Politics

2012 Presidential Election
10:40 am
Tue November 13, 2012

Online, Texas Secessionists Petition the White House (Updated)

Houston Tea Partiers at a rally in 2009. Petitioning for secession is only a mouse-click away.
flickr.com/luna715

Update: Gov. Rick Perry has weighed in on the online secession petition. The Dallas Morning News has posted a comment from Perry press secretary Catherine Frazier, who says the Governor believes "nothing should be done to change" the union. 

Update (Nov. 12, 3:07 p.m.): This afternoon, Texas' petition broke the 25,000 signature requirement needed for the White House to issue a (certainly perfunctory) statement in response. 

On Twitter, some users are encouraging Texas to take the rest of the South with it. Meanwhile, others are asking whether a bargain can be struck to keep Austin in the union. What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below and let us know. 

Original Post (Nov. 12, 12:08 p.m.): After any presidential election, you hear chatter from folks threatening to the leave the country since their candidate didn’t get elected. Now, an Arlington man is asking to leave the United States – and take the whole State of Texas with him.

The White House website features a Petition page, where citizens can raise issues with the executive branch. Over the weekend, Arlington resident "Micah H” petitioned the newly re-elected Obama administration to “Peacefully grant the State of Texas to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government.”

Read more
CIA
9:37 am
Tue November 13, 2012

Petraeus Affair Widens: Who's Who & What's What? Here's A Guide

Then-Gen. David Petraeus in mid-2011, just before he became CIA director.
Barbara Sax AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 12:31 pm

Feb. 19, 2013: See our note below about Gen. John Allen.

Read more
Politics
9:03 am
Tue November 13, 2012

Are Stricter Rules Ahead for Welfare Recipients?

Lawmakers are filing the first bills of the 2013 legislative session.
KUT News

Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst are holding a joint press conference this morning about possible changes to welfare and unemployment insurance.

Monday was the first day Texas lawmakers filed bills for the 2013 Legislative Session.

A Republican State Senator from Flower Mound filed a bill that she says would strengthen work and job training requirements under welfare. State Sen. Jane Nelson says the bill would also institute some drug testing for so-called "high-risk participants" and tighten rules to prevent welfare funds from being used for alcohol and tobacco.

Read more
2013 Legislative Sesssion
1:38 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

Eager Texas Lawmakers File First Bills of 2013 Session

About 7,000 bills will be filed during legislative session.
Lizzie Chen, KUT News

Today is the first day Texas lawmakers can file bills ahead of the 2013 legislative session. The 200 or so early bills are usually a hodgepodge of political statements, second attempts and high priority legislation.

The first bill filed today was by San Antonio Democrat Trey Martinez-Fischer. HB 21 would create a central database of people who have committed crimes against children or involving family or dating violence. Three of Martinez-Fischer's first five bills are focused on sex crimes.

In the second effort category, multiple lawmakers filed a bill that would ban the use of cell phones and similar electronic devices while driving. That includes Midland Republican Tom Craddick. His bill banning texting while driving passed the legislature in 2011, but was vetoed by Governor Rick Perry.

Read more
2012 Presidential Election
8:09 am
Mon November 12, 2012

With Millions Spent, GOP 'Investors' Saw Little Return Election Night

A supporter of President Barack Obama raises his arms as it is announced that Obama was re-elected during an election night watch party in Chicago.
Jerome Delay AP

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 4:39 am

A "return on investment" is a concept better known to Wall Street than to Washington. But after President Obama and the Democrats won most of the close elections last week there are questions about the seven- and eight-figure "investments" made by dozens of conservative donors.

During the election season, it was pretty common to hear about donors making "investments" in superPACs and other outside groups, rather than a "political contribution," perhaps because the phrase has a sort of taint to it.

Read more
2012 Election
2:54 pm
Sun November 11, 2012

Updated: Canseco Concedes CD-23 to Gallego

Pete Gallego and Francisco "Quico" Canseco
Jennifer Whitney, Texas Tribune

Update, Nov. 9, 2:30 p.m.:

U.S. Rep. Francisco “Quico” Canseco conceded the Congressional District 23 race on Friday. He congratulated state Rep. Pete Gallego, while renewing allegations that voter fraud skewed the results.

“While there is no doubt there were improperly counted votes and improperly cast ballots, a full investigation and recount would be prohibitively expensive and time consuming,” Canseco said in a statement.

Original Post: In the aftermath of a close and costly campaign for Congressional District 23, incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Francisco “Quico” Canseco has alleged voter fraud and is not conceding to his Democratic challenger, state Rep. Pete Gallego. Gallego finished 9,222 votes ahead of Canseco as of Wednesday morning.

“The race is not over, and it won't be until all votes are properly and legally counted," Canseco said in a statement the morning after the election.

Read more
2012 Presidential Election
2:06 pm
Sat November 10, 2012

Four Days Later, Florida Declares For Obama

A worker prepares boxes of absentee ballots to be scanned at the Miami-Dade County Elections Department on Tuesday.
Wilfredo Lee AP

Originally published on Sun November 11, 2012 8:52 pm

Four days after the polls closed, Florida has announced that President Obama won the state's 29 electoral votes. As the AP writes:

"That gives the president a total of 332 electoral votes to Mitt Romney's 206. Florida officials said Obama had 50 percent of the vote to Romney's 49.1 percent, a margin of about 74,000 votes."

Read more
Supreme Court
4:08 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Supreme Court To Weigh Constitutionality Of Voting Rights Act

Aug. 6, 1965: President Lyndon B. Johnson presents one of the pens used to sign the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to James Farmer, Director of the Congress of Racial Equality.
National Archives Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 2:50 pm

The Supreme Court has agreed to weigh the constitutionality of the decision by Congress in 2006 to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act, the landmark Civil Rights legislation enacted in 1965 that let millions of African-Americans cast ballots for the first time in states that had long blocked them from voting booths.

According to Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSBlog:

Read more
CIA
2:29 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

CIA Director David Petraeus Resigns, Citing Extramarital Affair

Former Central Intelligence Agency Director, David Petraeus, in Sept. 2011.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 11:17 am

The director of the Central Intelligence Agency David Petraeus submitted his resignation today, citing an extramarital affair.

"After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair," Petraeus, 60, said in a message sent to CIA staff. "Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours. This afternoon, the President graciously accepted my resignation."

Read more
2012 Presidential Election
10:36 am
Fri November 9, 2012

In Hindsight, Those Presidential Polls Looked Just Fine

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney leaves the podium after conceding the presidency in Boston.
Rick Wilking/Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 11:49 am

For as much criticism as pollsters endured in the run-up to Election Day, a look back shows many of them hit very close to the bull's-eye for the presidential race — but some did better than others.

Take the venerable Gallup. It had Mitt Romney at 49 percent and President Obama at 48 percent in a poll published Monday, a day before the voting. And when undecided voters were split up among candidates, Gallup put the figure at 50 percent Romney, 49 percent Obama.

Read more
2012 Election
8:00 am
Fri November 9, 2012

Against the Grain, Texas GOP Dominated on Election Day

Tea Party favorite Republican U.S. Senate candidate Ted Cruz with daughter Caroline announcing his victory at a watch party in Houston, Tuesday Nov. 6, 2012.
Michael Stravato, Texas Tribune

Democratic victories across the nation left Republican voters and activists with the political version of a hangover last week. In the alternate universe known as Texas, they are blaming the Champagne.

Republicans here are celebrating another statewide sweep. They held onto huge majorities in the Legislature and the Texas congressional delegation. And at a time of increasing angst about their ability to thrive as the Hispanic population grows, the Texas Republican Party has fielded the first Hispanic U.S. senator from Texas — Ted Cruz.

“Thank God for Texas,” Chris Turner, a Republican consultant, said in a post-election speech to Republican activists in a conservative suburb of Austin. He said, joking, that the state might consider using stimulus money “to build a moat around our northern border.”

Nationwide, conservatives watched as Democrats scored come-from-behind victories in some red-state U.S. Senate contests and thinned out the Republican Party’s majority in the U.S. House. Victories by gay rights proponents and supporters of legalized pot did nothing to lift their spirits.

Read more
2012 Presidential Election
7:13 am
Fri November 9, 2012

Video: Obama Tears Up As He Thanks Campaign Staff

President Obama tearing up a bit as he thanks campaign workers.
Obama campaign video

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 6:20 am

"No-drama Obama" got emotional as he thanked his campaign staff this week in Chicago, and a video released Thursday of him tearing up is going viral.

Read more
2012 Presidential Election
2:33 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

Five Truisms About the 2012 Election ... That Weren't True

The taller candidate always wins? Think again.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 1:16 pm

The balloons have fallen, the bunting's down, and President Obama has been re-elected.

That means Mitt Romney has been defeated — and with him, many election aspects that we presumed to be true. (You know what they say about presume — it makes a pres out of u and me.)

Maybe it's because we're sailing into a new and uncharted century. Maybe it's because of climate change or polar shift or Mayan calendrical mayhem. But the presidential election of 2012 provided a highly unusual, if not unique, set of circumstances.

Read more
2012 Presidential Election
10:05 am
Wed November 7, 2012

VIDEO: An Awkward Moment, As Karl Rove Objects To Fox's Ohio Call

When Fox News called Ohio for President Obama, analyst Karl Rove insisted that the decision was premature. Click here to watch the conversation.
Fox News

Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 9:39 am

If you were plugged into the polls, odds are nothing really surprised you about last night.

That's why one of the most dramatic moments of night had to be when GOP strategist and major fundraiser Karl Rove threw a bomb in the middle of the Fox News broadcast.

Read more
2012 Election
9:35 am
Wed November 7, 2012

Following a Technical Delay, Unofficial Results From Williamson County Are In

A technician was called to fix a voting machine in Williamson County.
flickr.com/mattblaze

Williamson County released its unofficial elections totals early this morning, following a technical delay that required one of the voting machines to be read by a technician.

Following poll closures last night, one of the iVotronic machines at a Williamson County precinct malfunctioned and election administrators at the precinct were unable to access the results from that machine. Administrators called a technician to obtain the results from the machine. 

"The backlight went out on one of our voting machines and so the election judge couldn't see the screen in order to get it properly closed. And so we had a technician that had come down from Dallas to repair the machine so that we could get the votes counted from that machine," Connie Watson, Public Affairs Manager for Williamson County, says.

Read more
Medical School
6:00 am
Wed November 7, 2012

So Prop 1 Passed. Now What's Next For Austin's Medical School? (Updated)

Sen. Kirk Watson fires up Prop 1 supporters at their watch party.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Update (Nov. 7, 6 a.m.): The final tally shows Central Health's Proposition 1 passed 54.67 percent (186,128 votes) to 45.33 percent (154,308).

Original Story (Nov. 7, 12:12 a.m.): It looks like Austin is getting a medical school.

As of this writing, Central Health’s Prop 1 is ahead 54 percent (176,755 votes) to 46 percent (148,375). Numbers like that were enough for Prop 1 supporters to declare victory at the Driskill Hotel earlier this evening.

As part of Prop 1, the University of Texas has pledged upwards of $25 million annually for a medical school, while Seton Hospital has announced it will build a $250 million “teaching hospital” to replace the aging University Medical Center Brackenridge.

“Almost immediately, you will start seeing an effort to recruit a dean of a medical school,” State Sen. Kirk Watson tells KUT News. 

Read more
2012 Presidential Election
1:21 am
Wed November 7, 2012

Transcript: President Obama's Victory Speech

President Obama speaks at his election night party Wednesday in Chicago after defeating Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 2:35 pm

Transcript of President Obama's victory speech in Chicago. Source: Federal News Service

Editor's Note: NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future.

(Cheers, applause.)

AUDIENCE MEMBERS: (Chanting.) Four more years! Four more years! Four more years! Four more years! Four more years! Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

Read more
2012 Presidential Election
1:04 am
Wed November 7, 2012

Audio And Transcript: Romney's Concession Speech

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney concedes the presidential election at a campaign event in Boston.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 4:50 am

Transcript of Mitt Romney's concession speech in the presidential race in Boston. Source: Federal News Service

Editor's Note: NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future.

(Cheers, applause.)

MITT ROMNEY: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, my friends. Thank you so very much. Thank you. (Cheers, applause.) Thank you. Thank you.

Read more
2012 Election
11:58 pm
Tue November 6, 2012

Pete Gallego Defeats Fransciso 'Quico' Canseco in CD-23

Democrat Pete Gallego has ousted a Republican incumbent in a West Texas house race.
Texas Tribune

Republican incumbent Rep. Francisco "Quico" Canseco, R-San Antonio, was defeated by challenger state Rep. Pete Gallego, D-Alpine, for the 23rd congressional district, according to projections by the Texas Tribune. The district encompasses much of far West Texas, from San Antonio to El Paso along the border. With 82 percent of precincts reporting, Gallego has fifty percent of the vote to Canseco's 46 percent. 

The race was among just a handful of competitive races for congressional seats in Texas this fall, along with Republican Randy Weber’s race against Democrat Pete Lampson for the 10th congressional district.

Canseco was a Tea Party candidate who won office two years ago, but lost re-election to Gallego, who has served in the state legislature for 22 years.

Read more
2012 Election
11:27 pm
Tue November 6, 2012

Randy Weber Defeats Nick Lampson in CD-14

Randy Weber won Ron Paul's congressional seat in Southeast Texas.
randyweber.org

Randy Weber, a Republican state representative from Pearland, defeated former Democratic congressman Nick Lampson in the race to replace Congressman Ron Paul in the 14th Congressional District. With 51 percent of precincts reporting, KUT's political reporting partner Texas Tribune has called the race for Weber. 

CD-14 is in Southeast Texas, running from outside of Houston to the outskirts of Corpus Christi along the Gulf Coast. It was one of the few competitive congressional races in the state this year. The seat came open after Ron Paul, a former presidential Republican primary candidate, decided not to seek re-election.

Read more

Pages