent in 1990, when the white population topped 71 percent, according to figures from 2010, the latest available. White residents make up 31 percent of Irving, Asians 14 percent and blacks 12 percent. The changing demographics […]

2014 Day Three EV totals

But first, a little angst. I feel a bit uncomfortable after Day Two of Early Voting in Person. Here are a couple of concerning tweets from yesterday: Scott Braddock ‏@scottbraddock 2h2 hours ago Those Harris County early vote totals are not good for Democrats. *If* Texas is a battleground, #Houston is ground zero #TxLege And: […]

More on the voter registration numbers

Wayne Slater has a contrarian perspective on the voter registration numbers. Getting new voters begins with registering new people. When the secretary of state last week announced a record-high 14 million Texans are registered to vote, Battleground Texas trumpeted that number as evidence their efforts are working. Not so much, it turns out, according to […]

Voter registration numbers are up

Some good news here. The number of Texans registered to vote in the state’s five largest counties increased by 2 percent since 2012, a reversal of the decline in total voter registrations that was seen before the last midterm election. Nearly 150,000 more Texans in these counties are eligible to vote in November’s election between […]

It’s about more than the Davis campaign

Gromer Jeffers highlighted something recently that I think hasn’t gotten enough attention. In her race for Texas governor, Wendy Davis’ sisters have her back. I’m not talking about her biological family. Davis is getting support from a group of female House candidates who are piggybacking on her policy proposals and helping her take aim at […]

White return flight

Some interesting demographic trends going on. Between 2000 and 2010, [Harris] county, like much of the U.S., saw a sharp decline of its white population, losing about 12 percent of Anglos or about 83,000 people. The drop mirrors demographic shifts across the nation as white birthrates have slowed. But in the past three years, Harris […]

A Greg Abbott threefer

Trail Blazers: Dallas appeals court rules fired prosecutor can pursue whistleblowing case against Greg Abbott’s office In May 2009, a former assistant attorney general in Greg Abbott’s office sued the Office of the Attorney General in Dallas County court, claiming she’d been fired for refusing to lie under oath about a Dallas County judge. Five […]

Early voting, one (six day) week in

We have one week completed for early voting, though it was only a six day week thanks to the Presidents Day holiday. Here are the daily totals from the County Clerk. Republicans continue to be the majority of early voters in Harris County, by almost a 3-1 margin. I thought it might be interesting to […]

If we must have voter ID, let’s make sure people know about it

The Democratic Senators from Harris County write a letter to County Clerk Stan Stanart. Three Houston state senators are asking Harris County officials to emulate Dallas County’s voter outreach efforts tied to Texas’ new voter identification law. State Sens. Rodney Ellis, Sylvia Garcia and John Whitmire — all Democrats — wrote a letter on Monday […]

What’s at stake in the Democratic primaries

I’ve had my fun poking holes in Mark Jones’ ridiculous argument that we should all just vote in the Republican primary, but now it’s time to talk about the Democratic primary and why these races matter. US Senate On Monday and Tuesday I published interviews with Mike Fjetland and Maxey Scherr. I wish I could […]

Thanksgiving weekend voter ID update

Some statistics to throw some cold water on the claims that there were “no problems” with the voter ID law. Delays at the polls this month due to glitches with voters’ identifications could signal a bigger problem to come next year, when many more turn out for state and county elections. Thousands of voters had […]

We need a Conviction Integrity Unit in Harris County

From the DMN: Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins has gained a national reputation for spearheading prisoner exonerations. As he prepares to seek a third term, Watkins said Thursday he wants to expand on that role and add a few others. … Watkins, a Democrat who was first elected in 2006, gained attention for using […]

Affidavits everywhere

Dallas County. At least one out of every seven early voters in Dallas County has had to sign an affidavit verifying his or her identity as part of Texas’ new voter ID law. Though no one in Dallas County has been prevented from voting — or even forced to cast a provisional ballot — because […]

Texas Supreme Court to hear gay divorce case

That sound you hear is a big can of worms being opened. The Texas Supreme Court announced Friday that it will determine whether same-sex couples, legally married in other states, can be granted a divorce in Texas. The cases, involving couples from Austin and Dallas, will be the first test of Texas’ ban on same-sex […]

Dallas County to sue state over voter ID

The shoe is on the other foot. Democratic Dallas County commissioners narrowly agreed [Tuesday] afternoon to join a lawsuit against Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry over state efforts to enforce a controversial voter identification law. Democratic Commissioner Elba Garcia stepped out of the partisan fray inextricably linked to the national debate on voter ID laws […]

Texas really needs Obamacare

We’ve always known that Texas would be a huge beneficiary of the Affordable Care Act because of our huge volume of uninsured people, but this quantifies it in a way that really brings it home. Texas is home to more than two-thirds of the nation’s 30 counties most in need of expanded health insurance coverage, […]

Credit cards at the Tax Assessor’s office

If you’ve paid your vehicle registration fees in person at the Harris County Tax Assessor’s office, you’ve had to bring cash or check to do so, because they don’t accept credit cards for that. Thankfully, that’s about to change. More than a decade after the office began accepting credit and debit cards for property tax […]

Why a special session on redistricting won’t resolve anything

From Texas Redistricting: Intentional Fragmentation  In the other parts of the map, redistricting plaintiffs contend that the Texas Legislature intentionally diluted African-American and Hispanic voting strength by fragmenting cohesive communities. This fragmentation, they argue, is especially pronounced in the DFW Metroplex, where the court-drawn interim map (Plan H309) adopted the Texas Legislature’s map (Plan H283) […]

Cities generally ignore Abbott’s domestic partnership opinion

Good for them. Attorney General Greg Abbott’s opinion [last] week, while not binding, is the latest of several challenges to same-sex benefits across the country that so far have had mixed results in the courts and prompted changes after officials in other states took action. In Texas, local governments from El Paso to San Antonio […]

Not just Austin, dammit

What Flavia Isabel says: The single purpose of this post is to eradicate the phrase “Oh yeah, Austin is a blue dot in a sea of red” from the vocabulary of anybody who cares about turning Texas blue. I am so incredibly sick and tired of hearing this refrain. It’s part of the Austin mythology. […]

As if you needed another reason to support Medicaid expansion

Even more data on why Medicaid expansion makes sense from Texas Impact. The study, by former Texas deputy comptroller Billy Hamilton, says Texas shouldn’t pass up the chance to insure up to 2 million of its more than 6 million uninsured people. Hamilton cited other benefits. Expansion of the Medicaid rolls would “provide relief to […]

Working the county Medicaid expansion angle

As statewide Medicaid expansion is being pushed in Austin, some activists are going to various County Commissioners Courts to push for the county option to expand Medicaid as well. “A broad spectrum of people across business, faith and health care communities are coming together to ask that we find a way to draw down these […]

SOS ups the ante against Sumners

It’s getting real at the Tax Assessor’s office. Harris County election officials got a bit of a surprise Friday morning when they attempted to open the county’s spending account on the Texas Secretary of State’s office website and found their access blocked. State officials have temporarily cut off the county’s voter registration funding. “We received […]

Weekend redistricting update

One more plaintiff has signed on to the Abbott map deal. The Mexican American Legislative Caucus is now joining the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund in saying that the state-backed Congressional District 35, a proposed new district that runs from Austin to San Antonio, is “constitutionally permissible,” according to the caucus’s chairman, state […]

CSAPR stayed

There was some bad news at the end of the year. A federal court ordered [last] Friday that the Environmental Protection Agency’s controversial cross-state air pollution rule be stayed — to the delight of Texas officials and the chagrin of environmentalists. The rule, which sought to reduce sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions from power […]