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sonias

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Hometown: Austin, TX
Home country: U.S.
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 18,063

Journal Archives

Harris County says state erred with lists of 'dead' voters


Houston Chronicle 9/11/12
County says state erred with lists of 'dead' voter

The Harris County Attorney's office on Tuesday defended Tax Assessor-Collector Don Sumners' decision not to purge presumed-dead voters from the rolls until after the November election, and accused the secretary of state's office of not following the law in providing a list of 9,000 such voters to the county.

About 72,800 voters statewide have received or will receive letters telling them records suggest they may be dead and that they must act within 30 days to stay on the rolls. The list was generated by the secretary of state using the Social Security Administration's master death file, as outlined in a new state law.

"The notice from the secretary of state did not make the required determination that the voters on the list were deceased," County Attorney Vince Ryan said, adding that two of his attorneys received the letters. "This action by the Texas secretary of state is outrageous, wrong, and unlawful."

Ryan also said the state cannot force Sumners, as the county voter registrar, to send the letters.

A spokesman for Secretary of State Hope Andrade disagreed, saying the office followed the law and that the provision requiring the office to verify a voter's death before notifying the counties has been superseded by a more recent law.


Imagine that. A republican TAC in Harris actually standing up to the Republican Secretary of State and protecting voter's rights in Harris.


The republican voter suppression in the rest of the state will go on of course.

Lets keep this thread archived for the next time

This is a great thread and Julián Castro is another Texas powerhouse.

WIN!!! Skinner meets Mayor Julián Castro on the street Wednesday morning!
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021274079


Let's keep reminding people that great people come from Texas. Even though we are currently a red state - we are trending blue.

Please stop pissing on us right now! Trickle down doesn't work turning states blue either, right?

Federal court blocks Texas voter ID law

CNBC 8/28/12

Federal court blocks Texas voter ID law

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Federal court ruled on Tuesday that a controversial Texas voter identification law discriminates against black and Hispanic voters, effectively killing the law before it could take effect for the November 6 presidential election.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued the ruling. The state law, passed by the Republican-dominated Texas Legislature in 2011, required voters to present one of six forms of photo identification before casting ballots.




Way to go Obama DOJ!

Cruz and Sadler Agree to Oct. 2 Debate in Dallas

Texas Tribune 8/22/12

Cruz and Sadler Agree to Oct. 2 Debate in Dallas

Ted Cruz and Paul Sadler, who are running to replace U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, have agreed to a televised debate on Oct. 2 in Dallas.

The debate will be hosted by ABC affiliate WFAA, the station reported Wednesday. The debate will be in a "roundtable format" similar to a July GOP debate hosted by WFAA that featured Cruz and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. The format will allow moderators to ask follow-up questions and allow the candidates to address each other.


5th Circuit Court of Appeals: Texas can cut off Planned Parenthood funding

AAS 8/21/12
Appeals court: Texas can cut off Planned Parenthood funding

A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that Texas did not act unconstitutionally when it moved to expel Planned Parenthood from a health and contraceptive care program for low-income women.

The ruling overturned a preliminary injunction, issued in April by U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel of Austin, that banned Texas from enforcing rules designed to exclude Planned Parenthood from the Women's Health Program. Yeakel found that the regulations violated the organization's rights of free speech and association.

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, however, sided with Texas late Tuesday — ruling that the state had the authority to prohibit Women's Health Program money from going to health care providers that promote abortion or affiliate with organizations that perform or promote abortions.

Officials said Texas will act promptly to drop Planned Parenthood from the program.

(snip)

The program — which provides screenings for cancer, hypertension, sexually transmitted infections and other conditions — is primarily designed to provide birth control to women who would be covered by Medicaid if they were to become pregnant.

(snip)

The program does not pay for abortions, and participating Planned Parenthood clinics do not perform the procedure. But because the organization is the nation's leading provider of abortions and is a vocal advocate for abortion rights, Gov. Rick Perry and Republicans in the Legislature have worked to cut off its state money.


Effing 5th Circuit Court! Damned a-holes.

Cuts to Women’s Health Have Hurt More Than Just Planned Parenthood


Texas Observer 8/15/12

One Year Later, Cuts to Women’s Health Have Hurt More Than Just Planned Parenthood
More than 60 family planning clinics forced to close—only 12 belonged to Planned Parenthood. Critics say conservative lawmakers are ‘throwing the baby out with the bath water.’


The first in an occasional series of stories examining the impact of deep cuts to family planning services in Texas.

Diaphragms. Depo-Provera injections. Oral contraceptives. Pregnancy testing. Pap smears. Screening for sexually transmitted diseases. Since July 1, basic services like these are no longer accessible to low-income women in rural San Saba County, two hours northwest of Austin. If a poor woman in San Saba hopes to prevent pregnancy, she now must pay a private doctor or drive an hour to a free clinic. But for the many poor women, teens and undocumented clients of San Saba’s family planning program—run by Hill Country Community Action—both payment and travel may be beyond reach. The large majority of the program’s clients couldn’t afford contraceptives; of the 2,500 visits to the program in the last nine months, only 28 clients paid full fee, according to program records. Now that Hill Country Community Action has lost state family planning funds, San Saba County’s ability to prevent unwanted pregnancies just became a great deal harder.

What happened in San Saba County is being repeated all over Texas. In the year since deep cuts to family planning funding took effect, the impact has become apparent. An Observer review of state records has found that 146 clinics have lost state funds, clumped mainly in the Panhandle, Central Texas and on the border with Mexico. More than 60 of those clinics have closed their doors forever. The number of organizations that help poor women plan pregnancy has shrunk by almost half. As in San Saba, low-income women in many areas of Texas now face a long drive, or worse, lack of access to birth control and health screenings.

This isn’t news to conservative state lawmakers. After all, in its 2011 session, the Texas Legislature cut the state’s family planning program by two-thirds. Public health experts warned lawmakers at the time that by defunding Texas’s family planning system, clinics would close and a spike in disease, pregnancies and abortions would follow. Regardless, they slashed the budget. Lawmakers were quite clear about their motivation: They hoped to drive abortion providers out of business. Their specific target—Planned Parenthood—also provides family planning and preventive health care to low income women. In their zeal to attack Planned Parenthood, politicians designed a funding formula that caused collateral damage. They defunded many other family planning clinics that aren’t connected to Planned Parenthood and don’t offer any abortion services.


Excellent coverage by The Texas Observer as usual.

Texans United to Amend (United against Citizens United)


Act to Save our Democracy

The United States Supreme Court decided in the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case that corporations, unions and other similar entities have many of the same constitutional rights as people. In practical terms, this has allowed them to spend unlimited money anonymously to promote or attack candidates, thus influencing elections. Because this unlimited spending is drowning out the voices of "We the People," Americans across all political parties are alarmed and joining this movement to save our democracy.

The Citizens United ruling equated "money" with "speech" and declared that any attempt to regulate money-in-politics will be deemed unconstitutional. Without a constitutional amendment that specifically states that "money is not speech" and that "corporations are not people” and can be regulated, no law can be passed to regulate flood of money inundating our election process today.

People are uniting to pass local resolutions in each community in Texas as a crucial first step toward restoring free and fair elections to the American people both locally and nationally. They are driven by real concerns about the health of our democracy and the impact the Citizens United decision has on every citizen and community in Texas.


PetitionBackground

It's time to stop the unlimited flow of money into our elections. It corrupts our political system. We call upon our local governments to pass a resolution in favor of a constitutional amendment to reverse the Citizens United decision and declare that money is not speech and only human beings are entitled to rights under our constitution.

By signing your name on this petition, you are showing support for our democracy and asking that your local government do so, too.

I urge my local government to pass a resolution that seeks an amendment of the U.S. Constitution to firmly establish that money is not speech, and that only human beings, not corporations, unions, or similar entities, are entitled to constitutional rights.

Add your signature.


Do it Texans! It's a start.

Guest Column: Why Republicans Should Support a Democrat

Texas Tribune 8/14/12

Guest Column: Why Republicans Should Support a Democrat

When David Dewhurst is not conservative enough for Republican primary voters, then Republican primary voters are no longer conservatives — they’re cannibals. I say this not as a Democrat (though I am one), but rather as a political strategist who is seeing a very changed landscape from the one we’ve grown accustomed to. Without the moderating influence of a healthy political minority, the political majority can chase its imagination down any number of rabbit holes. Don’t believe me? Just ask David Dewhurst, Jeff Wentworth, or even Kay Bailey Hutchison.

The Texas Senate District 10 race is arguably the most important race in this state this coming November. As it stands today, two thirds of the Texas House of Representatives is controlled by the Republican majority. With the recent additions to the Tea Party wing coming from Ted Cruz’s coattails, the House is likely to produce an extreme social agenda that will either delight or terrify, depending on your politics.

The Texas Senate is no bastion of liberalism and it isn’t moderate by any measure. And yet, for some reason, Lt. Gov. Dewhurst was just accused of being somewhere to the left of John Kerry. So the upper chamber of our state Legislature — ordinarily tasked with reigning in the impulses of the lower house — will shift further to the right should SD-10 flip, replacing Davis with Republican Mark Shelton as the senator from Fort Worth.

What makes this more than just another numerical win is what happens when there is virtually a two-thirds majority in both the Senate and the House. Republican leadership will lose control of the agenda and the only bills moving forward through the 83rd Session will be those favored by social conservatives. Issues near and dear to any other type of conservative or Republican will bow before those dictated by the newly energized, newly elected, Tea Party wing. Sounds like Shangri-La for the Republicans, yes? Well, not necessarily.

===================

Mustafa Tameez is the founder and Managing Director of Outreach Strategists, a Houston-based Public Affairs and Communications firm.




I would hope that Republican voters in SD10 and equally importantly our U.S. Senate race in the fall will cross over and vote for the better choice against the extremism taking over their party.

Texas A&M Shooting: 1 Officer, 1 Civilian Dead In College Station Shooting


Huffington Post 8/13/12
(LIVE UPDATES)

Texas A&M Shooting: 1 Officer, 1 Civilian Dead In College Station Shooting

Texas A&M reports that police took a gunman into custody 15 minutes after issuing a "Code Maroon" alert at 12:29 this afternoon. One officer was killed and one civilian, according to police.

An alert distributed electronically to students, faculty and staff warned people to stay away from the intersection of Welborn Road and George Bush Drive and part of Fidelity Drive in College Station, Texas, according to CNN. The message also told residents in the area, which is near the school's football stadium, to stay indoors.

Randy Travis arrested naked, charged with DWI

San Antonio Express-News 8/8/12

Randy Travis arrested naked, charged with DWI

DALLAS — Randy Travis was charged with driving while intoxicated and threatening law officers after the country singer crashed his car and was found naked and combative at the scene, officials said.

It was the second Texas arrest this year for Travis, who was cited in February for public intoxication.

A Pontiac Trans Am registered to Travis, 53, had driven off a road west of Tioga around midnight Tuesday, said Tom Vinger, spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety. The vehicle had struck several barricades in a construction zone, according to DPS.

Vinger said Travis made threats against Texas Highway Patrol troopers and was not wearing clothes at the time of his arrest. He refused sobriety tests, Vinger said, so a blood specimen was taken.


Ooops. Oh boy those family values drivers... Watch out for them.
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