Move to Amend at Sun City Democrats meeting on Saturday

Posted in Good Stuff, Take Action, Williamson County at 9:30 pm by wcnews

David Cobb of Move to Amend will be speaking this Saturday in Georgetown at the Sun City Democrats monthly General Meeting. Here’s the information.

Saturday, June 2,  2012
Time:  9:30 AM Coffee, 10:00 AM Meeting
Location:  Sun City Cowan Creek Center,
1433 Cool Spring Way, Florence/Georgetown Rooms [MAP]

The guest speaker for June 2 is David Cobb, a member of the Executive Committee of Move To Amend, an organization promoting two amendments to the Constitution to define that:

1.  A corporation is not a person; and

2.  Money is not speech.

On January 21, 2010, with its ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are persons, entitled by the U.S. Constitution to buy elections and run our government. Human beings are people; corporations are legal fictions.

The Move To Amend organization believes that The Supreme Court is misguided in principle, and wrong on the law.  In a democracy, the people rule.

The meeting is free and the public is invited to attend.

Read more about David Cobb and Move to Amend at movetoamend.org.

Statewide Primary Analysis

Posted in 2012 Primary, Around The State, Commentary, Election 2012, Speakers Race, The Lege, US Senate Race at 11:06 am by wcnews

My first thought about the statewide results was, “Oh Crap!! We’re going to have to live through sixty more days of Dewhurst, Cruz, Dick Armey, and Koch money lies.  Who wins this is anybody’s guess at this point. All we know right now is that the money will flow freely and the truth will be nowhere to be found.

The other disappointment was the results for Sean Hubbard on the Democratic side in the race to replace Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in the US Senate. And as Harold Cook pointed out in his analysis, Notes on the Texas primary elections, the results show that the debate “meant less-than-nothing”. It was a debate in which Hubbard performed very well, but his lack of name ID was too much to overcome. Hopefully he’ll run for office in the future. Paul Sadler is the best option to take on the eventual GOP nominee in November.  Hubbard endorsed Sadler.  Sadler will face Grady Yarbough in the runoff.

In the state Senate races they mostly went as planned, with the Senate becoming a less experienced and more right wing chamber. Via the Texas Tribune.

In Texas Senate races, it was a night for the conservatives. Four Republican senators are leaving of their own accord, and all four could be replaced by candidates more conservative than the incumbents. Replace Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, with Ken Paxton, R-McKinney; Mike Jackson, R-La Porte, with Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood; Chris Harris, R-Arlington, with Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills; and Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, with Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown.

In the Texas House races there were six GOP incubments that lost and several more are headed to primary run offs. The losers were Marva Beck, Leo Berman, Wayne Christian, Rob Eissler, Mike Hamilton, Barbara Nash, and Vicki Truitt. Four more incumbent Repubicans in the House are headeed to runoffs – Chuck Hopson, J. M. Lozano, Sid Miller, and Jim Landtroop. Kuff has more on the GOP races around the state, and how the Parent PAC slate fared (mixed results).

On the Democratic side there were no incumbents that lost in their primary.  There will be three runoffs, none with an incumbnet, via Kuff.

HD40 – Terry Canales versus Auggie Hernandez
HD95 – Nicole Collier versus Jesse Gaines
HD117 – Phillip Cortez versus Tina Torres

The biggest story on the Democratic side was the loss of incumbent Congressman Sylvestre Reyes to challenger Beto O’Rourke in El Paso. Here’s more Congressional analysis from Kuff.

– The Campaign for Primary Accountability may have its scalp here. As of last report, Beto O’Rourke was leading Rep. Silvestre Reyes with 51.34% of the vote to Reyes’ 43.31%. (I’m going by Trib results here.) Rep. Eddie Berniece Johnson cruised in CD30 with over 70% of the vote, Rep. Ruben Hinojosa finished with 71% in CD15, and Rep. Lloyd Doggett won easily in CD35, with 73%. Reyes was the only Congressional casualty, but not necessarily the only interesting result. Former Rep. Ciro Rodriguez led the field in CD23 and will face former State Rep. Pete Gallego in the runoff. Rodriguez was above 50% for much of the night but Gallego caught up late to force overtime. Also going into overtime:

CD33 – Former State Rep. Marc Veasey (38%) versus former State Rep. Domingo Garcia (24%). I’m grimly pleased to note that the guy who spent over a million bucks of his own money, David Alameel, came in fourth.

CD34 – Filemon Vela, with 41%, most likely against Denise Saenz Blanchard, who led Ramiro Garza by about 140 votes with several precincts still out. Former Cameron County DA Armando Villalobos, who looked like the frontrunner at one point, came in fifth. I’m guessing those federal charges didn’t help his cause much.

CD27 – Jerry Trevino (40%) versus Rose Meza Harrison (32%). Ronnie McDonald was third with 26%. I hope he runs for something else in 2014, too.

Former Rep. Nick Lampson took over 80% of the vote in CD14. I’m pretty sure he’s happy that both of his potential opponents are from Pearland.

The biggest question and most talked about issue, that won’t be answered until January 2013, is who will be the Speaker or the Texas House.  (Of course should Dewhurst win the US Senate seat in November, there will be one on the Senate side too).  Many, and Straus himself don’t think he did too bad on Tuesday.  While his main opponent, Michael Quinn Sullivan, thinks he did.  I’m more with Sullivan, (Straus lost three committee chairs), and think he didn’t have a good day.  Also we’re starting to get used to a Speaker’s race every two years in Texas, and the GOP will have more than the 76 votes needed to vote him out.  So it’s possible, but not likely….yet.

No matter what we already know the turnover in the House is going to be massive.  At this point there are  38  we know are not returning, and there’s the potential it could reach 50, 1/3rd of the membership.  It’s going to be an even more inexperienced body then it was last session, as will the Senate, and there will again be very important issues on the agenda.  And as long as members of the Lege are more concerned about phoney pledges, then they are about doing what’s right, we cannot expect good outcomes for the majority of working Texans and their families.

More Primary Analysis wrap ups:

Kuff, More reactions to the election results.
Emily Ramshaw, What Surprised Pundits and Pollsters on Primary Night.
TFN, Split Decision by Voters in Texas SBOE Primary Contests.
Brains and Eggs, Late last night (and more musings about election results).
Grits for Breakfast on Duty’s win over Bradley, Incumbent DAs ouster points to police union power.
Tx Trib, Looking at Perry’s and Combs’ Endorsements.

The run off will be on Tuesday, July 31st. And the Secretary of State has the Primary Run Off rules.

The Primary Run-Off will take place on July 31st. Registered voters who voted in the Primary can vote in the same Party Run-Off election. If a registered voter did not vote in the Primary they may vote in either party’s Run-Off election. Eligible Texans who are not registered to vote must register by July 2, 2012 to vote in the July 31st Run-Off election.

A full list of the Run-offs in Texas (via QR) below the fold:

Read the rest of this entry �

TPA Blog Round Up (Week of May 28th, 2012)

Posted in Around The State, Commentary at 8:53 am by wcnews

The Texas Progressive Alliance says “on to the runoffs!” as it brings you this holiday week roundup.

Off the Kuff looked at the latest strange poll results from UT and the Texas Trib.

This week WCNews at Eye On Williamson posts on The continuing right-wing assault on public education in Texas.

The endorsement of the three previous Democrats who lost to John Culberson is hardly a worthy vote of confidence, but that didn’t deter one candidate in CD-07, who went on to suggest that he would win the November contest by 51.3%. That spin, however, was topped by his estimate of 73% of fewer than one hundred people in a straw poll at a barbecue suggesting “overwhelming” support. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs reminds you that if a Congressional candidate exaggerates this wildly in May, he just doesn’t deserve to be on the ballot in November.

Lightseeker explores what the trimph of Republican fear mongering and pandering means to our poitical futures here and in the country. Check out Sobering Thoughts on Our Political Future over at TexasKaos.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme applauds the efforts of AACT Now in getting out the vote. Please continue through November.


Williamson County Primary results and analysis

Posted in 2012 Primary, Commentary, Williamson County at 11:49 am by wcnews

The headline from yesterday, of course, is that come 2013 John Bradley will no longer be the District Attorney in Williamson County.  Jana Duty beat him, (55% – 45%), a pretty good drubbing of a 10 year incumbent.  Despite Bradley being endorsed by Gooberner Perry he still wasn’t able to win reelection.  At least there are enough members of the GOP in Williamson County that have limits, and kept Bradley from winning.  It’s doubtful this is the last we’ve heard of Bradley, look for him to show up somewhere in the Perry camp once his term is up at the DA’s office.

It’s hard to know what kind of a DA Duty would be, but it’s likely she would have a good relationship with law enforcement and not so good with the commissioners court.  No matter who wins in November, Duty or Democrat Ken Crain, let’s hope the office is run in a more fair manner, and that indigent defendants are no longer denied their rights.

There were a couple of other tight races on the GOP side.  Incumbent Precinct 1 Commissioner Lisa Birkman  held on against challenger Lee Ann Seitsinger (52% – 48%).  Birkman, who won by 217 votes, always seems to have close races, (too bad there’s no Democrat running against her in November).  In Precinct 3 Incumbent Valerie Covey easily won her contest over challenger Greg Windham (69% – 31%).  Both of those races show that the GOP base in Williamson County weren’t moved much by the “debt” issue.  The other tight race was for Constable in Precinct 3 with incumbent Bobby Gutierrez beating Barry Simmons (52% – 48%),  a margin of 346 votes.

On the Democratic side there were no contested races locally.  In the newly created Texas House District 136, an open seat, it will Democrat Matt Stillwell against GOP nominee Tony Dale in November.

[UPDATE]: Forgot a couple of local races.  Dee Hobbs won the three-way race for County Attorney with 53% of the vote.  And Charles Schwertner won the race to replace state Sen. Steve Ogden in SD 5 over Ben Bius, 75% -25%

Statewide analysis tomorrow.

Full Results from the county web site are below (all are unofficial):

County wide

Precinct by Precinct


Election Results for the 2012 Primary in Williamson County

Posted in 2012 Primary, Williamson County at 9:00 pm by wcnews

Here’s the link to the Williamson County Election Results page.

Also statewide results are here.

Where to vote in Williamson County for the May 29, 2012 Primary

Posted in 2012 Primary, Williamson County at 4:00 am by wcnews

Via the Williamson County Elections web page.

View sample ballots here.

Election Day Polling Places Open 7am to 7pm Tuesday, May 29

Williamson County voters must vote at their assigned precinct’s polling location on election day.

PCT Location          Lugar Address          Direccion
119 Old Town Elementary School
Escuela Primaria Old Town
2200 Chaparral Dr., Round Rock
122 Round Rock High School
Escuela Preparatoria Round Rock
300 N. Lake Creek Dr., Round Rock
135 Bluebonnet Elementary School
Escuela Primaria Bluebonnet
1010 Chisholm Valley Dr., Round Rock
138 Restoration Covenanat Church
Restauración de la Iglesia Covenanat
1150 McNeil Rd., Round Rock
140 Brushy Creek Elementary School
Escuela Primaria Brushy Creek
3800 Stonebridge Dr., Georgetown
145 J.B. and Hallie Jester  Annex
Anexo J.B. y Hallie Jester
1801 E. Old Settlers Blvd., Round Rock
146 Pond Springs Elementary School
Escuela Primaria Pond Springs
7825 Elkhorn Mountain Trl., Austin
147 Forest North Elementary School
Escuela Primaria Foresth North
13414 Broadmeade Ave., Austin
149 RRISD East Transportation Facility
RRISD Este Fondo de Transporte
921 Luther Peterson Place, Round Rock
150 McConico Building
Edificio McConico
301 W. Bagdad St., Round Rock
151 Deerpark Middle School
Escuela de Instrucción Media Deerpark
8849 Anderson Mill Rd., Austin
152 Northwest Fellowship
Northwest Fellowship
13427 Pond Springs Rd., Austin
160 Brushy Creek  Community Center
Centro Comunitario de Brushy Creek
16318 Great Oaks Dr., Round Rock
162 Clairmont Retirement Community
Comunidad de Retiro Clairmont
12463 Los Indios Trl., Austin
172 Round Rock Presbyterian Church
Round Rock Iglesia Presbiteriana
4010 Sam Bass Rd., Round Rock
182 Cactus Ranch Elementary School
Escuela Primaria Cactus Ranch
2901 Goldenoak Cir., Round Rock
185 Rattan Creek Park Community Bldg.
Edificio de la Comunidad de Rattan Creek Park
7617 Elkhorn Mountain Trl., Austin
186 Lord of Life Lutheran Church
Iglesia Luterana Señor de la Vida
9700 Neenah Ave., Austin
189 Rutledge Elementary School
Escuela Primaria Rutledge
11501 Staked Plains Dr., Austin
190 Fern Bluff MUD Community Center
Centro Comunitario de Fern Bluff MUD
7320 Wyoming Springs Dr., Round Rock
197 Patsy Sommer Elementary School
Escuela Primaria Patsy Sommer
16200 Avery Ranch Blvd., Austin
198 Cedar Valley Middle School
Escuela de Instrucción Media Cedar Valley
8139 Racine Trl., Austin
201 Vista Ridge High School PAC
Escuela Preparartoria PAC Vista Ridge
200 S. Vista Ridge Blvd., Cedar Park
204 Reagan Elementary School
Escuela Primaria Reagan
1700 E. Park St., Cedar Park
206 Fellowship Baptist Church
Iglesia Bautista Fellowship
3600 RR 1869, Liberty Hill
207 Fellowship Baptist Church
Iglesia Bautista Fellowship
3600 RR 1869, Liberty Hil
216 Naumann Elementary School
Escuela Primaria Nauman
1201 Brighton Bend Ln., Cedar Park
218 Purple Sage Elementary School
Escuela Primaria Purple Sage
11801 Tanglebriar Trl., Austin
253 Leander High School
Escuela Preparatoria Leande
3301 S. Bagdad Rd., Leander
254 Cedar Park Public Library
Cedar Park de la Biblioteca Pública
550 Discovery Blvd., Cedar Park
259 Bagdad Elementary School
Escuela Primaria Bagdad
800 Deercreek Ln., Leander
264 Pat Bryson Municipal Hall
Sala de la Ciudad de Leander
201 N. Brushy St., Leander
266 Riviera Springs Clubhouse
Casa-club Riviera Springs
2402 E. Riviera Dr., Cedar Park
267 The Ridge Fellowship
Iglesia Ridge Fellowship
8754 RR 2243, Leander
273 Cypress Elementary School
Escuela Primaria Cypress
2900 El Salido Pkwy., Cedar Park
274 Noel Grisham Middle School
Escuela de Instrucción Media Noel Grisham
10805 School House Ln., Austin
275 Bethany United Methodist Church
Iglesia Metodista Unida Bethany
10010 Anderson Mill Rd., Austin
277 Cedar Park High School
Escuela Preparatoria Cedar Park
2150 Cypress Creek Rd., Cedar Park
278 Treasure of the Hills Senior Center
Centro para Adultos Mayores Treasure of the Hills
408 Ridgewood Dr., Cedar Park
283 Cedar Park Recreation Center
Cedar Park centro de recreación
1435 Main St., Cedar Park
287 HIghland Estates IRL
Estancia de Retiro Independiente de Highland Estates
1500 N. Lakeline Blvd., Cedar Park
305 Jo Ann Ford Elementary School
Escuela Primaria Jo Ann Ford
210 Woodlake Dr., Georgetown
309 Andice Community Center
Centro Comunitario de Andice
6600 FM 970, Andice
310 Florence Volunteer Fire Department
Voluntarios del Departamento de Bomberos de Florence
301 S. Patterson Ave., Florence
311 First Baptist Church of Weir
Primera Iglesia Bautista de Weir
315 FM 1105, Weir
312 Jarrell Memorial Park (Community Bldg.)
Parque Memorial de Jarrell  (Edificio de la Comunidad)
1651 CR 305, Jarrell
314 San Gabriel Community Center
Centro Comunitario San Gabriel
445 E Morrow St., Georgetown
330 Blockhouse Elementary School
Escuela Primaria Blockhouse
401 Creek Run Dr., Leander
331 Pleasant Hill Elementary School
Escuela Primaria Pleasant Hill
1800 Horizon Park Blvd., Leander
332 Parkside Elementary School
Escuela Primaria Parkside
301 Garner Park Dr., Georgetown
333 Chandler Oaks Elementary School
Escuela Primaria Chandler Oaks
3800 Stone Oak Dr., Round Rock
337 Teravista Elementary School
Escuela Primaria Teravista
4419 Teravista Club Dr., Round Rock
339 Caldwell Heights Elementary School
Escuela Primaria Caldwell Heights
4010 Eagles Nest St., Round Rock
341 Georgetown ISD Admin Bldg
Edificio Admin. del Distrito Escolar Independiente de Georgetown
603 Lakeway Dr., Georgetown
342 Gabriel Oaks Church of Christ
Gabriel Oaks Iglesia de Cristo
1904 S. Austin Ave., Georgetown
343 First Baptist Church
Primera Iglesia Bautista
1333 W. University Ave., Georgetown
344 First Baptist Church
Primera Iglesia Bautista
1333 W. University Ave., Georgetown
368 Calvary Christian Center
Centro Cristiano Calvario
1351 FM 1460, Georgetown
369 County Central Maintenance Facility
Central de Mantenimiento de las Instalaciones del Condado
3151 SE Inner Loop Dr., Georgetown
370 Eastview High School
Escuela Preparatoria Eastview
4490 E. University Ave., Georgetown
371 Georgetown ISD Admn. Building
Edificio Admin. del Distrito Escolar Independiente de Georgetown
603 Lakeway Dr., Georgetown
379 River of Life Church
Iglesia Río de Vida
6040 Airport Rd., Georgetown
381 Sun City Social Center
Centro Social de Sun City
2 Texas Dr., Georgetown
392 Village Elementary School
Escuela Primaria Village
400 Village Commons Blvd., Georgetown
394 Cowan Creek Amenity Center
Centro de Entretenimiento Cowan Creek
1433 Cool Springs Way, Georgetown
395 Grace Fellowship Church
Iglesia Grace Fellowship
6600 S. Lakewoods Dr., Georgetown
396 The Worship Place
El Lugar  del Culto
811 Sun City Blvd., Georgetown
402 Hutto City Hall
Sala de la Ciudad de Hutto
401 W. Front St., Hutto
403 Hutto City Hall
Sala de la Ciudad de Hutto
401 W. Front St., Hutto
413 Coupland School
Escuela Coupland
620 S. Commerce St., Coupland
415 SPJST Hall
112 W. Davilla St., Granger
420 Hutto Middle School
Escuela de Instrucción Media Hutto
1005 Exchange Blvd., Hutto
423 Stony Point High School
Escuela Preparatioria Stony Point
1801 Tiger Trl., Round Rock
424 Forest Creek Elementary School
Escuela Primaria Forest Creek
3505 Forest Creek Dr., Round Rock
425 Holy Temple Church of God Santa
Iglesia Templo de Dios
100 Elm St., Bartlett
426 Farley Middle School
Escuela de Instrucción Media Farley
303 CR 137, Hutto
427 Northside ES Board Room
Sala de juntas de Northside ES
428 Taylor VFD Hall
Voluntarios del Departamento de Bomberos de Taylor
304 Carlos G. Parker Blvd., Taylor
429 Taylor Public Library
Taylor de la Biblioteca Pública
801 Vance St., Taylor
434 Thrall Volunteer Fire Department
Voluntarios del Departamento de Bomberos de Thrall
201 S. Main St., Thrall
436 Taylor Public Library
Taylor de la Biblioteca Pública
801 Vance St., Taylor
455 Voigt Elementary School
Escuela Primaria Voight
1201 Cushing Dr., Round Rock
456 Taylor City Hall
Sala de la Ciudad de Taylor
400 Porter St., Taylor
463 The Fellowship at Forest Creek Church
Iglesia The Fellowship de Forest Creek
3379 Gattis School Rd., Round Rock
480 Gattis Elementary School
Escuela Primaria Gattis
2920 Round Rock Ranch Blvd.,
Round Rock
484 ACC Campus Round Rock
ACC Campus Round Rock
4400 College Park Dr., Round Rock
488 Ridgeview Middle School
Escuela de Instrucción Media Ridgeview
2000 Via Sonoma Trl., Round Rock
491 Double File Trail Elementary School
Escuela Primaria Double File Trail
2400 Chandler Creek Blvd., Round Rock



Last Day to early vote in Williamson County for the May 29th Primary

Posted in 2012 Primary, Williamson County at 11:48 am by wcnews

Here’s where, and polls are open until 7:00 PM today.

Primary Early Voting Schedule
Primary Election
Early Voting Map
Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Dates & Times for Full-time Locations
8am to 6pm Monday, May 14 through Saturday, May 19
12pm to 6pm Sunday, May 20
7am to 7pm Monday, May 21 through Friday, May 25

Primary Main Location

Williamson County Inner Loop Annex, 301 SE Inner Loop Georgetown, TX

**Limited ballot available at this location

Primary Branch Locations

Anderson Mill Limited District: 11500 El Salido Pkwy, Austin
Brushy Creek Community Center: 16318 Great Oaks Dr., Round Rock
Cedar Park Public Library: 550 Discovery Blvd., Cedar Park
Cedar Park Randalls: 1400 Cypress Creek Rd., Cedar Park
Cowan Creek Amenity Center: 1433 Cool Springs Way, Georgetown
Georgetown Parks & Rec Admin Bldg.: 1101 N. College St., Georgetown
Hutto City Hall: 401 W. Front St., Hutto
JB and Hallie Jester Annex: 1801 E. Old Settlers Blvd., Round Rock
McConico Building: 301 W. Bagdad St., Round Rock
Pat Bryson Municipal Hall: 201 N. Brushy St., Leander
Round Rock Randalls: 2051 Gattis School Rd., Round Rock
Taylor City Hall: 400 Porter St., Taylor

Sample ballots can be found here, just enter first and last name.


It’s not the debt, but (continuing) austerity that’s hurting our ecomomy

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:08 pm by wcnews

Today the CBO released a report that a Coming Fiscal Cliff Will Devastate The Economy.  But it’s not the debt, it’s cutting spending that will cause the devastation.

A giant austerity bomb is timed to go off at the beginning of next year, and the threat of significantly higher taxes and lower spending has Republicans running around the Capitol sounding more like John Maynard Keynes than John Boehner.

Automatic, across-the-board reductions to domestic and defense spending, combined with the looming expiration of the Bush tax cuts, will dramatically consolidate the budget in the next calendar year, if Congress does nothing. And despite bemoaning deficits throughout the Obama years, the GOP’s suddenly come around to the view that cutting government spending is a job killer.

Just listen to Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX).

“Just when you thought the economic news could not get much worse with slow economic growth, with reduced wages because of higher costs, and with many people simply giving up looking for work with the lowest labor participation rate we’ve had in some time,” Cornyn warned reporters in the Capitol Tuesday, “we have an entirely predictable and preventable jobs crisis approaching in January, where because of the sequestration [automatic spending cuts], my state alone will lose 91,000 private sector jobs — and there are about a million private sector jobs at risk if the sequestration goes into effect on January 2.

This marks the return of the Defense Keynesians — Republicans who admit that government spending supports job growth in a weak economy, if and only if that spending is directed toward the military.

Contrary much of the wing-nut squawking President Obama has been one of the stingiest Chief Executives of the last 30 years, An Obama Spending Spree? Hardly.

A dominant theme of the national political discourse has been the crushing spending spree the U.S. has ostensibly embarked on during the Obama presidency. That argument, ignited by Republicans and picked up by many elite opinion makers, has infused the national dialogue and shaped the public debate in nearly every major budget battle of the last thee years.

But the numbers tell a different story.

The fact that the national debt has risen from $10.6 trillion to $15.6 trillion under Obama’s watch makes for easy partisan attacks. But the vast bulk of the increase was caused by a combination of revenue losses due to the 2008-09 economic downturn as well as Bush-era tax cuts and automatic increases in safety-net spending that were already written into law.

Obama’s policies, including the much-criticized stimulus package, have caused the slowest increase in federal spending of any president in almost 60 nears, according to data compiled by the financial news service MarketWatch.

Of course Keynesian economist Paul Krugman knows how to fix our economy.

Krugman, a Keynesian economist, said the United States should be spending more money now rather than trying to slash its budget to make up for lost revenue. The country should reduce the deficit once it had a stable economy.

“Slashing spending at times like these is a terrible thing, it makes the economy much much worse,” he explained.

“I think the way to phrase it is, this is not a stimulus — although it is — but as a ‘we need those school teachers, we need those fire fighters, we need those police officers.’ We are starving essential public services. There are potholes in our roads.”

Let’s hope the President and his reelection team are reading Krugman’s book, End This Depression Now.

The continuing right-wing assault on public education in Texas

Posted in 2012 Primary, Around The State, Education, US Senate Race at 12:09 pm by wcnews

Yesterday Progress Texas released a report on virtual “so-called” education.   It’s a report on how bad privatized schools – thanks to the corporations in ALEC – are at education.  Here’s a snynopsis from Progress Texas, Progress Texas Releases Report on ALEC and Virtual Schools in Texas.

With the support of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) – which serves as a home away from home for ALEC here in Texas – for-profit education companies are attacking Texas public schools, promoting virtual schools, and putting profits ahead of the education needs of Texas children. These virtual schools are largely unaccountable to Texas taxpayers, despite the fact that their students receive the exact same amount of funding as students who attend traditional public schools. In fact, virtual school students are funded at the same level of traditional public school students thanks to a law passed by Republican Senate Education Chair Florence Shapiro, who sits on ALEC’s Education Task Force which is Co-chaired by employees of private companies that own and operate virtual schools in Texas.

The virtual school movement is a $24 billion industry with zero accountability. Virtual schools provide unregulated financial windfalls to a few insiders by shortchanging our children’s education. To help combat the enormous influence of these companies, ALEC, and TPPF, Progress Texas has published a new report, titled Invisible Schools, Invisible Success.

The Texas Tribune also did an article on this issue, Virtual Schools Failing.

In 2004, the American Legislative Exchange Council, made up of businesses and nearly 2,000 legislators, created a bill that supported online learning in classrooms and virtual schools. The measure initiated a wave of virtual schools across the country. In 2007, Texas approved Senate Bill 1788, similar to the ALEC model, which created a state-operated virtual school network and supported integrating online learning in Texas classrooms. Tax dollars help fund virtual schools, but businesses run them.

One of the only full-time virtual schools in the state, Texas Virtual Academy, was ranked academically unacceptable by the Texas Education Agency in 2009 and 2011, yet enrollment in the academy increased 3,203 percent in those years — from 254 students to 8,136, according to the Progress Texas report.

The report cites a study by Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes, which found that all of the virtual schools in Pennsylvania “performed significantly worse” than traditional public schools in reading and math. Because Texas Virtual Academy and other virtual schools like it across the country have high dropout rates, high student-teacher ratios and poor performance, the report argues, they are not accountable to taxpayers.

But the TPPF claims that these schools have academic potential, and that they can cut costs at a time when the state needs funds to make up for an expected budget shortfall in the 2013 legislative session.

“We do consider virtual education a positive thing. There are a lot of perks in improving access and quality education in rural areas, and we think there could be fiscal benefits as well,” said James Golsan, education policy analyst at the TPPF.

In the 2013 legislative session, Progress Texas’ Political Director Phillip Martin said the organization’s goal is increased investment in public schools, which have worked and are held accountable to voters.

“If we continue to fund virtual schools, we need to hold them to the same level of accountability as traditional public schools,” Martin said.

That’s perfectly horrid.

I would encourage everyone to watch the video below of Sean Hubbard, especially his answer to a question about public education funding in Texas (Tip to Brains and Eggs,The traditional media discovers Sean Hubbard).

You know what we’ve been seeing is that we cut education funding, give teachers less resources and then schools get worse and we blame the teachers, and give them less resources, the schools get worse…and I think that’s intentional. I think they’re intentionally trying to move us to a charter school system, or a private school system…or privatize the entire system.

What we have to do is not just give our teachers more resources but send a message to our students that education is important. Because what we do now is every time we have a budget shortfall the first thing we cut is education spending. Well what that says to our students is that your education is not important because it’s the most expendable thing we have.

Read more about Hubbard in this recent HChron profile, Newcomer Hubbard surprises voters in U.S. Senate race.

Of the six top-tier candidates running for the U.S. Senate, only Sean Hubbard may have to worry about being challenged by eagle-eyed poll watchers, suspicious that he is too young to vote. Fresh-faced and slight, the Dallas resident is 31, but looks half that.

The young Democrat likes to remind audiences that Joe Biden was 29 when he was elected to the U.S. Senate from Delaware, and like the current vice president, Hubbard is articulate, engaging and well-versed on the issues. During a Houston debate a couple of weeks ago, he did not hesitate to engage the presumptive GOP front-runner, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who is more than three decades older and who has nearly 15 years more experience in office. Hubbard won the KUHF News live blog poll immediately following the debate.


Hubbard grew up in a Republican family in the Kaufman County town of Scurry (pop. 705), east of Dallas. After graduating with a degree in political science from the University of Texas at Dallas, he took a sales job for a door company in Garland and worked on the 2002 congressional campaign of Manny Molera, a family friend and a Democrat. The experience led him to switch parties.

Quit job in December

“I found out I agreed with just about everything Manny stood for, but I got just so disgusted how Manny was attacked for being unpatriotic for disagreeing with President Bush,” he said. “I thought, ‘Man, here’s a guy that’s a West Point graduate and he’s served his country and he’s being called unpatriotic just because he disagreed with the president.’ And that was what really turned me completely away from the Republican Party.”

Six years after his candidate lost, Hubbard helped organize Barack Obama’s Dallas outreach effort in 2008. Also that year, he married Jamie Van, a native of Cambodia who works as a hairdresser. The couple has a4-month-old daughter.

He quit his job last December, assured his wife he would share the child-rearing chores equally and declared his candidacy – not for city council or the U.S. House, but for the U.S. Senate. Given the gerrymandered nature of congressional districts, his chance of winning a Senate seat, he calculated, was about as good as winning a House seat. He also had notions of changing the makeup of the Senate.

“It’s the oldest and richest it’s ever been in this country,” Hubbard said one afternoon last week as he sipped iced tea at Sissy’s Cafe in Brownsboro. “Which is great that people can be successful and then run for office, but that’s not very representative of our country. … I thought, ‘What about having a guy that had to work for his paycheck every week run for the U.S. Senate?’?”

He also hoped to jolt his fellow Democrats into action. “I just got tired of watching the Democratic Party being afraid all the time,” he said. “It’s just a theory at this point, but I think part of the reason Republicans do so well here is that they take a stand on an issue. I thought, ‘Hey, let’s try that.’?”

Later that evening, Hubbard shared his populist message with about 15 Henderson County Democrats at their monthly meeting in an Anglican Church on the outskirts of Athens.

“Our Founding Fathers, when they signed the Constitution, they were saying, ‘We are in this together,’?” he told the Athens gathering, “but we have gone from a society that values community to a society that values wealth. And that’s been great for Wall Street, but it hasn’t been good for the rest of us. We’ve gone from pools of liberty and waters of justice to trickle-down economics.” [Emphasis added]

Here’s his web site HubbardforSenate.


Early Voting Update in Williamson County

Posted in 2012 Primary, Around The State, Williamson County at 2:43 pm by wcnews

Through Sunday – 8,800 plus have voted for 3.71% thus fare.

Paul Burka has some commentary on high turnout counties, Counties with high % turnouts, of which Williamson is one.

Also BOR has some interesting polling on the GOP in Texas – they’re warming to Willard and Birtherism lives!!

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