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Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

More on Republican turnout concerns

It’s a thing that is happening, though it’s hard to say to what extent. On Monday, one of the most prominent Republicans in Texas has a warning for supporters that Texas could go blue this election. Governor Greg Abbott is sounding the alarm, citing recent poll numbers. Democrats couldn’t be happier, especially because the email […]

Clean Power Plan’s day in the DC court

We’ll see how it goes. Dozens of lawyers from the government, industry and public interest groups packed the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, to hear the divisive case that comes just weeks before a heated presidential election and illustrates how a President’s picks for the lower court might impact his own agenda. […]

Taco the vote

Now you’re talking. MI FAMILIA VOTA is accustomed to registering voters in unusual places, such as the food court at the UH Student Center where we caught up with Maria Villenas last month. Villenas is Houston’s civic engagement lead for the national non-partisan organization, which encourages political participation, primarily among Latinos, and seeks to register potential voters […]

Early eminent domain dispute for Texas Central

It was over before it started. Lawyers for a proposed high-speed rail line between Houston and Dallas withdrew their request for entry to a local landowner’s property, after opponents and the landowner opposed it in front of a Harris County judge, according to opponents of the project. “It is a great day for the vindication […]

Voter registration way up statewide

That’s a lot. Nearly 15 million people are now registered to vote in Texas, a state record. Texas currently has more than 14.8 million voters registered — over 1 million more than were registered in the 2012 presidential election, according to the Texas secretary of state’s office. Keith Ingram, director of elections for the secretary […]

Rep. Dawnna Dukes to resign

Our first special election for 2017 is now on the clock. State Rep. Dawnna Dukes, who is facing a criminal investigation over her use of state funds, will resign from her seat in the Texas House in January, according to the Quorum Report, a Texas political news website. The 11-term Austin Democrat cited medical issues […]

Back to court for the Clean Power Plan

Here we go. One of the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s final acts on Earth may have been to doom it. Last February, on the final Tuesday of Scalia’s life, the Supreme Court handed down a 5–4 decision suspending the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan. It was a surprising development — a lower court panel that included a […]

Interview with Ben Rose

There are basically two interesting legislative races in the Houston area this November. The first is HD144, where former Rep. Mary Ann Perez should reclaim her seat against 2014 winner Rep. Gilbert Pena. I did an interview with Perez for the primary, which you can revisit here if you care to. The other is in […]

The next abortion lawsuit should be on its way

We were warned it would need to happen. Despite intense outcry from the medical community, reproductive rights advocates and funeral directors, Texas isn’t budging on a proposed rule to require the cremation or burial of fetal remains. Following an initial public comment period that sparked medical concerns and a legal threat, Texas health officials have […]

McMullin will “appear” on the ballot

To the extent that a write-in candidate “appears” on the ballot, anyway. Texas voters will be able to vote for former CIA operative Evan McMullin for president in November. The Texas secretary of state’s office on Friday certified McMullin, who is running as an independent, as a write-in candidate for the general election. McMullin, a […]

School district to join lawsuit over STAAR test

Interesting. Ben Becker, the Houston father who helped organize a legal fight over last year’s STAAR exams, has repeatedly challenged superintendents over the last few months to join him in court to fight for their students. Becker describes his group as a handful of Texas parents up against the state of Texas, backed by a […]

State files inevitable voter ID appeal to SCOTUS

As expected. Texas wants to take its voter identification battle to the U.S. Supreme Court. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Friday asked the justices to hear his arguments about why the state’s photo ID requirements for voting do not discriminate against Hispanics and African-American voters. “Safeguarding the integrity of our elections is essential to […]

Good riddance to a bad judge

Meet federal district judge Walter Smith. Now say a long overdue goodbye to him. One of Texas’ strictest federal judges — serving a year’s ban from hearing cases after being slapped hard by a panel of appeals court judges last year — has retired amid a renewed investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct. U.S. District […]

ACLU intervenes in transgender health care suit

Good for them. The ACLU and ACLU of Texas are getting involved in a lawsuit over a regulation in the Affordable Care Act. In August, Texas filed a lawsuit against federal regulations that prohibit healthcare discrimination against people who are transgender. The lawsuit was announced by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, representing the Franciscan […]

Endorsement watch: Let your conscience be your guide

That Ted Cruz sure does stay firm to his principles, doesn’t he? U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz endorsed Donald Trump on Friday after months of withholding his support from the Republican presidential nominee who defeated him in the primaries. “After many months of careful consideration, of prayer and searching my own conscience, I have decided that […]

UH Hobby School (Harris County only): Clinton 43, Trump 34

I have many thoughts about this. Between September 1 and September 20, 2016, the University of Houston Hobby School of Public Affairs conducted a telephone survey of 550 Harris County registered voters as part of a larger Hobby School study on voter participation and engagement under the direction of Mark P. Jones, Renée Cross, and […]

Miller avoids charges for his questionable trips

Can’t catch ’em all. Travis County prosecutors will not press criminal charges against Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller for tapping taxpayer funds for two trips that involved personal activities — including an appearance in a Mississippi rodeo and the receipt of a medical injection in Oklahoma called the “Jesus Shot.” “We have decided to close […]

More on the Sandra Bland settlement

State Rep. Garnet Coleman is working to implement the reforms mandated by the Sandra Bland lawsuit settlement. House Democrats sparred with state law enforcement officials over questions of racial profiling Tuesday at a sometimes contentious hearing. It was the latest in a series of House County Affairs Committee hearings on policing in advance of the […]

We continue to cower in fear of Syrian refugees

Sheesh. As part of its ongoing fight to keep Syrian refugees out of the state, Texas is threatening to withdraw from the nation’s refugee resettlement program if federal officials refuse to “unconditionally approve” a state plan requiring additional vetting of relocated people. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday said the state had informed the Office […]

Judge orders state to reword its voter ID outreach materials

Let’s try this again, shall we? In the continuing fight over Texas’ voter ID law, a federal judge on Monday ordered state officials to change, where possible, the language used to inform voters and poll workers about acceptable voting procedures for the November election, according to a lawyer for those challenging the state law. U.S. […]

Texas versus the feds, Overtime Pay Edition

Hey, look, it’s another lawsuit filed by Texas against something the Obama administration did that our AG doesn’t like. Texas is helping lead a lawsuit against President Barack Obama’s administration over a new rule that makes millions of more workers eligible for overtime pay. Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Tuesday he is joining his counterpart […]

Two more Clinton campaign offices opened in Texas

In Austin: The Democratic National Committee opened its Austin headquarters on Sunday. The move comes amid a surprisingly narrowing gap (given the longtime deep-red status of the state) between Clinton and her GOP rival, Donald Trump, for the presidency. The office is located at 61 N. Interstate 35 at Holly Street, serving as the base […]

Interview with Jon Harris

It is time to start the fall 2016 interview season. I don’t plan to do a whole lot of these – in particular, I don’t plan to revisit races that I had covered during primary season – but I do have a few to do, as well as the judicial Q&As (again, for candidates not […]

Texas v. the Feds: Telemedicine edition

Here’s a new one. Teladoc, the Dallas-based company that sued Texas over its telemedicine regulations, has a new ally in the Federal Trade Commission. In a letter sent to the U.S. 5th Circuit Court late Friday, the federal antitrust agency sided with Teladoc in the company’s legal battle, criticizing the Texas Medical Board for allegedly […]

Abbott says something about high speed rail

Something vague, and a bit confusing. Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday expressed caution about high-speed rail in Texas, warning that any investment in transportation must not be a “money-losing proposition.” It was one of several notable topics that came up during a wide-ranging Q-and-A with the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce, where Abbott also vouched […]

So what’s going on with these polls of Texas?

Republicans are feeling a little touchy about them. “I think the emerging picture is one that looks a little bit tighter in the presidential election than we’ve seen in recent elections in the state,” said Joshua Blank, whose Texas Lyceum poll, released Thursday, found GOP nominee Donald Trump leading Democratic rival Hillary Clinton by only […]

Obamacare: Still working

Down doobie doo down down… Texas’ rate of uninsured people fell to 17.1 percent in 2015 as part of a steady decline in the share of uninsured residents following the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, according to new Census estimates released Tuesday. The state’s rate of uninsured fell two percentage points from 2014 to […]

Another story about the possible Trump Effect on downballot races

It’s mostly about one legislative race in particular, but that’s okay. When he worked in the oil industry, Thomas Benavidez traveled to drilling sites across Texas and northern Mexico. The work was exciting, and the pay was good. He rarely paid attention to politics. But after being laid off two years ago, the 24-year-old South […]

Family of Sandra Bland settles its lawsuit

I hope this brings them some peace, but more importantly I hope it leads to fewer inmate deaths, in Waller County and elsewhere. The family of Sandra Bland — who died last year in a Waller County Jail cell — has reached a settlement with Texas officials in a wrongful death lawsuit, a lawyer for […]

TEA will review special ed limits

It’s a start. Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath said Wednesday that his office is reviewing a monitoring system that sets an 8.5 percent benchmark for special education enrollments and strictly audits school districts with enrollments that exceed that rate for students with disabilities. The Chronicle reported Sunday that TEA officials had arbitrarily selected the 8.5 […]

Lyceum: Trump 39, Clinton 32

From the Texas Lyceum, another single-digit poll result. If the U.S. presidential election were held today, ballot tests show a tighter race at the top of the ticket in deep red Texas than recent history would suggest, according to independent poll results released today by the Texas Lyceum, the nonprofit, nonpartisan premier statewide leadership group. […]

ACC makes it three

So long, North Carolina. Just two days after the NCAA announced they were moving scheduled tournaments out of North Carolina in protest of the state’s anti-LGBTQ House Bill 2, the Atlantic Coast Conference—which includes North Carolina’s biggest Division I programs like Duke, UNC, NC State, and Wake Forest—announced it would also relocate several of their […]

ECPS: Trump 42, Clinton 36

Another state poll result to add to the list. A new Emerson College poll in Texas, which has long been a Republican stronghold, shows Donald Trump leading Hillary Clinton by only 6 points (42% to 36%), with 10% of respondents voting for Libertarian Gary Johnson, 6% for the Green Party’s Jill Stein and 6% undecided. […]

Patrick whines about NCAA decision to pull events from North Carolina

Poor baby. Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick criticized the NCAA on Tuesday for its decision to pull seven of its championship events from the state of North Carolina. The action came after North Carolina passed a law regulating the use of restrooms by transgender people. The bill also excluded gender identity and sexual orientation from […]