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Posts Tagged ‘Election 2014’

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 […]

Abbott-style pre-k bill filed

From the inbox: State Representatives Eric Johnson (D-Dallas) and Marsha Farney (R-Georgetown) today filed a bill to provide incentive payments to school districts to provide full-day, quality pre-kindergarten. To receive the incentives, districts would be required to adopt best practices identified through research as delivering the best return on educational investment. Texas’ current system funds […]

Paxton evades prosecution

In Travis County, anyway. New Attorney General Ken Paxton, who in 2014 was found to have violated the Texas Securities Act, will not be prosecuted by the state’s office that investigates public corruption, officials said Thursday. Paxton, a former state senator from McKinney, violated the Securities Act by soliciting investment clients without being registered, as […]

Judge Richardson will stay on the Perry case

Good to know. The way is cleared for Judge Bert Richardson of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to continue presiding over former Gov. Rick Perry’s criminal case, under an order by the judicial region’s presiding judge. The order was necessary to allow Richardson to rule on a pending effort by Perry’s lawyers to dismiss […]

January campaign finance reports – San Antonio

As we know, while we wait for the Mayoral field to shape up here in Houston, there’s already a hot open-seat race going on in San Antonio, featuring now-former State Rep. Mike Villarreal, State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte (who has submitted a letter of resignation but is staying on until her successor is sworn […]

RIP, two-thirds rule

Not a surprise. With a new lieutenant governor installed for the first time in over a decade Wednesday — and over the cries of Democrats — the Texas Senate voted to break from an almost 70-year tradition intended to encourage compromise among its 31 members. Now the approval of only 19 senators instead of 21 […]

What will happen with pre-K this session?

They say it’s a priority, though I would advise tempering one’s expectations. Currently, Texas funds a half day of preschool for 4-year-olds whose first language is not English, whose families have low incomes, whose parents are active duty military or who are in foster care. Texas has some of the weakest quality standards for preschool, […]

Local control, schmocal control

From Lisa Falkenberg: So, let me get this straight. Government is the problem, not the solution. It’s a bumbling bureaucracy run by tyrants, cronies and other self-important suits who think they know better than you or I how to live our lives – UNLESS, of course, that bumbling bureaucracy operates under a pink dome on […]

On playing small ball

Campos reacts to Mayor Parker’s future statewide plans. And here again is my small ball take from a few weeks ago: It is time for small ball instead of the big inning. In baseball, small ball is a strategy where you manufacture runs by utilizing the bunt, stealing bases, the hit and run, walks, hitting […]

Gilbert Pena

Let the man have his victory lap, but let’s not read more into his victory than there is. By the time Harris County’s conservative leaders fished for their car keys at their Election Night watch party, there were few candidates left to congratulate. Nearly every Republican had won, and each had earned a handshake or […]

We need to understand why our voters didn’t vote

So now we know that Battleground Texas wasn’t pursuing a base turnout-increase model for the 2014 election, for reasons that have not yet been adequately explored. I’m mad about that, but I don’t want to get bogged down in that. I want to learn from what happened and I want to move forward, in whatever […]

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 […]

Texas Progressive Alliance taps Denton’s “fracktivists” Texans of the Year

From the Inbox: In one of the organization’s more closely contested votes, the Texas Progressive Alliance — the state’s consortium of liberal blogs and bloggers — named Frack Free Denton and its diverse group of activists 2014’s Texan of the Year. “The biggest win for progressives in the Lone Star State on Election Night happened […]

Interview with Ty McDonald

The discussion of the special elections going on this week and culminating on January 6 has been dominated by Bexar County, home of two of the three races, including the Senate race, but the HD17 election is important in its own right. It’s centered in a growing part of the state and it has a […]

HD17 overview

The Chron provides an overview of the special election in HD17. Given that current Rep. Tim Kleinschmidt hadn’t planned to resign till January 14, it seems that the swift date for this election, the same day as the ones in Bexar County, caught the prospective candidates a bit by surprise. Kleinschmidt has not made any […]