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Posts Tagged ‘Election 2016’

Congressional candidates everywhere

Texas Democrats are as optimistic as they’ve ever been about candidate recruitment. “I’ve been recruiting candidates in Texas for years, and I’ve never seen an environment quite like this,” said Cliff Walker, candidate recruitment director for the state Democratic Party. Walker predicted that for the first time in his political career, every open congressional seat […]

Trump nominates two to the Fifth Circuit

This is why Republicans put aside their doubts to vote for Trump, and it’s why they stick with him. This is the prize they kept their eyes on, and it’s paying off for them bigtime. President Donald Trump on Thursday said he is nominating two Texans to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals: Texas […]

DA’s office ends trace case prosecutions

Good. Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg has stopped prosecuting thousands of so-called trace drug cases, which typically stem from glass pipes seized from users containing little more than residue of crack cocaine, officials said Thursday. The recent change means it is not prosecuted at all, unless there are extenuating circumstances said Tom Berg, First […]

So were we targeted by Russian hackers or not?

Depends who you ask, I guess. A top state official is pushing back against the federal government’s claim that Texas was among states whose election systems were targeted by Russian hackers ahead of the 2016 presidential election. “At no point were any election-related systems, software, or information compromised by malicious cyber actors,” Texas Secretary of […]

Texas was a hacking target in 2016

We’re just finding out about this now? Hackers targeted Texas and 20 other states prior to the 2016 presidential election, the United States Department of Homeland Security has formally informed the states. But the hackers who tried to mess with Texas didn’t get far, officials with the Texas Secretary of State’s office said Monday. The […]

Two GOP State Reps seek Senate promotions

Item One: State Rep. Cindy Burkett, R-Sunnyvale, launched a challenge Tuesday to state Sen. Bob Hall of Edgewood, setting up a Republican primary clash in North Texas. “I am proud of what I have accomplished for Texas and for all people who share my conservative values,” Burkett said in a news release. “Serving in the […]

No re-rematch for Gallego against Hurd

The third time is not a charm, mostly because there won’t be a third time. Former U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego, D-Alpine, has decided not to try again to reclaim his old seat in Congress. “Know that my public service is not done, but that for the present, I have decided to forego another run in […]

State Rep. Larry Gonzales to retire

This is an opportunity for the Democrats. State Rep. Larry Gonzales, R-Round Rock, is not running for re-election. “It has been an honor and a privilege to serve HD52 and this great state,” Gonzales wrote Wednesday night on Facebook. “We certainly gave it our all.” Gonzales announced his decision not to run again at a […]

San Marcos files amicus brief against SB4

Good for them. The city of San Marcos filed a legal brief Thursday supporting Austin, San Antonio and other cities that have filed suit against the state for its new law on immigration enforcement. In the 16-page brief, city attorney Michael Cosentino argued that under Senate Bill 4, fear of immigration enforcement will lead people […]

Court throws out State House map

Once more, with feeling. Parts of the Texas House map must be redrawn ahead of the 2018 elections because lawmakers intentionally discriminated against minorities in crafting several legislative districts, federal judges ruled on Thursday. A three-judge panel in San Antonio unanimously ruled that Texas must address violations that could affect the configuration of House districts […]

RK Sandill for State Supreme Court

Very good news, from the inbox: The Supreme Court of Texas is elected to serve all of the nearly 28 million residents of our great state. Yet, after more than two decades of one-party rule, today’s Court is increasingly out of touch with the needs of everyday Texans. On issues from public school finance to […]

Hacking voting machines

I’m just going to leave this here. Google and Apple invite hackers to find flaws in their code and offer hefty rewards to those who find them. It’s a common practice in the industry. The government’s done it too, with programs like “Hack the Pentagon.” But opportunities to test how secure our voting machines are from hackers have […]

OutSmart talks to Kim Ogg

Another good read about our new DA, one that goes into her personal background in some depth. John Wright: Your father, Jack Ogg, was a longtime Texas state legislator, and your late mother was well-known for her charity work. What it was like coming out to your parents? Kim Ogg: It was traumatic. My parents […]

The rural/suburban tradeoff

Martin Longman returns to a point he has been making about the way the vote shifted in the 2016 election. Let’s try to be clear about what we mean. Hillary Clinton won a lot of votes in the suburbs from people who had voted for John McCain and Mitt Romney. She lost even more votes […]

Marilyn Burgess to announce for District Clerk

In addition to a large slate of judicial offices, there are four countywide executive offices on the ballot next year. Democrats in Harris County have nearly all of the judicial races covered, and Diane Trautman has been in the race for County Clerk since early in the year. We are still awaiting candidates for County […]

Let’s do talk about Democratic legislative candidates

I have so many things to say about this. The hottest new trend in Democratic politics these days is running for Congress — everybody’s doing it. So far, more than 200 Democrats have filed to challenge Republican incumbents and raised at least $5,000. That’s more than the number of Democratic congressional candidates who had announced […]

The Observer talks to Kim Ogg

A good read: You decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana. Jeff Sessions has signaled that he seeks to ramp up the war on drugs. What power does the federal government hold over your policy decisions? I enjoy total discretion under Texas law as to who I charge and with what crime. The federal […]

Stanart pushes back on election security claims

Our County Clerk is not happy with recent stories about the potential for vulnerability in our election systems. Despite reports from federal intelligence agencies and media outlets of Russia’s widespread targeting of state and local elections around the country and in Texas, election administrators in the nation’s third-largest county say Vladimir Putin’s government does not […]

Was the Harris County election system hacked?

Wouldn’t you like to know? Despite widespread alarm over the breadth of Russian cyber attacks on state and local election systems last year, including revelations of Dallas County being targeted, Harris County officials are refusing to say whether hackers similarly took aim at the nation’s third-largest county. Releasing information on whether Harris County election systems […]

Tom Wakely

As noted in the update and comments to Wednesday’s post about our first Democratic candidate for Governor, we now have a second such candidate, Tom Wakely. PDiddie brings word of Wakely’s announcement, which he made on Down with Tyranny, a more nationally-oriented blog. Wakely ran against Rep. Lamar Smith in 2016, and had been running […]

Gallego-Hurd 3.0

It could happen. Less than a year after he lost his bid to reclaim his U.S. House seat, former U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego, D-Alpine, is seriously considering another run for Congress, citing shifting political winds in Texas’ 23rd congressional district following the election of President Donald Trump. A 2018 campaign would be Gallego’s third against […]

Let a thousand hypothetical alternative Texas Congressional maps bloom

Stephen Wolf of Daily Kos Elections takes a crack at drawing a remedial Congressional map for Texas. Just how effective is GOP gerrymandering in Texas, and what might a redrawn map look like in 2018 as a consequence of a favorable court ruling? To answer these questions, we’ll analyze a hypothetical fully nonpartisan congressional map below as part […]

Redistricting trial update: Invoking privilege

Interesting choice. Texas’ defense of its electoral maps suffered a setback Friday when a state witness couldn’t defend lawmakers’ intentions for much of his testimony. […] Rep. Drew Darby, R-San Angelo, was the chairman of the House Select Committee on Redistricting in 2013. He invoked legislative privilege for more than 20 minutes Friday during the […]

Your periodic reminder that non-citizens very rarely vote

I know you don’t need a reminder, being sophisticated followers of the news and all, but here it is anyway. Since Donald Trump won the Electoral College vote in November, our new commander-in-chief has consistently attacked the legitimacy of popular vote totals that showed his rival, Hillary Clinton, well ahead of him on election day. “In […]

Who will run statewide for the Dems?

For several statewide offices, it is unclear at this time who might run. Lillie Schechter, the new chairwoman of the Harris County Democratic Party, has watched in recent months as at least seven candidates have come through the doors of the party headquarters to introduce themselves, eager for their shot at U.S. Rep. John Culberson, […]

MJ Hegar in CD31

Very cool. In a Texas congressional district that includes one of the country’s largest military bases, a military hero is betting she can stage a political upset. Air Force veteran MJ Hegar is launching a Democratic challenge against U.S. Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock, in Texas’ solidly red 31st Congressional District. “I see a threat […]

Judicial Conduct commission suspends JP Hilary Green

Bam! The Texas Supreme Court on Friday issued an order to suspend Harris County Justice of the Peace Hilary Green from office immediately based on allegations that Green illegally abused prescription drugs, sent sexually explicit texts to a bailiff while on the bench and paid for sex. It’s the first time any Texas judge has received […]

Precinct analysis: Humble ISD

I’d been meaning to go back to the Humble ISD election in May, where two Project LIFT candidates were running against incumbent members, to see what I could learn. The canvass reports are up on the Harris County Clerk website, and I had a bit of spare time, so here we go. Pcnct Whitmire Cunningham […]

Denton County returns to paper ballots

I hadn’t realized this. Denton has been using a hybrid voting system that employs both electronic and paper ballots for about a decade. But county officials recently approved spending just shy of $9 million to buy new voting equipment from Austin-based Hart InterCivic that will return to an entirely paper-based system in time for this […]

Not many states are honoring that “give us your voter data” request

Glad to hear it. Forty-four states and the District of Columbia have refused to provide certain types of voter information to the Trump administration’s election integrity commission, according to a CNN inquiry to all 50 states. State leaders and voting boards across the country have responded to the letter with varying degrees of cooperation — […]

Petitions have been submitted for Heights alcohol vote 2.0

That was quick. Voters in the Heights will likely have the opportunity to further loosen alcohol restrictions in the neighborhood this November now that activists have secured more than the 1,500 signatures required to get a measure on the ballot. […] When Houston annexed what was the incorporated city of the Heights in 1918, the […]

Texas will turn over some voter info to Trump vote “fraud” commission

I have three things to say about this: Texas will hand over personal information of the state’s more than 15 million voters to President Donald Trump’s commission that is looking into voter fraud. Secretary of State Rolando Pablos said his office will share any publicly available information with Trump’s commission as requested, including the names, […]

RideAustin tries to hang on

I wish them luck. The return of Uber and Lyft to Austin has put the city’s only ride-hailing nonprofit in a fight for survival. RideAustin, one of several small companies that started operations in Austin after the ride-hailing giants left the city in May 2016, is now seeing its ridership cut in half since the […]

Ellis shakes things up

Good. It’s what he should be doing. When former state Sen. Rodney Ellis launched his campaign to succeed the late El Franco Lee as Precinct 1 commissioner last year, he said he would shake up Harris County government. He’s kept his promise. Not even three months into his tenure, Ellis filed court papers siding against […]