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Posts Tagged ‘Railroad Commission’

Endorsement watch: One for Steve Brown

The Express News makes a nice call. In this year’s contest, Democrat Steve Brown is the best candidate. A former party chairman of Fort Bend County, Brown has not worked in the oil-and-gas industry and can bring a much-needed outsider’s viewpoint. He is clearly the best candidate to voice concerns raised by people in communities […]

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 […]

Who watches the fox while he guards the henhouse?

The Railroad Commission needs an ethics upgrade. The race for Texas railroad commissioner has revived — at least in the short term — debate around a series of thwarted legislative proposals to overhaul the state’s curiously named oil and gas agency. Calling the Railroad Commission too heavily influenced by the industry it regulates, Steve Brown, […]

Fracking ban on the ballot in Denton

This has the potential to be even bigger than the HERO repeal referendum. Voters will decide whether this North Texas college town will become the state’s first city to ban hydraulic fracturing. After a public hearing Tuesday night that stretched into Wednesday morning, the Denton City Council rejected a proposal to ban the method of […]

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 […]

Probably the last thing I’ll write about Jim Hogan

At least, I hope it’s the last thing, because there ain’t much to say. Texas Democrats are not holding their breaths for a win for the office held by Republicans since Perry ousted Jim Hightower in 1992. Democratic consultant Jason Stanford went so far Wednesday as to say [Jim] Hogan’s candidacy [for Ag Commissioner] is […]

Primary runoff results

So long, Dave. Riding a wave of conservative sentiment that Texas Republicans were not being led with a hard enough edge, state Sen. Dan Patrick crushed Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in Tuesday’s Republican primary runoff election for lieutenant governor, ending the career of a dominant figure in state politics for the last dozen years. The […]

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 […]

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 […]

The name game, primary style

As we know, Democrats have had some issues in recent primaries with random results based on low information and name variations. Turns out Republicans have those issues, too. This year, names may have also factored in other races, including the Republican race for agriculture commissioner. The two most recognizable names in the race, former state […]

Primary results: Statewide

So Wendy Davis and Greg Abbott won easily. They never had to sweat their primaries, so on Tuesday night Attorney General Greg Abbott and Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis turned their attention to a fall election that is shaping up to be one of the most hotly contested and closely watched Texas governor’s races in […]

A closer look at the turnout issue in 2014

I wrote yesterday about turnout for this year’s election. The main problem that Democrats face this year is that turnout has basically been flat for them since 2002 in the off year elections. I began to write a post to illustrate this last year, back when Battleground Texas was being viewed as a long-term experiment […]

What’s at stake in the Democratic primaries

I’ve had my fun poking holes in Mark Jones’ ridiculous argument that we should all just vote in the Republican primary, but now it’s time to talk about the Democratic primary and why these races matter. US Senate On Monday and Tuesday I published interviews with Mike Fjetland and Maxey Scherr. I wish I could […]

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 […]

Interview with Steve Brown

There are three contested Democratic primaries for statewide office. One of them involves Wendy Davis, which no one expects to be competitive, and one involves Kinky Friedman, which likely will be about how people feel about Kinky Friedman more than anything else. The third primary is for Railroad Commissioner, which is a low profile and […]

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 […]

Filing deadline today

Before I get into the details of who has or hasn’t filed for what, I have a bone to pick with this AP story. Perhaps what the candidate filings reveal most is the relative strength and depth of the political parties in Texas. Four top Republicans are in a fierce battle for lieutenant governor, three […]

Sam Houston files for AG

It’s official. Democrat Sam Houston filed for attorney general Thursday, promising to return the office to it’s basic functions of “serving all Texans” rather than “partisan lawsuits and constant disputes with the federal government.” The Houston Democrat said specifically he wants to increase efficiency of the office’s current responsibilities such as child support enforcement, representing […]

Steve Brown confirms he’s in for RRC

It’s official. Late Thursday, Steve Brown, the former chairman of the Fort Bend County Democrats, announced his candidacy to join the three-member Railroad Commission, the powerful agency that regulates the oil and gas industry, pipelines and natural gas utilities. He is vying for the seat now held by Barry Smitherman, who is running for Texas […]

Why some polls are less accurate than others

The local GOP had a rally Monday night that among other things featured a “straw poll” of the faithful to see who their preferences were in the upcoming primary election. Harris County Republicans worked to energize their base on Monday night with a rally at the Galleria, where a parade of statewide candidates pitched voters […]

2014 Democratic lineup updates

In honor of Peggy Fikac, an update on who is running for what as a Democrat in 2014. Starting at the top, folks who attended the HCDP Johnson-Rayburn-Richards event on Saturday had the opportunity to meet Maxey Scherr, a 33-year-old attorney from El Paso who will be filing to run for Senate against John Cornyn. […]

Mike Collier makes his entrance

Mike Collier, the Democratic candidate for Comptroller, has officially rolled out his campaign: Pretty effective pitch, I think. For sure, he has plenty of material to work with. Collier also got interviewed by the Trib on Monday: Nearly as soon as state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, ended her June filibuster, Democrats began talking about […]

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 […]

Smitherman says he’s in for Attorney General

Whatever. Texas Railroad Commission Chairman Barry Smitherman is running for the 2014 Republican nomination for Attorney General, he confirmed to the Tribune. Public announcements via social media are planned for Monday. Smitherman told the Tribune he hopes to continue the “great work” of current Attorney General Greg Abbott, who has yet to declare his own […]

Perry goes on a veto spree

Here’s the full list. Among the victims are the omnibus ethics bill HB217, thus giving Allen Blakemore his fondest wish; two bills aimed at reducing the number of standardized tests some students must take, one of which will make William McKenzie happy; SB15, which would have placed new limits on the power of the University […]

Why stop at one veto of an ethics bill?

Why not veto them all? Allen Blakemore has launched an effort to recruit about 30 fellow Republican political consultants and their clients to push the governor to veto the omnibus ethics bill. Blakemore, who lobbies for the Conservative Republicans of Texas and Houston conservative crusader Steven Hotze, said his concern is a requirement to disclose […]

Wrapping up the rest of the regular session

So as we now know, a special session on redistricting has been called, though we don’t yet know what if anything else may be added later. I covered that last night, so let’s cover what else got done at the end of the regular session, beyond what I noted below. First of all, the budget […]

We still have the Railroad Commission to kick around

State Impact Texas tells us that there will be no sunset bill, and thus no reforms, for the Texas Railroad Commission this session. After a lengthy review of the agency, required by state law under the Sunset review process, the Railroad Commission will continue instead with the same name and without any reforms. So what happened? […]

Is this the end for the Railroad Commission?

For the name, I mean, not the Commission itself. After 40 minutes of discussion about a bill that would rename the Railroad Commission of Texas and make other significant changes to the agency that regulates the oil and gas industry, the Senate passed the measure Thursday with a 21-0 vote. Senate Bill 212, carried by […]

Legislative quick hits

This is the time of the session where there’s lots happening, and there isn’t always the time or space to stay on top of it all. So here are a few quick updates on things that are happening in an attempt to at least not be too far behind. A bill to give Tesla Motors […]

Precinct analysis: Third parties revisited

Politico has a question. Is Austin’s Travis County the nation’s Libertarian Party stronghold? The co-founders of a Libertarian political action committee based there make that case, arguing that the Texas locale is the “most Libertarian large county in America.” Wes Benedict and Arthur DiBianca of Libertarian Booster PAC note that 31 Libertarian candidates were on […]

You can have a say on how the Railroad Commission conducts its business

From Texas Sharon: STEPS TO CHANGE THE RRC. The Sunset Advisory Commission is the agency that regulates all Texas agencies.ONCE EVERY 12 YEARS, they examine the agencies and decide what needs to be changed and if the agencies should continue. This year it’s the RRC’s turn for examination. How to Participate. On Wednesday, December 19th, you can […]

Getting out the vote in Bexar County

Stace pointed me to this Express News story about the Bexar County Democratic Party’s ground game for the November election. Many factors influence the outcome of an election, and precise analysis is not always available. But putting $600,000 into a get-out-the-vote effort can’t hurt. Bexar County Democrats’ big victories in this month’s election surprised many […]