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Posts Tagged ‘Land Commissioner’

Denton responds to fracking ban lawsuit

Game on. One day before its first-in-Texas ban on hydraulic fracturing is set to take effect, Denton called the oil and gas extraction technique a “public nuisance” that the North Texas town has the right to regulate. “Those activities have caused conditions that are subversive of public order and constitute an obstruction of public rights […]

2014 Day 10 Early Vote totals

Here they are, and here are the full 2010 EV totals. The debate about what the turnout numbers mean continues apace. You already know what I think about that, so let me introduce a different perspective. We’ve been talking about these numbers mostly in the context of 2010. I’ve been saying that’s at least somewhat […]

Interview index

For your convenience, here is a list of all my interviews and judicial Q&As for the November election. This includes ones I did for the primary and runoff. Interviews US Senate – David Alameel Attorney General – Sam Houston Comptroller – Mike Collier Land Commissioner – John Cook Railroad Commissioner – Steve Brown State Senate, […]

Interview with John Cook

The office of Land Commissioner is often overlooked, but it has a role to play in a whole lot of aspects of state government. From state parks to beaches to mineral rights, from the Alamo to veterans issues to the Permanent School Fund, there’s a whole lot the Land Commissioner does. Outgoing Land Commissioner Jerry […]

Endorsement watch: Probate courts

The Chron makes its endorsements for Probate Courts, and as they have done recently stayed mostly with incumbents while having nice things to say about the challengers. The one Democrat they recommended out of the four races was as follows: Harris County Probate Court No. 3: Jerry Simoneaux A former probate court staff attorney, Democratic […]

More on the Denton fracking referendum

I think everyone agrees the Denton anti-fracking referendum will wind up in court if it passes. It’s just a question of how wired the courts will be for the plaintiffs. Voters will decide whether the city will become the state’s first to ban hydraulic fracturing, or fracking – the method of oil and gas extraction […]

Mayor Parker discusses her possible political future again

After making a rousing speech at the TDP convention, Mayor Annise Parker talked about some possible paths she could take for a future statewide campaign. Parker said she would be interested in running for any number of statewide positions when her third and final two-year term is up in 2016 – even Texas’ top job. […]

Convention coverage

Wendy and Leticia and a whole host of others rally the crowd in Dallas. Wendy Davis and Leticia Van de Putte shared the spotlight at the Texas Democratic Party convention on Friday night, promising to change the direction of the state, ripping their Republican opponents and imploring Democrats to break the GOP’s two-decade grip on […]

Who’s afraid of the Republican slate?

I was reading this story about a kerfuffle in the Republican runoff for Railroad Commissioner when a thought struck me. A Republican candidate seeking a post that regulates the state’s oil and gas industry said he won’t cut ties to his energy business if elected to the Texas Railroad Commission – a state board that […]

The Galveston oil spill

This is just awful. While the oil spill resulting from Saturday’s collision between a ship and barge was small by global standards – less than a third of what it would take to fill an Olympic-size swimming pool – the local impact is proving far more than a nuisance. The heavy marine fuel oil is […]

January finance reports for Democratic statewide candidates

With the exception of a stray missing report here and there, all of the January campaign finance reports for state office holders and seekers are up on the Texas Ethics Commission webpage. Here’s a brief look at the reports filed by Democratic candidates for statewide offices. I already have reports for the candidates in contested […]

Parker 2018

It seems pretty certain that a statewide candidacy is in Mayor Parker’s future. LSQ: What’s next for you after your term expires at the end of 2015? There’s been a lot of talk that you will run for statewide office as a Democrat in 2016 or 2018. AP: I don’t intend to run for anything […]

We’ll always have Kinky

Like cicadas on a four-year cycle, he keeps coming back. Kinky Friedman doesn’t know if he’s ready to jump back into Texas politics. But the cigar-chewing humorist and musician — known for the black attire and cowboy hats he normally dons — said he may soon create an exploratory committee to help him decide whether […]

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, […]

George P Bush is ready for his closeup

You may now give him his due. Ending months of speculation, Fort Worth attorney George P. Bush announced he would run for the office of Texas Land Commissioner with a Twitter message, after confirming that current Commissioner Jerry Patterson would not seek re-election: “Great visit with @Patterson4TX. Updated filing. Running for #TXLand Commissioner. Join me […]

Baby Bush ready to claim his birthright

Perhaps we should just skip straight to the coronation once George P. Bush figures out what office he wants. George Prescott Bush is gearing up to run for a little-known but powerful office in a state where his family already is a political dynasty and where his Hispanic roots could help extend a stranglehold on […]

School Land Board votes to transfer $300 million to Available School Fund

From the Trib: The School Land Board voted Tuesday to release $300 million into the Available School Fund for public schools. The money will be released in two $150 million installments, one in February and the other on June. The funds had been caught in a standoff between the Legislature and the School Land Board, […]

DRT vs OAG

Nothing like a little holiday week controversy. A blistering report released Tuesday by the Texas attorney general’s office outlines a long list of problems and dysfunctions in the past management of the Alamo by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas. In a 38-page report to the Legislature, the attorney general’s office accuses the DRT […]

Forget the Alamo

At least, forget about using it in a slogan. Even if it’s possible to get too drunk to remember the Alamo, the state agency that oversees the shrine says that’s nothing to brag about on a T-shirt or frilly undergarment. A word play on the slogan “Remember the Alamo” has set off a fight between […]

Land Board throws the Lege a curveball on school finance

Oops. In the waning days of the 82nd Legislature, state lawmakers came up with a plan to help cushion the blow of $5.4 billion in cuts to public education. State Rep. Rob Orr, R-Burleson, proposed a constitutional amendment that he said could bring an additional $300 million to public schools. It unanimously cleared both the […]

Can ban lawsuit moves back to Comal County

From last week: Travis County District Judge Scott Jenkins removed two state agencies from a lawsuit filed against New Braunfels by a coalition of businesses over the law banning disposable containers on the rivers — popular tubing routes. Jenkins dismissed the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Texas General Land Office from the suit. […]

Fifth Circuit sends open beaches lawsuit back to district court

Unfortunately, the headline makes it sound like better news than it is. A federal appeals court Monday ruled that the Texas Open Beaches Act is unconstitutional in the case of a Galveston Island property, a ruling that puts the fate of Texas public beaches in doubt. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sent the […]

Can ban lawsuit moves to Travis County

Some new plaintiffs, too. A group of river-related businesses has sued the City of New Braunfels, Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and Mark Vickery , executive director of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, over a ban on disposable containers on rivers within New Braunfels city limits that went into effect this year. The suit, […]

Federal court refuses to throw out Open Beaches lawsuit

I hadn’t realized that there was federal court action on the Galveston open beaches case. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied a request by the General Land office that it throw out the case because the beachfront house at the heart of the lawsuit had been sold. The three-judge panel’s decision keeps alive […]

What next for Sugar Land prison property?

Now that the Central Unit in Sugar Land has been closed, what will happen to the empty facility? The fate of the Central Unit site will be decided by the three-member School Land Board, which oversees real estate investments on behalf of the $26 billion Permanent University Fund. The board is chaired by Texas General […]

Patterson to run for Lite Guv

With Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst running for the Senate, everyone else in state government that’s been waiting for a chance to move up is undoubtedly making plans to do so. At the front of the line is Lanc Commissioner Jerry Patterson. Jerry Patterson confirmed Tuesday night that he will run for lieutenant governor in 2014, […]

State asks Supreme Court to vacate Open Beaches ruling

Apparently, the original litigant no longer owns the house in question. San Diego, Calif., attorney Carol Severance, who brought the lawsuit challenging the Open Beaches Act, sold the storm-battered property last week to the city of Galveston. Money for the purchase came from a Federal Emergency Management Agency buyout program for homes in areas prone […]

Supreme Court rehears Open Beaches case

Not sure it’ll be any different this time around, but at least there’s a chance. The Texas Supreme Court appeared closely divided Tuesday during a second round of arguments in a turf battle over who controls the beach after a storm moves the vegetation line landward. The hearing came five months after the court ruled […]

The House finds a few extra bucks

Where has this been all along? State Rep. Rob Orr, R-Burleson, introduced two bills to the House Appropriations Committee that could add several million dollars to the public schools budget over the next two years. HB 2646 proposes allowing the School Land Board to transfer at least half of the net revenue it collects from […]

Supreme Court will review Open Beaches ruling

This is encouraging. Faced with a tidal wave of legal protests, the Texas Supreme Court Friday agreed to reconsider a California woman’s lawsuit that ended in a controversial ruling last November that left public access to some beaches in question. The court’s decision to reopen the Carole Severance case — oral arguments will begin April […]

Amicus briefs filed in Galveston beach case

Good for you, Vince Ryan. Harris County today joined other public agencies and activists in urging the Texas Supreme Court to reconsider a recent opinion that critics contend blocks public access to most beaches on Galveston island. County Attorney Vince Ryan filed a friend-of-the court brief on behalf of the county and the Texas Conference […]

Patterson on the Open Beaches ruling

I must say, I enjoyed Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson’s op-ed on the recent Open Beaches ruling by the State Supreme Court. The man can bring the snark, I’ll give him that. Two points of interest besides that: Texans, you see, can be such a hard-headed lot. Most of us ignorantly thought passing the Texas Open […]

State Supreme Court asked to reconsider open beaches verdict

Good luck with that. Galveston has joined key state agencies in pleading with the court to reconsider a ruling that favors private property rights over public access to Texas shores. “I think the Supreme Court really needs to understand the impact of its ruling. It’s not just a theoretical question — they just changed Galveston […]

Is this the end for truly open beaches?

From last week: The Texas Supreme Court ruled Friday the state cannot take private property for a public beach when a storm moves the vegetation line landward — a decision that may lead to restricted access along the coast. Texas law allows anyone to place a blanket on the beach, right up to the vegetation […]