AM Update
9:19 am
Wed March 7, 2012

AM Update: Feds Question New District, Ron Paul's Not-So-Super Tuesday, Crackdown on Border Tunnels

DC Questions Doggett's New District

District 25 in Texas newly-redistricted voting map is currently represented by Rep. Lloyd Doggett, and encompasses a large portion of Travis County.  But now, a federal court in Washington DC has questions about District 25 that could delay Texas 2012 primaries yet again.

The main issue is whether District 25 – which contains white, Hispanic, and African-American voters –  deserves minority protection under the Voting Rights Act or not. 

 The court asked for briefs by March 13 on District 25, and if they deem it a minority district deserving protection, that would send the map back to the drawing board, the Austin American-Statesman reports, with primaries falling well into the summer.

Texas only recently saw its primary date set for May 29.

Ron Paul's Super Tuesday Performance

Texas Rep. Ron Paul headed into Super Tuesday hoping to capture what would be his first victory in the primaries. Even during an interview on CBS News' “Face the Nation,” Paul expressed his belief that he could win the votes in 3 states: Alaska, Idaho and North Dakota. But even in those states, Paul’s turnout was subpar.

In Idaho, Massachusetts’s Gov. Mitt Romney led the pack with 61.6 percent of the vote, while Paul trailed in third place with a total of 18.1 percent, according to NPR’s Super Tuesday Primaries and Results Blog.

Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich finished fourth with a total of 2.1 percent of the votes. In North Dakota, Paul was edged by former Penn. Rep., Rick Santorum, who gained 39.7 percent of the votes. In Alaska and most other states, Paul received similar results.

But in Virginia, where Paul and Romney were the only candidates on the ballot, the 78-year-old Texas Rep. showed resurgence. Paul received 40.5 percent of the vote. But that still wasn’t enough to slow down Romney, who won with 59.5 percent.  

The primary showdown continues next Tuesday, March 10.

New Bill Addresses Mexico-to-U.S. Underground Tunnels

A bill passed out of the U.S. House of Representatives not only aims to stop underground tunnels reaching from Mexico to the U.S., but puts pressure on nearby residents to report suspicious activity, the Texas Tribune reports:

A bill passed out of the U.S. House not only aims to stop underground tunnels reaching from Mexico to the U.S., but puts pressure on nearby residents to report suspicious activity, the Texas Tribune reports:

House Resolution 4119, also called the Border Tunnel Prevention Act and sponsored by U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-El Paso, was passed out of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee by a voice vote Tuesday. If passed, wiretap authorizations generally associated with the investigations of crimes like corruption and drug trafficking could soon be expanded and used to investigate the construction of the tunnels.

According to theTribune, 139 cross-border tunnels have been found since 2001. Texas shares the problem with Arizona and California, and in the latter state, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) filed a similar bill. It was passed in January.