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Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

Possibly the last thing I’m going to say about the Perry indictment for now

Certainly not the last thing I’ll ever say, since there’s a vast amount of the story left to be told, and I reserve the right to change my mind. But for now, since the indictment came down on Friday there’s been very little actual news. There’s been the over-the-top response from Perry’s legal team, there’s […]

Look behind the scenes

There’s another angle to consider the Perry indictment saga, which is that the indictment isn’t so much about what Rick Perry said publicly regarding Rosemary Lehmberg and the Public Integrity Unit but what he was saying behind the scenes. Erica Greider explores this, with a minor detour first. To review those facts, in 2013 the […]

San Antonio will take its time on Uber and Lyft

As was the case in Houston, San Antonio City Council is in no rush to take action on updating their vehicles for hire ordinances to deal with Uber and Lyft. After an emotional and colorful Citizens to be Heard session, the City Council Public Safety Committee unanimously agreed to hold-off on sending a staff-recommended ordinance […]

On Mike McCrum and Pa Ferguson

There were two stories from Sunday about special prosecutor Mike McCrum that were worth flagging. First, here’s the Express News with an angle that I think has been underappreciated. People who know McCrum said he is not the type to use a case to play politics. San Antonio defense attorney Patrick Hancock said McCrum is […]

Hillary and Julian

The other Texas political story from last week that had tongues wagging and social media buzzing. Why yes, since you asked, the Secretary did have dinner with the Clintons at their house, Julián Castro’s press secretary allowed. Did they have a very vice, er, nice evening? Did they veep, ah, keep, talking late into the […]

Just don’t call it “Medicaid expansion”

It’s the public policy that dare not have its name spoken, at least by Republican legislators. State lawmakers renewed efforts Thursday to find a “Texas solution” to expand health-insurance coverage for low-income residents without accepting the Medicaid expansion in President Barack Obama’s signature health care law. Social-services advocates and local officials are among those pushing […]

More on the Perry indictment

Just some more thoughts and links relating to the big story that turned a relatively quiet Friday into one of the busiest news day of the year so far. Let’s start with a reality check from Harold Cook. First of all, I’m a bit puzzled by the indictment. It seems weak to me. When the […]

Just a reminder: Medicaid expansion is still a great deal

But only if you do it. We learned late last week that the decision by 24 states to reject Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion comes as a startling cost — $423.6 billion in lost federal funds from 2013 to 2022, according to researchers at the Urban Institute. So how are states justifying their decisions to leave that […]

From the files of privatization failures

A story from last week. State officials have decided to slow the rollout of a controversial overhaul of the foster-care system after the private contractor running a pilot program abruptly pulled out Friday. Judge John Specia, commissioner of the state Department of Family and Protective Services, said a second pilot of the overhaul will continue […]

Perry indicted

Wow. A grand jury indicted Gov. Rick Perry on Friday on charges of abuse of power and coercion as part of an ethics inquiry into his veto of funding for the state’s public integrity unit. The inquiry began last summer after an ethics complaint was filed alleging that Perry had improperly used a veto to […]

Latest HB2 trial wraps up

And so we await a ruling, followed by whatever the Fifth Circuit will pull out of its posterior. Stefanie Toti, representing the Center for Reproductive Rights, said the requirements imposed by the ambulatory surgical center rules single out abortion providers, as three-fourths of other ASCs in the state are exempt from the costly building code […]

We have a Lite Guv debate agreement

Mark your calendars for September 29. Both campaigns confirmed the date via email Thursday after the two sides had agreed to a Texas Tribune-hosted debate but couldn’t reach a consensus on a day. The Tribune originally proposed Sept. 24 and Sept. 27 as possible dates. Van de Putte, a San Antonio Democrat, accepted a debate […]

Abbott does one last solid for Perry

He lets him keep his little secrets. After critics raised a stink about the tax dollars being spent to provide security for Gov. Rick Perry while he was gearing up to run for president, lawmakers passed a bill in 2011 designed to let Texans know — eventually — what they were getting for their money. […]

The case against tossing the HERO repeal petitions

Jerad Najvar makes a constitutional argument that the city of Houston should have accepted the HERO repeal petitions even though many of the petition pages fell short of the requirements laid out in the city charter. While we lack clarity as to exact numbers, it appears that given a blatant constitutional infirmity with part of […]

Intimidation tactics

Very creepy. Anti-abortion activists in Texas employ strategies to identify and monitor abortion patients, investigate abortion providers and clinic staff and search tax records to find locations of abortion providers, according to newly released undercover audio. The audio, from NARAL Pro-Choice Texas and Progress Texas, was recorded during a training session at the Capitol hosted […]

News flash: Greg Abbott wants to sue the EPA again

Nobody could have foreseen this! Foretelling a new environmental battle between state and federal regulators, Attorney General Greg Abbott on Monday demanded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency back down from a proposal to expand the definition of federal waters to include seasonal and rain-dependent waterways. The proposal “is without adequate scientific and economic justification and, […]

On redistricting and race

Phase Two of the redistricting trial is underway, and if it sounds an awful lot like Phase One to you, you would be right. Texas’ Republican-controlled Legislature didn’t discriminate against minorities by drawing election maps in 2011 that voting-rights activists say make it harder for Hispanics and blacks to elect their candidates, a lawyer for […]

On the death penalty

Most of what you need to know about this story concerning Wendy Davis, the death penalty, and the Governor’s race can be found at the end of it. In July 2000, when she was a relatively new member of the Fort Worth City Council, Wendy Davis voted for an open-ended moratorium on the death penalty, […]

San Antonio has begun curbside recycling of plastic bags

As of August 1, to be exact. “We are starting with a new recycling processor that can accept the bags so that allows us to add it to the list of items we can accept,” [Solid Waste Management Department Public Relations Manager Tiffany] Edwards said, adding that the move gives San Antonians another option to […]

Wait, there’s another special Senate election coming up?

Yes, there is. And you thought (okay, I had thought) SD04 was the last election till November. The field is taking shape for the special election next month in Senate District 28, with at least five people announcing they’re running to replace Robert Duncan, who stepped down to lead the Texas Tech University System. The […]

From the “Those that disregard history are doomed to repeat it” department

This is the state of environment protection in Texas. Texas’ top environmental regulator suggested Thursday that the state may ignore a proposed directive from the Obama administration in June to reduce carbon emissions from power plants. “I’m concerned that if this is not contested, if we don’t dispute this, if we don’t win, the implications […]

Collier keeps up the attack

I really like the way he’s running his campaign. Democratic comptroller nominee Mike Collier says his Republican opponent Glenn Hegar bragged to a Houston-area tea party interviewer last year that he was proud of the Legislature’s 2011 budget cuts to public schools. On Friday, Collier released a web video to prove it. “It’s embarrassing and […]

TxDOT to spur research on driverless cars

Among other things. The state could fund research into self-driving cars, jet packs and hover cars if a new proposal by the Texas Department of Transportation is funded. In a presentation Thursday to the Texas Transportation Commission, TxDOT Deputy Executive Director John Barton said the agency plans to begin working with universities around the state […]

If you read just one more story about Wendy Davis’ campaign

I would recommend you read this one, by Andrea Grimes. In four months, Texans are guaranteed to elect a new governor for the first time in 14 years, and Davis’ battle stance is appropo: She’s been under attack from naysayers, pundits, and even members of her own party since before she announced her candidacy for […]

Redistricting II: Congressional Boogaloo

Phase Two of the redistricting lawsuit trial begins today, in which the 2011 Congressional maps go under the microscope. That’s as good a time as any for the mandatory How Much All This Redistricting Litigation Is Costing Us story. Texans are on the hook for $3.9 million in costs for Attorney General Greg Abbott to […]

More on the Abbott-Duntsch connection

The Observer advances the ball. How immune are hospitals? Under the current law, for Baylor to be liable for Duntsch’s mistakes, the plaintiffs have to prove that hospital administrators let him operate because they specifically intended to harm patients. Soon after the three plaintiffs sued, Abbott’s office announced that it would be jumping in to […]

LVdP calls out Patrick on debates

You tell him, Leticia. Democratic lieutenant governor nominee Letitica Van de Putte said Thursday that her Republican opponent, Sen. Dan Patrick, has yet to respond to her proposal for a series of debates ahead of the Nov. 4 election. Van de Putte and Patrick spoke separately at the Texas Association of Broadcasters annual convention in […]

Rasmussen: Abbott 48, Davis 40

Make of it what you will. The gubernatorial race in Texas is slightly closer than it was earlier this year. A new Rasmussen Reports statewide telephone survey of Likely Texas Voters finds Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott picking up 48% of the vote to Democratic State Senator Wendy Davis’ 40%. Three percent (3%) prefer some […]

Working on Ebola in Galveston

Given what’s been going on lately I thought this would be of interest. As the worst recorded Ebola outbreak in history sweeps across West Africa, hope for a cure is centering on scientists thousands of miles away at the Galveston National Laboratory, where researchers are working on three of the most promising potential cures. The […]

State bar grievance filed against Paxton

It’s getting to be hard to keep track of all of the complaints and legal actions being filed against the man who would be the state’s top lawyer. This one is a grievance filed with the State Bar of Texas by another watchdog group. In its grievance, the Austin-based Texas Coalition on Lawyer Accountability requests […]

The state’s puppet witnesses in the HB2 lawsuit

The Austin Chronicle tells the story. Among the state defense witnesses who took the stand on the third day of trial against Texas’ abortion-restricting House Bill 2 were two women with overt objections to abortion and one physician whose testimony in support of abortion regulations was recently discredited by a federal court. Additionally, questions arose […]

Lots of same sex marriage appeals about to happen

Busy times in the federal appeals courts. Federal appeals courts soon will hear arguments in gay marriage fights from nine states, part of a slew of cases putting pressure on the U.S. Supreme Court to issue a final verdict. If the appeals judges continue the unbroken eight-month streak of rulings in favor of gay marriage, […]

Ike Dike versus Centennial Gate

It’s an academic storm surge mitigation smackdown! Lawmakers on Monday told representatives of two of Texas’ most distinguished universities to stop feuding and come together on a plan for protecting the Houston region from a storm surge similar to the one spawned by Hurricane Ike six years ago. At a hearing at Texas A&M University […]

Is there any valid evidence of Todd Willingham’s guilt left?

The Washington Post has a long piece examining the connection between the jailhouse snitch whose testimony helped send Cameron Todd Willingham to death row and the prosecutor who has long denied taking any action to influence that testimony. For more than 20 years, the prosecutor who convicted Cameron Todd Willingham of murdering his three young […]