Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

Posts Tagged ‘El Paso’

Greg Abbott sure doesn’t like whistleblowers

He sure does seem to have a lot of them, though. The office of Attorney General Greg Abbott — the Republican gubernatorial candidate — is appealing a whistleblower’s lawsuit and $1.2 million verdict, arguing that an El Paso jury was wrong when it decided that the agency fired an employee in retaliation for alerting supervisors […]

Interview with Rep. Mary Gonzalez

We’re one week out from the start of early voting, and barring anything unexpected the interviews I present this week will be the last ones I do for the primary cycle. I’ll have interviews with two of the Democratic candidates for Ag Commissioner later, but today I’m stepping away from Houston and going all the […]

Gallup’s poll of Latinos in Texas

I have four things to say about this. Texas Hispanics are decidedly Democratic in their political party preferences, 46% to 27%, but that 19-percentage-point Democratic advantage is much smaller in Texas than the average 30-point gap Democrats enjoy among the Hispanic population in the other 49 states. And white Texas residents are decidedly more Republican […]

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 […]

How Greg Abbott enabled the payday lenders

The Lone Star Project kicks it off: Abbott’s Green Light to Predatory Lenders Key AG document provided payday lenders a loophole to bilk Texans Greg Abbott’s office issued the key document that has allowed payday lenders to operate outside of Texas usury laws and exploit Texans across our state. A letter issued from the office of the Attorney General carefully […]

The fox has always guarded the henhouse

News item: Rick Perry appointee says something obnoxious and privileged about the people his company fleeces for his fortune. The official who oversees Texas’ consumer watchdog says payday-loan customers — not the lenders — are responsible when the loans trap them in a cycle of debt. William J. White says it’s out of line to […]

More primary thoughts

I wonder if Big John Cornyn will come to rue this interview. BDS: At the kickoff for your reelection campaign in November, Governor Perry said that you are “the epitome of what I look for in a U.S. senator.” He has certainly been embraced by members of the tea party. But in your speech you […]

The cities versus the payday lenders

The Observer writes about representatives from Texas cities getting together to talk about how to fight the scourge of payday lenders. The conference panel on Thursday was an opportunity for city officials from around the state to share advice and encouragement. The panel included Austin City Councilman Bill Spelman and legal advisors from Austin, Denton […]

Texas cities embracing bicycles

It’s a good thing. In Fort Worth, the mayor hosts occasional bicycle rides called “Rolling Town Halls.” The Dallas City Council could may soon require new businesses to set aside space for bicycle parking. Over in El Paso, officials are developing plans for a bike-share system, which is expected to be the fifth such program […]

We may have our first Democratic statewide candidate

And it’s John Cook, outgoing Mayor of El Paso. Former El Paso Mayor John Cook will seek the Democratic nomination for Texas land commissioner in 2014, he told the El Paso Times Wednesday night. “I think it’s an embarrassment to the city of El Paso, being one of the largest cities in the United States, […]

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 […]

AusChron profiles Rep. Mary Gonzalez

It’s fair to say that freshman State Rep. Mary Gonzalez from HD75 in El Paso is not your typical first-term legislator. The Austin Chronicle has a nice chat with her. Only the second openly gay rep to serve in the Legislature (former Austin Rep. Glen Maxey was the first), she describes herself as “pansexual” – […]

City wants the Lege to deal with payday lending

That’s what came out of the presentation to Council on payday lending on Tuesday. Houston leaders say they will wait to see whether the Legislature acts during its current session before voting on their proposal. Mayor Annise Parker has said the industry “cries out for regulation” and called the state’s failure to do so “disgraceful.” […]

Who gets the water?

This will be worth watching. A simple idea has guided appropriations of Texas water for decades: First come, first served. Now, with drought conditions returning to almost the entire state, the principle is being put to the test by a fight over water in the Brazos River. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is withholding […]

Did Ted Cruz do better in Latino areas than other Republicans?

Lisa Falkenberg drops the following tidbit in her post-election column on why the GOP in general and in Texas needs to figure out how to appeal to Latino voters. In Texas, the best data so far show a 70-30 split for Obama among Hispanic voters, according to Rice University political science chairman Mark Jones. Romney […]

Desalinization and power plants

The Trib has another story about desalinization in Texas, and reading it brings up a point that I don’t think gets enough attention. Interest in desalination surged more than a decade ago, when the technology became more efficient and cost-competitive, according to Jorge Arroyo, a desalination specialist with the Texas Water Development Board. But the […]

Interview with Rep. Silvestre Reyes

As discussed last week, we now enter a period in which I will be publishing some number of interviews with Congressional candidates in contested Democratic primaries around Texas. There’s a lot of interesting and high-profile races and I’d love to talk to everybody, but that’s not going to happen. I hope to have as many […]

Two water stories

The future of Texas’ water supply sure is a hot topic in the papers these days. I hope that continues after we start getting normal rainfall again. Story One is about desalinization: For El Paso and a growing number of Texas cities, the question isn’t whether they have enough water, but what price people are […]

More on the domestic partner benefits fight in El Paso

The Trib covers the fight over domestic partner benefits in El Paso. Pastor Tom Brown wants homosexuals to repent and turn to Christ. He certainly does not want them to be given taxpayer-financed health benefits. Brown, the charismatic leader of Word of Life Church, an independent evangelical congregation of about 1,500 members, is on a […]

Keep an eye on El Paso

While we celebrate the advancement of civil rights in San Antonio, we must keep in mind that these fights are never truly over. The El Paso City Council voted to extend health insurance to domestic partnerships in 2009, but that was overturned at the ballot box last November. Undaunted, Council passed another ordinance in June, […]

Not a drop to drink

I have two questions regarding this Trib story about the dire drought situation in Odessa. The city of Odessa, facing a dire drought situation, is looking to an unlikely example for help in finding water: the desert city of El Paso. Water pressure in Odessa dropped in August, and residents can only water their lawns […]

No grass, no problems

Texas is in the midst of one its worst droughts ever, yet one of the more arid cities in the state is seeing no noticeable drop in its reservoirs. How is that possible? Simple: They got rid of lawns years ago. For decades this city in far West Texas defied the look of most desert […]

Gallego to run for CD23 and other updates

State Rep. Pete Gallego has decided to run for Congress in CD23. Gallego first won election to the Texas House in 1990 and has chaired various committees and also been part of the Democratic leadership, doing time as head of the House Democratic and the Mexican American Legislative Caucuses. That’s made him known to state […]

“America’s largest city with no pro sports teams”

This Houston Press lamentation about the city of Austin contained the following tidbit that caught my eye: Austin is America’s largest city with no pro sports teams (though some would debate the amateur status of the Texas Longhorns). Well, that depends on how you define “city”, and on how you define “pro”. I presume they […]

New map, new opportunities: Travis, Bexar, El Paso

On to the urban counties. I’m grouping these three together because there’s really only one opportunity in each, and none of them are truly “new”. But never mind that. Let’s look at some data. District: 47 Incumbent: Paul Workman (first elected in 2010) County: Travis Best 2008 Dem performance: Barack Obama, 44.75% HD47 was the […]

Abbott declines to offer transgender marriage opinion

Remember this, from back in May? The El Paso County attorney wants the state’s top lawyer to tell her whether she can issue a marriage certificate to a woman and a biological male who had a sex change operation to become a woman. County Attorney Jo Anne Bernal, in a letter sent last month, asked […]

San Antonio smoking ban protests

The proposal to strengthen the smoking ban in San Antonio has drawn protest from a previously silent constituency. LULAC, the San Antonio Mixed Beverage Association, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the San Antonio Restaurant Association joined forces to create the Save Our Jobs Alliance. The coalition opposes strengthening the city’s […]

If you thought gay marriage was contentious

The Attorney General is being asked for an opinion on transgender marriage. The El Paso County attorney wants the state’s top lawyer to tell her whether she can issue a marriage certificate to a woman and a biological male who had a sex change operation to become a woman. County Attorney Jo Anne Bernal, in […]

Gay-baiting in the HD76 runoff

I had not paid much attention to the Democratic primary runoff in El Paso’s HD76, which is the only Democratic legislative runoff on the ballot. I don’t have a strong opinion one way or the other about the incumbent, Rep. Norma Chavez, and all I really knew up till now about her challenger, Naomi Gonzalez, […]

Shapleigh’s successor

Via Greg, the El Paso Times runs down the possible contenders for the to-be-vacated Senate seat of Eliot Shapleigh. Potential Democratic candidates include County Attorney José Rodríguez and state Reps. Joe Pickett and Norma Chávez. Two Republicans, businessman Dee Margo and former state Rep. Pat Haggerty, also said they were interested in succeeding Shapleigh. Margo, […]

Shapleigh not running for re-election

This is a big loss for the Senate, but there’s a potential upside that’s even bigger. State Sen. Eliot Shapleigh, El Paso’s tireless adovcate for the poor and underpriveleged, announced today that he will not be running for re-election in 2010. “While other public service may lie ahead, I will not run for the Texas […]

Here come stimulus money

The first batch of funds is arriving. The Department of Housing and Urban Development allocated more than $500 million to Texas cities and counties on Monday, part of a wave of stimulus money expected to flow into the state. Federal officials released $14.4 million more to support 12 Texas health centers, many of which provide […]

The border camera boondoggle blues

Your tax dollars at work, courtesy of Governor Perry. A virtual border surveillance program Gov. Rick Perry has committed millions of taxpayer dollars to fell far short of expectations during the first six months of operation. Border sheriffs, who Perry gave $2 million to line the Texas-Mexico border with hundreds of Web cameras, installed only […]