11.30.09

SD-5 and HD-20 After Gattis

Posted in 2010 Primary, Around The State, Commentary, Election 2010, HD-20, SD 5, Williamson County at 3:27 pm by wcnews

It’s fun to speculate as to why Dan Gattis really decided not to run for the Texas Senate, and why, (or if), Steve Ogden will run again, and there is quite a bit to speculate about.  From Burka alone today we learn that Gattis, who once aspired to the Presidency of these United States of America, has dropped out of the SD 5 race because a wing-nut scared him out of the race.

An amazing development. Gattis has spoken openly of his desire to be president of the United States some day. Now he is out of politics, not even running for reelection to the House. It’s a double whammy, a talented member gone and the dreadful Milton Rister as a possible successor.

[...]

Gattis had a very active opponent in Ben Bius, of Walker County (Huntsville). The Bius camp contends that the real reason Gattis dropped out was that the race was not going well for him, that they had knocked on 15,000 doors in Williamson County, that they had been running radio spots for several weeks, that Gattis was having trouble raising money from business interests that didn’t like his support for legislation backed by trial lawyers. They were getting ready to send out a mailer slamming Gattis for offering what they claim is a state “public option” for health insurance, HB 2470, which established the Texas Mutual Health Benefit Plan Company.

That this is all Kay Bailey Hutchison’s fault:

This is more fallout from Hutchison’s decision not to resign her Senate seat. It is safe to conclude that Ogden would not run for the Senate again if he were not confident of retaining the chairmanship of Senate Finance. He can have that confidence only he knows that Dewhurst will remain as light gov and not run for Hutchison’s seat if and when she were to resign. Indeed, the purveyors of the conventional wisdom around the Capitol believe that she will serve out her term to the bitter end, December 31, 2012.

And the rift between Williamson County, and the rest of SD 5 is a big issue, (see EOW’s SD 5 and ideological purity):

Did Ogden get pressure from Brazos County leaders to run? There were indications that the folks in Bryan were none too happy at the prospect that the district would be represented by someone from Williamson County. Brazos County would be unlikely to get the seat back anytime soon. It is not growing relative to the state’s growth. Williamson County is.

In the comments there was also this:

If Ogden does not run, Williamson County will find someone else to do so. Rumors are swirling around that former Round Rock Mayor Nyle Maxwell, who can self-finance, is being asked to consider it. Several other elected officials are also putting out feelers

Everyone in HD-20 should read the comments to the AAS blog post yesterday where some sniping between the Rister and Thomas “supporters” broke out.  Gattis’ move leaves many puzzled and rightfully so.  For such an up-and-coming politician to just quit is a surprise.  It’s equally surprising that Gattis won’t run in HD-20, and will be out of politics for now.  When I first saw that he was dropping out of the SD 5 race, I was almost certain he would go back to the HD-20 race.  No matter, it would be great to get a Democrat in this race,  to run against the winner of the ideological purity test/primary, on the GOP side in HD-20.

As far as Ogden goes, maybe he was looking to run for Lt. Gov., and once KBH didn’t resign he wanted his old office back? The AusChron calls Ogden’s so-called budget prowess into question.

The boildown is that Gattis regards Ogden as the only man with the financial know-how to fix the state budget with the anticipated 2011 deficit. Actually, there should probably be more probing of exactly how culpable the four-time Senate Finance chair is in creating that deficit. The Texas state budget is already in a structural deficit that Ogden et al papered over with federal stimulus money (thereby negating any stimulative effects). Ogden was Finance boss when the abortive business franchise tax reforms were passed in 2006. He’s also helped further institutionalize fund diversions (the legislative term for robbing Peter to pay Paul), which tax watchdogs like the Texas Taxpayers and Research Association oppose for disguising real need and real state spending, but that he has defended.

Ogden surely has some chinks in his armor and anyone running against him, in a primary or general election, can surely attack him as not wanting the job anymore.  It would take more than that to keep him from winning, but a good candidate with an adequate amount of money and who knows?  But what if Ogden doesn’t run?  It would then setup an interesting race without a clear front runner – a truly open seat.  While SD 5 is still a district that leans Republican, a Democrat in the mold of Hank Gilbert would have a fighting chance in SD-5.  Especially with the Texas GOP, and GOP throughout SD 5, looking more disorganized and disunited than it has in quite some time.

And that  disarray is one of the main problems facing the Texas GOP in the 2010 cycle.  Another issue they have, that’s not getting much notice, is that they will be running the same three candidates at the top of the ballot that for the third straight election cycle – Perry, Dewhurst, and Abbott.  When Texans ask themselves if they’re better off than they were 8 years ago, and come to the conclusion they aren’t, they won’t be comfortable voting for these three again.

[UPDATE]: There has still been no official word from Ogden that he will run again in SD 5.  Ben Bius has not dropped out.  So at this time, 5 PM Central, Bius is the only announced candidate in the SD 5 race.  Of course that can change very quickly.

Texas Blog Round Up (November 30, 2009)

Posted in Around The State, Commentary at 10:50 am by wcnews

The Texas Progressive Alliance welcomes everyone back from the Thanksgiving Holiday with these highlights from the blogs.

TXsharon has arranged by area 60 TCEQ fugitive emission videos obtained via the Texas Public Information Act. The videos were taken throughout the Barnett Shale area using a GasFindIR (Infrared) camera. Find the videos for your area at Bluedaze: DRILLING REFORM FOR TEXAS to see what you’re breathing.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wonders why some destroyed Galveston beach houses were paid out at prices nearly double their county appraised value.

BossKitty at TruthHugger is fed up with Road Rage and wants it taken a more seriously by the authorities. Road Rage is indeed vehicular terrorism! Vehicular terrorism is dismissed by the court system as misdemeanors with token consequences … unless of course someone gets killed. Even then is not identified for what it really is. Vehicular Terrorism! Is Road Rage is a way of life for Texans?.

WCNews at Eye On Williamson posts on Gov. Perry’s “jet-set” ways? A Watchdog group wants to know about Gov. Perry’s travel expenses.

Bay Area Houston lists who the local bloggers are endorsing in the Houston Mayor’s race. (It is one sided)

Off the Kuff rounds up reactions to Bill White’s announcement that he is considering a jump into the Governor’s race.

Libby Shaw Texas Republican Lawmakers Lose Huge Federal Contract examines the why’s and who’s of the huge government contract Perry and the Boyz just lost and what it means for Texas. Check it out at TexasKaos.

Neil at Texas Liberal ran a post about Moby Dick. We Are All Shipmates—Moby Dick. This post offers up a picture of the excellent ship pulpit featured in the book and movie adaptations of the book. Neil reminds you that we are all shipmates.

WhosPlayin is still watching Lewisville ISD and wishing they would just answer a simple question.

Maybe the BAE Systems plant in Sealy, which lost its $2.6 billion Pentagon contract due to the economic incompetence of Rick Perry and other Republican elected officials, can now manufacture “Republic of Texas” trucks, according to PDiddie at Brains and Eggs.

Xanthippas at Three Wise Men takes a look at the results of a study that demonstrate how conservative anti-tax rhetoric has resulted in a substantial shift of the nation’s burden from the wealthy to the lower and middle-class, and wonders what that means in an age when irresponsible investors crash the economy, are bailed out by the federal government and reward themselves with billions of dollars in bonuses.

11.29.09

Ogden changes his mind, will run for reelection to Senate, Gattis out

Posted in 2010 Primary, Election 2010, HD-20, SD 5, Williamson County at 4:25 pm by wcnews

Via Quorum Report, Gattis Withdrawing From Senate Race, Ogden To Run For Re-Election.

Gattis may also be retiring from House seat

Although we have not been able to speak to any of the parties directly, Quorum Report has learned that State Rep. Dan Gattis will not file for Senate District 5. As a result, incumbent Steve Ogden (R-Bryan) will run for re-election one more time.

It also appears that Gattis will not seek re-election to his House seat either.

An announcement is expected tomorrow.

Ogden changing his mind on his retirement is a big development. As is Gattis not jumping back into his HD-20 seat. No word on Ben Bius yet, but this all seems more than a little odd.   The way the QR blurb above is worded makes it sound like this was driven by Gattis dropping out of the SD 5 race.  And not wanting the district to go to Bius, Ogden will “take one for the team” and run again.  Whatever the back story, it’s definitely an interesting development.

[UPDATE]: Via the AAS.  Has more on why this may be happening.

Gattis, who has three small children, has found that running in the Senate district has caused him to spend considerable time away from his family and his law practice. With Ogden having announced earlier this year that he would not seek re-election, Gattis has had numerous conversations with him in recent months about the Senate district, hoping to secure Ogden’s endorsement. The source said that out of those discussions grew a conversation about Gattis not running and Ogden stepping back in.

Ogden did not initiate conversations about stepping back in, the source said. But with the state facing a budget shortfall of more than $10 billion in the 2011 legislative session, there was talk that the times fit with Ogden’s skills. Ogden has chaired the budget-writing Senate Finance Committee during the last three sessions.

Gattis won’t rule out another run for office. Every seat in the House and Senate is up for re-election in 2012, after legislative districts are drawn. With Williamson County growing quickly, it’s possible that the Senate seat will be more compact, making it easier for Gattis to run. However, the source said Ogden and Gattis have made no deal about who will and won’t run in 2012

Let’s call them reason 1 (Gattis’ family considerations and law firm) and reason 2 (Ogden’s experience in tough times).  As far a reason one is concerned, it’s hard to believe that Gattis would be so ignorant and naive about a job he’s been coveting for years.  Reason 2 is more believable, but it’s hard to believe that someone like Gattis, with big aspirations would want to willingly sit on the sidelines for 4 years.  Just seems like there might be another shoe waiting to drop in this story.

11.27.09

Bradley’s secrecy looks problematic

Posted in Around The State, Criminal Justice at 11:49 am by wcnews

Via the Star-Telegram, (via Grits), Chairman of Texas forensic science panel oversteps his authority.

What is it John Bradley doesn’t want the public to know about the work of the Texas Forensic Science Commission?

[...]

Star-Telegram reporter Dave Montgomery wrote Saturday that commission staff coordinator Leigh Tomlin had asked members for all correspondence about the Willingham case in order to comply with an open records request.

But her Oct. 30 message went further, instructing that commission policy is to “delete all commission correspondence” and saying “if you feel there is something that needs to be saved, forward it to my office.”

Bradley told Montgomery that the idea was to centralize data to make it easier to comply with media inquiries.

But any direction to delete public records — which e-mails by members of a public board are — looks problematic, whatever the purpose.

It would be easier to take Bradley at his word if members hadn’t received other e-mails telling them Bradley would handle all media inquiries and statements about the commission.

Providing consistent and accurate information is an admirable goal. But all nine members of the Texas Forensic Science Commission are appointed independently. They are not subordinate to the chairman, who is not given any specific powers in the law creating the commission.

As public officials, panel members should be free to talk to the media or public as they choose, as long as they don’t undercut the commission’s responsibilities.

Each member should be focused on conducting credible, independent investigations with as much transparency as possible.

No one should use the agency as a tool for aggregating power, steering outcomes, stifling dissent or shielding from public scrutiny the work done on behalf of Texans.

11.26.09

Happy Thankgiving

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:02 am by wcnews

Happy Thanksgiving to all. Hope everyone has a happy and safe holiday. Light blogging the next few days.

11.25.09

RRL on Stauber and Maurice running for Commissioners Court

Posted in 2010 Primary, Commissioners Court, Election 2010, Precinct 2, Precinct 4, Williamson County at 6:00 am by wcnews

Democrat Jim Stauber will challenge GOP incumbent Cynthia Long for spot on the Commissioners Court in Precinct 2, Democrat aims for place on all-GOP Wilco court.

Stauber wants change

Although Stauber has not lived in Williamson County for as many years as Long, he is also no stranger to local politics.

Stauber is active in the Williamson County Democratic Party and four years ago unsuccessfully challenged Dist. 20 state Rep. Dan Gattis (R-Georgetown).

Stauber told the Leader he is entering county politics because he perceives the commissioners court to be a Republican-dominated “rubber stamp.”

County Judge Dan Gattis and all four commissioners are Republicans, as is every other elected official in Williamson County government.

“They have had that tied up for a couple of decades,” Stauber said. “There really is no dissension on the court. I want to get the little man’s opinion in there and change the way of thinking.”

Stauber worked for General Motors for 35 years and has been a member of the Unite Auto Workers union for more than 45 years.

When Stauber retired from GM in 1997, he and wife Carol moved to Liberty Hill, settling in the Durham Park subdivision off FM 1869.

Stauber serves as president of the Durham Park Water Supply Corporation.

He is also vice president for Hope Alliance of Williamson County (formerly the Williamson County Crisis Center), which assists women who are domestic violence victims.

Stauber – who four years ago ran as an opponent of toll roads – said he is also against a proposed Liberty Hill bypass that might someday be built off state Highway 29.

Additionally, he is against increases in toll road fees.

Despite the party’s recent setbacks in Williamson County, Stauber said he thinks 2010 might be a good year for Democrats – if they can get people to the polls.

“The biggest thing with an off year (non-presidential) election is getting people out to vote,” he said.

Stauber is definitely right about needing some balance on the WCCC.  And he would give those opposed to the WCCC’s mishandling of the SH 29 project last year.

In Precinct 4,  Maurice to challenge Morrison.

Stating he is “frustrated by political gamesmanship,” Hutto attorney and Williamson County Landfill opponent Jeff Maurice this week declared he will run for the Pct. 4 Commissioners Court position currently held by Republican Ron Morrison.

Maurice said he will enter the race as a Democrat, during the Dec. 3 to Jan. 4 filing period.

“It’s time for the citizens of Pct. 4 to be represented by someone who has their best interests at heart,” Maurice said. “From the Hutto landfill to property tax rates, the citizens of Pct. 4 have been repeatedly ignored when it comes to issues that have the greatest impact on our community.”

Maurice has lived in Hutto for six years. He and wife Shawn reside on a ranch, where they provide shelter for homeless animals.

Maurice said he is dedicated to public service.

The former Dell attorney currently serves as an elected board member on the Jonah Water Special Utility District, which represents about 4,800 water customers.

He is perhaps best known, politically, for serving as chairman for the Hutto Citizens Group’s landfill committee. For the past several years that group has been locked in disputes with county government concerning landfill operation, expansion and contracts.

“I’ve found out that you can make change happen if you approach issues professionally and with persistence, and that’s the approach I intend to take on the commissioners court,” Maurice said. “Like many Williamson County residents, I’m frustrated by political gamesmanship. As county commissioner, I’ll always consider the needs of my constituents first and foremost.”

Putting two Democrats on the court would surely bring some accountability to our government in Williamson County.

11.24.09

TX-GOV: Thoughts on yesterday’s Democratic shakeup

Posted in 2010 Primary, Around The State, Commentary, Election 2010, Good Stuff at 12:41 pm by wcnews

Anyone attuned to Texas Politics is aware of the shake-up on the Democratic side in the race to see who will be the nominee. If not it’s this simple – Tom Schieffer is out and Houston Mayor Bill White is likely in. Yesterday’s actions bring a couple thoughts, at least, to my mind. Was Schieffer a “placeholder” for White all along, to keep folks like state Senators Kirk Watson and Leticia Van de Putte, and other moderates out of the race? I know, if White enters, Hank Gilbert will do what he knows it right, I just hope it somehow involves Hank being on the general election ballot in November 2010. If White enters he’s the immediate front runner because he has two things a Democrat running statewide hasn’t had in a while, money and a strong base of support.

The best wrap-up of analysis from yesterday come from PDiddie at Brains and Eggs, More on White and the battle for governor.

More on Scott Atlas if you need to know it. Harvey Kronberg has more of the juicy grist (is that an oxymoron?) in this from QR:

In the words of Democratic advisor Harold Cook, “You better get your popcorn and go to the bathroom ‘cuz you don’t want to miss a minute of this.” …

In a first sort-through, the big damage may well be to Kay Bailey Hutchison. While we never expected big Democratic crossover vote into the Republican March primary, an effort to stop Farouk Shami and Kinky Friedman with an “A” team candidate becomes more important. (No disrespect to Hank Gilbert who has run a very active, issue oriented campaign)

An exciting Democratic primary cannot be good for the Republican gubernatorial challenger.

Harvey’s spot on here. I’ll go further, however: there’s not a lot of difference between Hutchison and White once you take the party label off. Establishment, conservative, calm, even bland. The rumors you heard months ago about her sharing information with him about her plans suggests that the two have something more than just shared policy interests. Before I digress …

On the other hand, Governor Perry’s life just got a little more complicated. Even Hutchison supporters acknowledge that he has driven the narrative of the campaign and out-maneuvered his challenger at every turn. Hutchison went from twenty points (up) at the end of last year to 12 down in recent polls. Although the primary is still a hundred days away, the betting line has been consistently swinging toward the incumbent.

More on that from this anonymous blogging GOP consultant (via Kuffner)...

White seems to be the best shot at the governor’s mansion, and that’s trouble for Rick Perry’s campaign. Slipping by with 39% of the vote in 2006, Perry will fare poorly in a head-to-head with White. Moderates in Houston will mostly back White, who is widely popular there. The trick for White will be spreading the Houston support throughout the rest of the state.

On the R’s side, primary voters will be faced with a pretty clear choice: nominate a candidate (Perry) who will struggle to beat a widely popular Houston mayor, or a candidate (Hutchison) whose statewide popularity is unmatched in recent Texas political history. No matter what happens, Perry will have to shift to the center. He’s been driving hard right for a long time, though… it’s possible that he may never be able to win over moderates at this point.

And for those of us in Williamson County, and/or HD-52, and all down ballot races there’s this on what White would bring to the 2010 election.

Republicans still have the incumbency advantage and are more battle-tested. And although Texas is still a center-right state, demographics are changing and Texas could turn purple sooner than anyone expects.

Meanwhile, the entire field in the greater Harris County area just got shook up. Republican-targeted Democrat Kristi Thibaut is in a little more secure position today than she was yesterday. Similarly, Democrat-targeted Republicans Dwayne Bohac and Ken Legler are on shakier ground than they were just a few hours ago.

Thibaut, Valinda Bolton, Joe Heflin, Diana Maldonado, and those other Texas House Democrats elected two years and four years ago that closed in on the majority are likely feeling very encouraged. [Emphasis added.]  Bohac, Legler, turncoat Chuck Hobson and half a dozen other Republicans across the state ought to be very concerned. TeaBagger mania just can’t stay stoked all the way to next November; the fury is already waning and the Republicans will fragment into a back-biting morass by this time next year.

That’s what having a well financed candidate, with a good organization, that can bring in Independent and moderate Republicans against the pro-secession Gov. Rick Perry can do.  Allowing the Democrats an opportunity to hold, or maybe even pick up a seat or two – then possibly the Speakers gavel – in the Texas House, would be huge going into a redistricting session.  And if Eliot Shapleigh runs for Lt. Gov., the who knows? That’s why White running for governor changes the entire 2010 political landscape in Texas.

Bill White is the Democrats best chance of taking back the Governor’s Mansion in Texas in 2010.

Watchdog group wants to know about Gov. Perry’s travel expenses

Posted in 2010 Primary, Around The State, Election 2010, Money In Politics at 11:57 am by wcnews

Via AP, Perry frequent traveler in 2009.

Perry’s travels — a meeting with film executives in Los Angeles, a gathering with GOP leaders in Aspen, Colo., a visit to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan — were outlined in interviews with his aides and in documents examined by The Associated Press. But a detailed financial accounting of each trip is not easily accessible, and is in some cases off limits.

Out-of-state travel is part of Perry’s job, his aides say.

“As governor and CEO of a state that’s the 12th-largest economy in the world, it’s important that he continue to promote Texas as the best place for business, both nationally and internationally,” said Perry spokeswoman Allison Castle.

Perry visited Iraq on U.S. Defense Department trips in January and July. In August, he went to Israel on a trip organized and partially paid for by one of his campaign donors and by the investment firm Doheny Global Group. He also visited California, New York, Washington, D.C., Las Vegas, Colorado, Florida and Mississippi in 2009.

[...]

But an open government advocate questions whether there’s enough information available about the Texas governor’s trips.

“Are we getting the full story?” said Keith Elkins, executive director of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas. “Any time you have the head of government, especially the governor … taxpayers and voters are interested in that.”

Texans should be able to easily find out what business the governor is doing and whom he’s doing it with, Elkins said. He cited a recent KTVT television report he said revealed new details about Perry’s Israel trip: documents showing the Perry family members and friends who went along as well as the state officials who oversee energy policy who went, plus the information that Perry’s security officers stayed at the swanky King David Hotel at a cost of $17,000 to the state.

Perry’s travel is typically paid by a patchwork of sources including his campaign, private donors and the economic development non-profit group TexasOne. Much of his 2009 travel cannot yet be viewed on state disclosure reports.

State-paid Department of Public Safety officers travel with Perry to provide security, but specifics of those costs are closed to the public, thanks to a bill passed in this year’s legislative session. Only summaries of the security costs can be obtained. A summary by DPS showed that security for the Israel trip cost $58,775 for the officers’ air fare, lodging, meals and other expenses and $15,609 for overtime pay.

The Doheny group organized and paid for Perry’s stay in Israel and for First Lady Anita Perry’s commercial flight to the country, the governor’s office said.

Perry flew to Israel aboard the private plane of Texas campaign donor Doug Pitcock, head of Williams Brothers Construction, a round-trip charter flight donated to TexasOne and valued at $180,000, Castle said. Anita Perry joined him for the trip home.

The Doheny Global Group is into Energy, Project Finance, Real Estate. And appears to be run by Irwin Katsof and Jacob Rheuban.  There’s more about the trip here, Governor Perry’s trip to Israel in question. Of course Perry had similar issues in 2006 as well.

11.23.09

Schieffer reported to be dropping out, (White in?), candidate meeting in Dallas

Posted in 2010 Primary, Around The State, Election 2010, Good Stuff at 12:57 pm by wcnews

TexasTrib has the report, Sources: Schieffer’s Out.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Schieffer is getting out of the race this afternoon, sources said Monday morning. “He just couldn’t put it together,” said one.

“I can’t comment,” said Clay Robison, Schieffer’s spokesman. Schieffer didn’t immediately return calls. A short time later, they called a press conference for 3 p.m. this afternoon.

And this is leading to speculation that Houston Mayor Bill White may enter the race…

Houston Mayor Bill White will “have a statement” after Schieffer’s press conference, said spokeswoman Katy Bacon; she wouldn’t answer questions about whether White is getting into the governor’s race if Schieffer gets out.

Jason Embry Gardner Selby at the AAS is also reporting that there is a meeting in Dallas this afternoon with Texas Democratic Party Chair Boyd Ritchie and the remaining candidates in the governor’s race.

There may be movement on another front to get White into the race.

A source inside one of the Democratic gubernatorial campaigns says that state party chairman Boyd Richie called a summit of the Democratic governor candidates (and candidates only) for 2:30 p.m. today at a Dallas law firm. The stated purpose early this month was to talk out guidelines for how the party would be involved and to make sure everyone was going to be aboard to endorse the eventual nominee. But this source speculates that this is some kind of gambit for Richie to blow everyone’s minds with Bill White as the candidate in favor. Same source says every candidate is committed to coming.

Vince Leibowitz, who works for Democratic candidate Hank Gilbert, said, “There is a meeting among the gubernatorial candidates. We have no idea of the purpose. It’s been organized for two to three weeks.”

It’s possible getting all of the candidates in one room,m there may be a strategy to get a statewide ticket sorted out. With White at the top of the ticket there may be the chance at getting other candidates back into down ballot races. There’s also a rumor that Schieffer may run for Lt. Gov. – not sure where all of this leaves state Sen. Eliot Shapleigh either. More than likely, this will all be sorted out, one way or another by early December.

And the HChron is now reporting White will switch to the governor’s race, Schieffer out, Bill White in Texas governor’s race.

White spokeswoman Katy Bacon said it is not true that White is moving to the governor’s race. She said White will have a statement after Schieffer’s formal withdrawal announcement this afternoon.

However, two other sources tell us that White will not make a formal switch to the governor’s race until after the Thanksgiving weekend, probably next Monday or Tuesday.

This is great timing. Starts on the Monday before Thanksgiving, no announcement until after the Holiday, many Texans will talk and speculate about this over the holiday with family and friends, And announce when everyone comes back after the break. It would be nice to see the Democrats come out of the Thanksgiving weenend with a statewide baloot more sorted out.  Maybe with White in the race more will be looking at running on the Democratic side.

Texas Blog Round Up (November 23, 2009)

Posted in Around The State, Commentary at 11:21 am by wcnews

The Texas Progressive Alliance as Thanksgiving week begins brings you this week’s highlights from the blogs.

The Texas Cloverleaf clues you in on why you can’t breathe in Denton County– gas drillers!

WCNews at Eye On Williamson has some Thoughts on Straus’ Interim Charges – including topics like feral hogs, blogging, and transportation.

On Bluedaze: DRILLING REFORM FOR TEXAS, TXsharon summarizes the Barnett Shale Emissions Meeting in Fort Worth.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme would like the sun to shine on city doings even if city officials don’t.

Justin at Asian American Action Fund Blog is delighted that Hank Gilbert has enlisted Geeyung Li as APIA Outreach Director and thus has the first Asian American senior staffer of the campaign.

With Farouk Shami’s entrance into the race, McBlogger thinks it’s now down to two real candidates. Find out who they are.

WhosPlayin discusses how two cities within one school district have vastly different expectations for the district when it comes to construction.

Neil at Texas Liberal offered information about when it is you should thaw your turkey. He also offered information about having a vegetarian Thanksgiving if that is your thing.

The Kay Bailey-Rick Perry cage match is a front in the war for control of the Republican Party going on throughout the country. Battles like the one in NY-23 last month are gearing
up in a D-FW-area state Senate district in Texas, and a US Senate race in Florida, and likely all points in-between. Find out more at Brains and Eggs.

Over at Texas Vox, Public Citizen Energy Policy Director Tyson Slocum urges the EPA to use the Clean Air Act to fight global warming.

nytexan at BlueBloggin is worn out with political buzz words, especially Socialism, The New Buzz Word. Americans are amazingly ignorant about civics, types of governments and the world around them. Knowing whats going on around us, and researching facts is, after all, boring and unnecessary when we have news soundbites. And, I am not only speaking about the talking heads on Fox. Yes, here in America, we even outsource our thought process to main stream media and whatever tickles their fancy at any given moment.

Libby Shaw, over at TexasKaos, reports on the circular firing squad that is today’s Texas Republican Party in her posting, Tea Party Candidates to Challenge Texas Republicans . Give it a read.

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