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Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

Pasadena plaintiffs get details on Mayor’s campaign spending

Good. A federal judge said Wednesday that a political action committee aligned with Pasadena Mayor Johnny Isbell must turn over hundreds of pages of internal documents in an ongoing lawsuit over the voting rights of Hispanic and Latino residents. Attorneys representing the group of Hispanic voters that is suing Isbell and the city for allegedly […]

Sebesta remains disbarred

Good. The disciplinary board of the Texas State Bar on Monday affirmed the agency’s decision to disbar Charles Sebesta, the former prosecutor who oversaw the wrongful death sentence of Anthony Graves. Graves, who spent 18 years in prison, including 12 on death row, for a fiery multiple murder he did not commit, filed a complaint […]

Checking in on Garcia v Green

An update on how the biggest primary fight in the county is going. U.S. Congressman Gene Green has taken Texas’ 29th District Democratic primary to television, leveraging his substantial financial advantage over challenger Adrian Garcia to pour more than $240,000 into network and cable advertising over the next three weeks. Green’s English- and Spanish-language ads […]

Endorsement watch: State reps

The Chron makes endorsements in some State Rep races. Here are the ones I’m interested in. District 126: Cris Hernandez Two strong candidates who grew up in district are running in the primary and hope to replace Republican Patricia Harless, who is not running for re-election. Cris Hernandez, a projects coordinator for a fiber optics […]

Interview with Dakota Carter

As was the case in 2012, there is a three-way primary for the nomination in SBOE District 6, the one electoral entity that is subject to redistricting containing a Republican who represents me. I didn’t intend to do interviews for it, as there were plenty of other races of interest and only so much time […]

Paxton finds another way to be in trouble

Like fleas to a dog, trouble just follows this guy around. Remember that historic Supreme Court ruling last year? The one that ended decades of discrimination against same-sex couples who wanted to get married? Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton surely does because it’s probably still causing him headaches, in addition to his legal woes. The […]

Overview of two Bexar County legislative primaries

The turnover of Bexar County’s Democratic legislative caucus continues apace. With the departures in 2015 of Mike Villarreal and Jose Menendez (succeeded by Diego Bernal and Ina Minjarez, respectively) and the departures this year by Joe Farias, Trey Martinez-Fischer, and Ruth Jones McClendon, there will be a whole lot of Bexar County legislators being sworn […]

SCOTUS puts Clean Power Plan on hold

And in doubt. In a major setback for President Obama’s climate change agenda, the Supreme Court on Tuesday temporarily blocked the administration’s effort to combat global warming by regulating emissions from coal-fired power plants. The brief order was not the last word on the case, which is most likely to return to the Supreme Court […]

Interview with Mary Ann Perez

I’ve discussed the recent history of HD144 in my previous two interview posts, including how it was won by Democrats in 2012 and lost in 2014. The person who won and then lost those elections is Mary Ann Perez, who was the leading votegetter in that second race but could not overcome the decline in […]

Complaint filed against Cruz campaign for “check enclosed” stunt

This ought to be fun. A liberal Texas political group has filed a formal complaint alleging that a recent fundraising solicitation mailed by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign violated state law. The solicitation came in an envelope featuring a return address in official government type and the words “check enclosed.” The “check” was a […]

Interview with Bernie Aldape

As noted, HD144 is the one formerly Democratic-held seat to be won back. Redrawn as a Latino-majority swing district in 2011 after being held by a Republican all last decade, it was won in 2012 by Democrats, then lost by a small margin in the 2014 debacle when turnout levels were down. Three challengers face […]

Yet another record year for Obamacare signups in Texas

It’s like a trend or something. A record 1.3 million Texans signed up for health coverage during the 2016 Affordable Care Act’s enrollment period, topping last year’s number by more than 100,000, according to the U.S. Health and Human Services Department final tally released Thursday. Houston enrolled 346,822 for 2016 during the three-month sign-up period […]

State strikes out on Syrian refugees again

Too bad. Now give up already. A federal judge has again denied a bid by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to block the federal government from resettling Syrian refugees in the state. Dallas-based U.S. District Judge David C. Godbey on Monday rejected Paxton’s request for a preliminary injunction to bar the Syrian refugees, dealing another […]

Interview with Cody Ray Wheeler

As there is one Democratic-held open legislative seat of interest this cycle, so too is there one formerly Democratic-held seat to be won back. HD144 was redrawn as a Latino-majority swing district in 2011 after being held by a Republican all last decade. It was won in 2012 by Democrats, then lost by a small […]

Federal judge smacks video fraudsters

That’s gonna leave a mark. In a sharp rebuke, a federal judge on Friday issued a preliminary injunction ordering abortion opponents not to release videos they had secretly made at meetings of abortion providers, and he added that the opponents’ claims that such organizations were illegally selling fetal tissue were baseless. In the ruling, Judge […]

We have a messed up tax system in this state, part deux

Sooner or later, it’s going to collapse under its own weight. The state’s highest civil court last week agreed to hear a case hinging on whether metal pipes, tubing and other equipment used in oil and gas production should be exempt from sales taxes. While the issue is arcane, the impact to the state could […]

Can Dems make progress in Collin County?

It sure would be nice if they could. It’s no secret that Plano’s Prestonwood Baptist Church has long wielded tremendous political influence, often quietly blurring the local lines between church and state. But in the 2016 cycle, with the Republican Party veering further to the right, the 40,000-member evangelical megachurch is taking its electoral involvement […]

TOP releases report on inefficiency of development tax subsidies

From the inbox: [Thursday], the Texas Organizing Project and the Workers Defense Project released a report on the ineffectiveness of tax subsidies in cities across Texas, and proposed ways to increase requirements for such deals in Houston to offer benefits in the form of good paying jobs with community investment for Houstonians. The report, compiled […]

Still more hyperloops

They had a hyperloop design contest at Texas A&M: In the end, Elon Musk couldn’t resist showing up to the competition he helped inspire. The billionaire SpaceX CEO made a surprise appearance at the end of the Hyperloop pod design competition at Texas A&M University Saturday, eliciting a rapturous reaction from the thousand-plus audience of […]

The easily predicted results of de-funding Planned Parenthood have resulted as predicted

Who’d a thunk it? A new study released Wednesday reports that after anti-abortion Texas lawmakers blocked Planned Parenthood from participating in the Texas Women’s Health Program (TWHP) in 2013, fewer low-income women received the most effective kinds of contraception. The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, is also the first to analyze the […]

Collin County argues against anti-Paxton prosecutor lawsuit

Reluctantly. [Collin County Commissioners] Court on Thursday urged a Dallas judge to drop a lawsuit seeking to block payment to the special prosecutors. The suit, filed in December by local real estate developer and Paxton donor Jeffory Blackard, should be declared moot because the commissioners already had sent the prosecutors their six-figure check, the county […]

Sebesta appeals disbarment

This saga that I thought was over still has another chapter in it. Lawyers for Charles Sebesta, the ex-prosecutor who secured the wrongful death sentence of Anthony Graves, told a panel of the State Bar of Texas on Friday that he should not be disbarred based on technicalities in the rules that govern lawyer discipline. […]

Support Jessica Farrar

From Andrea Greer: Last week, Senator John Whitmire addressed a crowd of supporters at a fundraiser for Representative Jessica Farrar. “Jessica, I’m here because until today, I gotta be honest,” he admitted, “I didn’t know you had a challenger.” Senator Whitmire is hardly the only one caught by surprise by not just the fact that […]

Two more places that Uber won’t operate

Goodbye, Galveston. Just days after the City Council passed an ordinance designed to regulate transportation networks, Uber has shut down its service in Galveston. Monday evening, people in Galveston who tried to use the phone app to order a ride received a message that Uber is no longer available in Galveston “Due to new regulations […]

Endorsement watch: Succeeding Sylvester

The Chron makes its choice for HD139. We encourage Democratic Party voters to look for a candidate who will emulate Turner’s successful model of connecting constituents’ interests with the levers of state power in Austin. We believe that Kimberly Willis will be that candidate. Willis’ experience as a former staffer in the Legislature and as […]

Interview with Randy Bates

We wrap up our series of interviews with candidates in HD139, the longtime office of now-Mayor Sylvester Turner. Today’s subject is attorney Randy Bates, founder and partner in a firm concentrating in public finance. Bates served for over 20 years on the board of trustees of the Lone Star College System, including seven years as […]

Interview with Kimberly Willis

As noted before, there are four candidates vying to succeed Mayor Sylvester Turner as State Representative in HD139. Kimberly Willis is a licensed social worker who earned her MSW at the University of Houston and is employed by the Harris County Juvenile Probation Department. A native of Acres Homes, Willis served as a Policy Analyst […]

The most interesting statewide primary is for the Court of Criminal Appeals

Too bad no one’s paying attention. When the first Republican ever elected to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals decided in 2013 to switch parties after 20 years on the bench, the move made national news. Now as the only Democratic statewide official in Texas, Judge Larry Meyers is anticipating a losing battle. “Oh, not […]

Once again, I spoke too soon about the Ethics Commission and Ken Paxton

I’ll be damned. The Texas Ethics Commission declined to pass an opinion that would have said it was okay for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to accept out-of-state gifts from donors to help pay the legal costs for his indictment. At a meeting on Monday, the Texas Ethics Commission voted 4-3 on an opinion that […]

Endorsement watch: What Brown can do for you

The Chron picks its favorite among the challengers in HD27. [Rep. Ron] Reynolds, a three-term incumbent, was named Freshman of the Year by the House Democratic Caucus at the end of the 2011 session; two years later he landed on Texas Monthly’s “Worst” list. This year he needs to attend to his own problems while […]

Interview with Jerry Ford, Jr

There is one Democratic-held open seat in Harris County, and that’s HD139, which has been vacated by now-Mayor Sylvester Turner. Four candidates are running to succeed Turner; I have interviews with three of them. First up is Jerry Ford, Jr, a former all-conference baseball player and student activist at TSU, where he served in the […]

Mary Beth Rogers’ prescription for Texas Democrats

I’m sure you’ve seen this article by Mary Beth Rogers, onetime campaign manager for Ann Richards, about how Democrats can compete and win statewide again. DEAR TEXAS DEMOCRATS… First, let’s get the numbers out of the way. Let’s use the analytics as a backdrop for all that we do, but not as the only factor […]

Another legal bill for Texas

That’s what happens when you lose. The U.S. Supreme Court has decided to let stand a ruling that awarded more than $1.1 million to lawyers who represented former Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis and several minority-rights groups in a case challenging Texas’ redistricting plans. The justices this week refused to review the state’s appeal of […]

Lujan wins HD118 special election runoff

I know everyone is focused on the primaries now, but there was an actual election this past week. Winning in a district long held by Democrats, Republican John Lujan outpolled Tomás Uresti in Tuesday’s special runoff in Texas House District 118. Filling a seat vacated last year by former state Rep. Joe Farias, D-San Antonio, […]