Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

The Fifth Circuit is in no hurry to rule on same sex marriage

Such a show of courage on their part. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals tentatively has scheduled oral arguments in the Texas and Louisiana gay marriage cases for early January, disappointing local advocates and possibly delaying until 2016 a hearing by the U.S. Supreme Court. Texas gay marriage advocates were disappointed with the Monday announcement. […]

The larger issue on voter ID

The Trib reminds us that there are bigger questions that remain to be answered in the voter ID litigation. The litigation on the state’s voting district maps for legislative and congressional elections is still underway, and the treatment of minority voters and their ability to elect the candidates they choose is at the center of […]

Mayor Parker for pot reform

The list of people who think it’s time to talk about reforming our drug laws keeps growing. Add Houston Mayor Annise Parker to the growing list of officials calling for a new approach to the nation’s drug laws, especially when it comes to marijuana. She said as much during an interview this week with community […]

2014 Day Eight EV totals

But first, a few words about the overall picture. The number of Texans voting early at the polls is down significantly in Harris County compared with the last midterm election, a potential warning sign that pundits say may mean Democrats will suffer worse defeats than those seen in the 2010 countywide Republican sweep. In-person turnout […]

The battle over booze sales comes to Tomball

I always enjoy a good story about when a county or town votes on whether or not to repeal Prohibition-era restrictions on local alcohol sales. Eight decades ago, the oil started flowing in Tomball and the whiskey soon followed. The boomtown began attracting a rough and rowdy crowd, prompting the town’s leaders a few years […]

2014 first week EV totals

Here they are, and here are the full 2010 EV totals. Democrats still have a lot of work to do, at least in Harris County. I sure hope it happens, that’s all I can say. We’re already seeing postmortems for this election – I guess some people like to be ahead of the game – […]

What they didn’t tell us about voter ID

Republicans knew fully well that their voter ID bill would disenfranchise a lot of people. They just didn’t care. Republican state officials working to pass a voter photo ID law in 2011 knew that more than 500,000 of the state’s registered voters did not have the credentials needed to cast ballots under the new requirement. […]

It shouldn’t be this hard to get a driver’s license

And for most people it isn’t that hard. But for some people, it is. Daniela Parker has two mothers, a circumstance that turned a typically routine matter – scheduling a road test for a Texas driver’s license – into a lengthy hassle. Parker, Mayor Annise Parker’s daughter, was turned away from taking the road test […]

Location, location, location

At the first public meeting about the proposed Dallas-Houston high speed railroad line, the main focus was the endpoints. More than 100 people were in attendance on Tuesday for the first of six public meetings being held jointly by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the Texas Department of Transportation on Texas Central Railway’s plan. […]

Suing for same-sex death benefits

Married people receive death benefits when their spouses die. Unless your marriage isn’t recognized as legal by the state you live in. That’s the basis of this lawsuit. An Austin woman filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday seeking to halt the Social Security Administration’s practice of withholding spousal benefits from gay couples who reside in states, […]

Endorsement watch: State Senate

The Chron makes another curious choice. District 17: Joan Huffman In District 17, which includes parts of Harris County and counties to the east, Republican incumbent Joan Hoffman has a credible Democratic opponent in Rita Lucido, 58, a family law attorney and activist with such organizations as the Houston Area Women’s Center and Planned Parenthood. […]

UT/Trib: Abbott 54, Davis 38

More of the same from the Trib’s pollsters. Republican Greg Abbott has a 16-point lead over Democrat Wendy Davis in the closing days of this year’s general election for governor, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll. Abbott has the support of 54 percent of likely voters to Davis’ 38 percent. Libertarian Kathie […]

Abbott’s actions in the Hecht ethics case belie his “just doing my job” evasion

More accurately, it’s his lack of action that speaks clearly about his priorities and discretion. Attorney General Greg Abbott, accused of favoritism in his handling of an ethics case involving a Texas Supreme Court justice, says it’s not his duty to press the case that has sat idle for two years. That reasoning, however, doesn’t […]

Alameel 2018?

Sure, why not? Even against long odds, David Alameel hasn’t thrown in the towel in his bid to unseat Sen. John Cornyn. “I’m in it for the long run,” the Dallas investor and dentist told The Dallas Morning News editorial board on Monday. Cornyn leads by about 20 percentage points in most polls. Alameel says […]

2014 Day Four EV totals

Here are your Day 4 EV totals and the full 2010 EV totals. Mail ballots continue to be strong, up a bit from Day Four in 2010, but in person totals continue to lag. Overall, 2014 now trails 2010 at this point in the process by about 5,000 votes, with about 142,000 having been cast […]

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, […]

On Greg Abbott and who gets to get married

As you may have heard, Peggy Fikac got to ask Greg Abbott the obvious question about how exactly the state’s law against same-sex marriage, which Abbott is diligently defending in court, differs from the old laws that once banned interracial marriage, and would he have defended those as well since he claims he’s just doing […]

Gary Elkins thumbs his nose at local payday lending ordinances

Such a fine example he sets. As a member of the Texas House of Representatives, Houston Republican Gary Elkins helps make laws. As a businessman, he is an owner of a chain of payday lending stores accused of breaking them. Elkins opposed payday lending regulations during the 2011 and 2013 legislative sessions, arguing members should […]

More on the voter registration numbers

Wayne Slater has a contrarian perspective on the voter registration numbers. Getting new voters begins with registering new people. When the secretary of state last week announced a record-high 14 million Texans are registered to vote, Battleground Texas trumpeted that number as evidence their efforts are working. Not so much, it turns out, according to […]

The inadequacy of Prop 1

Better than nothing, but not by much. The campaign to steer state reserve funds to road projects is not being waged with yard signs and televised debates but, rather, with chamber of commerce lunches and a smattering of direct mailings. Though largely a quiet campaign, supporters of Prop. 1 said they are optimistic the proposal […]

2014 Day Two EV totals

Here’s Houston Politics with the nickel summary. The number of voters showing up at Harris County’s 41 early-vote locations was down by 25 percent for the second straight day on Tuesday, according to tallies released by the County Clerk. A total of 20,380 registered voters cast a ballot on Tuesday, more than 7,000 fewer voters […]

KHOU: Abbott 47, Davis 32

A new poll to open Early Voting. As early voters head to the polls for a landmark election in Texas, a new survey conducted for KHOU-TV and Houston Public Media shows Republican Greg Abbott with a commanding lead over Democrat Wendy Davis in the race for governor. Abbott’s supported by 47 percent of likely voters […]

Time to comment on the proposed high speed rail routes

Check ‘em out, and tell ‘em what you think. Observers have long known that only a few options were available for the route of the privately funded high-speed train line between Houston and Dallas. Now a firmer picture of where the trains might run is emerging. As part of the federally required process to evaluate […]

Endorsement watch: Three out of five ain’t bad

The five major papers have made their endorsements in the Governor’s race now. We know about the DMN and their strange belief that it is possible to placate the extremists, so let’s look at the others, starting with the Houston Chronicle: The election in November should not be about abortion or gay marriage or any […]

SCOTUS declines to intervene on voter ID

Unfortunate. The Supreme Court said Saturday that Texas can use its controversial new voter identification law for the November election. A majority of the justices rejected an emergency request from the Justice Department and civil rights groups to prohibit the state from requiring voters to produce certain forms of photo identification in order to cast […]

Voter registration numbers top 14 million

Sweet. More than 14 millions Texans have registered to vote in the November elections, the secretary of state’s office announced Thursday, calling the number a record high. The total marks an increase of 2.8 percent since the most recent presidential contest and 5.7 percent since the last time candidates for governor were on the ballot. […]

From the “Simple answers to simple questions” department

The Statesman asks “Would Dan Patrick’s tax plan lower your taxes?” Efforts to shift toward sales tax in lieu of property and income taxes have in recent years gained momentum in Republican-led states — even as economists warn that this sort of tax reform is likely to harm the majority of taxpayers. Economists point out […]

First steps in Montgomery County

You can’t win a race if you don’t have a candidate. Democrat Michael Hayles says Montgomery County’s poor have to balance some tough choices, and he extends his arms in a rocking motion to make the point. “Do I get cars fixed or do I buy food for my family?” Hayles said. Hayles has been […]

Endorsement watch: DMN drops the ball

The Dallas Morning News got off to a good start as it wrapped up its election endorsements by making the crystal-clear case for Leticia Van de Putte. There are a couple of ways to keep your house warm this winter. You could choose the reliable heater you’ve known for years. Or you could keep gasoline […]

Chron overview of the AG race

Couple of interesting tidbits in here. A tea party darling with a dozen years in the state Legislature, Sen. Ken Paxton has avoided the media since admitting to a third-degree felony violation of state securities law in late April. Spokesman Anthony Holm serves as his gatekeeper – even once physically blocking a reporter from approaching […]

TPJ files suit against Abbott over Hecht ethics case

Here we go again. An Austin legal watchdog group filed suit Wednesday to force action on a $29,000 ethics fine, levied against Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan Hecht in 2008, that has languished on appeal for 5½ years. The motion from Texans for Public Justice seeks to remove Attorney General Greg Abbott from the […]

#GiveToWendy

A year ago at about this time, a group of progressive blogs joined forces to raise money for the Wendy Davis campaign, which at that point was only a month old and all of the usual “early money” maxims applied. The only “early” now is early voting, which begins in three days, but late money […]

Comptroller candidates will debate

It’s a trend! Candidates in the race for state comptroller have agreed to one televised debate, though watching the debate requires a Time Warner Cable subscription fo North Texas viewers. Mike Collier, a Democrat from Houston, and Sen. Glenn Hegar, a Katy Republican, will face off 7 p.m., Oct. 29 in Austin. The 30-minute debate […]

Voter ID plaintiffs turn to SCOTUS

Last train, y’all. Texas plaintiffs on Wednesday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to block the state’s voter photo ID law in November’s election. “The facts of this case, including record evidence, show that significantly more voter confusion will result from granting the stay (and thus enforcing Texas’s Senate Bill 14) than would result from reinstating […]