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Posts Tagged ‘term limits’

Endorsement watch: The one man term limits debate

Here’s one of the more interesting endorsements so far. Steve Radack is at once an argument for and against term limits. The Precinct 3 county commissioner and former Precinct 5 constable, who will turn 67 before Election Day, has been in his seat for 28 years and wants voters to sign him up for 32. […]

Council approves proposed finance law changes

That was easy. City Council approved changes to Houston’s campaign finance law Wednesday with no discussion, effectively doubling contribution limits per general election cycle and boosting the amount many candidates can reimburse themselves for personal loans. The revisions, which go into effect Friday, are meant to clarify rules left unclear after the court struck down […]

Mayor proposes raising contribution limits

Not sure how I feel about this. Incumbents and wealthy candidates would get more of an advantage under proposed changes to Houston’s campaign finance law, which would effectively double contribution limits per general election cycle and allow many candidates who pour money into their own campaigns to recoup more of that cash. The modifications, reviewed […]

Mayor Turner names new City Attorney

From the inbox: Mayor Sylvester Turner has announced his selection of Ronald C. Lewis as the new city attorney. Like the mayor, Lewis is Harvard educated and has run his own law firm. “I wanted a lawyer’s lawyer, someone highly respected who can relate well to me as well as City Council and the general […]

City wins first round of term limits ballot language lawsuit

It’s round one, of course, but it’s still a win. The ballot language Houston voters used to change term limits for elected officials was “inartful” but not “invalid,” a state district judge ruled Wednesday, a move that nonetheless left the plaintiffs claiming victory ahead of an expected appellate battle. […] Much of the debate before […]

Term limits plaintiffs respond to dismissal motion

It’s about what you’d expect. Last November Houston voters approved an amendment to the city charter that changed the length and maximum number of terms elected officials can serve. The lawsuit by Phillip Paul Bryant alleges the language on the ballot tricked voters into thinking they were voting for limiting terms, when they really extended […]

The Scalia effect on current cases

The Trib highlights a few cases pending before the Supreme Court that could be affected by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Texas abortion law On March 2, the court will hear oral arguments in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, which challenges Texas’ 2013 abortion law. Beyond deciding the constitutionality of a law that could […]

Term limits lawsuit against city could be dismissed

This was unexpected. Last November, Houston voters approved an amendment to the City Charter that changed the length and maximum number of terms elected officials can serve. The lawsuit by Phillip Paul Bryant alleges the language on the ballot tricked voters into thinking they were voting for limiting terms, when they actually extended them. But […]

Resign to run has kicked in for Council members

Another change that our new term limits law has wrought. Houston elected officials who become a candidate for another elected office are now automatically required to resign their current seat, uncharted territory for city officeholders who previously had not been subject to the so-called “resign-to-run” provision of the Texas Constitution. The requirement that has long […]

The Chron on the El Franco Lee successor selection process

First, a lamentation. Not even a month has passed since Sylvester Turner was sworn in as Houston’s new mayor, and already the next election cycle is just around the corner. Early voting for party primaries is about a month away, running from Feb. 16 through Feb. 26. Election Day is March 1. Safely gerrymandered districts often […]

Selecting a successor for El Franco Lee: Process and questions

From the inbox, sent by Carroll Robinson. The Issue During the past few days, there has been a great deal of speculation about the legal process for selecting someone to replace the late Commissioner El Franco Lee on the November 2016 General Election ballot. (Texas Election Code, Subchapter C. Sections 172.057, 172.058 and 172.054 (1).) […]

Interview with Mayor Annise Parker

We are in the last few days of the administration of Mayor Annise Parker. Having served three terms each as Council member and Controller, she is finishing up eighteen years as an elected official in the city of Houston. I wanted to take the opportunity to talk to her one last time before she heads […]

The incumbents’ advantage

Is it about to become that much harder to vote incumbent city officials out of office? The already difficult task of ousting incumbent Houston officeholders likely has become even tougher. City elected officials now have an extended runway to accumulate cash before returning to the campaign trail, thanks to a voter-approved extension of term limits […]

Looking back and looking ahead for Mayor-elect Turner

Here’s a Q&A with our new Mayor that looks back on the campaign that just wrapped up. Q: Economically, electorally, this is a divided city. You campaigned on a platform of bringing people together. How do you overcome that split now that you’ve been elected mayor? A: When I woke up this morning, the campaign […]

Turner’s Council

So what kind of City Council will Mayor-elect Sylvester Turner have to work with? In addition to Turner replacing term-limited Mayor Annise Parker, the council also will gain five new faces, four thanks to term limits and one who defeated an incumbent. Political analysts, however, sensed little ideological shift among the 16-member body. How city […]

Senate committee whines about ballot language

Give me a break. State Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, cited the wording of recent Houston referendums to lengthen term limits and on a controversial equal-rights ordinance as two examples, both of which he said could have been more clear. The committee is studying whether state law needs to be changed to ensure that local and […]

Precinct analysis: Age ranges

Let us one more time ask the question: Just how old were the voters in our 2015 election? Range All Pct ====================== 18-30 21,998 8.2% 31-40 32,359 12.1% 41-50 39,074 14.6% 51-60 58,610 21.9% 61+ 115,755 43.2% The short answer is “not as old as we’ve seen in previous elections“. That’s a high-water mark for […]

Lawsuit filed over term limits referendum

As if on cue, the following hit my inbox on Wednesday afternoon, from Eric Dick: Phillip Paul Bryant is filing a lawsuit to invalidate Proposition 2 because the ballot language misled Houston voters. Annise Parker and the City of Houston have a history with misleading voters when it comes to ballot language. Indeed in 2015 […]

Precinct analysis: At Large #3

Only one candidate running for citywide office won outright in November. That candidate was first term CM Michael Kubosh in At Large #3. Here’s how he won: Dist Kubosh LaRue McElligott Peterson ========================================== A 8,782 1,042 835 3,152 B 8,988 1,526 1,251 3,541 C 16,414 2,314 1,409 10,138 D 12,074 1,599 1,367 4,385 E 15,033 […]

Will someone sue over the term limits referendum?

Maybe. Pre-election polling showed voters slightly favored the change, but not if they were told that it benefits sitting council members. Rice University political scientist Bob Stein conducted the News 88.7/KHOU 11 News election poll. “When we informed voters that the adoption of the two four-year (terms) would take place immediately in 2016 and advantage […]

Precinct analysis: City propositions

Not really much to see here, but here’s what things look like for Prop 1. Dist Yes No Yes% No% ======================================= A 6,271 13,110 32.36% 67.64% B 6,265 14,435 30.27% 69.73% C 26,781 19,544 57.81% 42.19% D 9,871 16,775 37.04% 62.96% E 8,211 24,713 24.94% 75.06% F 4,553 7,074 39.16% 60.84% G 13,358 26,555 33.47% […]

What the passage of the term limits referendum means

It’s a little unclear from this story. The passage of Proposition 2 also means some current officeholders will be able to serve longer than the six years they originally signed up for. Current freshman council members will now be able to serve two more 4-year terms, for a total of 10 years. Those serving their […]

Endorsement watch: Changing term limits

The Chron endorses City Proposition 2, which would change the current system of term limits from three two-year terms to two four-year terms. If our leaders know they’ll be judged by a six-year timeline, there’s little incentive to plan for the future. If politicians are replaced every six years, we’ll keep repeating the same debates. […]

KHOU poll: Turner 19, King and Garcia 9

Our third poll result in the past week. Sylvester Turner remains the front-runner, but Adrian Garcia has lost his once firm grip on second place and Bill King rises into the top tier of contenders in the race for Houston mayor. That’s the headline from the latest poll conducted for KHOU 11 News and Houston […]

Change to term limits will be on the ballot

Whatever. Houston voters will decide whether elected city officials should serve two four-year terms rather than three two-year terms starting in 2016, potentially lengthening the terms of some current council members. The City Council voted 12-5 Wednesday to place the item on the November ballot. Councilmen Richard Nguyen, Mike Laster, Steve Costello, Michael Kubosh and […]

Change to term limits may be on the November ballot as well

Here we go again. Mayor Annise Parker’s proposal would wait until 2020 to lengthen City Council members, the mayor and and controller’s terms; while Councilman Jerry Davis is proposing a staggered roll-out starting in 2016. Supporters say the 2020 plan would be the easiest sell to voters, with no current elected officials standing to benefit. […]

If HERO then no other ballot items

Makes sense. With her signature nondiscrimination law likely to appear on the November ballot, Mayor Annise Parker left in doubt Wednesday whether she will ask City Council to also place before voters long-discussed changes to term limits and the city’s revenue cap. Parker said she has no interest in putting the latter two items to […]

Alvarado’s term limits bill

From the inbox: State Representative Carol Alvarado has filed HB 2917 that, if passed by the Legislature and approved by voters, would change the city’s term limit structure to two four-year terms for the mayor, city controller and councilmembers. “The city’s current structure of three two-year terms restricts an elected official’s ability to truly dive […]

Council recommends term limits change

Meh, I say. A Houston City Council committee Tuesday night recommended changing the term limits of elected officials from three two-year terms to two four-year terms starting in 2019, a charter change that could go to voters in November. The ad-hoc charter review committee voted 10-3 to recommend the two four-year terms in January, but […]

On the seasonal return of term limits modification

Here’s a fuller version of that earlier story about Council moving forward with a modified term limits proposal. You can almost set your watch by it. Mayor Annise Parker is in her third and final term, which means it is time for the cycle that has repeated roughly every six years since voters imposed term […]

Term limits change approved by Council committee

One step closer to the ballot. Most council members are in favor of changing term limits from three two-year terms to two four-year terms. They will refer their recommendation to the mayor, who will then put it up for a vote during a regular council meeting. “If in fact the full council supports it, it […]

There will be charter referenda next year

Details are pending, but one way or another we’ll get to vote on some charter changes next November. City Council members on Thursday agreed that any city charter reforms, including changes to term limits, should go to voters in November rather than May next year, but they kicked most substantive discussion of those issues to […]

Charter review gets set

From Campos: This Thursday, December 4 the City Council’s Ad Hoc Charter Review committee will meet and several members of Council want the following in BOLD discussed. I have added a few devil’s advocate observations. BTW: All members of City Council are on the committee. Here are proposed changes: 1. Authorize any item(s) acknowledged and […]


There will be more than just the Mayor’s race going on in 2015. Houston is guaranteed a frantic 2015 political season with an open mayor’s race on the ballot, but it could get busier still with growing talk of placing the city charter before voters for possible changes to term limits, the city revenue cap […]