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Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

The Harvey effect on the state budget

You know what the solution to this is, right? Senate leaders warned Tuesday that Hurricane Harvey could put a billion-dollar hole in Texas’ budget, an ever-growing number that could affect how much money is available for other state programs. Only $20 million remains in the state disaster-assistance fund, Senate Finance Committee Chair Jane Nelson said […]

Filing news: Jerry’s back

Former Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson would like his office back, please. Patterson, who was first elected as the state’s land commissioner in 2003, wants to head the agency that manages state-owned lands and the Alamo. He gave up the job to run for lieutenant governor in 2014, but came in last in a four-way GOP primary race. Patterson […]

Farenthold draws a crowd of opponents

Bring ’em on. Bech Bruun, chairman of the Texas Water Development Board, resigned Thursday from that position ahead of an anticipated bid to unseat U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi. “Serving as the Chairman of the Texas Water Development Board has been the privilege of a lifetime,” Bruun wrote in a letter dated Dec. 7 […]

That sexual harassment day of reckoning in Texas politics has begun

The Daily Beast follows up its initial reporting about the secret sexual predators of Texas politics with a story that names names. Two names, in particular. Rather than excerpt at length, allow me to quote the Texas Monthly Daily Post summary of the article: Two Texas state lawmakers face new sexual harassment allegations. Democratic state […]

Andrew White is in

And now there are eight. Andrew White, the son of late Gov. Mark White, made it official Thursday morning: He is running for governor, joining the crowded Democratic primary with four days to go before the filing deadline. White, 45, a Houston entrepreneur who has never run for office before, pitched himself in a speech […]

Filing news: Lupe Valdez is in for Governor

Here she comes. Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez announced Wednesday morning that she is running for governor, giving Texas Democrats a serious candidate for the top job with five days until the candidate filing deadline for the 2018 primaries. “Like so many hardworking Texans, I know it’s tough deciding between buying food, finding a decent […]

Harvey’s lingering health effects

It’s going to be a long time before we can really say we have put Hurricane Harvey behind us. Three months after Hurricane Harvey, local health officials now are beginning to see the storm after the storm. In Harris County and the other hardest-hit regions of Texas, 17 percent of those who had houses damaged […]

Voter ID back before the Fifth Circuit

And the worst judge on the Fifth Circuit does her thing. In Texas’ bid to keep its voter identification law intact, it was its legal foes — lawyers representing voting and civil rights groups and individual voters of color — who faced a tougher line of questioning Tuesday before a federal appellate court. In light […]

Filing news: Adrian Garcia is in for County Commissioner

From the inbox: Former Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia announced his candidacy for Harris County Commissioner, Precinct Two, citing his experience in bringing people together around smart government, transparency, and delivering results for taxpayers. “We all know that sometimes government can come up short, so it’s up to leaders who love what we do to […]

Thunderstorms are going to get worse

Just FYI. Summer thunderstorms in North America will likely be larger, wetter and more frequent in a warmer world, dumping 80 percent more rain in some areas and worsening flooding, a new study says. Future storms will also be wilder, soaking entire cities and huge portions of states, according to a federally-funded study released Monday […]

Filing news: Jeffrey Payne and a whole lot of Congressional candidates

And then there were six Democratic candidates for Governor. Signing paperwork and presenting a $3,500 check, [Dallas businessman Jeffrey] Payne became the sixth Democrat to file for the state’s top office. In addition to Payne, the list currently includes Houston electronics businessman Joe Mumbach, Dallas financial analyst Adrian Ocegueda, former Balch Springs Mayor Cedric Davis […]

SCOTUS declines to hear Houston’s appeal of same-sex marriage lawsuit

Disappointing, but nowhere close to the end of the line. Denying the city of Houston’s request, the U.S. Supreme Court will not review a June decision by the Texas Supreme Court, which ruled that the landmark decision legalizing same-sex marriage does not fully address the right to marriage benefits. The high court on Monday announced […]

Lege updates sexual harassment policy

Good, and about time. Members of the Texas House approved a new sexual harassment policy Friday with significant changes, including language strengthening protections against retaliation and specific steps for reporting inappropriate behavior. The revised policy, which was adopted during a Friday hearing of the House Administration Committee, offers more details on the actions that could […]

Filing news: The “not much to add but I’ll add it anyway” edition

One more week to go till the filing deadline. There’s already been a lot of activity, but there should be plenty more to come. A few highlights as we head into the last week for filing: – An old familiar face wants back in. Former state Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer announced Saturday that he is […]

Hey, remember that harassment lawsuit against Rep. Blake Farenthold?

I’m just gonna leave this right here. Rep. Blake Farenthold used taxpayer money to settle a sexual harassment claim brought by his former spokesman — the only known sitting member of Congress to have used a little-known congressional account to pay an accuser, people familiar with the matter told POLITICO. Lauren Greene, the Texas Republican’s […]

Rally against the GOP tax scam

Are you upset about the terrible tax giveaway passed by the Senate last week? (If you aren’t, you should be.) Here’s one action you can take to channel those feelings. Rally Against Robbery! The People Fight the Tax Scam. Hosted by Indivisible Houston and Tax March – Houston. Wednesday at 6 PM – 8 PM […]

Just a reminder, CHIP is still running out

In case you were wondering. Nearly 400,000 Texas children could lose healthcare coverage in late January unless Congress renews funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, a decades-old federal program that provides health care to millions of children across the country. Texas officials have asked the federal government for $90 million to keep CHIP alive […]

Appeals court upholds Reynolds barratry conviction

Not good. A Texas appeals court has upheld the conviction of state Rep. Ron Reynolds, who was found guilty in 2015 of engaging in a scheme to illegally solicit potential clients for his law firm. The three-judge appellate panel ruled Wednesday that there was sufficient evidence to convict Reynolds and that the trial judge did […]

State has not appealed the voting rights case on language interpreters

Interesting. Texas has spent years defending its voting laws in court, regularly appealing rulings that found state lawmakers violated the rights of their voters. So when a federal appellate court in August ruled against the state’s restrictions on language interpreters at the ballot box, it was easy to assume an appeal would follow. But more than three months […]

Sid Miller gets a primary opponent

But what will our village do without its idiot if ol’ Sid loses? Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller is getting a primary challenge from Trey Blocker, the longtime lobbyist, ethics adviser and attorney from Austin. “I’m running because we need to bring honesty, integrity and fiscal responsibility back to the Department of Agriculture,” Blocker said in […]

Filing news: The “What’s up with Lupe Valdez?” edition

On Wednesday, we were told that Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez had resigned her post in preparation for an announcement that she would be filing to run for Governor. Later that day, the story changed – she had not resigned, there was no news. As of yesterday, there’s still no news, though there are plans […]

Smokey Joe will not run for re-election

Another one bites the dust. Embattled U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Ennis, announced his retirement from Congress on Thursday. “I am very proud of my public record and the many accomplishments of my office. It has been a tremendous honor to represent the 6th District of Texas for over three decades, but now it is time […]

State of the County 2017: Ed Emmett versus state leadership

That sound you heard was a fight breaking out. Harris County Judge Ed Emmett on Tuesday used his annual State of the County speech to blast state leaders who he said attack local governments and seek to cut needed taxes but offer no real solutions to the myriad problems Texas’ large urban counties face. Before […]

Lupe Valdez appears to be in for Governor as well

Wow. Lupe Valdez has resigned as Dallas County sheriff and is expected to soon file her candidacy for governor. Valdez, who has led the department since 2005, could file in the Democratic primary as early as next week. She could not immediately be reached for comment. Valdez, the state’s first gay female Hispanic sheriff, wrested […]

Five out of six ain’t bad

Five Democratic candidates for six statewide judicial positions, all from Harris County. Four state district and county-level judges from Harris County and a Houston civil-litigation lawyer filed for seats on the Texas Supreme Court and the state Court of Criminal Appeals at state Democratic headquarters. “The only time they open the courts is when it […]

Andrew White “on the brink” of announcing for Governor

We’ll know shortly, but it seems to me that if the answer was going to be “nah, I’m outta here” we wouldn’t be hearing pre-announcement teasers. Houston entrepreneur Andrew White, a conservative Democrat and son of the late former Gov. Mark White, is close to announcing he will become a candidate for Texas governor. Supporters […]

The 100-year-storm isn’t what it used to be

They’re bigger. More than three months after Hurricane Harvey battered southeast Texas with unprecedented and costly flooding, an analysis of rainfall trends across Texas suggests the standards used to develop floodplain regulations, map flood zones and design flood control projects routinely underestimate the severity of the Houston area’s downpours. That analysis by the National Oceanic […]

Nobody likes Smokey Joe any more

Pobrecito. One day after a group of local Republicans met privately with U.S. Rep. Joe Barton about a nude photo of him that ended up online — and his political future — a number of Tarrant County Republicans are calling on the longtime congressman to not seek re-election. “Since Mr. Barton’s highly-publicized issues have come […]

Rep. Al Green’s revelation

Not totally sure what to make of this. More than a decade ago, Congressman Al Green had a “romantic encounter” with a former aide in Houston, which later led to an allegation of sexual assault and talk of lawsuits and employee discrimination. As quickly as the incident popped up, it quieted down in a 2008 […]

Hey, how about another opponent for Ted Cruz?

Sure, why not? At first blush, it appeared that former La Marque Mayor Geraldine Sam filed as a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate because she was mad at incumbent Ted Cruz. As a delegate to the Republican National Convention last summer, she unloaded on Cruz when he made a prime-time speech and declined to endorse […]

Post-holiday weekend filing update

Pulling this together from various sources. – According to the Brazoria County Democratic Party, Beto O’Rourke has company in the primary for Senate. Sema Hernandez, whose campaign Facebook page describes her as a “Berniecrat progressive” from Houston, is a candidate as well. I’d not seen or heard her name before this, and neither she nor […]

A little concern trolling from the WSJ

This is a story that tries to stir up concerns about all those Democratic Congressional candidates spending money and energy running against each other in the primaries. I flagged it mostly because of the CD07 content at the end. In Houston, the Seventh Congressional District is ethnically diverse, well-educated, suburban and includes some of the […]

Republicans are worried about Culberson

They should be, though I bet they wish they didn’t have to be at this point in the cycle. Republican strategists are warning that some of the party’s veteran House incumbents aren’t adequately preparing for the 2018 election, putting the GOP majority at risk by their failure to recognize the dangerous conditions facing them. Nearly […]

Sports betting at SCOTUS

A case you might want to watch. Internet gambling in the United States has been limited to just three states since it began in 2013, but it could soon get a big boost from an unlikely source: the U.S. Supreme Court. Some gambling industry officials, regulators and analysts think that a favorable ruling by the […]