Politics

Politics
5:12 pm
Mon December 20, 2010

Howard/Neil Race Not Quite Over

Dan Neil, the Republican in the race for House District 48, has filed a challenge against Democrat State House member Donna Howard.  Howard won re-election by 16 votes on Election Day.  That number was trimmed to 12 during an official re-count.  Now, Neil says a number of factors have lead him to file the challenge.

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2012 Presidential Election
11:54 am
Thu December 16, 2010

Tea Party Caucus Announced

Sen. Patrick (R-Houston) hopes to strengthen Tea Party voice at Texas Capitol
Dan Patrick

The Tea Party played a big role in this year's national and state elections.  Now, one Texas lawmaker hopes to strengthen the loosely structured group's voice at the Texas Capitol.  In a release today, Tea Party caucus chair Sen. Dan Patrick (R-Houston) announced the first 49 members of the caucus.  Sen. Patrick said he wants the caucus to keep the power the party showed at the polls going during the 2011 legislative session.

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Politics
4:47 pm
Tue December 14, 2010

Two State House Democrats Defect To Texas GOP

The Republican majority in the Texas House is swelling to 101.   State Representatives Allen Ritter of Nederland and Aaron Pena of Edinburg both announced today that they were both leaving the Democratic Party. 

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Politics
11:21 am
Mon December 13, 2010

State Senator Wants To Ban Straight Ticket Voting

Image courtesy Dave Wilson Photography http://www.flickr.com/photos/dawilson/

Texas is one of sixteen states that offers voters the option of simply checking a box for a political party at the ballot box, forgoing the task of individually voting for each candidate. The practice is called "straight-ticket voting" or "straight-party voting" and Republican State Senator Jeff Wentworth (R-San Antonio) doesn't like it.

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Politics
10:40 am
Fri December 10, 2010

State Rep. Berman Wants To Jail Bureaucrats Who Enforce New Health Law

State Rep. Leo Berman's proposed legislation would put government workers in the clink if they tried to enforce the new health care bill.
Image courtesy Still Burning http://www.flickr.com/photos/stillburning/St

The same Texas state representative whose interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper went viral after he expressed doubt that President Obama was born in the US is attracting more attention for his proposal that health care officials be imprisoned for enforcing the new health care law.

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Politics
2:56 pm
Thu December 9, 2010

The ATM in the Lobby

Lawmakers can raise money for their campaigns until 30 days before the Legislature convenes.
KUT News

Big receptions hosted by members of the Legislature in the month-plus since the election have been fairly common. Some of the guest lists have been things in common, too.

Of the 181 members of next year’s Texas Legislature, 89 have held fundraising receptions in the five weeks since the November election. So reports Jason Embry in the Austin American-Statesman.

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Politics
11:12 am
Tue December 7, 2010

Another Round of Budget Cuts

Another round of immediate cuts are coming to state agencies.
Courtesy the Texas Tribune

The Texas Legislative leadership has sent a letter to state agencies announcing another round of immediate budget cuts. In the letter, Governor Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and House Speaker Joe Straus directed each agency to propose another 2.5% in cuts for the remainder of the 2011 fiscal year.

A release today said the cuts were needed, even though sales tax receipts have improved, to prepare for budget reductions in the 2012-2013 biennium.

Even while calling for additional cuts, Gov. Perry had a sunny message:

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Politics
4:55 pm
Fri December 3, 2010

Obama's First Presidential Pardons Include Two Texans

Image courtesy Barack Obama http://www.flickr.com/photos/barackobamadotcom/

President Obama issued the first pardons of his tenure as Commander-In-Chief today, if you don't include the traditional turkey pardons on Thanksgiving eve.  Obama let nine people off the hook.

Here are the two from Texas.

Timothy James Gallagher -Navasota, Texas

Offense: Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine; 21 U.S.C. § 846. Sentence: Oct. 18, 1982; District of Arizona; three years of probation.

Scoey Lathaniel Morris -Crosby, Texas

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Politics
5:23 pm
Thu December 2, 2010

Local Congressman Leads Call for Censure

 

The U.S. House voted today to censure Representative Charles Rangel (D-NY).  Rangel had apologized and asked for leniency from the House.  He was hoping for a private rebuke rather than a public censure after being found guilty of 11 counts of House ethics violations.  But the House overwhelmingly voted to conduct its first public rebuke since the 1980's.

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Politics
2:50 pm
Thu December 2, 2010

Senator Wants Drunk Drivers to Wear Ankle Bracelet Booze Monitors

Senator Jane Nelson filed legislation that would put alcohol monitors in use across Texas for DUI offenders.
Image courtesy SCRAM

State Senator Jane Nelson filed this bill last month that would require some drunk driving offenders to wear alcoholic monitoring anklets, like the one actress Lindsey Lohan had to wear earlier this year.

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Politics
11:17 am
Thu December 2, 2010

Gov. Perry Will Make Chuck Norris An Honorary Texas Ranger

Chuck Norris at a Mike Huckabee campaign rally in 2008. Gov. Perry will name Norris an honorary Texas Ranger this afternoon.
Image courtesy Aaron Webb http://www.flickr.com/photos/aaronw79/

For years, Chuck Norris played a Texas Ranger in the TV series Walker, Texas Ranger.

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Politics
11:45 am
Wed December 1, 2010

Recount Underway in House District 48

House District 48 includes large sections of West Austin and the Hill Country.
Image courtesy Texas Legislature

State Rep. Donna Howard (D-Austin) could find out this week if she will keep her seat or surrender it to her Republican challenger, sports radio host Dan Neil.

Howard won the November 2 election by a narrow 16 votes. Neil requested a recount. This morning, the Travis County Clerk emailed us this press release to let us know the recount has begun.

House District 48 Recount Underway

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Politics
1:47 pm
Tue November 30, 2010

Texas State Rep. Still Doubts Obama Was Born in the USA

A copy of President Obama's birth certificate
Image courtesy FactCheck.org

Is there anything the national broadcast media loves more than a beatdown of a radically conservative politician? If so, State Rep. Leo Berman (R-Tyler) is making it way too easy for Anderson Cooper.

Despite what appears to be overwhelming evidence that President Obama was born in Hawaii, Berman took the bait last night on CNN.

You know I really don't know. If you look at my white hair, you can tell I've been around for awhile. And I've known everything about every president that I've come across for the last 70 some-odd years. I don't know anything about President Obama. I wish I did.

Check out the video.

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Politics
8:36 am
Tue November 30, 2010

Sen. Hutchison Fires Shot at Health Care Law

U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas)
Photo by KUT

U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison renewed attacks on the federal heath care bill yesterday during a floor speech in the Senate.  Hutchison called some of the new law’s tax reporting requirements are an “overbearing government intrusion on free enterprise in our country” in her floor speech Monday.

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Politics
3:44 pm
Mon November 29, 2010

Austin Koreans Worried About Tensions Back Home

Tensions between North and South Korea are troubling some Austinites with roots in the region.
Image courtesy Google Map Imagery, TerraMetrics, Mapabc, SK M&C, Zenrin

Relations between North and South Korea aren't exactly okey dokey these days. In March, North Korea sank a South Korean naval warship, killing 46 sailors.  Last week, the North shelled a South Korean island. Four people were killed then. We've also learned about the North's large uranium enrichment facility.

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