Politics

Politics
3:40 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Texas Elected Officials Who Didn't File For Re-election

Dropouts guarantee new faces at the Capitol in 2013
Lizzie Chen, for KUT News

With the filing deadline passed and the electoral maps finalized at last, we've updated the 2012 quit list.

Thirty-one members — that’s about 20 percent — of the Texas House have said they won't seek re-election. That includes seven Democrats and 24 Republicans. Looked at another way, it includes 17 members who are leaving to run for other offices including district attorney, state Senate, Congress and the Railroad Commission. Thirteen of the members are leaving with no announced plans for public office. 

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2012 Presidential Election
10:48 am
Tue March 13, 2012

New Republic: Is The South Too Much For The GOP?

Supporters take cover from the rain as they listen to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speak at the Whistle Stop cafe March 12, 2012 in Mobile, Alabama. Alabama and Mississippi hold their primaries today.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 13, 2012 8:05 am

Alec MacGillis is a writer for The New Republic

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Politics
8:20 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Redistricting Exposes a Split in the Minority Ranks

Photo illustration by Todd Wiseman / Chris Chang, Texas Tribune

This is a squeeze play.

The state’s Hispanic population is blooming, and its black population grew faster than its Anglo population. But Anglos still dominate the political maps, and Latinos dominate the part of the political maps controlled by minorities.

When the Legislature drew political lines, minority groups were in widespread agreement that the maps didn’t reflect the growth — there were not enough seats where minority voters had the ability to decide elections.

Texas outgrew the other states in the country, so much so that it added four seats to the 32 already in its congressional delegation.

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2012 Presidential Election
8:32 am
Wed March 7, 2012

New Republic: Does Romney Have A Southern Problem?

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during a Super Tuesday event March 6, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. Romney won six of the ten states that voted on Super Tuesday. However, the Republican nominating contest may be far from over.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 7, 2012 7:18 am

Ed Kilgore is a special correspondent for The New Republic, a blogger for The Washington Monthly, and managing editor of The Democratic Strategist.

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Politics
8:19 am
Tue March 6, 2012

Super Tuesday: 4 Things To Watch

Ten states hold GOP nominating contests on March 6. Here a voter heads to a polling station Tuesday morning in Cambridge, Mass., where former Gov. Mitt Romney is expected to win his home state.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 6, 2012 8:55 am

Super Tuesday 2012 is finally here, with Republican presidential preference contests — a mix of primaries and caucuses — occurring in 10 states from sea to shining sea.

While the 2012 race for the GOP nomination likely won't be over by Wednesday morning, it could seem far closer to being so, especially if Mitt Romney sweeps contests everywhere but, say, Georgia, where the former congressman from the Peach State, Newt Gingrich, is expected to have a good night.

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Politics
3:37 pm
Mon March 5, 2012

Texas Candidate Filings Under Way

McDonald resigns as Judge, will announce candidacy for another office Friday.
Photo by David Barer for KUT News

Now that Texas finally has State House, Senate and U.S. Congressional maps, candidates in those newly drawn districts have started making their intentions known.

Today Bastrop County Judge Ronnie McDonald announced he was resigning to run either for a U.S. or State House seat (he'll let us know which on Friday).

On Friday, the first day candidates could file under the new maps, Cedar Park City Councilman Tony Dale announced he'd run in a Williamson County district that includes Cedar Park and Leander.

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2012 Presidential Election
4:52 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Nugent Endorses Romney But Prefers "Real" Perry

Photo illustration by Gage Skidmore / Michael Kappel / Todd Wiseman for Texas Tribune

Waco-area resident and rock star Ted Nugent announced today on Twitter that he was endorsing former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's bid for the GOP presidential nomination. But he said things would be different if Texas Gov. Rick Perry had run a different campiagn.

"If the real Rick Perry had been at those debates, he would still be in the race," Nugent told the Tribune Friday. "It is my firm belief that Rick Perry would have [made] and would make the best president we could choose."

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2012 Presidential Election
8:50 am
Fri March 2, 2012

The Nation: Romney's Last Stand At The Alamo

Republican presidential hopefuls take part in the Republican presidential debate on national security Nov. 22, 2011 in Washington, DC. The previously wide field of candidates has been winnowed to four, and some think the race may continue until the Republican National Convention.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 8:02 am

Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto is a fellow at the Center for Politics and Governance at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas.

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Politics
4:07 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Texas Primaries Finally Get a Date: May 29

Mark your calendars: Texas primaries are set for May 29.

May 29 it is.

The federal court in San Antonio that’s overseen the Texas redistricting battle has set a firm date for primaries in the state.

May 29 had been posited as the likely primary date, and now the court’s order makes it official. The date for run-offs is July 31.

2012 Presidential Election
8:18 am
Thu March 1, 2012

New Republic: Super Tuesday Primer

Joseph Rupert, eight, finds an interesting way to pass the time while his mother, Jackie Rupert, votes in Mississippi's Super Tuesday primaries on Tuesday, March 11, 2008 in Meridian Mississippi. 2012's Super Tuesday may be important in deciding the GOP primary race.
Marianne Todd Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 7:57 am

The New Republic staff composed this article.

Ohio
Delegates at stake: 66

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2012 Presidential Election
1:14 pm
Wed February 29, 2012

Cease Fire Over? Ron Paul Slams Mitt Romney in New Video

Despite talk of an alliance between the candidates, Ron Paul (left) goes after Mitt Romney in a new video clip.
Paul photo courtesy house.gov; Romney photo courtesy Gage Skidmore

It looks like a rumored non-aggression pact between Ron Paul and Mitt Romney may not be in effect.

The Paul campaign released a new video today slamming the Texas Representative’s opponents in the GOP presidential primary: Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and yes, Romney. The bombastic clip labels Romney as a “flip-flopper,” arguing the health care reforms Romney oversaw as governor of Massachusetts “provided the blueprint for Obamacare,” i.e., the Affordable Care Act.

Earlier this month, Santorum supporters accused the Romney and Paul campaigns of going easy on each other to burnish each other’s credentials. But with the recent Republican debate in Nevada likely serving as the last debate of the primary season, the gloves may be off between the two campaigns.

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2012 Presidential Election
8:22 am
Wed February 29, 2012

New Republic: Survival Of The Mittest

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks on Feb. 28, 2012 in Novi, Michigan. Romney celebrated primary victories in Arizona and Michigan over his principal challenger, Rick Santorum.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 7:54 am

Jonathan Cohn is a senior editor at The New Republic.

Did Mitt Romney win the Michigan primary? Or did he merely survive it? That really depends on your perspective.

As recently as a few days ago, Romney was trailing in the polls. And as recently as Tuesday afternoon, Romney staffers were talking down expectations. But Romney won a clean victory on Tuesday night. He won handily in the Detroit metro area, his home turf, but he also ran strong in more contested counties, like Livingston and Jackson, to the west.

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Politics
2:05 pm
Tue February 28, 2012

Is The Voting Rights Act Endangered? A Legal Primer

South Carolina is one state that requires special clearance from the Justice Department to change its election laws. Here Charles Monnich casts his vote in the GOP primary at Martin Luther King Memorial Park in Columbia, S.C. on Jan. 21.
Gerry Melendez MCT /Landov

Originally published on Tue February 28, 2012 1:47 pm

The roiling legal battles over election laws passed in various states have potentially far-reaching consequences: the fate of a key section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

The landmark legislation requires the Justice Department to "pre-clear" any changes to election laws in some or all parts of 16 states, mostly in the South, because of their histories of racially discriminatory voting practices. The Justice Department recently used the mandate to block a voter identification law in South Carolina on grounds that it would harm minority voter turnout.

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Politics
12:18 pm
Tue February 28, 2012

With ‘Occupy’ Inspired Item, City May Shift Banking to Credit Unions, Local Banks

Occupy Austin marches on Chase Bank in a demonstration from last year.
Photo courtesy flickr.com/carolinehomerphotography

The City of Austin’s banking practices may soon get a thorough scrubbing with a resolution inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement.

An item before the Austin City Council this Thursday would examine the city’s banking practices, assess the impact of dissolving arrangements with large financial institutions and examine contracting with local credit unions and banks instead.

It would also direct the City Manager “to review the city’s current banking policies and make recommendations on changes to give preference to banks that support community reinvestment goals, such as the stabilization of the housing market, provision of loans to local homeowners and businesses, establishment of local branches in low-income communities, and opportunities for local employment.”

The item is sponsored by council member Laura Morrison. She tells KUT News a large part of the resolution is simply fact-finding.

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2012 Presidential Election
8:16 am
Tue February 28, 2012

Santorum Could Lose Michigan Vote But Still Gain Delegates

Polls show Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney in a tight race heading into Tuesday's Michigan primary. Santorum's campaign signs are stuck in the snow before his campaign stop at the The Colonial Valley Suites on Feb. 26 in Davison, Mich.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 28, 2012 6:00 am

If primaries and caucus victories are still all about media attention and momentum, then, yes, it's critical who wins Michigan's statewide vote Tuesday. All the more so if that winner is not Mitt Romney, who grew up there and whose dad was governor in the 1960s.

But as to collecting actual delegates for the actual GOP nomination? Tuesday's vote in Michigan probably will not matter much at all.

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Politics
9:35 am
Mon February 27, 2012

WikiLeaks Publishes Stratfor Emails

Wikileaks has partnered with international news agencies in the publication of Stratfor emails.
Image courtesy wikileaks.org

Today WikiLeaks began releasing "The Global Intelligence Files" – more than five million emails from Austin-based global security think tank Stratfor Global Intelligence.

In a statement on its website, WikiLeaks says the files, which date from July 2004 to late December 2011, contain details of the inner workings of the private intelligence agency, links between government and private intelligence, and commentary on WikiLeaks itself. Wikileaks says it partnered with 25 media organizations and activists in publicizing the files.

WickiLeaks has not disclosed the source of the emails, but the publication follows the hacking of Stratfor's servers last December by individuals aligned with cyber-activists Anonymous.

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Politics
4:35 pm
Fri February 24, 2012

In Texas and Virginia, Different Reactions to Sonogram Bill

Two sonogram tools used at a Planned Parenthood clinic providing abortions in Austin.
Erich Schlegel, Texas Tribune

The pandemonium over Virginia’s proposed abortion sonogram law — from a Saturday Night Live sketch to furious protests and intense national media coverage — bears little resemblance to the battle over Texas’ version of the law.

That’s despite some striking similarities between the two states: They’re both Republican-leaning; they both have conservative governors with national ambitions who have headed the Republican Governors Association. But the political reality is that Texas’ abortion sonogram bill and Virginia’s abortion sonogram bill were debated at very different times, and under very different circumstances.

Though both states have Republican governors — Rick Perry in Texas and Bob McDonnell in Virginia — and Republican majorities in their legislative chambers, that doesn’t mean they’re equally red, said Matt Mackowiak, an Austin-based Republican consultant.

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2012 Presidential Election
4:17 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

For Loyalists, Is It Ron Paul Or Nothing?

Fans of GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul show their support outside the Mesa Arts Center before Wednesday night's Republican debate in Mesa, Ariz.
Ethan Miller Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 23, 2012 3:31 pm

Benom Plumb, a 31-year-old music industry executive from Nashville, thinks the country is on the wrong path, and that Ron Paul is the only candidate who can turn things around.

As for the other Republicans, Plumb doesn't mince words: Mitt Romney? Too slick. Rick Santorum? Too religious. Newt Gingrich? Untrustworthy. "They are all liars and cheaters, if you ask me," he says.

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2012 Presidential Election
1:01 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

Signs of a Ron Paul/Mitt Romney Alliance?

Opponents of the candidates allege a beneficial relationship between Ron Paul, left, and Mitt Romney.
Paul photo courtesy house.gov; Romney photo courtesy Gage Skidmore

After last night’s Republican debate, supporters of Rick Santorum are alleging a cease-fire agreement between former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Rep. Ron Paul.

The British press is even floating the idea Romney may have offered Paul the vice-presidential slot.

Romney and Paul have certainly warmed to each other on the campaign trail. The Washington Post noted so earlier this month:

Despite deep differences on a range of issues, Romney and Paul became friends in 2008, the last time both ran for president. So did their wives, Ann Romney and Carol Paul. The former Massachusetts governor compliments the Texas congressman during debates, praising Paul’s religious faith during the last one, in Jacksonville, Fla. Immediately afterward, as is often the case, the Pauls and the Romneys gravitated toward one another to say hello.

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2012 Presidential Election
8:25 am
Thu February 23, 2012

Desert Face-Off May Have Closed Out Debate Season. So What Did We Learn?

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney waves to the crowd as he is introduced at the start of Wednesday night's Republican presidential debate in Mesa, Ariz.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Thu February 23, 2012 5:53 am

Ten months and a score of debates ago, the Republican Party and a slew of news organizations brought forth on our TV screens a new definition of a presidential nominating process — conceived in targeted marketing and dedicated to the proposition that no number of debates was too many for hardcore conservatives.

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