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Posts Tagged ‘Election 2014’

Paxton’s cronies

This guy really is a piece of work. When seeking a job at the Texas attorney general’s office, it’s less about what is on your résumé than who you know. In Attorney General Ken Paxton’s first weeks in office, he filled his higher ranks with at least 14 people connected to him and other prominent […]

Abbott would like to restore the uninsured rate

It’s what he does. Greg Abbott on Monday urged his fellow Republicans not to “rescue” President Barack Obama’s signature health care law if it is torpedoed by the U.S. Supreme Court, an unusually public stance that could make the first-term Texas governor a leading voice on a national issue dividing the GOP. Abbott’s position, announced […]

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 […]

Further lessons in throwing money at dishonest people

It’s so sad seeing such savvy businessmen being so badly fleeced, isn’t it? A second major donor to the conservative group that secretly recorded elected officials and lobbyists says he stopped providing financial support after growing dissatisfied with how his money was being used. Anthony Holm, a staple in Texas conservative circles and a consultant […]

Three legislators announce their departure

The first to say goodbye is Rep. Sylvester Turner. Representative Sylvester Turner fought back tears today as the House gave him a bipartisan farewell as he concluded a 26-year legislative career to run for Houston mayor. “My time is up. My season is about here. And Mr. Speaker, in 24 hours, my desk will be […]

HCDE happenings

The Chron paints an unflattering portrait of the Harris County Department of Education. HCDE has operated in relative obscurity for decades, fighting off lawmakers’ occasional efforts to eliminate it by bankrolling lobbyists and political consultants. Advocates for the agency say it provides indispensable support services to the 25 independent school districts in Harris County. But […]

Ken Paxton continues to be an ethical morass

We continue to learn more about just how compromised our Attorney General is. Ken Paxton earned thousands of dollars by referring his private legal clients to a financial adviser now accused of “unethical and fraudulent conduct” by the state, records obtained by The Dallas Morning News show. Paxton, now Texas attorney general, did not tell […]

Keeping up with Team Hillary

Just checking in, but this story does address a question I’ve been wondering about. The dozen or so Hillary Clinton supporters gathered here late Tuesday had no illusions that ruby-red Texas would play a key role in electing the next Democratic president. They acknowledged they may get sent to other states to phone bank and […]

More on Hillary Clinton’s 50-state strategy

Again, I like what I’m hearing so far. Hillary Clinton had a message to relay in private meetings with state and local Democrats during her highly-choreographed swings through Iowa and New Hampshire this month: let me help you. The implication? She’ll fix the party infrastructure that withered under President Barack Obama. The Democratic front-runner has […]

Voter ID appeal report

The Trib reports from New Orleans. A federal appellate judge on Tuesday questioned why the Texas Legislature had not addressed concerns that its four-year-old voter ID law discriminated against minority voters. U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Catharina Haynes stopped short of rebuking state lawmakers while listening to attorneys spar over what are widely […]

Fifth Circuit to hear Texas voter ID appeal

There’s more than one big appellate case being heard today. The Texas voter identification law will make a stop at a federal appeals court in New Orleans on Tuesday on a likely path to the U.S. Supreme Court. Texas Solicitor General Scott Keller and lawyers representing plaintiffs, including the U.S. Justice Department, will present arguments […]

Anti-immigration bills dying on the vine

I think I’m going to just got to the executive summary at the bottom of this DMN story. AT A GLANCE: WHERE 3 KEY MEASURES STAND 1. Repeal of tuition law: Seeks to change the 2001 law that allows some students who are in the country illegally to pay college tuition at in-state rates. Status: […]

What’s next for Wendy Davis

Back to issues advocacy, which in this case is a fine thing. Wendy Davis, whose fight against tighter abortion restrictions catapulted her into the national spotlight and an ill-fated race for governor, said Monday she is planning a national initiative on gender equality. “My hope is to supplement the work of organizations that are striving […]

Endorsement watch: Express News goes for LVdP for Mayor

Early voting has begun in San Antonio, and the Express News has made its choice for Mayor. Will San Antonio be blessed enough to elect three exceptionally strong mayors in a row? That’s a tall order. But if any of this year’s crop of 14 mayoral contenders has the potential to wield maximum clout at […]

A little trouble in paradise

It’s that time of the biennium, y’all. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s tea party advisory panel on Tuesday blasted Gov. Greg Abbott’s quality pre-K legislation as “socialistic” and “a threat to parental rights,” contributing friction to the already tense balancing act between the state’s top Republican leaders. “We are experimenting at great cost to taxpayers with […]

Bill to ban anti-fracking ordinances likely to go forward

Disappointing. Despite vociferous opposition from local elected officials, environmentalists and citizens, many Democrats in the Texas Legislature are supporting controversial legislation that would strip local governments of the power to regulate or ban fracking. House Bill 40, by Rep. Drew Darby (R-San Angelo), is one of 11 measures in the Legislature filed in response to […]

Castro-for-VP watch

He’s in “training camp”. His allure as a potential veep gives [HUD Secretary Julian] Castro a platform for the issues he cares about, and he is serious about governing and giving a voice to people struggling to get into the middle class, or to stay there. His top program goal is meeting President Obama’s call […]

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 […]

Turner & Whitmire

No, not the latest buddy cop movie, just two old legislative friends helping each other out. Texas’ most senior state senator turned to the crowd during a September fundraiser for state Rep. Sylvester Turner and ribbed his friend and would-be Houston mayor. “My name is John Whitmire, and I’m Sylvester Turner’s state senator,” he said, […]

TPJ still wants Paxton investigated

At the very least, they don’t want the matter dropped due to blithe indifference. The head of a public watchdog group said he again will urge law enforcement to launch a probe into Attorney General Ken Paxton’s admitted violation of state security laws after learning that the Collin County District Attorney’s Office, headed by a […]

Somewhat watered down fracking bill advances in House

By “fracking bill”, I mean a bill to limit how cities can regulate fracking, because that’s how things are these days. In a 10-1 vote, the House Committee on Energy Resources approved an updated version of House Bill 40, among the most prominent of nearly a dozen bills filed in the aftermath of Denton’s vote […]

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 […]

Precinct analysis: Abbott versus Perry in Latino districts

District level election data for 2014 has been available for a few weeks now. Seems like as good a time as any to return to a favorite topic, namely how Greg Abbott did in heavily Latino areas. An exit poll from November claimed Abbott drew 44% of the Latino vote, which would be a very […]

State-run Women’s Health Program continues to be a failure

Quelle surprise. Thousands fewer women are getting health services through the now state-run Women’s Health Program after Planned Parenthood was barred from being a provider. A report released Monday by the state Health and Human Services Commission showed that almost 30,000 fewer women were served through the program in 2013 than in 2011, and 63,581 […]

Rural hospitals

If this story was meant to evoke my sympathy, I’m afraid it failed. Since the hospital closed in Paducah, a town 30 miles to the north, patients in Guthrie have 60 long miles to travel to Childress for care. It’s a feeling of isolation that has crept up on other rural corners of the state […]

Trouble in tax cut paradise

What if you propose a tax cut but the beneficiaries of it say they’d rather the money went to something else? Major business groups pushed back Friday against a multi­billion-dollar package of tax cuts advancing in the Texas Senate, calling it inequitable and saying state needs should be funded before lawmakers consider tax relief. The […]

Not looking good for medical marijuana

From Trail Blazers: A key lawmaker suggested Tuesday that a bill legalizing marijuana for medical use is probably “dead,” but the sponsor said she’s not discouraged by the “premature” pushback. The bill has not yet been referred to a committee, where it could be debated and voted on, but similar proposals have been referred to […]

Local control deathwatch: Environment

Unsurprisingly, the Denton fracking ban has provoked a strong reaction. As policy dilemmas go, the one triggered when Denton voters decided last fall to ban hydraulic fracturing in their city looked like a whopper: The oil and gas industry versus local control — two things Texas holds dear — in intractable opposition. There seemed little […]

Targeting straight ticket voting

From Trail Blazers: Texas is one of only 10 states still doing straight-ticket voting but a North Texas legislator is hoping to change that. At a hearing today, Rep. Ron Simmons (R-Carrollton) told the Elections Committee that doing away with such an option here would lead to a more informed voter and improve turnout in […]

BGTX’s self-assessment

Texas Monthly has a good overview of where Battleground Texas stands – and where the people inside it think they stand – two years and one electoral beatdown into their existence. Still, it’s the winners who write the history books. In the meantime, the losers have some explaining to do. With that in mind, last […]

From the “Be careful who you vote for” department

Because you never know when the consequences of your voting actions will directly affect you. Erin Meredith, a fifth-generation Republican who lives in Austin, was no fan of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, which she considered just another wasteful government handout. She didn’t sign up for a health plan until late last year, when she […]

More pre-K bills filed

The Observer has the best reporting on the latest pre-k bills that have been filed in the Lege. There’s widespread support around the Capitol for more state spending on pre-kindergarten programs, and much less agreement about how to do it. State Reps. Eric Johnson (D-Dallas) and Marsha Farney (R-Georgetown) have proposed a $300-million-a-year plan to […]

Early voting is up in the special election runoffs

Make of that what you will. If three days of early voting are any indication, the tense runoff fight for the state Senate 26 seat between Trey Martinez-Fischer and José Menéndez is attracting more voters than cast ballots in the first round election on Jan. 6, the result of record spending in the campaign that […]

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 […]