Politics

Politics
5:29 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

TribCast: Debates, Poll Numbers and Rising Tuition

Photo Illustration courtesy Texas Tribune

Get caught up on the political news of the week with Ross Ramsey, Reeve Hamilton, Morgan Smith and Jay Root from the Texas Tribune. This week the crew discusses the recent U.S. Senate debate between Paul Sadler and Ted Cruz, the latest Texas Lyceum Poll numbers and Gov. Rick Perry's proposals for higher education.

Read more
2012 Presidential Election
10:08 am
Wed October 3, 2012

Obama Vs. Romney: It's Debate Night in Denver

University student Dia Mohamed gets a wireless microphone put on his tie as he stands in for President Barack Obama during rehearsal for the first presidential debate in the Ritchie Center at the University of Denver on Tuesday.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 6:47 am

Good morning! The big story today is of course the first presidential debate between President Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

The big picture is that this is Romney's opportunity to tighten a race with a little more than a month to go before the Nov. 6 elections.

Read more
Politics
9:32 am
Wed October 3, 2012

Sadler and Cruz Face Off in First Debate

No hold were barred in the first of two debates between Republican Ted Cruz (L) and Democrat Paul Sadler (R).
Gage Skidmore / Marjorie Kamys Cotera, Texas Tribune

Republican Ted Cruz and Democrat Paul Sadler held the first of two planned debates in their battle to represent Texas in the U.S. Senate last night.

The debate, held in Dallas at WFAA, touched on healthcare, immigration, federal spending, foreign policy and taxes as the candidates repeatedly tried to out-lawyer one another. 

Cruz repeated his assertion that he would work to repeal the Affordable Care Act if elected, stating that the law puts the United States on a path toward socialized medicine. He stated that socialized medicine leads to low quality, inefficient medical care. Sadler countered that Cruz’s position would put Texans at risk by allowing insurance companies to deny or limit insurance coverage based on preexisting conditions, and would leave many young people currently on their parents’ insurance plans without coverage.  

Regarding immigration, Sadler stated that he supports a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants.  Cruz opposes such a pathway and wants to put an end to illegal immigration. 

Read more
Voting
3:59 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

How to Register and Where to Vote in Austin

Third-party voting apps like Rock the Vote feature more streamlined information on voting and voter registration.
rockthevote.com

KUT News has received a lot of feedback on “Why Bother,” our series on voter engagement. Suggestions that include ideas for making voting and voter registration easier, personal recollections and more. We expect to hear more tonight, at a taping of “Why Bother? Voices of a New Generation,” in KLRU’s Studio 6a.

But one criticism KUT News has received involves the existing process potential voters need to take to vote – and whether local news organizations, including KUT, have done enough to make that process understandable.

A blog post by a local web designer, A. Lista, questions why KUT is probing voter disengagement when the actual process to voting is itself convoluted. The blog shows step by step what happens when one searches “how to vote austin tx” on Google. Seven screens later, the author says she is “exhausted, frustrated, and pretty annoyed with all the extremely unhelpful government websites:”

Both the local news and KUT have suggested many times that voters are apathetic and unengaged, but like the government, neither has aired simple instruction on how to actually go about voting. How do you know you’re registered? Where do you go to vote? These things are confusing.

Registering to vote in Texas isn’t that easy: one suggestion we’ve heard is that online registration would make things a lot easier. But Texas law requires voter registration cards to be sent in by mail or hand delivered in-person.

Read more
Politics
10:25 am
Tue October 2, 2012

First Debate a Chance for Sadler to Draw Cruz Response

Gage Skidmore / Marjorie Kamys Cotera, Texas Tribune

Tuesday night's televised U.S. Senate debate between Democrat Paul Sadler and Republican Ted Cruz will be more than just an hourlong political sparring match.

For Sadler, the event in Dallas provides a rare chance to engage Cruz on the issues and draw a response.

Since the July 31 primary runoffs, in which Cruz beat Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Sadler defeated retired educator Grady Yarbrough, debate in the race has been largely one-sided, with Sadler targeting Cruz and Cruz seemingly focused more on the national effort to defeat President Obama.

“Stand together with Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. Restore the American love story,” Cruz said at the Republican National Convention in August. “That, my friends, is change we can believe in.”

Read more
Politics
4:06 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

Money, Marriage and a Mortgage: The Formula For More Voters

Then-candidate Barack Obama addresses an Austin crowd in 2008. While the 2008 election saw an increase in young voters, still roughly half of voters 29 and under turned out.
KUT News

Could you create a mathematical formula to increase voter turnout?

The idea may sound far-fetched. But Travis County clerk Dana DeBeauvoir has an idea on what it might look like.

“It has to do with how well each voter is connected to their local community,” DeBeauvoir tells KUT News. “For example: Do you own a house? That’s a point. Do you have children in school? That’s a point. All of those add up.  And it turns out that people that have the most points of connection with their community are the people who vote.”

DeBeauvoir notes those variables are “roughly all about how old you are. It takes a while to get connected.” And those factors may have a lot to do with why young Texans are sitting out elections.

Read more
Politics
2:54 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

Voters Angry At Washington Gridlock May Want To Look In The Mirror

Voters these days often reward politicians who sit at either end of the ideological spectrum while punishing those seen as compromisers.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 2:00 pm

Like plenty of other voters, Tony Hocamp is disgusted by Washington. Too often, he says, politicians put their partisan interests ahead of doing what's right for the country.

"The politicians we have in office right now are concerned about nothing but themselves and getting re-elected," says Hocamp, who runs a motel in Marengo, Iowa.

It's easy to get upset during a political era in which the leaders of the two major parties seem incapable of putting aside their differences and working together to solve the nation's problems.

Read more
2012 Presidential Election
7:55 am
Mon October 1, 2012

With First Debate This Week, We Really Are in Campaign's Final Stretch

The contenders.
Alex Wong (photo of Mitt Romney); John Gurzinski (photo of President Obama) Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 7:15 am

We're nearly to the last of the many milestones that come along during presidential campaigns.

The primaries? Long over.

The conventions? All wrapped up.

Labor Day, when voters supposedly start paying attention? That was four weeks ago.

Read more
Politics
10:44 am
Sat September 29, 2012

Austin Supports Gay Marriage. So What Happens Next?

Gay rights advocates in Texas say federal action - not the Texas Legislature - is the best hope for legalizing same-sex marriage.
Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

Proponents of gay marriage in Texas scored a symbolic victory this week when Austin City Council became the first in the state to adopt a resolution supporting same-sex marriage. But what does that actually mean for gay rights in a place that – as Gov. Rick Perry claims – is “the most conservative state in America.”

Gay rights activists believe their best hope for legalizing same-sex weddings in Texas will come in the form of a Congressional action or a U.S. Supreme Court ruling to declare prohibitions of gay marriage unconstitutional. Texas voters approved an amendment to the state constitution in 2005 that defines marriage as the “union of one man and one woman.” (Travis County was the only county statewide to vote against it.)

But same-sex advocates see political opportunities in seeking smaller legislative successes. Equality Texas – the gay rights lobby group – has identified two priorities: making it illegal to fire someone because they’re gay, and allowing gay parents to adopt children as a couple.

Right now, state law doesn’t prohibit employers from firing people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Gay couples who adopt children must do so as a single person, and only one of them can be listed on the birth certificate as the parent.

Read more
2012 Presidential Election
4:16 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Presidential Debates: The One Area Where Campaigns Pitch Their Weakness

Sen. John McCain and then-Sen. Barack Obama, at one of their 2008 presidential debates.
Gerald Herbert AP

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 2:19 pm

An oddity of U.S. presidential politics is that candidates and their campaigns spend nearly all their time telling voters how superior they are to their rivals in virtually every area: the wisdom of their policy proposals; the soundness of their characters and judgments — everything, really.

Except for debating.

It's the old game of setting the bar high for your opponent and lower for your candidate, of course. That way, anything short of a disastrous debate performance can be claimed as a knockout victory.

Read more
2012 Presidential Election
8:23 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Obama, Romney Mine For Swing Voters In Ohio

Coal miners listened as GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney spoke during a rally last month in Beallsville, Ohio. Both Romney and President Obama have made the state a focal point of their campaigns.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 10:15 am

Undecided voters in Ohio got a lot of attention this week from President Obama and GOP rival Mitt Romney. Coal may be the key to many swing voters in the Buckeye State, which remains a top coal producer.

It's an issue weighing on coal miner Rick Carpenter's mind at the Barnesville Pumpkin Festival in southeastern Ohio.

"Save coal — fire Obama. Yeah, I've got one of those signs in my yard," he says.

Read more
2012 Presidential Election
12:09 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

2012 Gender Gap Could Be Historic, But Maybe Not For The Reason You'd Think

Supporters of Planned Parenthood wave banners during a rally for President Obama in Charlotte, N.C., on Sept. 4, ahead of the opening of the Democratic National Convention.
Mladen Antonov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 12:26 pm

A slew of new presidential polls released this week not only confirm a long-established gender gap among voters, but also suggest that the male-female preference divide in this year's presidential contest could hit historic levels.

It may surprise that that divide appears not driven by social issues and arguments over reproductive care or choices, analysts say, but largely by the national conversation over the size of government.

Read more
Politics
11:30 am
Thu September 27, 2012

TribCast: Satan, $10,000 Degrees and The Oops Diaries

Texas Tribune

Ross, Reeve, Jay and Ben review The Texas Tribune Festival, which featured talk of Satan and college costs, and Jay's new book, which goes behind the scenes of Gov. Rick Perry's doomed presidential campaign.

Read more
Immigration
4:48 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Young Illegal Immigrants Seek Work Permits

Carlos Martinez, 30, shows off his new work permit, which he received after applying for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Mamta Popat Arizona Daily Star

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 4:54 pm

It's been more than a month since the government began accepting requests for its Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the Obama administration's policy for young people brought to the U.S. illegally as children. Hundreds of thousands of people are eligible for the program. So far, only 82,000 have applied.

Carlos Martinez is one of the 29 people who have actually gotten deferrals. It means that he won't be deported, and that he can get a work permit. Martinez applied for the deferred action program the first day.

Read more
2012 Presidential Election
11:29 am
Tue September 25, 2012

Romney's Medicaid Remarks On '60 Minutes' Raise Eyebrows

Mitt Romney talks with 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley.
AP

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 3:21 pm

It's not so much what Mitt Romney said about whether the government should guarantee people health care in his interview on CBS's 60 Minutes Sunday that has health care policy types buzzing. It's how that compares to what he has said before.

To back up a bit, Scott Pelley asked the former Massachusetts governor if he thinks "the government has a responsibility to provide health care to the 50 million Americans who don't have it today?"

Read more
Politics
10:34 am
Tue September 25, 2012

It's National Voter Registration Day - Are You Registered?

Voter Registration Day comes two-weeks before the Oct. 9 registration deadline.
flickr.com/athrasher

Several voter registration events are scheduled around town today for National Voter Registration Day.

The Travis County Tax Office on Airport Boulevard will be open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. to register voters.

The League of Women Voters and the Austin Community College student chapter of Unite Women will help people register to vote on ACC campuses today.

And both the Travis County Republican and Democratic parties are opening up their headquarters to help people register.

Read more
Politics
3:39 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

Thousands of Texans Registered to Vote at Wrong Addresses

State lawmakers heard testimony about the benefits and risks of mobile voting.
flickr.com/whiteafrican

Texas lawmakers heard today that there are at least 4,100 people in the Houston area alone that are registered at an address that is not their home.

Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart told the House Elections Committee this morning that many of those people are registered at addresses at places like Mail Boxes Etc. or UPS. The problem is, he says, that these voters then may be casting a ballot in the wrong district.

Stanart said that state law gives voters too much latitude with their registration address  –  which he argued could lead to abuse and fraud.

“A number of people actually saying ‘I’m going to register at this UPS location’ and if a significant number of people actually did something like this, you could actually turn a state rep’s election," Stanart said.

Read more
2012 Presidential Election
2:15 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

Libertarian Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson at UT Tonight

Former governor and Presidential candidate Gary Johnson makes the Libertarian case on the 40 Acres.
garyjohnson2012.com

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson is coming to the University of Texas tonight.

Johnson, who served as governor of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003, initially vied for the Republican presidential nomination this election cycle. By late 2011, Johnson dropped out the crowded Republican field and announced plans to run as the Libertarian nominee, with California judge Jim Gray as his vice-presidential running mate.

U.S. News and World Report writes today that Johnson has sued to gain entry into the nationally televised debates between President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney. Those debates kick off on Oct. 3.

Johnson will be speaking at an event at Hogg Auditorium this evening, from 5 to 7 p.m., sponsored by the Libertarian Longhorns

Read more
Politics
12:32 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

Report: 10 Million Latinos Impacted By Voter ID Laws, Other Measures

Over 3 million Texas Latino votes were left on the table in 2010, according to a report from the Advancement Project.
clockwise from left: Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News, flickr.com/sarowen, KUT News

A new report says the combined impact of voter ID laws, proof of citizenship requirements, and inaccurate purges of voter registration rolls could prevent over 10 million Latino Americans from registering and voting in elections this year.

The report is authored by the Advancement Project, a national civil rights organization that opposes measures like voter ID. It argues that “voter suppression laws and policies threaten to relegate eligible Latino voters to second-class citizenship and impede their ability to participate fully in American democracy.”

Texas laws and actions are targeted by The Advancement Project, including the state’s voter ID law (which was overturned by a U.S. district court, and is unlikely to be implemented this November). The report also lists Texas as among 14 states that have requested U.S. Department of Homeland Security data “for the purpose of conducting state voter purges based on citizenship.”

Read more

Pages