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Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

We will have exit polls this year

Good. Two years ago, a consortium of news outlets that conducts nationwide exit polls during every November election announced it was scaling back efforts in Texas and 18 other states. The move left political researchers with little data to study shifts in the Texas electorate. This year, with a high-profile gubernatorial race on the November […]

Dems prep for voter ID

It’s good to have a plan. Texas Democrats are renewing their opposition to the state’s voter-identification law, rolling out a program to educate voters ahead of a decisive few months that could see the controversial statute become a top issue in the governor’s race. The law is considered one of the toughest of its kind […]

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, […]

Endorsement watch: Chron for Creighton

Hey, did you know that there’s an election coming up? It’s the special election runoff for SD04 to succeed Tommy Williams and it features the ghastly Rep. Steve Toth and the slightly less ghastly Rep. Brandon Creighton. The Chron, who had endorsed third-place finisher Gordy Bunch back in April, now chooses the lesser evil of […]

Ivy Taylor named interim SA Mayor

Congratulations, Madam Mayor. The City Council appointed Councilwoman Ivy Taylor to become San Antonio’s next mayor. She did not win a majority of the council vote, as her colleagues split 5-3 over her and Councilman Ray Lopez. Lopez then withdrew from consideration, saying that it was important for the city to move forward. Mayor Julián […]

Don’t sweat that court ruling on Obamacare tax credits just yet

It’s too soon to say what effect, if any will be felt in Texas. Opposing rulings from two federal courts Tuesday left unclear the future prospects of federal financial aid to Texans who qualify for assistance to purchase health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled […]

Wonkblog on Texas cities’ efforts to combat payday lenders

It’s always nice when the national media notices something positive happening in Texas instead of the usual. Four years ago, ACE Cash Express was the company that turned Dallas Council member Jerry Allen into the payday loan industry’s worst enemy. The day before he was about to celebrate the launch of the Bank On Dallas […]

Perry’s border surge

Stupid. Gov. Rick Perry, leaping again into the national spotlight on illegal immigration, announced Monday he is sending up to 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border, where an influx of young Central Americans has overwhelmed the federal government. Democrats blasted the decision as a political stunt by a governor with presidential ambitions. But […]

SH 130 operator in default

But it’s not default-default just yet. Although the company that built and operates the southern leg of the Texas 130 toll road recently managed to work out a payment extension with its lenders, an investor service that monitors the project still considers it in default. Moody’s Investor Service issued a report last week, saying SH […]

San Antonio’s “Little India”

I love stories like this. On a recent Saturday morning, about two dozen men in team jerseys gathered on grounds in the far North Side with their kits of helmets, bats and protective gear, pumped to play cricket. The scoreboard went up. Stumps were placed 66 feet apart, defining the wicket. Morning drizzle gave way […]

Planned Parenthood comes out swinging

Good to see. Planned Parenthood’s political arm is embarking on the most aggressive campaign it has ever waged in Texas, with plans to spend $3 million to turn out voters for Democratic candidates including Sens. Wendy Davis for governor and Leticia Van de Putte for lieutenant governor. Bolstered by a $1 million donation from a […]

Texas EquuSearch wins one in court

Good. Texas EquuSearch will resume flying drones during their search-and-recovery missions after a federal appeals court ruled Friday that a government “cease and desist” order banning their use wasn’t valid. In February, a Federal Aviation Administration official sent the volunteer group an email, saying its use of unmanned aircraft to search for missing people was […]

When is that appeal of the Texas same sex marriage ruling going to happen?

A little later than originally planned. It’s been five months since a federal judge struck down Texas’ bans on same-sex marriage. But Attorney General Greg Abbott says he needs more time to file a brief appealing U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia’s February decision to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court. Abbott’s brief was initially to the […]

Beaver versus beaver

It’s a trademark infringement lawsuit. What did you think I was referring to? In the animal world it may be that no two beavers are the same but semi-aquatic rodent diversity does not extend to the world of the convenience store, at least according to Buc-ee’s. The Texas-based legends of convenience store bathrooms and beef […]

Collier hits the road

Talking taxes, and our state’s screwed-up appraisal process. With about as many local candidates as voters in attendance, the Travis County Democratic Party hosted a “town hall” on property tax reform Friday morning, where everybody agreed with would-be County Commissioner (Precinct 2) Brigid Shea: “The appraisal process is broken.” To fix it – in the […]

Four for interim Mayor

Four of out five San Antonio City Council members that had said they would like to file a letter of interest for the post of interim Mayor actually filed those letters of interest. Submitting letters of interest by Wednesday’s 5 p.m. deadline were District 2 Councilwoman Ivy Taylor, District 5 Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales, District 6 […]

It really is about more than just marriage

Jo Ann Santangelo writes for the Observer about what it means to be in a same-sex marriage that isn’t recognized as legal by the state of Texas. In 2012, my wife, Kate, and I traveled more than 3,400 miles from Austin and back to marry legally in New York City. Seven years earlier, in November […]

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 […]

How to solve the traffic problems of The Woodlands

All that growth has its downsides. The Houston-Galveston Area Council, along with local entities including The Woodlands, Montgomery County, the City of Oak Ridge North and the Texas Department of Transportation, are working on a South Montgomery Mobility Study that they hope will ultimately ease the woes of commuters. Officials say they realize there are […]

The relevant numbers in the finance reports

The headlines will say one thing but you need to dig a little deeper to get the picture. Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott has amassed a $35.6 million war chest in his campaign for Texas governor, a figure his aides called unprecedented Tuesday. Abbott’s cash-on-hand figure dwarfs the $13.1 million that his Democratic opponent, Sen. […]

Sam Houston enters the chemical disclosure fray

From the inbox: Sam Houston, Democratic Nominee for Texas Attorney General, today promised to reverse the current AG’s letter ruling on the release of the locations of dangerous chemicals, putting the safety of our families and children first. “I have reviewed the law that General Abbott cited when his office upheld the state health department’s […]

More MLB-to-San-Antonio rumors

Believe them at your peril. Could the Oakland A’s find a home in San Antonio? At least one Oakland elected official thinks so, but Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff says San Antonio sports fans shouldn’t hold their breath. “There’s nothing happening over here,” Wolff said. “Our name’s been thrown out, but we went through that […]

What else is at stake in the redistricting trial

It’s about more than just the maps. Efforts by the Obama administration to wring protections out of a weakened Voting Rights Act begin Monday in Texas over allegations that Republicans intentionally discriminated against minorities when drawing new election maps. A federal trial in San Antonio comes a year after the U.S. Supreme Court made a […]

The interim and non-interim Mayoral hopefuls of San Antonio

Robert Rivard previews the sausage-making process in San Antonio. It takes six votes to win, a majority that will be harder to achieve if some of the announced candidates exercise their right to abstain. If all five abstain from voting for someone else, it will be impossible to gain the necessary majority. Such a stalemate […]

Is this really the end for Kinky Friedman?

I’ll believe it when I see it on my 2018 ballot. It’s been more than a month since he lost his bid to be the Democratic nominee for Texas agriculture commissioner, and the cigar-smoking author-musician can’t shake the loss — or how he was treated by fellow Democrats. Friedman, in D.C. for a recent performance […]

Travis County pursues new voting machines

Very, very interesting. With the nation facing what a January government report described as an “impending crisis” in voting technology, officials in Travis County are taking matters into their own hands by seeking to create a unique, next-generation system of voting machines. The efforts put Travis County, along with Los Angeles County in California, at […]

Palau catches a little heat for hiring John Bradley

Hilarious. The president of Palau has defended appointing a US lawyer who left his previous role as Texas county prosecutor amid controversy over an innocent man who spent almost 25 years behind bars. President Tommy Remengesau confirmed former Williamson County district attorney John Bradley would take up a position as assistant attorney general in the […]

The Trib on the AG race

What do you do when you have an ethically compromised candidate on your ticket? Thank your lucky stars that you’re the majority party and hope like hell the challenger can’t get any traction. A political candidate’s troubles are supposed to be a gold mine for the opposition, but that has not been the case with […]

Close enough for Greg Abbott

What more do you need to know? Attorney General Greg Abbott first stirred things up by saying the state would not release information about the locations and amounts of hazardous chemicals held by private companies, reversing nearly three decades of public disclosure. The Republican front-runner for governor then suggested Texans could “drive around” to find […]

CFPB makes its presence felt in Texas

Good for them. Texas-based payday lender ACE Cash Express has agreed to pay $10 million to settle allegations by the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that it used harassment and other illegal tactics to push borrowers into a cycle of debt. Under the agreement, the company, one of the nation’s largest payday lenders, will pay […]

Judge rules that the voter ID lawsuit will go to trial

In addition to the start of the redistricting trial, we have some news on the voter ID lawsuit front, and it’s generally good news for the good guys. Last week’s ruling, in which U.S. District Court Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos denied almost all of a set of motions filed by [AG Greg] Abbott’s office to […]

Going where the payday lenders are

The most frequent defense I hear of payday lenders it that there’s a demand for the kind of short-term low-dollar loans that they provide that aren’t provided by other financial institutions, and even if they were those institutions don’t exist in the neighborhoods that generate the demand for these loans. That doesn’t come close to […]

We don’t need no (sex) education

Here’s the state of Texas leading the nation in yet another unflattering category. In Texas and across the country, the rate of teenage births has declined significantly since its peak in 1991. Birth rates among teenagers in Texas dropped 43 percent between 1991 and 2012. In states like California and Connecticut, the drop was even […]

Next phases of redistricting lawsuit scheduled

Part One takes place next week. The trial over 2011 House district boundaries begins July 14 in U.S. District Court, where a hearing Tuesday shed light on how the case could unfold. The proceeding are expected to last at least six days — Monday through Saturday — with testimony from about 50 witnesses. The court […]