Monday, January 20, 2020

The MLK Day Wrangle

The Texas Progressive Alliance salutes the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with this collection of the best blog posts, Tweets, and lefty news from around and about our Great State.

First, a few political and electoral stories that need attention from voters in statehouse districts in Dallas and the Houston area.  TXElects:

An abbreviated early voting begins (tomorrow) and runs through Friday for the HD28, HD100 and HD148 special runoff elections. January 28 is Election Day.
  • In HD28, Republican Gary Gates faces Democrat Liz Markowitz for a Fort Bend County seat that has gone from 14 points redder than the state as a whole in 2002 to less than a point redder in 2018. In the November special election, the six Republican candidates collectively received 61% of the vote. Markowitz, the lone Democrat in the race, received the other 39%. Turnout was 19.7% of 148K registered voters.
  • In HD100, Lorraine Birabil faces James Armstrong III, both Democrats, for a Dallas County seat. Birabil led the five-candidate field with 33%. Armstrong received 21%, finishing five votes ahead of Daniel Clayton. Turnout was 7.9% of 87K registered voters.
  • In HD148, Democrat Anna Eastman faces Republican Luis LaRotta in a Harris Co. seat that has been steadily 15-19 percentage points bluer than the state as a whole since 2002. In the November special election, 12 Democratic candidates split 69% of the vote, led by Eastman’s 20%. LaRotta finished second with 16% of the vote, nearly four points ahead of third-place finisher Adrian Garcia, a Democrat with the same name as a current Harris County commissioner and former sheriff. Turnout was 25.2% of nearly 88K registered voters.

Kuff interviewed three Dem candidates in HD138: Akilah Bacy, Josh Wallenstein, and Jenifer Pool.

Olson has endorsed Pierce Bush, the grandson of GHW Bush, as his replacement.

From the Rio Grande Guardian:

Prominent civil rights attorney Jim Harrington will be the keynote speaker at tonight’s celebration of MLK Day at Cine El Rey.  [...]

Harrington is founder of the Texas Civil Rights Project and was attorney for the late civil rights icon Cesar Chavez. The president of the Cine El Rey Group, Bert Guerra said Harrington will stress “the importance of incremental change at the 10th Annual MLK Celebration.

“While Jim Harrington may be best known as the attorney who sued the city of McAllen for the infamous police brutality during the 1970s and 1980s, his homecoming will provide a very important message of healing and forgiveness,” Guerra said.

“His return to McAllen reminds us that even though there is still and perhaps will always be work to be done in seeking justice, that pursuit demonstrates that MLK’s Dream is alive and well in this part of America we call the Rio Grande Valley.”

See this link for details on tonight's event, and read Harrington's column, "Using the MLK holiday to kickstart organizing for justice", here.

Two El Paso blogs added to the roll are Max Powers (a non-Trump Republican) and Jaime Abeytia's Lion Star (Democratic).  Powers picked a bone last week with Abeytia bashing the Rethugs while cashing their checks (a common practice among political consultants across Texas).  And in other sidebar additions, you can find another GOP blog there: Big Jolly Times, whose contributor, Howie Katz, wrote an amusing take about the Democratic presidential primary.  PDiddie at Brains and Eggs, keeping to his regular beat, had two Updates on that topic that appeared before and after the contentious debate in Iowa, with the Warren-Sanders feud still simmering.

CD Hooks, writing for Texas Monthly, puzzles through Abbott's senseless rejection of refugees.

Therese Odell at Foolish Watcher revisits Impeachment Corner.

DeSmogBlog reports that Formosa Plastics, the giant Taiwanese conglomerate owning a chemical plant on Lavaca Bay, has continued to pollute the coast with plastic nurdles despite being fined $50 million and signing a consent decree to cease doing so.

The Lunch Tray looks at a new effort to eliminate school "lunch debt shaming".

SocraticGadfly did a non-political double dip on Texas sports, first talking about the glories of Luka Doncic, then noting why he, along with a majority of other non-Houstonians, thinks the cheating Astros got off lightCort McMurray, editorializing in the Chron, gets to the heart of the Astros' cheating scandal.

More than a few football fans noticed that Sunday's AFC championship game featured two teams with Texas roots.

In a compelling read from Dan Clouse at LareDos, 'The Incident at Laredo' details a little-known account of a faulty assessment of a nuclear attack from Cuba that occurred in the 1960s.

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