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Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

The thing you need to know about the guy behind the “three million illegal votes” claim

He’s a known liar and grifter. When President-elect Donald Trump tweeted Sunday — without evidence — that “millions” of people voted illegally in the race for the White House, he invited a wrath of condemnation for again stoking doubts about the U.S. election system. But in Texas, he found at least one fan: Gregg Phillips, […]

Texas v the feds, Endangered Species edition

One more for the road. For perhaps the last time before President Barack Obama leaves office, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has filed suit against the federal government for what he considers federal overreach, this time in an endangered species matter. […] One rule revises the definition of “destruction or adverse modification” of habitat. Under […]

Anderson maintains lead after recount

It’s over. After a recount, state Rep. Rodney Anderson, R-Grand Prairie, is still the apparent winner in his re-election battle against Democrat Terry Meza. It was not immediately clear what the exact official outcome of the recount was, but the Dallas County GOP said in an email that Meza “conceded upon discovering Rep. Anderson would […]

Trump’s toll roads

Who wants more toll roads? Part of president-elect Donald Trump’s promise to create new jobs for Americans relies on a “deficit-neutral plan” to spend $1 trillion on public works projects, including hundreds of billions for roads and rail. But the strategy could result in something many Texans aren’t going to like: more toll roads. “Unfortunately […]

Straus not very excited about Patrick’s potty bill

Take this for what it’s worth. Texas House Speaker Joe Straus doesn’t think passing a transgender bathroom bill is a pressing issue state lawmakers need to address during the 2017 legislative session. “This isn’t the most urgent concern,” Straus, R-San Antonio, said on Tuesday during an interview with Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith. When asked […]

“Fetal remains” rule goes into effect

Cue up that next lawsuit. Texas’ proposed rules requiring the cremation or burial of fetal remains will take effect Dec. 19, according to state health officials. Despite intense outcry from the medical community and reproductive rights advocates, the state will prohibit hospitals, abortion clinics and other health care facilities from disposing of fetal remains in […]

Dropping out of Electoral College

I have some respect for this. A Texas Republican elector is resigning over the election of Donald Trump, saying he cannot “in good conscience” vote for the incoming president. The elector, Art Sisneros of Dayton, detailed his decision in a blog post Saturday that said he believed voting for Trump “would bring dishonor to God.” […]

Two more lawsuit updates

The ban on the transgender bathroom rule remains in place pending appeals. Continued lack of access in public schools to bathrooms matching transgender persons’ gender identity won’t cause them irreparable harm, a Texas federal judge has ruled. U.S. District Reed O’Connor of Wichita Falls, Texas, made that finding Sunday in ruling against two federal executive […]

We’re going to be fighting about vaccinations for a while

I wish it weren’t so, but it is. Texas is one of 18 states that allow non-medical exemptions to the vaccines required for school attendance. California had a similar law allowing non-medical exemptions, until last year when it enacted a law that has one of the strictest requirements in the country after a 2014 outbreak of measles traced […]

Texting while driving ban bills filed again

We’ll see if this gets a different result. Drivers know the risks, and in more than 95 Texas counties they live under local cell phone ordinances that ban texting while driving. But the Lone Star State remains one of four states in the country without a statewide ban on the practice. Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, hopes to […]

Texas settles another lawsuit against VW

Hard to keep track, I know. Volkswagen will pay the state of Texas $50 million to settle a deceptive trade practices lawsuit brought against the automaker. The settlement is part of an $14.7 billion nationwide agreement to resolve the nation’s largest auto scandal. Volkswagen mislead consumers by promoting diesel vehicles as “clean” even though the […]

Who’s in to succeed Rep. Dawnna Dukes?

There are three confirmed candidates already to succeed Rep. Dawnna Dukes when she steps down next month. Despite announcing her plan six weeks earlier to resign instead of serving another term, state Rep. Dawnna Dukes handily won re-election earlier this month. Dukes, an Austin Democrat, abruptly announced her plan to retire in late September, citing […]

A win for beer

Hooray! All you want for Christmas is a crowler to go? It probably won’t happen that quickly, but an administrative judge’s recommendation could move the state a step closer to letting bars and restaurants sell takeaway beer in the sealed, 32-ounce aluminum cans that sparked a passionate debate last year when officials cracked down on […]

Plano for high speed rail

More support for Texas Central. The Plano City Council has lent it support to a 240-mile high-speed rail project that would run from Dallas to Houston. The council voted 7-1 Monday night to adopt a resolution supporting the project, with Council member Tom Harrison the lone dissenter. City spokesman, Steve Stoler, said the council supported […]

Judge issues injunction against overtime pay change

Because of cours he did. Millions of low-paid supervisors would have become eligible for overtime pay next week, but a federal judge in Texas blocked that path late Tuesday afternoon, ruling that Congress intended duties, not wages, to determine eligibility for overtime and minimum wage. U.S. District Judge Amos L. Mazzant, sitting in Sherman, issued […]

David Temple granted new trial

Wow. The state’s highest criminal court on Wednesday granted a new trial to David Temple, a former Katy football coach accused of killing his pregnant wife in 1999. In an opinion posted online Wednesday morning, the court of criminal appeals sided with Temple’s lawyers, who argued in state district court in 2015 that Harris County […]

Federal court rules there is such a thing as a too-partisan gerrymander

Worth keeping an eye on. In a potentially transformative decision that could hobble partisan gerrymandering and restore a degree of fairness to many legislative races, a divided federal court held on Monday that Wisconsin’s state assembly maps are unconstitutional. The court reached this decision despite a web of Supreme Court decisions that have discouraged, if […]

Collin County Commissioners Court are a bunch of jerks

Unbelievable. In an attempt to lay the legal groundwork to quit funding Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s prosecution, Collin County is refusing to pay a longtime local attorney for his work defending indigent clients. On Monday, the Commissioners Court voted 3-2 to block payment to J. Matthew Goeller, a McKinney defense attorney who has provided […]

Recount in HD105

Still not decided yet. The tight Texas House District 105 race between Republican state Rep. Rodney Anderson and Democratic challenger Terry Meza is headed for a recount. Meza trails Anderson by 69 votes, according to the latest Dallas County elections office tally. The Secretary of State’s office today approved Meza’s request for the recount, which […]

Pasadena voting rights trial update

Day One: The disparity in infrastructure is at the heart of a voting rights case that opened in federal court Thursday in which a group of Latino residents is challenging the city’s newly revised system of government, saying it discriminates against minority voters and intentionally dilutes their power. By creating two at-large council seats and […]

Precinct analysis: State courts

We return to our tour of the precinct data with a look at the statewide judicial races. These tend to be interesting mostly as proxies for base partisan support, but there are variations that reflect qualities about the candidates. That’s what I’m going to focus on here. Dist Green Garza Guzman Robinson R SJ Avg […]

Uber wants back in Austin

It’s how they get back that’s the question.

TEA officially backs off special education limits

We’ll see about that. Facing increasing criticism over its special education enrollment benchmark, the Texas Education Agency this week told schools that they must provide services to all eligible students with disabilities and that they will no longer be penalized for serving too many children. In a five-page letter, Penny Schwinn, the agency’s deputy commissioner […]

So now what for voter ID?

It’s hard to say how much prospects have changed now that Donald Trump gets to appoint the ninth Supreme Court justice, but it’s fair to say that thing haven’t improved for the plaintiffs. Five years ago, Texas passed one of the strictest Voter ID laws in the country. The legal fight began immediately and has […]

Pot bills get their own post

They got their own story in the Trib, so why not their own post. Texas lawmakers across the state say they want leniency in how the state prosecutes marijuana crimes. In an interview with Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith Monday, State Rep. Jason Isaac, R-Dripping Springs, said he thinks the Legislature could decriminalize possession of small […]

From the “Don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone” department

People are signing up for health insurance plans while they still can. For years the backers of the Affordable Care Act have fretted over how best to stimulate insurance enrollment on the exchanges so the law could work as designed. They might have finally found a way from the unlikeliest of sources: the election of […]

Sustaining the Harris County Democrats’ success

All things considered, I feel reasonably optimistic about Democratic prospects in Harris County going forward, but I felt that way in 2008 as well, so I certainly understand the inclination to be cautious. Democrats swept Harris County last Tuesday in nothing short of a rout, claiming every countywide position on the ballot as Hillary Clinton […]

SBOE rejects that lousy Mexican-American studies textbook

Nice. The State Board of Education voted 14-0 Wednesday to deny the adoption of a Mexican-American studies textbook decried by opponents as racist and inaccurate. The textbook, titled “Mexican American Heritage,” was the only submission the board received when it made a 2015 call for textbooks for high school social studies classes, including Mexican-American studies. […]

Precinct analysis: The RRC and the Libertarian moment

Back to precinct analysis, and the race that I featured in my post from yesterday, the Railroad Commissioner race. Here are the numbers: Dist Christian Yarbrough Miller Salinas =========================================== CD02 152,751 97,235 18,346 6,835 CD07 130,384 96,652 20,510 6,537 CD09 24,638 99,920 4,712 4,090 CD10 77,311 32,577 5,878 2,337 CD18 43,820 142,609 9,862 6,382 CD29 […]

As long as we’re talking about improving our voting machines

Then this is what we should be talking about. [Travis] County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir called Rice University computer science professor Dan Wallach, who has been poking holes in voting-machine security for years. He’s testified before Congress on the subject. Now DeBeauvoir wanted him to design a new one. “Wow,” he says. “That doesn’t happen very […]

A theory about third parties

Before I get to that theory, have you ever wondered about the people who vote straight ticket Libertarian or Green in Harris County? I got to wondering about them, because that’s the sort of thing that I think about at times like this. Here are the total numbers of such people, grouped by Presidential and […]

It’s bill-filing season

And they’re off. Today is the first day of early filing in the Texas Legislature. Lawmakers in both the House and Senate may begin filing the bills that will be discussed when the legislature convenes in January 10, 2017. So how does that work and what does it mean? For the most part bills are […]

Precinct analysis: Hillary in Harris County

Let’s get started with the precinct data, shall we? Here’s a Chron story from the day after the election about how things looked overall in the county. The country’s most populous swing county turned a shade bluer Tuesday, when Hillary Clinton trounced Donald Trump in Harris County despite trailing nationally. Clinton’s commanding victory here is […]

Pasadena voting rights trial begins

The Chron’s Mike Snyder provides an update. [This] week in a Houston federal courtroom, [the Voting Rights Act] will again be invoked in a challenge to an allegedly discriminatory council system, this time in a suburban city that’s undergone a dramatic demographic transformation. The lawyers involved in the case, Patino v. Pasadena, will face off […]