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Posts Tagged ‘Harris County’

Mail ballots being mailed out for primary runoffs

From the inbox: The first batch of over 38,000 postal ballots for the May 27, 2014 Primary Runoff Elections have been mailed and will be arriving in voters’ mailboxes this week. This mailing represents the highest number of mail ballots issued for a mid-term runoff election in the history of Harris County. The previous high […]

Wilson whines to Commissioners Court

Dave Wilson would like to not be sued any more, so he went to Commissioners Court to air his grievances over the lawsuit that stemmed from his controversial election last year. After Wilson won the election, and County Attorney Vince Ryan sued Wilson, trying to keep him from office. To prove it before trial, Ryan […]

Time is running out to undo Pratt’s mass dismissals

Remember when now-former Judge Denise Pratt dismissed hundreds of cases at the end of 2013 without notice? Since her abrupt resignation last month, other Family Court judges have been trying to clean up the mess she left behind. This includes reaching out to lawyers and clients that were affected by the New Year’s Eve purge. […]

Pratt Mess gets messier

How much worse can it get? Hundreds of divorce, child support and custody cases dating back to 2012 will have to be revisited – and possibly sent back to trial – as a court administrator sorts out what he called the “random chaos” left behind by former District Family Court Judge Denise Pratt. The freshman […]

Astrodome: Deep Space Nine

This is now my favorite idea for What To Do With The Dome. Right now the folks in Houston are trying to figure out what to do with the Astrodome, which has been sitting vacant for several years. Many plans for the dome have fallen by the wayside, including this multi-use approach which I really like. I’m […]

How can we miss you if you won’t go away?

Denise Pratt is a gift that keeps on giving. Denise Pratt may not be gone just yet. Two days after announcing her immediate resignation as presiding judge of the 311th family District Court – and the suspension of her re-election campaign – Pratt sent a text message to supporters on Sunday asking them to “call […]

Precinct analysis: Republican primary election

I’ve done the Democrats, so now let’s take a look at the Republicans. In this case, I did have a few specific questions in mind, so my approach here will be a little different. First, we all know that Steve Stockman’s performance art piece campaign against Sen. John Cornyn didn’t amount to anything, but did […]

Perry says Texas will not comply with the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act

Amazing the number of laws Rick Perry refuses to obey, isn’t it? More than a decade after the Prison Rape Elimination Act unanimously passed Congress, federal standards for implementation of the law have been finalized. Now, Gov. Rick Perry and some prison reform advocates are at odds over what those standards mean for Texas lockups […]

Cleaning up Pratt’s mess

It’s up to the other judges now. The administrative judge for Harris County’s nine family courts said Monday it could take months to sort out the mess left behind in the 311th family court following the abrupt resignation of its presiding judge, Denise Pratt. The freshman jurist’s immediate departure, announced late Friday, came as a […]

Precinct analysis: Democratic primary elections

I finally got around to asking for the canvass reports for the primaries in Harris County. I didn’t have any specific agenda in looking at the data from each, I just wanted to see what I could learn. Let’s start on the Democratic side with a look at the vote totals in each State Rep […]

AG opines against Early To Rise

This kind of snuck in there. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott issued an opinion Monday saying a court would likely have found a petition effort last year to send a 1-cent property tax hike to voters to buoy local preschools to be illegal. [...] On Monday, Abbott wrote in a 4-page opinion addressed to state […]

Pratt resigns

Good riddance. Under investigation by Harris County prosecutors for dismissing hundreds of cases without notice, embattled family court judge Denise Pratt resigned Friday, abruptly ending her re-election bid. The freshman Republican jurist campaigned as a conservative advocate for children and families, touting her unique policy of keeping boyfriends, girlfriends and lovers of recently divorced litigants […]

We still have no idea what the effect of the voter ID law will be

From the inbox, Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart declares victory for voter ID. The final results of the 2014 Democratic and Republican March 4th Primary Elections have been approved by the Democratic and Republican Parties. The results show that less than 0.01% of the voters did not present one of the forms of photo identification […]

How much will science advance in the courts?

It’s up to the CCA to decide. Texas’ highest criminal court will hear arguments Wednesday in a case that could affect how evolving scientific evidence is used in courtrooms across the state. For Neal H. Robbins, the high court’s decision will determine whether he gets another shot at arguing his innocence. In 1999, a jury […]

Game room injunction lifted

The temporary reprieve that Harris County ganerooms got from the courts has been lifted. Houston and Harris County moved one step closer Friday in their quest to crack down on illegal game rooms after a judge threw out a restraining order which had blocked new regulations due to come into effect this month. Game room […]

Still more from the Pratt files

What a mess. Embattled family court judge Denise Pratt, under investigation again this year by the Harris County District Attorney’s office, was removed from five more cases on Thursday by a visiting senior judge who criticized the freshman jurist’s recent decision to make a final ruling in a child custody case without hearing any testimony […]

HPD crime lab update

The man who wrote the report detailing all of the HPD crime lab’s problems was back to give a progress report on how things look now. Houston police managers at the once-shuttered crime lab have failed to re-examine tests on DNA, blood and most other forensic evidence on a random basis to ensure the results […]

Rename this!

Whatever. Reliant Park will soon be called NRG Park and Reliant Stadium NRG Stadium, after NRG Energy, the parent company of one of the largest electric retailers in the Houston area. County sources say NRG, which acquired Reliant’s retail operations in 2009, is planning a rebranding effort that will involve swapping out every sign bearing […]

Comparing Davis and White

In 2010, Bill White received 517,487 votes in the Democratic primary, for 76.0% of the vote. Wendy Davis just received 432,065 votes, for 79.1% of the total but 85,422 fewer votes than White. As is always the case, the change was not distributed uniformly. Davis picked up more votes than White in some counties, and […]

What should we do about hurricane preparedness?

Or, to put the question another way: Ike Dike, Ike Floodgate, something else, or nothing? In 2009, months after Hurricane Ike devastated the upper Texas coast, Texas A&M-Galveston professor William Merrell unveiled a multibillion-dollar plan – to much skepticism – dubbed the “Ike Dike.” The proposal calls for extending Galveston’s seawall 15 miles to the […]

A new day for the Harris County GOP?

Lisa Falkenberg postmortems the changing of the guard at the Harris County GOP. Now that [Paul] Simpson defeated [Jared] Woodfill in the Republican primary election earlier this week, [Rep. Sarah] Davis is hoping her past experience with him is prologue. She and others are looking to Simpson to provide a new kind of leadership, one […]

County enforcement of game room regulations halted for now

Oops. A quest by the county and city to crack down on illegal game rooms has hit a legal roadblock after a civil court judge granted a temporary restraining order barring Harris County from enforcing strict, new regulations. The city had been poised to piggyback on the county’s rules under a new state law. Instead, […]

Primary results: Harris County

The big news here is that there were no surprises on the Democratic side, in particular no unpleasant surprises. By far the best news was that Kim Ogg easily bested Lloyd Oliver in the primary for DA, with over 70% of the vote. I doubt we’ve seen the last of this particular plague on our […]

Watching election results

I’m going to do my best to follow election results tonight, and will post updates as I can here. I’ve got family obligations this evening, and with polling locations opening late in some counties like Travis, I have no idea when we may start to see statewide results or when I may be able to […]

Primary Day is today

Today is the day when we begin to get a temporary respite from the mailers, robocalls, and TV/radio ads, as the people who didn’t vote early make their way to the ballot box for the primaries. In Harris County, a list of Democratic polling places is here and a list of Republican polling places is […]

Endorsement watch: The Chron still loves Orlando

They don’t love him enough to endorse him during or before early voting, but they do still love him. [Republican] primary voters should give [County Treasurer Orlando] Sanchez a place on the November ballot. Sanchez, 62, is a former three-term member of Houston City Council and two-time unsuccessful candidate for mayor, but he seems to […]

Kirkland v Fleming goes national

Lisa Falkenberg writes the followup column on George Fleming and his repeat attempt to underwrite a campaign challenge to Steven Kirkland that I figured she’d write. Fleming’s contributions to a political action committee called Moving Texas Forward – $75,000 from him and $10,000 from another of his PACs, according to records – have helped foot […]

Early Voting concludes for the primary

Here are your final daily early voting totals for the March primaries in Harris County. As is usually the case, the last day was the biggest. Republicans ended up with 75,400 early votes, Democrats with 30,108; that’s about 10,000 more R early votes than in 2010, and about 10,000 fewer D early votes. In 2010, […]

State of the county 2014: Let’s keep working together

Time for Judge Emmett to tell us how things are going in Harris County. (Spoiler alert: They’re going fine, thanks for asking.) On the eve of what could be his final term as Harris County’s top elected official, County Judge Ed Emmett on Thursday called for the consolidation of various government entities and services, citing […]

Harris County GOP to yell at cloud on Monday

Lone Star Q: Calling gay people “sodomites” and U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia a “would-be dictator,” the Harris County Republican Party announced it will host a news conference Monday morning in response to Garcia’s ruling Wednesday striking down Texas’ bans on same-sex marriage. The event at county GOP headquarters seems like a pretty obvious ploy […]

And the same old crap begins in Steven Kirkland’s race

Lone Star Q reports that Steven Kirkland received the endorsement of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, just as the same kind of attacks on his character that he dealt with in 2012 cranked up again. Kirkland, a close friend of Houston Mayor Annise Parker’s, served as a Harris County state district judge from 2009 […]

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 […]

Revisiting George Fleming

Lisa Falkenberg catches up with an old friend. Trial lawyer George Fleming was calm and gracious when he took questions back in 2012, insisting that his bankrolling of a respected judge’s no-name opponent had nothing to do with his own displeasure with that particular jurist. “No, no,” Fleming assured my colleague Patti Kilday Hart. “The […]

DA investigating Judge Pratt again

Here we go again. Two months after a grand jury cleared embattled state District Judge Denise Pratt of accusations she had tampered with court records, the Harris County District Attorney’s office again is looking into the family court jurist. Houston lawyer Anna Stool, a former federal prosecutor, said she was called in by the district […]