Governor's Mansion

Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

Federal and state elected officials are now exempted from the background checks required of visitors to the Governor’s Mansion, the Department of Public Safety said Tuesday.

Several members of the Texas Legislature had complained last week after learning they were required to undergo background checks before being allowed to enter the Governor’s Mansion for a reception hosted by the Texas Legislative Black Caucus. Angry legislators had asked DPS officials why the vetting they go through by Capitol security wasn’t sufficient for access to the Governor’s residence.

Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune

Outraged members of the Texas Legislative Black Caucus left a reception at the Governor’s Mansion this week after facing what they described as  heavy-handed and offensive security procedures. One of the lawmakers said he won’t return to the stately residence until the policy is changed.


Leppert Endorses Dewhurst Following Debate

Former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert endorsed Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst after last night's debate between Dewhurst and former Solicitor General Ted Cruz.

Cruz and Dewhurst are in a runoff for the Republican nomination to vie for retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison's seat.

During the debate in Dallas, Dewhurst and Cruz traded barbs about each other’s honesty and fitness for the senate seat. While they found some common ground in their disapproval of the current federal healthcare reform, Dewhurst, unlike Cruz, expressed support for providing assistance to the “elderly, frail, disabled and children.”

Governor's Office

No Vote on ‘No Sit, No Lie’

Austin’s Public Safety Commission decided to push back until August a decision on expanding the city’s “No Sit, No Lie” ordinance to the 12th Street and Chicon Street area.

The ordinance bans anyone from sitting or sleeping on streets near businesses, banks, and ATMs. Right now, it’s in effect downtown.

The Blackshear and Prospect Hill Neighborhood Association has been trying to bring the ordinance east of Interstate 35 in hopes of combating drug and prostitution problems.

But the Public Safety Commission isn’t convinced “No Sit, No Lie” is the best option.

Governor's Mansion Restoration Nears Completion

Jun 20, 2012

Here’s a progress report on the restoration of the Texas Governor’s Mansion: The historic furnishings traditionally filling the building are finally being brought back in. The Office of the Governor notes that the historic collection– including a bed used by Sam Houston, and Stephen F. Austin's writing desk – is being returned to the home. The restoration began in 2007, and was derailed when an arsonist firebombed the vacant mansion in 2008. No suspect has ever been charged. The restoration is said to be completed in late July.

The Texas Governor’s Mansion, the oldest of its kind west of the Mississippi, has seen death and drama, political joy and heartache, marriages, parties, wakes and — legend has it — regular visits from the ghost of Sam Houston.

All of that history nearly went up in smoke on June 8, 2008, when an unknown arsonist tossed a Molotov cocktail on the front porch. Ten more minutes of burning and the historic landmark probably would have been wiped off the face of Texas, officials say.

Graphic courtesy of our political reporting partner the Texas Tribune.

Census Shows Boom in Minority Populations

We all know Texas is growing, but new Census figures released yesterday give us a clearer picture of exactly how and where Texas is growing. Figures show minorities accounted for much of the state's growth over the past ten years.