AM Update
8:25 am
Wed April 25, 2012

AM Update: Romney Leads Obama in Texas, State Seizes Yassine Properties, Moontower Fest Kicks Off

Romney Leads Obama in Texas

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney would beat President Obama in Texas if an election were held today. At least that’s what a recent survey from Public Policy Polling has found.

The group surveyed nearly 600 Texans and 400 Republican primary voters and found that 50 percent would vote for Romney.  Forty-three percent said they would choose Obama.  The seven-point spread is a significant drop from the last presidential race in Texas when, in 2008, republican nominee John McCain captured the state by 13 points.

Public Policy Polling President Dean Debnam said in the survey that Romney’s hold in Texas isn’t concrete.

“Strong might not be the word to describe Mitt Romney’s position in Texas. Voters in the state don’t like him much. But he’s still the favorite for both the primary and general elections," said Debnam.

The poll also put Romney ahead of his Republican rivals for the nomination. Forty-five percent of Texas GOP voters favored Romney, with Newt Gingrich attracting 35 percent and Texas Congressman Ron Paul trailing with 14 percent.

State Seizes Yassine Properties

The state has seized property from several businesses owned by Mike Yassine. Late last month the Austin club owner and several other individuals were arrested and are now facing drug and money laundering charges. Yassine also owes the state tax money.

Yesterday, the state comptroller’s office took equipment and liquor from six bars owned by Yassine. The locks were changed and the properties are being turned back over to landlords.

R.J. DeSilva, spokesman for the Texas Comptroller, said that in the coming days the clubs would be cleared.

“If the businesses owns any assets inside the building – in this case it could be equipment or liquor for example – we would sell those business assets off and use the money towards the tax that is own towards the state,” DeSilva said.

Within the coming weeks the goods seized will be sold off, DeSilva said.

Yassine remains behind bars.

Moontower Fest Starts Today

Moontower Comedy and Oddity Fest opens today in Austin. The festival is the brainchild of Paramount Theater and Cap City Comedy Club.

In a city populated by proud geek culture (foodies, gamers, film goers, etc.), Moontower is perhaps the next logical step for Austin, where these days, you can find a festival for just about anything. Comedy itself appears to be enjoying a golden period as comics expand their traditional stand-up to podcasts, Twitter, and FunnyOrDie.com, amplifying the celebrity of comics like Louis C.K.  But in addition to nationally recognized  artists, comedy hipsters have also brought more underground talent to light, including Austinites like Lucas Molandes and Kerri Lendo – each of whom will also perform at Moontower.

Spread out over 10 venues (almost all located downtown), the festival is headlined by Wanda Sykes, Parks and Recreation's Aziz Ansari, and Saturday Night Live's Seth Meyers.  Moontower Comedy Festival runs through Saturday evening, and badge pickup begins at 10 a.m. today at the Paramount's south box office window.