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Hometown: Austin, TX
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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 18,063

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Perry loses round 1 in Virginia ballot battle

AAS 12/29/11

Perry loses round 1 in Virginia ballot battle

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has a January court date in his bid to have his name added to Virginia's Republican presidential primary ballot.

Perry, who failed last week to obtain the needed signatures to get on the March 6 ballot, is seeking a court order to have his name added to the two-candidate March 9 primary. By law, the ballots must be printed by Jan. 9.

Thursday, U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney scheduled a hearing for a preliminary injunction for Jan. 13. He said that if Perry prevailed, Virginia might have to do another printing of the ballot, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.

Perry and Newt Gingrich failed to win a place on the Virginia ballot last week. Both fell short of gathering the required 10,000 signatures of registered voters, with 400 from each of the state's 11 congressional districts.

Perry said "overly burdensome and unconstitutional requirements" prevented him from collecting enough signatures to be certified as a candidate. He submitted 6,000 signatures on the Dec. 22 deadline.

"overly burdensome and unconstitutional requirements". Perry should talk to the Green Party about those requirements in Texas. He's just getting a taste of these stupid state rules all over the country.

te he he he he

Growth of large private water companies brings higher water rates

AAS 12/18/11
Growth of large private water companies brings higher water rates, little recourse for consumers

PFLUGERVILLE — When Robert White opened his water bill last month, his jaw dropped: $250 for a month's worth of water and sewer service. The 63-year-old construction contractor, who shares a three-bedroom home with his wife in the bucolic Springbrook Centre subdivision, said he likes to keep his lawn green and expects hefty water bills. "I just don't want to be hijacked," he said.

White's water service is provided by a private utility owned by California-based SouthWest Water Co. LLC. Just across the four-lane Pflugerville Parkway, where White's neighbors in the Springbrook Glen subdivision — a nearly identical grid of neatly arranged brick-faced homes — get their water from Pflugerville, rates are on average about 60 percent less.

And White's bill for water service may nearly double soon, if SouthWest Water gets the latest rate increase it has requested. "I have never felt so helpless," he said.

He's not alone. Across the state, a growing number of suburban Texans are getting their water from large, private corporations owned by investors seeking to profit off the sale of an essential resource. State figures show private companies are seeking more price increases every year, and many are substantial.

I missed this story early last week but I think it's important. Anyone who is new to Texas or thinking of moving here better beware about the suburb areas and private water companies - it's the new gold.

And of course you should just give up on growing grass in Texas unless its something native like buffalo grass. Rock gardens look perfectly fine.

D.C. panel issues decision defining preclearance standards

Texas Redistricting blog 12/23/11

D.C. panel issues decision defining preclearance standards

Late Thursday evening, the D.C. panel issued its long-awaited opinion defining the standards for preclearance under section 5 of the Voting Rights Act and further explaining why the court had earlier rejected the State of Texas’ request for summary judgment.

The opinion, authored by Judge Rosemary Collyer, was unanimous.

Initial reaction from many observers is that the decision is a pretty significant win for the Justice Department- though, as in past Texas redistricting cycles, the case is likely to end up in Supreme Court. The opinion, though, also hands the DOJ and redistricting plaintiffs a few losses.

With more briefing due January 3 in the interim map appeal before the Supreme Court, it’s likely the D.C. court’s opinion could make a cameo appearance in that case as well - especially since some of the things the state says the San Antonio court got wrong, the D.C. court says Texas got wrong.

Here’s an overview of some of the key rulings:


Among the significant holdings is a ruling by the court that bare population statistics cannot establish the ability of minorities to elect a candidate of choice until minorities constitute a citizen voting age supermajority of 65% or more in the district. Texas had urged much lower thresholds of 40% for African-American districts and 50% for Latino districts.

This sounds very significant and bodes well for voting protection I think. It is a mixed bag but at least as far as Texas is concerned may be good for voting rights.

Texas Counties Object to April 3 Primaries

Texas Tribune 12/21/11

Texas Counties Object to April 3 Primaries

Texas counties say the April 3 primary election date won't work.

In papers filed in federal court this afternoon, the officials who actually administer the state's elections say that date — agreed to by the Democratic and Republican parties and ordered by a panel of federal judges in San Antonio — creates an impossible situation for them.

Meanwhile, the state asked the U.S. Supreme Court to order elections using congressional and legislative maps drawn by the Legislature instead of maps drawn by that San Antonio panel. A different federal panel in Washington, D.C., is working on the state's request for preclearance of those maps under the federal Voting Rights Act but won't hold hearings until next month.


They came back with a proposal for a unified April 3 primary with all of the races from the top to the bottom of the ballot. The primary runoff elections would be held on June 5.

In their legal briefs, the Conference of Urban Counties, the County Judges and Commissioners Association of Texas, and the Texas Association of Counties said they agree that all of the primaries should be held on the same day, but object to the date chosen by the political parties:

Well that might be problematic.

Taxpayers have paid Perry sub Dewhurst $32,054

Perry Presidential blog Houston Chronicle 12/21/11

Taxpayers have paid Perry sub Dewhurst $32,054

Gov. Rick Perry is collecting both early pension payments and a full-time salary to serve as governor in 2011 — but Texans also have paid a substitute $32,054 to run the state during Perry’s frequent absences.

For each full day Perry spent out of Texas — 78 days so far this year — taxpayers paid $410.96 in salary to David Dewhurst, a millionaire businessman who normally serves as the state’s low-paid lieutenant governor.

Dewhurst, 66, is again serving as acting governor this week as Perry stumps in Iowa. He refused comment through a spokesman about his increasingly common stints as substitute governor.

“Perry is similarly complying with standard practice and laws regarding the administration of the governor’s salary when he’s out of state. The practice of the lieutenant governor being paid the governor’s salary when the governor is out of state is longstanding,” said Perry spokesman Ray Sullivan. “A portion of then-Gov. Bush’s salary went to then-Lt. Gov. Perry when Bush was running for president in 1999 and 2000.”

You think the millionaire dick, Dewhurst would at least donate his salary to a charity or something. Dewhurst certainly doesn't need the money.

Another way Perry is costing us money. A total waste of taxpayer money. a-hole

Paul Sadler, a Democrat, Files for U.S. Senate

Texas Tribune 12/19/11

Paul Sadler, a Democrat, Files for U.S. Senate

Just two days after fellow Democrat Ric Sanchez dropped out of the race, former state Rep. Paul Sadler of Henderson has filed to run for U.S. Senate.

Sadler, in a brief telephone interview, said he has been thinking about the race since Hutchison announced her decision. Sanchez's announcement last week tipped the scales, and he filed with the Texas Democratic Party this afternoon.

Sadler was elected to the House in 1990 and served through 2002, ending his tenure with three terms as chairman of the Public Education committee. While George W. Bush was governor, Sadler chaired the special committee that worked on the tax bill Bush proposed as a remedy for public education problems. He lost a runoff election in 2004 to Republican Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, in a race for the Texas Senate.

I don't know very much about Sadler so lets try to find out what we know about him. Looks like he will be our candidate.

Another UT Republican Caught Tweeting Racist Comments About Obama

Lowdown on Higher ED blog AAS 12/19/11
President of UT College Republicans appears to post racially tinged tweet

A month after the then-president of the University of Texas branch of the Texas College Republicans came under fire for saying on Twitter that shooting President Barack Obama may be tempting, her replacement could be facing her own troubles for a racially tinged tweet she appears to have posted early Sunday morning.

Cassie Wright, who is listed as president of the group on the UT website, posted at 2:46 a.m. Sunday, “My president’s black, he snorts a lot of crack. Holla. #2012 #Obama.”

Wright replaced Lauren Pierce as president of the Texas chapter after Pierce in November posted on Twitter that people should not shoot Obama, even though it may be “tempting.”

In an interesting twist, Pierce retweeted Wright’s post about Obama.

Meet the new UT College Republican President... same as the old one. Same as it ever was...

Paul Moves Into Lead in Iowa Forecast

Five Thirty Eight/Nate Silver NYTimes 12/19/11
Paul Moves Into Lead in Iowa Forecast

Our Iowa forecasts, which are designed to be quite aggressive, have had a big reaction to the new Public Policy Polling survey published late Sunday evening. The poll showed Newt Gingrich’s support slipping badly in Iowa and Ron Paul moving into the lead.

The poll has Mr. Gingrich with 14 percent of the vote, down from 22 percent in the same poll one week earlier and continuing a streak of declining numbers for Mr. Gingrich in state and national surveys. Mitt Romney’s support improved to 20 percent from 16 percent in the previous Public Policy Polling survey. But it was Mr. Paul, at 23 percent in the poll, who held the lead. Mr. Paul thus becomes the sixth candidate to have led an Iowa caucus poll at some point this cycle, joining Mr. Romney, Mr. Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and Herman Cain.

Mr. Paul also leads our forecast. The model gives him a 44 percent chance of winning Iowa based on the current standing of the candidates and the historic uncertainty of polling-based forecasts. Mr. Romney has a 32 percent chance of winning, while Mr. Gingrich’s chances have crashed to 15 percent.

Ha Ha Ha Ha -- Perry isn't even mentioned in the story except in the past tense. Stick a fork in Rick Perry - he's dead.

Perry's Presidential Candidacy a Bitter Pill for Texans

The Daily Beast 12/15/11

Rick Perry's Presidential Candidacy a Bitter Pill for Texans
When I’m asked these days about the status of Rick Perry’s presidential campaign, I’ve taken to whistling that song from Spamalot: “No, he’s not yet dead…” Count me alongside John Heilemann in the small group of those who believe the Texas governor still has a route to the GOP nomination—though it’s decidedly narrow, more farm-to-market road than interstate.

But let’s accept and acknowledge the reality of things at the moment: Despite a record seemingly tailor-made for an election about the economy and an ideological disposition that was Tea Party before Tea Party was cool, Perry has vastly underperformed the expectations of even his most ardent critics, who gritted their teeth while admitting, back in August, that he could be the one. Thursday night’s debate in Iowa is one of the last of his seemingly endless clichéd moments of truth—do or die, make or break, etc. The climb back into the top tier will be seriously uphill.

What the hell happened? What does it mean for him? And what does it mean for Texas?

I can assure you that every member of the press corps in Austin is chewing over possible answers to the first question. No one is more surprised than we are. We watched him run and win nine straight elections, dating back to his first race for the Texas House as a Democrat way back in 1984. Never did he break his stride; rarely did he have competition with a pulse and a heartbeat. Every quadrennial heavyweight brawl turned out to be, to borrow a phrase I coined at Texas Monthly, the Thrilla in Vanilla—a big yawn. He practically waltzed into office each time.

I can not believe that Evan Smith still thinks Perry has a small chance of winning the nomination. What are you smoking Evan?
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