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Posts Tagged ‘The Lege’

The Harris County slates

Let’s talk about the filings for Harris County. The SOS filings page is still the best source of information, but they don’t provide shareable links, so in the name of ease and convenience I copied the Democratic filing information for Harris County to this spreadsheet. I took out the statewide candidates, and I didn’t include […]

Filing news: A few tidbits while we wait for the dust to clear

As you know, yesterday was the filing deadline for the primaries. Lots of things happen at the last minute, and the SOS filings page isn’t always a hundred percent up to date, so I’m hesitant to make final pronouncements about things right now. Here are a few things I do know about or have heard […]

So now that names have been named, now what?

Maybe some hearings? I don’t know. Texas leaders called for a review of sexual harassment policies at the state Legislature following a Texas Tribune story detailing how current procedures offered little protection for victims and describing a wide range of harassment at the Capitol. The Texas House approved changes to its policy last week. The Senate, where Lt. Gov. Dan […]

A look at past primaries

I think we can all agree that the 2018 Democratic primary season is already unlike anything we’ve seen in recent memory. And since I like putting expressions like that into numbers, I thought I’d try to do it here. First, let’s compare the number of contested Democratic primaries across non-Presidential years: Year State Congress Lege […]

The Harvey effect on the state budget

You know what the solution to this is, right? Senate leaders warned Tuesday that Hurricane Harvey could put a billion-dollar hole in Texas’ budget, an ever-growing number that could affect how much money is available for other state programs. Only $20 million remains in the state disaster-assistance fund, Senate Finance Committee Chair Jane Nelson said […]

That sexual harassment day of reckoning in Texas politics has begun

The Daily Beast follows up its initial reporting about the secret sexual predators of Texas politics with a story that names names. Two names, in particular. Rather than excerpt at length, allow me to quote the Texas Monthly Daily Post summary of the article: Two Texas state lawmakers face new sexual harassment allegations. Democratic state […]

Filing news: Jeffrey Payne and a whole lot of Congressional candidates

And then there were six Democratic candidates for Governor. Signing paperwork and presenting a $3,500 check, [Dallas businessman Jeffrey] Payne became the sixth Democrat to file for the state’s top office. In addition to Payne, the list currently includes Houston electronics businessman Joe Mumbach, Dallas financial analyst Adrian Ocegueda, former Balch Springs Mayor Cedric Davis […]

Lege updates sexual harassment policy

Good, and about time. Members of the Texas House approved a new sexual harassment policy Friday with significant changes, including language strengthening protections against retaliation and specific steps for reporting inappropriate behavior. The revised policy, which was adopted during a Friday hearing of the House Administration Committee, offers more details on the actions that could […]

Filing news: The “not much to add but I’ll add it anyway” edition

One more week to go till the filing deadline. There’s already been a lot of activity, but there should be plenty more to come. A few highlights as we head into the last week for filing: – An old familiar face wants back in. Former state Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer announced Saturday that he is […]

Appeals court upholds Reynolds barratry conviction

Not good. A Texas appeals court has upheld the conviction of state Rep. Ron Reynolds, who was found guilty in 2015 of engaging in a scheme to illegally solicit potential clients for his law firm. The three-judge appellate panel ruled Wednesday that there was sufficient evidence to convict Reynolds and that the trial judge did […]

State of the County 2017: Ed Emmett versus state leadership

That sound you heard was a fight breaking out. Harris County Judge Ed Emmett on Tuesday used his annual State of the County speech to blast state leaders who he said attack local governments and seek to cut needed taxes but offer no real solutions to the myriad problems Texas’ large urban counties face. Before […]

Post-holiday weekend filing update

Pulling this together from various sources. – According to the Brazoria County Democratic Party, Beto O’Rourke has company in the primary for Senate. Sema Hernandez, whose campaign Facebook page describes her as a “Berniecrat progressive” from Houston, is a candidate as well. I’d not seen or heard her name before this, and neither she nor […]

Rep. Walle files for re-election, not CD29

From the inbox: State Representative Armando Walle (D-Houston) released the following statement to announce his run for re-election to the Texas House of Representatives: After much consultation and consideration with my family, friends, and community, I have decided to run for re-election to the Texas House to represent House District 140 for my sixth term. […]

Abortion procedure ban struck down

Good news, for now. A federal district judge handed a victory to abortion rights groups Wednesday when he struck down part of a Texas law curbing access to the most common second-trimester abortion procedure, called dilation and evacuation. In a decision that will be appealed before the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge Lee […]

An incomplete filing update

First, a little Republican action in CD02. Hurricane Harvey is reshaping congressional campaigns in Houston. When the flood waters socked the Meyerland area, it also washed out the home of former hospital CEO David Balat, a Republican, who was hoping to unseat fellow Republican and current U.S. Rep. John Culberson, R-Houston. “Like so many people, […]

There’s scared and there’s strategy

What we’re seeing from the GOP is some of both. Republicans are beginning to worry that a “blue wave” of Democratic voters angry with the Trump administration could crash into the 2018 election, even in the deep red state of Texas. Gov. Greg Abbott’s top campaign adviser and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick are both sounding […]

That decline in international students is here

We knew it was coming. UHCL is among several universities around Texas that this year have seen a sharp drop in international enrollment, as the number of international student applications to four-year public universities has plummeted by more than 10,000 after three years of growth, according to recently compiled data. Experts and college administrators blame […]

The potential Sylvia effect

As we know, Rep. Gene Green is retiring, and as we also know, Sen. Sylvia Garcia is one of the contenders to succeed him. As noted before, this is a free shot for Garcia, as she would not otherwise be on the ballot in 2018. If she loses, she gets to go back to being […]

TAB wants the Lege to quit it with bathroom bills

The talk is good. We’ll see about the action. Texas lawmakers spent too much time this year debating bathrooms and immigration, and took their eyes off some matters vital to economic growth, such as phasing out the business-franchise tax and easing road congestion, the head of the state’s top business lobbying group said Tuesday. Texas […]

The Lege needs a sexual harassment process

This is unacceptable. As sexual misconduct accusations pile up against men in power across the country, interviews with more than two dozen current and former lawmakers and legislative aides indicate sexual harassment not only is pervasive at the Texas Capitol but also regularly goes unchecked. Most of those interviewed described how men at the Capitol […]

At some point we will be able to stop talking about who may run for Governor as a Democrat

That day is December 11. I am looking forward to it. With less than a month before the filing deadline, the most prominent declared candidate for Texas governor is probably Andrew White, the son of former governor Mark White. White, a self-described “very conservative Democrat,” has never run for elected office and holds views on […]

Abbott v Davis

It’s getting real out there. In what promises to deepen divisions in the Texas Republican Party, Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday endorsed a GOP challenger to incumbent state Rep. Sarah Davis of Houston. Abbott gave his public thumbs-up to Susanna Dokupil, a more-conservative Republican like Abbott, who is running against the more moderate Davis, who […]

Going beyond “thoughts and prayers”

There are things we could do to reduce the prevalence of gun violence, if we wanted to. At a news conference organized by Texas Gun Sense at the state capitol on Wednesday, state Reps. Poncho Nevárez, D-Eagle Pass, and Nicole Collier, D-Fort Worth, urged state leaders to declare gun violence a public health issue and […]

Second trimester abortion lawsuit hearings conclude

Now we wait. In a five-day trial that concluded Wednesday, lawyers for the state defended part of a Texas law that bans the most common second-trimester abortion procedure unless the fetus is deceased. Abortion rights groups sued the state in July, arguing the provision restricting the dilation and evacuation procedure imposes an undue burden on […]

The secret sexual predators of Texas politics

Come in, sit down, make yourself comfortable. Maybe a nice cup of hot tea? There now, all settled in? Good. Now steel yourselves and read this. More than a year before the now-infamous “shitty media men” list, women in Texas’s statehouse secretly created their own online whisper network to document sexual harassment and assault in their […]

SB4 at the Fifth Circuit

Hoping for the best as always, but the Fifth Circuit has a way of stomping on that. Tuesday’s hearing was on whether U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia’s August decision to block several of the law’s provisions should stand while the case meanders through the court system. […] In late August, Garcia halted several parts of the law, […]

Second trimester abortion lawsuit hearings begin

Deja vu all over again. Texas abortion providers argued in court Thursday that it is not medically necessary to require women to undergo injections or other procedures in order to comply with a new state law restricting the most common second-trimester abortion procedure. […] Dr. Mark Nichols, an Oregon-based doctor, called the dilation and evacuation […]

Paxton officially appeals redistricting ruling to SCOTUS, part 2

The state House version. Attorney General Ken Paxton on Friday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a lower court ruling that ordered nine of Texas’ statehouse districts redrawn after being found discriminatory. In August, a three-judge panel in a federal district court in San Antonio ruled that parts of Texas’ statehouse maps were discriminatory […]

Poker clubs

I wish them luck. Michael Eakman, a poker aficionado from a very young age, has hosted poker tournaments from around the country, but Texas gambling laws have long shut him out of his own state and his hometown of Houston. This year, however, he opened the city’s first restricted membership-based poker club, joining several Texas […]

Speaker Straus not running for re-election

A bombshell no one saw coming. Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, a San Antonio Republican, announced Wednesday he will not run for re-election in 2018, a decision that has the potential to upend the political balance of power in the state. Straus, who has lately been the most powerful moderate Republican in the Texas Capitol, […]

Charges against Dukes dropped

She beat the rap. Travis County prosecutors have dropped their criminal charges against state Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, saying Monday that a felony case against the state lawmaker should never have been brought. The announcement ends a months-long legal saga in which Dukes was accused of abusing public office after a grand jury indicted her […]

Paxton wants voter ID lawsuit to be over

I can think of one way he can make that happen. That’s not what he’s asking for, alas. The fight over the state’s embattled voter ID laws should be over, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton argued in a new court document filed late Tuesday. Paxton, as expected, filed a brief with the U.S. Court of […]

Paxton officially appeals redistricting ruling to SCOTUS

Here we go. Attorney General Ken Paxton asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday to take up an appeal of a lower court ruling that invalidated two of Texas’ congressional districts. “It’s fitting that the Supreme Court hear this case, given that it ordered the district court in San Antonio to draw the congressional maps […]

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 […]