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Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

Congressional candidates everywhere

Texas Democrats are as optimistic as they’ve ever been about candidate recruitment. “I’ve been recruiting candidates in Texas for years, and I’ve never seen an environment quite like this,” said Cliff Walker, candidate recruitment director for the state Democratic Party. Walker predicted that for the first time in his political career, every open congressional seat […]

Some other dude may challenge Ted Cruz in the 2018 GOP primary

Sure, why not? A Fort Worth-based political action group that promotes the ideals of former President Ronald Reagan could back a candidate against incumbent Ted Cruz in the Republican primary for Senate. Bruce Jacobson, the executive producer of a Christian cable television show called called Life Today TV, has been quietly weighing a run against […]

Stockman aide takes a plea

The walls are closing in. A longtime confidant and aide to former U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman pleaded guilty to Wednesday to fraud charges in a corruption scheme that also targeted the former congressman. The alleged scheme involved diverting hundreds of thousands of dollars — meant as contributions from conservative foundations — to fund political campaigns […]

Kirkland for Supreme Court

Good. Houston State District Court Judge Steven Kirkland has announced his candidacy for a seat on the all-Republican Texas Supreme Court, making him the first openly gay candidate to run for the state’s highest civil court. Kirkland, a Democrat, is seeking Place 2 on the court, which is currently held by Justice Don Willett. Willett […]

No expedited appeal of voter ID

There’s no speeding this up. A federal appeals court Tuesday declined to have all 14 judges participate in the appeal over the Texas voter ID law — a decision that will keep the issue unresolved heading into the 2018 elections, one judge said. Civil rights groups, Democrats and minority voters who challenged the voter ID […]

Rep. Al Green’s articles of impeachment

Gauntlet thrown. U.S. Rep. Al Green, a Houston Democrat, introduced formal articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on the House floor Wednesday during a session otherwise devoted to whistleblower protection legislation. In his argument for impeaching the president, Green read out several of Trump’s tweets, arguing that his statements on several recent national controversies […]

The lost Harvey tax break

I have mixed feelings about this. Owners of nearly 300,000 homes damaged by Hurricane Harvey in Texas won’t see any break in their property taxes because of political wrangling this year in the state Legislature over completely unrelated issues – including, one Houston Republican says, the bathroom bill. A property tax reform bill that would […]

Houston Rocks Dayna Steele at Numbers

I don’t mention candidate fundraisers very often in this space, but today I’m going to make a special exception for one of the cooler events I’ve come across. Hilton at 10:30 a.m. Dayna Steele rocked Houston for years. Now, let’s help Dayna get to Congress and #Rockthe36 at Numbers October 16th, 6-8PM 300 Westheimer Road […]

Jeffrey Payne makes it official

Democrats have their first candidate for Governor. The first reaction by many Texans to Saturday evening’s announcement by Jeffrey Payne as the first officially declared Democratic candidate for Texas governor is likely to be: “Who?” But Payne, a businessman who owns a gay bar in Dallas among other ventures, is focused on the “what.” And […]

Don’t hold your breath waiting for federal Harvey recovery money

Settle in for the long haul. It could be months, if not years, before southeast Texans and scores of counties and cities receive federal funds to pay for the long-term rebuilding and recovery of homes and communities battered by Hurricane Harvey’s epic rains. Federal Emergency Management Agency money for short-term relief like debris removal and […]

“Not One Penny” rally

From the inbox: Indivisible Houston ​to​ ​Host​ ​“Not​ ​One​ ​Penny”​ ​Rally and Press Conference at John Culberson’s Office​ ​to​ ​Demand​ ​Congress Stop​ ​Robbing from the Poor to Give to Big Business Local Organizers Join Nationwide “Not One Penny” Campaign to Fight Against the Trump Tax Scam Who: Indivisible Houston What: Tax Scam Protest When: Noon […]

What the Harvey needs are from the state

It’s not just about recovery. The long term needs, including mitigation against future events like Harvey, is where the real money will need to be spent. More than one month after Harvey’s deluge hit, local officials, including Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, testified at a state House of Representatives Appropriations Committee […]

More trans people are running for office

The best way to gain political power is to win elections, and to win elections you have to run for office. The first time Dani Pellett tackled the bathroom question was years before the issue of transgender access to restrooms would become a matter of political debate — and more than a decade before Pellett would enter the […]

Harvey and the oysters

If it’s not one thing, it’s another. Oyster lovers will shell out more for the marine delicacy this fall, as freshwater runoff from Hurricane Harvey’s historic floods killed virtually all of the bivalves in the prolific seabeds of Galveston Bay. The storm was the latest setback to a multimillion-dollar commercial fishing and seafood-processing industry that […]

More Beto in the national news

From Splinter, part of the Gawker universe, a story that was front-paged on Deadspin and Jezebel: O’Rourke sticks around to meet every single person in Burnet who wants to meet him. He doesn’t leave until the last hand has been shaken, the last selfie snapped. It wouldn’t be impressive—that’s what politicians are supposed to do—except […]

Now is not a good time for HHSC to be dysfunctional

And yet here we are. Under Charles Smith, the longtime ally of Gov. Greg Abbott picked to lead the state’s Health and Human Services Commission, Texas’ government health care infrastructure is hemorrhaging veteran employees and facing criticism for its response to the humanitarian crisis caused by Hurricane Harvey. Dozens of experienced senior staff members have […]

MUDs and Harvey

City governments have their pros and cons, and their challenges getting things done. But at least their existence means residents of said cities have places to go when they need various services. Not everyone has that, and in times of crisis like what Harvey has wrought, that’s a big deal. Cinco Ranch, a master-planned community […]

Paxton being investigated for bribery

Sounds sexy, but don’t get too excited just yet. Attorney General Ken Paxton is being investigated under bribery and corrupt-influence laws for accepting a six-figure gift from a CEO whose company was under investigation by the state for fraud, the district attorney leading the probe confirmed Thursday. In July 2016, Austin-based medical device company Preferred Imaging LLC agreed to pay a $3.5 million settlement after […]

Sure would be nice if we could not kill CHIP

Just a thought. Insurance coverage for more than 390,000 Texas children and pregnant women is in jeopardy after Congress failed to renew authorization for a federal program. Congressional authorization for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which provides low-cost health insurance for children from low- and middle-income families, expires Sept. 30. Without federal funding, Texas has […]

SOS halted from handing over voter info

Good. A Texas district judge has issued a temporary restraining order preventing Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos from handing voter information to President Donald Trump’s voter fraud investigation commission. The order, which came out Tuesday, adds Texas to a growing list of states not complying with the president’s investigation into the 2016 elections, which […]

Pasadena City Council approves settlement in redistricting case

It’s over. The Pasadena City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a $1.1 million settlement agreement of a lawsuit challenging a city voting plan that a federal judge found diluted Latino voting influence. Councilman Cody Ray Wheeler said that after four years of litigation and $3.5 million in legal fees he was glad to see […]

Paxton trial delayed again

This will happen some day. I hope. Attorney General Ken Paxton’s trial has been put off for a third time. The judge in the securities fraud case against Paxton sided Wednesday with prosecutors who had been pushing for another trial delay because of a long-running dispute over their fees. The decision by Harris County District […]

SCOTUS takes up partisan gerrymandering

So much coverage on this potentially ground-breaking and earth-shaking case. Here’s the Washington Post: Opponents of political gerrymandering had reason for optimism at the Supreme Court on Tuesday, with Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, the likely swing vote, appearing more in sync with liberal colleagues who seemed convinced that a legislative map can be so infected […]

Fifth Circuit hears bail lawsuit arguments

Big day in court. Amid a stream of pointed questions from the bench, lawyers for Harris County Tuesday asked panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to toss a lower court ruling that the county’s criminal justice system violated the constitution by holding poor defendants on low level offenses simply because they could […]

Trump nominates two to the Fifth Circuit

This is why Republicans put aside their doubts to vote for Trump, and it’s why they stick with him. This is the prize they kept their eyes on, and it’s paying off for them bigtime. President Donald Trump on Thursday said he is nominating two Texans to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals: Texas […]

Pasadena will settle voting rights case

Excellent news. Pasadena Mayor Jeff Wagner on Friday asked the City Council to settle a voting rights lawsuit that led to national portrayals of the Houston suburb as an example of efforts to suppress Latino voting rights. The proposed settlement with Latino residents who sued the city in 2014 over a new City Council district […]

So were we targeted by Russian hackers or not?

Depends who you ask, I guess. A top state official is pushing back against the federal government’s claim that Texas was among states whose election systems were targeted by Russian hackers ahead of the 2016 presidential election. “At no point were any election-related systems, software, or information compromised by malicious cyber actors,” Texas Secretary of […]

Houston gets state recovery funds, property tax rate hike shelved

Was that so hard? I ask you. Mayor Sylvester Turner on Friday said he would withdraw a proposed property tax rate hike after Gov. Greg Abbott handed him a check for $50 million to help fund the city’s recovery from Hurricane Harvey. The exchange came as the mayor and governor held a joint City Hall […]

What should the people living near the dams have known?

More than they were told, is what they’re saying. A federal lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers claims government officials knew for years that water impounded behind Addicks and Barker dams would flood thousands of suburban homes during an extreme storm – and yet did nothing to advise or compensate property owners. The […]

Huffman gets a Republican challenger

This is definitely one to watch. Kristin Tassin, the president of the Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees, is running against state Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, in the 2018 GOP primary. “I’m officially running,” Tassin told The Texas Tribune on Thursday. “The final decision really came down to the fact that the state Legislature is […]

Abbott says he wants a list from Turner

A list of funding priorities, he says. Because he’s passive like that. Answering Houston’s latest complaints over funding for Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts, Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday told Mayor Sylvester Turner the state can step up with more money as soon as the city gets a list of its top needs to the state. […]

Can our dams handle the load?

Pretty important question, wouldn’t you say? The state climatologist is warning that Texas dams will become less able to withstand extreme weather events like Hurricane Harvey, which are expected to occur more frequently as the earth’s atmosphere and oceans warm in coming years. Dams are designed with a wide margin of safety and are meant […]

Ken Paxton REALLY wants your “sanctuary complaints”

What could possibly go wrong? Texans who suspect their elected or appointed officials of enforcing policies that protect undocumented immigrants can now file an official complaint with the office of the state’s top prosecutor. Attorney General Ken Paxton on Tuesday announced his office is accepting sworn complaints against “sanctuary” jurisdictions that prohibit local police from […]

Texas was a hacking target in 2016

We’re just finding out about this now? Hackers targeted Texas and 20 other states prior to the 2016 presidential election, the United States Department of Homeland Security has formally informed the states. But the hackers who tried to mess with Texas didn’t get far, officials with the Texas Secretary of State’s office said Monday. The […]