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Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

Our stupid social studies

Unbelievable, except that it totally is believable. The publisher of one of Texas’ controversial social studies textbooks has agreed to change a caption that describes African slaves as immigrant “workers” after a Houston-area mom’s social media complaints went viral over the weekend. On Wednesday, Roni Dean-Burren of Pearland posted a screen shot on Facebook of […]

State asks SCOTUS to not take up HB2 appeal

They win by default that way, so why would they want to have to take their chances? Texas attorney general Ken Paxton on Monday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to turn away a legal challenge to the state’s abortion restrictions filed by a coalition of abortion providers. The abortion providers appealed to the high court […]

Some early legislative race news

Just a few links of interest. First, the race in SD24 heats up. Republican state Rep. Susan King said Monday that she will join an increasingly crowded primary field to replace retiring GOP state Sen. Troy Fraser. King had earlier said she would not seek re-election to the House, where she is serving her fifth […]

Hillary’s Latino voter push

We’ll see if the reality measures up to the pregame hype. Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton is ramping up her outreach to Hispanic voters, and Texas is playing a prominent role in the coming push. The former secretary of state plans to speak Oct. 15 in San Antonio about Hispanic women and her own ties […]

Paxton seeks grand jury information

Ken Paxton’s legal team has filed five subpoenas seeking more information relating to the grand jury that indicted him. The defense seeks a complete transcript and audio recording related to the selection of the grand jurors who indicted him. […] The transcripts would reveal what, if anything, came up about Paxton and possible criminal charges […]

Oral arguments in birth certificate lawsuit

Here we go. U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman heard oral arguments in a lawsuit filed by a group of undocumented parents and their U.S.-citizen children against the state Department of State Health Services, which has effectively blocked the children from obtaining birth certificates. The families allege that the department has violated the children’s constitutional rights […]

The latest example of how nuts our beer laws are

Ridiculous. The latest flashpoint between Texas beer lovers and state beer law is a 32-ounce aluminum can that bars and restaurants fill with beer and sell to be consumed off-site. The can, called a crowler, is praised for its convenience and ability to keep beer fresh for longer than traditional to-go packaging. The problem, state […]

Ethics investigator clears Farenthold

Some good news for a controversial Congressman. Ethics investigators struck a blow Monday to an ex-House staffer’s sexual harassment claims against Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, nine months after the fired communications director filed suit in District of Columbia court. The Office of Congressional Ethics did not find substantial reason to believe Farenthold, 53, sexually harassed […]

How much do you hate same sex marriage?

Not as much as this guy does. Ammon J. Taylor of San Antonio is so vehemently opposed to same-sex marriage that he took the unusual step of forming a federal super PAC to fight it. The 27-year-old salesman is taking a seldom-tried — some would say improbable — approach. He wants to muster a convention […]

2015 Lyceum poll, day two

Once again, here’s the press release: An independent poll conducted by the Texas Lyceum, a non-partisan, nonprofit statewide leadership group, shows billionaire real estate mogul and reality TV star Donald Trump leading U.S. Senator Ted Cruz by five points (21 percent-16 percent) in Texas in the 2016 Republican Presidential nominating contest. The survey also shows […]

Uber update, part 4

Here’s the last installment of the Chron/Al Jazeera analysis of how Uber is operating in Houston. Most of the story is about what parts of town have better service from Uber – short answer, inside the Loop – and how Uber is attempting to improve service in parts of town that have not been well […]

2015 Texas Lyceum poll

Issues first, election stuff to come. From the press release: The 2015 Texas Lyceum Poll Finds:  Immigration remains the most important issue facing the state and Texans support lawmakers’ increased spending on border security. Texans’ views on  gay marriage are changing. Forty nine percent of Texans support gay marriage – up from 29 percent in 2009. […]

DNA mixtures

Grits reports on the latest developments in forensics at a hearing of the Texas Forensic Science Commission, and what it means to the legal system in Texas and elsewhere. First, a bit of background. DNA testing looks at two metrics on X and Y axes: Whether alleles are present at various loci, and the quantity […]

We’re still #1!

In uninsured people. For the first time in more than a decade, Texas’ uninsured rate dipped below 20 percent, analysts said [recently] following the release of U.S. Census data. Slightly more than 5 million Texans were uninsured in 2014 — a 700,000 decrease from the year before. That represented a 3-point dip in the percentage […]

Uber update, part 1

The Chron, in conjunction with Al Jazeera Americas, gives the first of what should be a four-part look at how Uber is doing in Houson. Less than a year after Houston began regulating so-called transportation network companies, questions persist about safety assurances from Uber, the city’s sole entrant in the field. Uber is testing local […]

Counting the number of same sex marriages in Texas

Fewer than I’d have guessed, but still a decent amount percentage-wise. Statewide, an estimated 2,500 same-sex couples have received marriage licenses in Texas since the [Obergfell] ruling. There is no exact accounting of how many same-sex marriage licenses have been issued in Texas or Tarrant County because gender is no longer listed on licenses. But […]

The dark side of SpaceX

Be careful what you wish for. People who live in Boca Chica Village, all 26 of them, knew Elon Musk’s SpaceX company would put the South Texas town on the map after it was selected last year as the world’s first commercial rocket-launch site. Now, many want SpaceX gone and their obscurity back. The residents […]

San Antonio implements Vision Zero

Good for them. Tuesday marked the official launch of San Antonio’s Vision Zero, a multi-national awareness and educational initiative that calls for zero traffic fatalities. It’s a lofty goal, but proponents of the plan say these deaths, especially those of pedestrians, are preventable accidents that can be systematically addressed with infrastructure and safety education. Last […]

Why Ken Paxton isn’t going anywhere

It’s as simple as one: In a rare public appearance since his indictment in late July, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton made an appeal for more Christian involvement in politics as he addressed the congregation at First Baptist Grapevine on Sunday. “It takes a lot of courage for believers to step into this political process,” […]

Texas Pulse Poll

Hey look! Someone polled Texas. A statewide poll of Texas likely voters finds that immigration and the economy are the top issues of concern for residents of the Lone Star State. The poll also found that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton lead the Republican and Democratic primaries. Barack Obama is viewed unfavorably by a majority […]

Neugebauer to step down in CD19

At least one Congressional seat will have a new person sitting in it next year. U.S. Rep. Randy Neugebauer, R-Lubbock, announced Thursday that he would not seek re-election in 2016. Neugebauer, who has represented his West Texas district in Congress since 2003, plans to finish his current term. “To say that this has been an […]

Craft beer lawsuit

This ought to be interesting. On the same day merger talk surfaced regarding the world’s two biggest beer companies, a small Dallas brewery announced its own effort to shake up the industry in Texas. Deep Ellum Brewing Co. launched the crowd-funded “Operation Six-Pack to Go” on Wednesday and said it had filed a federal lawsuit […]

Still more on Paxton

The Observer takes a deeper dive into the dirty life and times of Ken Paxton. When Paxton was elected to the Texas House in 2002, his yearly personal financial disclosure form was essentially a blank slate, listing little more than a membership with the Collin County Bar Association. By 2011, he was reporting a stake […]

$8 million and counting for voter ID litigation

Ka-ching. Republicans used their majority in 2011 to muscle through the Legislature a controversial voter ID law and new redistricting maps — and Texas taxpayers haven’t stopped picking up the bill for the state to defend those measures in courts ever since. Texas’ total legal tab to date: more than $8 million, data obtained under […]

When might we get a Supreme Court ruling on school finance?

When they’re damn good and ready is the usual answer for Supreme Court rulings, but in the case of school finance lawsuits they usually act with some measure of speed. Given past rulings and politics — three justices on the nine-member, all-Republican court are up for re-election next year — the consensus among experts and […]

BGTX 2.0

They will have a lot to prove, let’s just leave it at that. Battleground Texas, nearly a year after it and Wendy Davis were crushed in an uphill governor’s race, officially has launched an effort to re-brand itself in light of new — and some old — challenges. The group aimed at breaking Republican dominance […]

Paxton the political advisor

Interesting. The former CEO of the technology firm tied to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s securities fraud indictment told investigators he paid the then-lawmaker to provide information on how to market his product to government agencies, according to a new brief in the case. The disclosure, filed Wednesday by the special prosecutors appointed to the […]

Paxton loses again on same sex marriage

Good. Turning aside objections from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Travis County judge approved an out-of-court settlement Tuesday that recognizes the eight-year relationship of two Austin women as a common-law marriage. The settlement accepted by Travis County Probate Judge Guy Herman ended an estate fight between Sonemaly Phrasavath and family members of the woman […]

Perry’s pathetic pity party

There isn’t a violin small enough. Rick Perry blamed his criminal indictment and exclusion from the Republican debate mainstage for his failed presidential bid in his first interview since suspending his presidential campaign on Friday. “The indictment by the Travis County district attorney’s office, this drunk DA that had used this office, we think, for […]

I stand with Ahmed

Jesus H. Christ on a cracker. Ahmed Mohamed — who makes his own radios and repairs his own go-kart — hoped to impress his teachers when he brought a homemade clock to MacArthur High on Monday. Instead, the school phoned police about Ahmed’s circuit-stuffed pencil case. So the 14-year-old missed the student council meeting and […]

Rangers finish Stickland report

Rulebreaking but not lawbreaking is the conclusion. A Texas Rangers investigation released Tuesday found that the staff of state Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, filled out witness registration forms for people who were not in the Capitol but that no one committed any prosecutable offenses. House leaders have long said that legislative rules require witnesses who […]

Still working out Paxton prosecution costs

Collin County is still hoping to do this on the cheap. Collin County officials expect to budget $100,000 to prosecute Attorney General Ken Paxton, but hope to eventually slash that amount by two-thirds. The county Commissioners Court on Monday evening is expected to discuss how much it will cost to pay the three special prosecutors […]

Packing heat at the zoo

Yeah, this won’t cause any controversy. Houston Zoo officials have been forced to remove long-standing “no guns” signage from the city-owned property after a prominent gun rights attorney filed a complaint, marking the first visible local example of a new state law that targets government entities illegally restricting concealed carry. Though the Houston Zoo is […]

Checking in on Texas Central

It’s still going. The private firm hoping to build a high-speed rail line between Dallas and Houston has been celebrating a summer of successes: completing a successful round of fundraising, seeing a key federal study move forward, surviving the legislative session unscathed. But three years after Texas Central Partners first revealed its ambitious venture, a […]