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Posts Tagged ‘Travis County’

Paxton’s preemptive “sanctuary cities” lawsuit dismissed

Good. U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks on Wednesday dismissed the state of Texas’ lawsuit against Travis County and other defendants over the state’s new immigration enforcement law. Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a pre-emptive lawsuit shortly after the bill was signed in May seeking a ruling that the controversial measure is constitutional. Among the defendants […]

No deal for Dukes

The die is cast. The Travis County District Attorney’s office on Tuesday said its offer to drop all corruption charges against state Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, in exchange for her agreeing to resign immediately had expired. In a statement sent to The Texas Tribune after 5 p.m. Tuesday, Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore said […]

Dukes offered deal to resign

Take it, I say. Beleaguered state Rep. Dawnna Dukes has until the end of the day Tuesday to resign from office — and submit to a drug and alcohol assessment — as part of a plea offer in her criminal corruption case. The plea offer is similar to one Dukes rejected last year prior to […]

Dukes pleads not guilty

To all counts. State Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, entered not guilty pleas to abuse-of-office charges Friday in Travis County district court. The 12-term lawmaker pleaded not guilty to tampering with a governmental record and abuse of official capacity by a public servant. Judge Brad Urrutia on Friday set a trial date of Oct. 16. Dukes […]

Hearing for that other SB4 lawsuit

The SB4 lawsuit that Ken Paxton filed, to get the law pre-emptively declared to be constitutional, had its hearing in Austin on Thursday. A federal judge on Thursday criticized the politics surrounding Texas’ new immigration-enforcement law and hinted that he’d be unable to take the case over from his colleague in Bexar County. U.S. District […]

Ellis seeks Harris County entry into SB4 litigation

From the inbox, an email from Commissioner Ellis: Despite strong opposition from law enforcement officials, faith leaders, local governments, civil rights organizations, constituents, and advocacy groups, Senate Bill 4 (SB4), the “show-me-your-papers” legislation, has been signed into law. The new legislation unfairly targets immigrant families, allows state-sanctioned racial profiling, and violates rights to due process. […]

Feds join the state in defense of SB4

I suppose this was to be expected. About a month ago, the city of El Cenizo filed a lawsuit against the state, calling the bill unconstitutional. On Monday, the Trump administration got involved. The defendants in the lawsuit are the state of Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. The fight started […]

Getting ready for the first SB4 hearing

All eyes are going to be on this next week. On Monday, June 26, U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia will hear the City of San Antonio’s request for a preliminary injunction to block Senate Bill 4, the “sanctuary cities” law, from taking effect on Sept. 1. The Mexican American Legal Defense Fund (MALDEF) is representing […]

Paxton gets ahead of the “sanctuary cities” lawsuit rush

That’s one way to do it, I suppose. Attorney General Ken Paxton is looking to get ahead of an anticipated barrage of legal challenges to Texas’ ban on “sanctuary cities,” which takes effect Sept. 1. Shortly after Gov. Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 4 into law on Sunday, Paxton filed a lawsuit — known as […]

Get ready for the “sanctuary cities” lawsuits

It’s just a matter of time. Now that Senate Bill 4 is on its way to becoming law, opponents are looking to the courts for relief – and a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court case is giving them hope. The high court struck down parts of a controversial 2010 immigration law in Arizona on the grounds […]

Investigation requested into voucher astroturfing

From the Quorum Report: Following a criminal complaint by a GOP former lawmaker, an Austin representative has asked the Travis County District Attorney’s Office to look a letter-writing campaign that has deeply troubled rural Republicans in the Texas House who are opposed to school vouchers. In a letter obtained by Quorum Report this evening, Rep. […]

Dukes fails to get charges tossed

Too bad for her. A Travis County state district judge denied a motion by state Rep. Dawnna Dukes to dismiss four felony counts against her for tampering with public records. Dukes’ attorneys on March 8 asked Judge Brad Urrutia to dismiss four of her 13 indicted felony charges, arguing that an agreement she signed in […]

More on the attack on the Paxton special prosecutors’ pay

From Texas Lawyer. As courtroom twists go, this one is practically unheard-of: On the brink of bringing Texas’ attorney general, Ken Paxton, to trial on felony securities fraud charges, the government’s prosecutors are threatening to bail out of the case unless they get paid. Whether one of the biggest criminal cases in Texas finally goes […]

The people who would have been denied the opportunity to vote in 2016

There were a lot of them. At least 16,400 Texans who voted in the November election wouldn’t have been able to cast ballots if the state’s voter identification law had been in full effect, state voting records show. […] Through a public records request to the Texas secretary of state’s office, the American-Statesman obtained copies […]

Alternate funding sources

That’s one way to do it. State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, D-Austin, announced plans Friday to raise public funds for Travis County, days after Gov. Greg Abbott canceled about $1.5 million in criminal justice grants over the county’s new “sanctuary” policy. Rodriguez’s initiative is called Travis County #StrongerTogether and it will allow the community to donate […]

Abbott pulls state grant money to Travis County

As threatened. Gov. Greg Abbott has followed through on his threat to cut off state funding for Travis County over its new “sanctuary” policy. Abbott’s office said Wednesday it has canceled criminal justice grants it usually administers to the county, whose sheriff, Sally Hernandez, recently announced her department would reduce its cooperation with federal immigration […]

Sheriff Hernandez not backing down

Good for her. Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez indicated Thursday she is not backing away from her recently introduced “sanctuary” policy. Her comments came a day after Gov. Greg Abbott proposed the removal of Hernandez, who announced Friday she would reduce her department’s cooperation with federal immigration authorities when they request an inmate be flagged […]

More on the STAR Voting System

The Chron updates us on the latest in modern voting technology. The drumbeat of election rigging and foreign hacking of voting machines have energized ongoing efforts to develop a new model of digital election equipment designed to produce instantly verifiable results and dual records for security. Election experts say this emerging system, one of three […]

Abbott goes authoritarian

I suppose this shouldn’t surprise me, but it is still shocking, even in the world we now inhabit. Gov. Greg Abbott said Wednesday that he and state lawmakers will pursue legislation that would “remove from office any officeholder who promotes sanctuary cities,” raising a new consequence as Republicans crack down on local officials who do […]

Abbott versus Travis County

This could get ugly. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is formally demanding that Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez reverse her new policy on cooperation with federal immigration authorities or lose state dollars, further escalating a showdown over “sanctuary cities” that have been in the crosshairs of Republican officials. “This is not a pronouncement of sound public […]

Dukes indicted

Boom. A grand jury has indicted state Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, on abuse-of-office charges, the Travis County District Attorney’s office said Wednesday. She could face up to 28 years in jail and fines of up to $138,000. The first indictment charges 13 counts of tampering with a governmental record, a felony punishable by up to […]

Dawnna Dukes case to go before grand jury

Awesome. Travis County prosecutors and Texas Rangers will present evidence to a grand jury that state Rep. Dawnna Dukes abused the power of her office, Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore told the American-Statesman. Among possible charges: abuse of official capacity and tampering with public records, Moore said. Dukes was sworn into office for a […]

Dukes un-resigns

Ugh. State Rep. Dawnna Dukes confirmed to the Texas Tribune in an email Monday that she is not resigning from her post with House District 46, just two days after blindsiding supporters and fellow lawmakers with her reverse decision. Dukes, an Austin Democrat, announced in September that she would retire from office on Jan. 10, […]

As long as we’re talking about improving our voting machines

Then this is what we should be talking about. [Travis] County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir called Rice University computer science professor Dan Wallach, who has been poking holes in voting-machine security for years. He’s testified before Congress on the subject. Now DeBeauvoir wanted him to design a new one. “Wow,” he says. “That doesn’t happen very […]

Statewide review: 2016 was like 2008, but not in a good way

There’s no point in beating around the bush, so I’ll just come out and say it: Despite the excitement about increases in voter registration and heavy early voting turnout. statewide Democratic candidates outside of Hillary Clinton generally did not do any better than their counterparts in 2008. Republican statewide candidates, on the other hand, were […]

Wait, who supports paper ballots now?

I have three things to say about this. Following repeated allegations by Republican Donald Trump that the election may be rigged to ensure a win for Democrat Hillary Clinton, Texas lawmakers are actively considering ways to boost confidence in the state’s elections during next year’s legislative session. Among the ideas drawing interest: adding paper trail […]

Early voting, Day Eight: We do have a pretty good idea of who has been voting so far

Why such a mushy article about the state of early voting so far? Because Texas voters can use a single click to back an entire slate, the down-ballot candidates running countywide have ever-slimming chances of influencing their destinies. As polarization and straight-ticket voting grow, the outlook is even more challenging for judicial candidates, who do […]

Help a crony out?

Collin County, y’all. Collin County lawmakers debated intervening in Ken Paxton’s legal woes by pressuring county leaders to cut funding for the case, according to a series of private text messages exchanged last week. Taxpayers in Paxton’s home county are on the hook to pay for his prosecution, which has dragged on for months as […]

Record registration numbers for Harris County

Nice. As registration closed, Harris County’s voter roster had grown by more than 6 percent since 2014, the steepest increase in 16 years. More than 323,890 new names have been added, bringing the county voter roll to more than 2.2 million. Harris County is not alone. The Texas Secretary of State’s office two weeks ago […]

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 […]

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 […]

Reducing pot prosecutions one county at a time

Some Texas cities are taking direct action to dial back the drug wars and reduce their jail population. As lawmakers have wrestled in recent years with easing restrictions on marijuana use – an issue they likely will confront again when they convene in January – prosecutors in the state’s most populated areas are relaxing their […]

We won’t have Robert Morrow to kick around any longer

Valar morghulis, y’all. The brief, zany tenure of Travis County GOP Chairman Robert Morrow came to an end Friday, as party officials made clear the conspiracy theorist abandoned his post by running for president and he accepted their conclusion without question. Inside a nondescript office park in Austin, party officials convened reporters to lay out […]

Rangers hand off Miller case to Travis County DA

Here we go. The Travis County District Attorney’s Office has begun reviewing the findings of a criminal investigation into Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller’s travel, a top prosecutor said Friday. “We received the investigation (from the Texas Department of Public Safety) earlier this week,” said the prosecutor, Gregg Cox, the head of Travis County’s Public […]