Via KXAN, Special prosecutors appointed in contempt case against Williamson Co. DA.
Last month, District Judge Rick Kennon filed a motion to hold Duty in contempt of court, accusing her of violating a gag order in the capital murder case against Crispin Harmel when she spoke to a news reporter about allegations she withheld evidence from Harmel’s defense attorneys. Harmel is awaiting a second trial for the death of Jessika Kalaher in 2009. The first ended in a mistrial when Duty was accused of withholding video evidence.
In court last week Duty also admitted to contacting KXAN after initially testifying she did not contact any other media following the gag order. Duty contacted KXAN regarding a video posted on a video-hosting web site and anonymously furnished to KXAN, and subsequently posted on kxan.com. Harmel’s defense team alleged the video depicts Duty showing animosity toward Harmel and his lead defense attorney and mocking Williamson County District Court Judges. In court, and by phone to KXAN, Duty denied having any involvement in the making of the video, which was made by a friend of her husband’s, but admitted showing the video to her staff during a weekly meeting.
On Duty’s behalf, assistant district attorney Brent Webster attempted to have the contempt charge overturned by the 3rd Court of Appeals, but was denied by the court.
The two special prosecutors appointed by Kennon are Archie Carl Pierce and Randy Howry. Pierce, a former federal prosecutor, is a shareholder with the Austin-based law firm Wright and Greenhill. Howry, a recent nominee as a candidate for president-elect of the State Bar of Texas, is a partner with the Austin-based law firm Howry, Breen, & Herman.
The contempt hearing was set for July 6 but Pierce has filed a motion to reschedule the hearing for July 13, citing a scheduling conflict.
A previous AAS article stated this as the possible punishment:
If Duty is found guilty of contempt, she could face a $500 fine and/or six months in jail.
Not sure how likely jail time is but beyond the criminal punishment, there may be political implications. Does this mean that Duty, who is up for reelection in 2016, will get a serious primary challenge? Or is this badge of courage for a GOP prosecutor in Williamson County?
This is extremely good news. For several years now I’ve been asking people to think how their life and life in general would change if energy was, in essence, free. No electricity, natural gas, gas for cars, etc.. How much money would that free up, and more important, how much time. Maybe people wouldn’t have to work so much.
Anyway, here’s the article from Think Progress about Georgetown, Texas going 100% renewable, This Big Texas City Will Soon Be Powered Entirely By Wind And Sun.
There’s a fast-growing city in Texas that also has one of the most progressive energy programs in the country — and it’s not Austin.
Located about 30 miles north of the Texas capital in a deeply conservative county, the city of Georgetown will be powered 100 percent by renewable energy within the next couple years. Georgetown’s residents and elected officials made the decision to invest in two large renewable energy projects, one solar and one wind, not because they reduced greenhouse gas emissions or sent a message about the viability of renewable energy — but because it just made sense, according to Mayor Dale Ross.
“This was a business decision and it was a no-brainer,” Ross told ThinkProgress from his office along one of the city’s main thoroughfares. “This is a long-term source of power that creates cost certainty, brings economic development, uses less water, and helps the environment.”
Ross said that a lot of “folks don’t really care what kind of electrons are flowing down the transmission lines,” they just don’t want to pay more for power. Once he explains the new setup to residents, even the most skeptical and politically conservative, they tend to come around.
“The main criticism I’ve heard about green energy is the worry that the tax credits might go away,” said Ross. “Well that doesn’t impact us because they are contractually obligated to deliver energy at that price for 25 years.”
Ross, who is a Certified Public Accountant by trade, took this idea one step further.
“And if you are really looking into that — in the tax code which industry gets the most deductions and credits of any industry out there? That would be fossil fuels. Renewable energy credits are minuscule compared to fossil fuels,” said Ross, who was elected as a Republican mayor earlier this year. [Emphasis added]
The logic of renewable energy is unassailable. The main factors working against it have been the fossil fuel industry’s power, along with the lack of infrastructure and technology. With infrastructure and technology out of the way there’s only one thing left standing in the way.
In February, Georgetown’s City Council approved the final agreement with California-based SunEdison to provide up to 150 megawatts of solar power to the city between 2017 and 2041. It is the largest SunEdison solar agreement in Texas to date. While Texan leaders such as former-governor Rick Perry have made California out to be an entrepreneurial desert, where it’s “next to impossible” to build a business, the California solar industry is far outpacing Texas in solar development. In 2014, California led the country in solar installations adding 4,316 megawatts of solar electric capacity to the grid.
For the most part, Texas lawmakers seem more focused on banning local fracking bans rather than incentivizing solar power when it comes to creating a business-friendly energy environment.
Georgetown was able to eschew any industry pressure in making its energy decisions, which Foster said were “easy” once it was determined that they met three main criteria: they were the lowest-cost source of power, they eliminated the risk of long-term price fluctuation, and they helped the city increase its renewable energy portfolio. Originally Georgetown had a target of getting 30 percent of its power from renewables by 2030.
“Part of what really shocks most people is that we did this in the middle of a shale gas boom, with energy coming from gas plants being really cheap,” said Foster. “But none of the suppliers at that price were willing to do long-term contracts — they don’t believe it will stay cheap for so long.”
Like the downfall of many industries it will be the arrogance of the fossil fuel industry that brings it down. Georgetown deserves credit for stepping up and moving forward embracing progress.
But moving forward to a time when energy costs become extremely low or, in essence, free will take even more progress. And in that manner keep an eye on the Tesla Powerwall and Solar Roadways as well.
The Texas Progressive Alliance is happy there’s no hint of any special sessions to come as it brings you this week’s roundup.
Off the Kuff notes that while Travis County is ready for the Supreme Court to legalize same-sex marriage, there’s likely to be no small amount of chaos in the state once they do.
Letters from Texas explains how a recent ruling in a North Carolina redistricting case may bode well for Texas’ plaintiffs.
LightSeeker at Texas Kaos calls “ethics reform” in Texas for what it is. Government is for, by and of the highest bidder. Texas leads the pack. Texas Ethical Reform – DOA.
SocraticGadfly, reading about a new study that claims classical psychological conditioning during sleep can reduce racist tendencies, has two thoughts: it’s either too good to be true, or, if it has real and lasting change, it’s probably got an element of Clockwork Orange.
CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme is glad McAllen ISD and others are taking care to feed children during the summer.
Do you think Greg Abbott’s first legislative session as governor was a success or a failure? PDiddie at Brains and Eggs wants to know.
From WCNews at Eye on Williamson, the threat was enough for the clandestine video scheme that may have changed the game on the budget and taxes in 84th Texas Legislature, Timing Is Everything.
Neil at All People Have Value offered a framework about how to live our lives. APHV is part of NeilAquino.com.
Nonsequiteuse missed the Houston Mayoral Candidates Arts and Culture Forum, but it got her thinking about getting arts organizations out of their silos and engaged as advocates for progressive change.
On her long road seeking the Presidency, one of Hillary Clinton’s greatest challenges will be to re-create the infamous Coalition of 2008. This week at Houston’s Texas Southern University, she worked hard to mend some fences, and shared some important views on Voting Rights.
And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.
Texas Watch celebrated its victories from the legislative session.
Grits can’t wait to see if the state’s new junk science writ will be interpreted broadly or not.
The Texas Election Law Blog asks if our government is supposed to represent everyone, or just everyone who is allowed to vote.
The Texas Living Waters Project warns of a new environmental danger to the Brazos River.
Molly Cox bemoans low voter turnout in San Antonio.
Keep Austin Wonky explains how percentage-based homestead exemptions help fuel inequality.
Paradise in Hell is not impressed by Rick Perry 2016.
Texans for Public Justice and Public Citizen call Greg Abbott “just plain wrong” on the matter of dark money and disclosure.
Texas Vox managed to find a few small rays of hope from the legislative session.
Equality Texas produced its report card for the 84th Legislature.
Here’s the take from a business columnist on the 84th Legislature, Thanks to Legislature, business needs go begging.
Will these efforts generate the $3.3 billion a year needed for Texas roads? No. Shipping and commuting costs will keep rising for every Texan because of poor roads, but hey, at least lawmakers can claim they didn’t raise taxes.
Lawmakers also stiffed public schools. Per-student state spending, adjusted for inflation, peaked in 2008. In 2011, legislators cut spending for the first time since World War II. Lawmakers said the financial crisis made the cut necessary, but this year when the coffers were full, the Legislature still refused to adjust per-student spending for inflation and are allowing it to slip again.
Rather than spend the additional $5 billion needed to restore per-student spending to 2008 levels, lawmakers cut property and business taxes by $4.4 billion.
On Health Care:
The smartest way for lawmakers to reduce property taxes would have been to expand Medicaid, the health program for the poor and disabled.
The big lie is what supporters call a property tax cut. The state did not cut the tax, it merely increased the homestead exemption. Homeowners will not see lower tax bills. Instead, property appreciation and rate increases mean property tax bills will still go up, they just won’t go up as quickly.
This is not an issue of Republicans versus Democrats. Texas politicians are divided between those who push an agenda of selfishness and those who promote the common good. Voters disappointed with the Legislature’s performance need to remember what happened this session in November 2016, because lawmakers are betting your frustration will fade.
He’s making the case that what is good for the people of Texas is good for Texas business. Certainly there’s more common ground to be found with Democrats in Texas on these issues then there is with the tea party. Not sure what it’s going to take for the business community in Texas to figure that out?
There wasn’t much of anything worthwhile done for the working and middle class Texans. Wages will stay at their current level. The high cost of college tuition will stay high. There will be no improvement of public education. Those in need of health care, and the hospitals struggling to treat them, are still without help.
Ethics laws were made worse, not better, The brutal death of ethics reform in Texas.
This session was supposed to be a big one for ethics. Abbott even declared it an emergency. What happened? Unlike in 1991, lawmakers didn’t rise to the challenge. Instead, they used the guise of the “ethics session” to protect themselves from public scrutiny and accountability.
We can’t expect the politicians that are elected because of the current system, to reform that system.
But the biggest and cruelest issue, by far, is the GOP’s inability to expand Medicaid, Don’t mess with Medicaid expansion? A lesson from Texas.
Texas is a huge state. It’s also leaving a huge amount of federal money on the table—and not insuring more than 1 million people—because of its opposition to Obamacare.
The decision by Texas to reject expansion of Medicaid, the government health-coverage program for the poor, will prevent the state from receiving an estimated $100 billion in federal cash over a decade, at the same time its hospitals are eating $5.5 billion in annual costs for treating uninsured people, a new National Public Radio report details.
Those uncompensated costs in turn are being covered by taxes and insurance premiums paid by the state’s businesses and residents, who are also footing the bill for expanding Medicaid in 29 states and the District of Columbia that agreed to accept federal funds to offer coverage to nearly all poor adults. The Medicaid expansion states, as a rule, have seen a marked decline in their uninsured rates and the amount of costs their hospitals incur in caring for people without insurance.
This is the government we get when 25% of the voting age population shows up to vote. Unresponsive to the needs of the vast majority of Texans, and more than willing to take care of the needs of their campaign contributors.
Lawmakers leaving Austin with little progress to show.
This Lege dramatically disappoints.
Texas Is All for Free Enterprise – Until the Lawmakers Show Up.
The American Phoenix Foundation’s (APF) clandestine video scheme may have changed the game on the budget and taxes in 84th Texas Legislature (The Lege). In April, being led by GOP state Rep. Dennis Bonnen on tax issues, the House seemed set in their bargaining position. They were for a sales tax cut and against cutting property taxes.
In early May, when the APF’s actions became known, the House’s position started to change. The video’s, we were told, show certain members in compromising situations, as well as saying things behind closed doors counter to what they say on the campaign trail.
In the end the tax and budget deal that was worked out seems to be more favorable to the Senate’s proposals. What follows is a timeline of the situation with news accounts and blog posts highlighting key events along the way.
Toward the end of April The Lege seemed deadlocked on the budget and tax cuts. It was getting really bad, as R.G. Ratcliffe reported, a Big Three Breakfast Blows Up occurred.
The weekly kumbaya breakfast between the big three Texas lawmakers broke down today into a round-robin of recriminations that concluded with Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick declaring he was tired of Governor Greg Abbott and Speaker Joe Straus “picking on me.”
As the days progressed the reporting seemed to indicate that the House had the advantage going forward.
Watching the Texas House today, I found myself wondering whether it would be sacrilegious and/or offensive to thank the Lord Jesus for Joe Straus, who as Speaker of the Texas House is effectively running state government right now.
On May 5th a bombshell was dropped on The Lege. It was reported that 800 hours of covert footage of lawmakers, portraying some in an unflattering light, existed.
An Austin-based nonprofit with ties to activists arrested in the past for targeting legislators in other states has collected hundreds of hours of secretly recorded video footage of Texas lawmakers to use against them in the upcoming election cycle, a representative from the group confirmed Tuesday.
The undercover video campaign represents a new front by conservative groups to target incumbent Republicans and tilt the Texas Legislature further to the right.
The group is tied to mostly senate tea party state legislators. Things really started to get interesting was when it was reported that the videos had been turned over to Breitbart Texas.
[Managing director, Brandon Darby] said the conservative news outlet has no plans to release the video made by staffers with the American Phoenix Foundation, an Austin activist group, until after the legislative session ends June 1 because he, his fellow Breitbart Texas staffers and their legal team have to go through all of it first.
“I don’t really think that something like this coming out during the ending of the legislative session is helpful to the state at all,” Darby said.
There was now a perceived real threat of the videos coming out, and it seemed to get things moving in a different direction. Just before this GOP state Rep. Dennis Bonnen wrote an Op-Ed taking issue with lowering property taxes. The next day an article titled, House still has the upper hand, appeared. But then Bonnen made this comment, signalling a change in direction.
… House Ways and Means Chairman Dennis Bonnen said Tuesday that he’d be fine with replacing both chamber’s proposals with an even larger cut in the franchise tax paid by businesses.
Definitely a move away from the House’s previous stance, holding firm on a sales tax cut. The next day it was reported that progress is being made in the House and Senate on tax cuts.
Also on May 13th, HB 3994, the Judicial Bypass bill, passes the House. Tea party issues are starting to move. The next day state Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock’s school finance bill dies, a bill the tea party was against.
On May 19th, R.G. Ratcliffe posts a multi-part article on the founders of the APF. That day the sales tax is scrapped in the House. Two days later the donors of the APF are outed.
On May 24th the House passes a tax plan, without a sales tax, and including a property tax. The next day Texas Monthly’s Erica Greider writes a post titled, Did the House Get Rolled on the Budget?
Last week, after the budget conference committee started laying out its compromise agreement, the general impression around the Lege seemed to be that on the single most important bill of the session, the House had been steamrolled by the Senate. The conferees, in keeping with the stated priorities of Dan Patrick and the Senate, had agreed to include about $1.3bn for property tax relief and about $800m for border security over the forthcoming fiscal biennium. They also stuck with the Senate figure for public education—an additional $1.5bn compared to the 2014-15 biennium, as opposed to the $2.2bn the House had authorized in its version of the budget. The conferees also abandoned a House provision on Medicaid: the lower chamber had proposed an additional $460m for Medicaid reimbursement payments (in an effort to encourage more doctors to accept Medicaid payments), the Senate had not, and the conference committee abandoned the idea.
That’s quite a change from the end of April.
And on May 26th this was reported, Breitbart Texas Will Not Publish Lawmaker Videos.
“At this time, I am not publishing it, correct,” Darby told The Texas Tribune on Tuesday.
Darby did not elaborate on why he has changed his mind about the supposed 836 hours of video the American Phoenix group has been made of lawmakers since the group began filming in and around the Texas Capitol last December.
Two weeks ago, Darby told the Tribune that Breitbart had a copy of the video footage and had planned to publish it after the legislative session ends on June 1.
“Some of it is very newsworthy,” Darby had said this month.
Asked Tuesday if he stood still by that assessment, Darby said: “I really think my initial description still stands. But I think it’s best for them to talk about their own footage.”
Joe Basel, president and chief executive of American Phoenix, said the door isn’t closed on having Breitbart Texas publish the video.
“They’re certainly welcome to it,” Basel said. “But there’s a lot of people asking for it, including national partners.”
Basel said he’s viewed less than 1 percent of the video his organization has recorded so far and insists it’s more than newsworthy.
“I think a lot of people will re-evaluate their career in public service after this,” Basel said.
He left out, “… if they know what’s good for them.”
The Texas Observer’s Christopher Hooks sums up what likely happened very well.
There could be no better symbol of the ways Austin’s political culture has deteriorated than the news that a sneak of weasels calling themselves the American Phoenix Foundation—conservative activists who at the very least, have a number of mutual friends with the consultants who back Senate right-wingers like Burton, Hall, and Huffines—have been going around the Texas Capitol making secret recordings of legislators as they go about their business.
They claim to have some 800 hours of recordings, excerpts of which Breitbart Texas says it will release after the session. They’ve been walking around the halls of the Capitol, and around Austin, with cameras, hoping to entrap legislators. They’ve harassed reporters. Once their cover was blown, they’ve taken to using their presence to intimidate capitol-goers, offering false bravado in verbal form. They seem to use fake names, and their website lists a fake address. They’re creeps.
It’s the ultimate manifestation of the permanent campaign. The recordings themselves, and the recorders themselves, are almost certainly less impressive than they let on. But even if they caught nothing important, their presence deteriorates relations and trust between legislators further.
On May 30th the Texas Tribune posted this, On Most Visible Budget Disputes, Senate Fared Better.
On most of the high-profile disputes, the Senate won out. The $209.4 billion budget that both chambers approved Friday includes property tax relief over sales tax cuts, as the Senate wanted. It does not include the House’s request for higher payments to primary care doctors who treat patients on Medicaid, the joint federal-state insurer of last resort for the poor and disabled. It does include funding to keep the Texas Army National Guard on the border until the Department of Public Safety is considered fully staffed in the region, which the Senate had sought.
It’s possible the APF never intended to show any of these videos, at least not to the public. If the videos had been publicly aired their leverage would be gone. Their ability to effect change, or as they say disrupt the narrative, would be gone too. Better to keep the video secret and keep their leverage.
There’s no way to know, for certain, if the APF video scare had any effect on the legislative process. The timing makes it seems likely. No matter, they showed up and for several weeks and dominated the news coverage in Texas. And now, looking at the news coverage, it’s almost as if they never existed.
Read the rest of this entry »
The Texas Progressive Alliance hopes everyone is dry and safe as it brings you this week’s roundup.
Off the Kuff reviewed how several bad bills met their end in the waning days of the legislative session.
Letters from Texas worries about the possible effect of the Supreme Court taking up the latest Texas redistricting case.
Lightseeker at Texas Kaos shines a bright light on the woeful lack of responsible, adult leadership among some in the Texas Legislature. Texas Legislators Who Put the Child in Childish.
Socratic Gadfly, with a hat tip to a fellow TPA blogger and his favorite name for a certain Southern senator, killed the birds of both Rick Santorum and another possible GOP candidate.
Hillary Clinton visits Houston on Thursday to collect an award and raise funds, notes PDiddie at Brains and Eggs.
CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme is appalled at the level of racism and xenophobia exhibited by Texas Republicans who deny birth certificates to Texans born to not properly documented mothers.
From WCNews at Eye on Williamson. There are many Texans that need a government that works for them and not just for business, corporations and wealthy campaign donors. A Windfall For Business, Scraps For The Rest Of Us.
Neil at All People Have Value said that floods in Houston forced people to yield some habitat to Houston wildlife if only for a brief time. APHV is part of NeilAquino.com.
And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.
The Queso documents flood effects in Wimberley and rounds up a bunch of flood-related resources for those who need them.
Eric Berger tries to explain where all that rain came from.
Texas Vox celebrates an expansion of homeowners’ solar rights.
Ashton Garcia advocates for gender-neutral bathrooms.
The Current introduces us to “Mansplainer: The Statue”.
RG Ratcliffe reminds us that the Lege is hoarding $18 billion of our money.
Elizabeth Warren’s response to the question is great.
But the real story is the question that is asked. The right wing dream has been realized. They’ve made so many people, 50% of the people who don’t vote, believe their government is worthless to them. And that alone makes the right wing’s job sooooo much easier.
Here’s the question:
How are the 50% of the people that can vote but don’t supposed to actually believe any politician that says we are gonna rebuild this country?
That question highlights the fact that half of the eligible voters, which doesn’t include the millions that are not registered to vote, have no faith that their government will do anything worthwhile to help them.
Reagan’s dream has been realized.
GOP County Court At Law Judge Tim Wright pleads guilty to 2 counts in weapons case.
Tim Wright, the Williamson County court-at-law judge charged with peddling firearms to a felon, pleaded guilty to two of nine counts stemming from his side business selling and exhibiting guns, some of which made their way into Mexico.
In a federal court in Austin on Thursday, Wright admitted to dealing in firearms without a license, selling more than 60 weapons from June 1, 2014, to Dec. 15, 2014. He also confessed to making false statements to law enforcement agents.
Outside the courthouse, he resigned from his position and said he was ready to take full responsibility for his actions.
“No one is above the law, especially not judges,” he said. “I sincerely apologize to my family, friends and the people of Williamson County for any discredit or embarrassment I may have created as a result of my actions.”
The court records say Wright lied to federal agents about when he began selling firearms as a licensed dealer and created false paperwork to back up his claims. Wright also allowed a person previously named only as “J.C.” to be involved in several transactions, though the judge knew the man was a felon, the records state.
As a result of his guilty plea, Wright faces up to 60 months in federal prison. Sentencing is expected to occur this year in front of U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks.
And Jana Duty’s actions still have a murder case in limbo, Defense attorneys want Williamson Co. DA removed from murder trial.
While Williamson County District Attorney Jana Duty is being held in contempt of court, the defense attorneys for Crispin Harmel filed a second motion for her removal from the murder case on Tuesday.
Harmel is awaiting a second trial for the death of Jessika Kalaher in 2009.
Harmel’s attorneys filed the motion to recuse Duty from the case because they believe she is violating state rules of professional conduct, including her appearance in a video posted on a public video hosting site. Harmel’s attorneys claim the video depicts Duty showing animosity towards Harmel and his lead defense attorney, Ryan Deck. The video was publicly displayed on the hosting site when KXAN watched it late last week. The hosting website showed the video had been on the site for nine months. But it was removed from the site last week. KXAN received a copy of the video by mail from an unknown sender.
Deck and his defense team also allege in the motion Duty violated state rules by mocking three Williamson County District Judges and a former District Attorney’s Office investigator in the video.
Here’s what Grits For Breakfast had to say about this recently.
Somewhere in Palau, John Bradley is smiling
Williamson County politics is sort of a cesspool and DA Jana Duty has been feuding with the local establishment for a decade. So it’s hard to tell from the coverage whether a judge’s threat to hold her in contempt for violating a gag order has subtexts beyond the immediate issues in the case. Regardless, somewhere in Palau, John Bradley is smiling.
A windfall for business and scraps for the rest of us will be considered a successful session by our elected leaders.
The tax cuts being passed by The Lege can best be described as underwhelming, House Unanimously Backs Property Tax Break.
After an hour of debate that showed a marked lack of enthusiasm for the measure, the Texas House voted unanimously Sunday evening on a property tax break worth about $125 to the average homeowner.
In a 136-0 vote, the House favored Senate Bill 1, which would raise the homestead exemption from $15,000 to $25,000 if voters approve an amendment to the state constitution in November. The House also passed Senate Joint Resolution 1, a related measure, on a 138-0 vote.
The measure is one part of a $3.8 billion tax relief package agreed to by the House, Senate and Gov. Greg Abbott last week after months of debate between the chambers over whether to focus efforts on property taxes or the sales tax.
“We are lessening the pain to a small extent,” [Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton] said. At another point, he noted that the measure was “shifting the tax burden” rather than actually cutting taxes.
Near the end of the debate, Bonnen told lawmakers that the bill was worth supporting as long as proponents didn’t oversell its impact.
“Don’t make the mistake that I have made three times before,” Bonnen said. “Three times we’ve cut property taxes and I’ve gone home and said, ‘I’ve cut your taxes.’” He urged House members to tell constituents that lawmakers did what they could to address the issue but that local entities are where concerns about property taxes should really be focused.
Let’s look at this. The Lege – Democrats included – passed this tax cut just….because. This will have no effect for the majority of Texans. Certainly there are much better uses for $3.8 billion in this state. Education and transportation are two that come to mind immediately.
That’s how far the issues of most Texans have fallen to our bought legislature. Issues like Medicaid expansion, college tuition relief, raising the minimum wage. They would rather pass a meaningless tax cut, than pass meaningful legislation.
There are many Texans that need a government that works for them and not just for business, corporations and wealthy campaign donors.
The Texas Progressive Alliance welcomes the unofficial beginning of summer as it brings you this week’s roundup.
Off the Kuff takes a look behind the scenes at the deal struck between Houston’s Metro and US Rep. John Culberson.
Lightseeker at Texas Kaos injects a little Colbert humor into his piece about craven Texas politicians that run away from crucial issues that will impact our future whether we like it or not. Knowing how the Titanic Passengers felt…
Socratic Gadfly discusses how Pew Research’s latest religious survey is another reason Democrats shouldn’t make demographic assumptions about voters, in this case, Hispanic/Latino ones.
CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wonders how republicans can ignore real needs, promote xenophobia and violate labor standards for the DPS with one act.
Neil at All People Have Value took a walk in Houston Freedman’s Town and in Galveston. He took good pictures. Everyday life is fun and interesting if you make some effort and look around. APHV is part of NeilAquino.com.
From WCNews at Eye on Williamson. Damn near everyone knows that our political systems are rigged. Those on the left those on the right and everyone in between. That frustration is being shown in many different ways all over the political spectrum. Where Left And Right Come Together – Our Political System Is Rigged.
‘Mr. Tesla’, according to Rep. Senfronia Thompson, was one of the biggest losers so far in the Texas Lege’s 84th session. But so has been Rep. Senfronia Thompson, according to PDiddie at Brains and Eggs.
From Drake’s star-studded Houston Appreciation Weekend to the historic opening of two new light rail lines, Texas Leftist can say in earnest that it was a great week to be in the Bayou City.
And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.
Austin Bakes is fundraising for Nepal.
Juanita wonders what it would take to stem the open carry tide.
Paradise in Hell points out that the “Texas Miracle” has a lot in common with the “North Dakota Miracle”.
RG Ratcliffe interviews conservative video hucksters Hannah Giles and Joseph Basel.
Texas Clean Air Matters wants to know why our state’s leadership is more concerned about the success other states than they are about Texas.
Mark Bennett examines the criminal defense situation in Waco following the Twin Peaks shootings.
The Texas Election Law Blog highlights an actual case of alleged vote fraud in Weslaco, which like every other case of vote fraud we’ve seen would not have been prevented by voter ID.
Mike Collier notes that taxes are going up while schools and roads are going down.
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