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Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

What next for Julian Castro?

I can think of something for him to do. Housing Secretary Julián Castro was long touted as a possible running mate for Hillary Clinton, but when the call came Friday informing him that the presumptive Democratic nominee had picked someone else, he wasn’t entirely surprised. “It’s disappointing, of course,” Castro said in a telephone interview […]

As goes Pasadena

If Texas Democrats ever figure out the secret of getting more Latinos engaged in the voting process, it’ll be in places like Pasadena where they find the key. When Oscar Del Toro tries to persuade his fellow Pasadena Latinos to vote, he appeals to them on practical and emotional levels. Practical: If you and your […]

HD146 nomination process to take place on August 6

Mark your calendars. Last Saturday, State Rep. Borris Miles secured the Democratic nomination to replace Senator Rodney Ellis for Senate District 13. As a result, Rep. Miles will have to vacate his seat in House District 146. Precinct chairs will convene again to select a replacement nominee for House District 146. The replacement process will […]

What next for voter ID?

Rick Hasen, writing in Slate: The trial court was ready to throw out the entire law, but the 5th Circuit said such a remedy went too far. The court held that when a trial court finds a law has a discriminatory effect under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, it has to keep as […]

NBA pulls 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte

Bam! The NBA issued the following statement Thursday regarding the 2017 NBA All-Star Game: “The NBA has decided to relocate the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte with the hope of rescheduling for 2019. “Since March, when North Carolina enacted HB2 and the issue of legal protections for the LGBT community in Charlotte became prominent, the […]

Another bad year for Kemp’s ridley turtles

This does not look good. The nesting season for the endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtle is ending with zero nests found on either Galveston Island or the Bolivar Peninsula for the first time in at least a decade, although the number rose for the entire coast. The decline in nesting on the Upper Texas Gulf […]

Fifth Circuit affirms voter ID ruling

Made it by the deadline. Texas’ voter identification law violates the U.S. law prohibiting racial discrimination in elections, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday. The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed previous rulings that the 2011 voter ID law — which stipulates the types of photo identification election officials can and cannot accept at […]

Feds leave oversight of Texas Central to the state

No change in status. A proposed high-speed rail line between Houston and Dallas will remain a mostly Texas matter following a federal decision which opponents cheered as a blow to the project, while backers said provided a definitive scope of the planning process. The Surface Transportation Board on Monday determined it has no oversight of […]

In which we find another way to suck at textbooks

Oh, good Lord. If the State Board of Education approves a proposed Mexican-American studies textbook this fall, Texas students could learn that the Aztecs waged war because of “bloodlust,” 19th-century Mexican industrial laborers often drank on the job and slavery was in swift decline just before the Civil War, scholars and activists said at a […]

Rick Perry still toadying for Trump

Dude must really need a job. Former Gov. Rick Perry says he is open to serving in the administration of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, his former rival in the race for the White House. “They know that I will come and help if the role is something I’m passionate about, that I’m knowledgeable […]

Alignments proposed for Oklahoma City-South Texas passenger rail

Check ’em out. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) have released 10 service and route options for new and improved conventional and high-speed passenger rail service connecting Oklahoma City, Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio, and South Texas.  The options are evaluated in a Draft […]

Abbott pushes for hate crime status for targeted killing of police officers

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Gov. Greg Abbott wants the targeted killing of a police officer to be deemed a hate crime in Texas and urged lawmakers to send him such a bill to sign during next year’s legislative session. Abbott announced Monday his plan to lobby for adding his […]

Can we try this again with nine Justices, please?

Can’t hurt to ask. The Obama administration on Monday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider the legality of the president’s controversial immigration enforcement plan, which stalled last month when the high court deadlocked on an appeal. The program, known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA, was announced […]

Castro ruled to have violated the Hatch Act

Oops. Julián Castro, the secretary of Housing and Urban Development and rumored Democratic vice presidential prospect, violated a law prohibiting federal employees from politicking on the job when he commented on the presidential election in an April interview with Katie Couric, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel said Monday. Castro, the former mayor of San […]

The Latino health insurance enrollment gap in Texas

We have made great strides in reducing the uninsured rate in Texas thanks to the Affordable Care Act, but there’s still a lot of work to do. The percentage of Hispanics in Texas without health insurance has dropped by 30 percent since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) went into effect, but almost one-third of Hispanic […]

What it will take to win the District Court of Appeals benches

I’ve mentioned a couple of times that one place on the local ballot where Democrats could potentially gain some real ground is with the district Courts of Appeals. There are no competitive Congressional or State Senate races, the one competitive State House race in HD144 would be Democratic-favored in any Presidential year, and the countywide […]

Will we ever learn what caused Greg Abbott’s burns?

Not sure what to make of this. Gov. Greg Abbott was released Friday from a San Antonio military hospital, but he has yet to give details of the accident that put him there with second- and third-degree burns. Abbott’s office has said his lower legs and feet were severely burned when he came into contact […]

We’re outsourcing inmates again

We never learn. Harris County, in the latest move to keep its swelling jail population in check, is pursuing an agreement with neighboring Fort Bend County to send inmates to the suburb’s jail. A Harris County Sheriff’s Office spokesman called the measure precautionary. If it is approved by commissioners at their meeting Tuesday, it’s not […]

Miles wins SD13 nomination

And so we gathered again to pick a nominee to fill an open slot on the ballot, though at least this time the “we” who did the actual picking did not include me. I went to observe, say Hi, gather intelligence, and just generally enjoy the process. if you didn’t know anything about that process […]

What will the NBA do with Charlotte?

We are still waiting to see if NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will follow through with a threat to move the NBA All-Star Game out of Charlotte after North Carolina passed its odious anti-LGBT law HB2. Houston’s 2015 defeat of Proposition 1, an anti-discrimination ordinance known as the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), could jeopardize future […]

Legislative hearing on emergency leave

Figure this will be on the legislative agenda next spring. At a Texas House hearing Tuesday looking into how some state agencies were able to keep some departing employees on the public payroll by granting them emergency leave, lawmakers expressed frustration that vague state rules may have allowed the practice. “I want to know exactly […]

Today’s the day for SD13

Feels like we’ve been here before, doesn’t it? Today is the day for the Senate precinct convention in SD13, in which a nominee for that office to replace Sen. Rodney Ellis will be chosen. There are 96 precinct chairs in total across Harris and Fort Bend Counties, and we know the basic process by now. […]

First baby affected by Zika born in Texas

Won’t be the last, unfortunately. A baby boy born with microcephaly in Harris County is the first Zika-affected infant in Texas, the Texas Department of State Health Services announced Wednesday. The baby’s mother contracted Zika in Colombia, and the baby was infected in the womb, according Umair Shah, executive director of Harris County Public Health. […]

Guardianship

An eye-opening story in the Observer on a subject many of us probably never think about. Guardianship is the state’s last-ditch tool to protect people from neglect or abuse, and although it saves lives, it can be a blunt instrument. More than 53,000 Texans, most of them elderly or intellectually disabled, are under a guardianship […]

Gallego claims poll lead over Hurd in CD23

Just another item to add to the list of reasons why Donald Trump is and has been bad news for Texas Republicans. Voters in the district, which is the largest Congressional district in the country which is not its own state, stretching from northwest Bexar County to El Paso, have an ‘overwhelmingly negative’ view of […]

First potty case reaches SCOTUS

Here we go. The legal fight over transgender bathroom rights reached the U.S. Supreme Court for the first time on Wednesday as a Virginia county school board sought to block an order that lets a student who was born a girl but now identifies as male use the boys’ bathroom. Transgender rights have become an […]

The Observer talks to now-retired Judge John Dietz about school finance reform

A brief taste: One really important point, which was certainly not addressed [by the Supreme Court]: With economically disadvantaged students, the undisputed testimony is that if you didn’t grow up economically disadvantaged, when you arrived at school you had roughly a 1,500-word vocabulary and understood probably another 1,000 words. An economically disadvantaged child shows up […]

iCars

Hey, look, it’s a new rideshare option for Houston. A new ride app promises on-demand luxury car services — and no surge pricing. San Francisco-based iCars put its luxury ride app in drive for the Houston and Dallas markets, as the company continues to expand throughout Texas and the U.S., according to a July 11 […]

Chron overview of SD13

Not much new here. Amid frantic wooing of Democratic precinct chairs, the unconventional sprint to succeed state Sen. Rodney Ellis is boiling down to an argument over tenure: Is it better to move a seasoned legislator to the Senate, or preserve House experience by sending a relative newcomer to the upper chamber? State Rep. Senfronia […]

Rep. Ted Poe fighting leukemia

More bad health news. U.S. Rep. Ted Poe, R-Humble, announced Wednesday morning that he was recently diagnosed with leukemia and will spend the rest of the summer concentrating on this battle. “During the Congressional recess, I will be spending time in Texas and focusing on my health,” he said in a statement. Members of Congress […]

We should hear something soon on voter ID

So says Rick Hasen: The federal challenge to Texas’s strict voter identification law is pending before the entire Fifth Circuit sitting en banc.  The Supreme Court set a soft July 20 deadline for a decision—after that the Court has invited plaintiffs to seek immediate relief for this election before the Supreme Court. There’s nothing technically […]

Hexit?

The Chron’s Ken Hoffman asks a burning question. Just for fun, how would the vote go if Houstonians had a crack at “Hexit” – leaving Texas? I don’t mean another “Brexit” – in which British voters elected to leave the European Union, but apparently many didn’t know what they were voting for or against or […]

Abbott hospitalized after suffering burns

Ouch. [Gov. Greg] Abbott is recuperating from burns on both legs below the knees. On Tuesday, the governor [underwent] skin grafts to repair damage on both feet. He is expected to be discharged and will return to Austin. His office revealed on Sunday that he had suffered “second- and third-degree burns” when he was accidentally […]

The zebra mussels keep invading

Can anything stop them? When zebra mussels exploded in the Great Lakes region during the early 1990s, fisheries managers in Texas and many other southern states certainly noticed, but most weren’t overly alarmed. Yes, the alien freshwater mollusks, native to northern Eurasia and introduced to North America through the ballast water of commercial ships, had […]