Showing posts sorted by date for query 2010 green party. Sort by relevance Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by date for query 2010 green party. Sort by relevance Show all posts

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Earth Day and the Greens



Today's Climate Summit is being well-attended by global leaders and well-received in the corporate media, but like so many of Joe Biden's other initiatives, what he's offering is half a loaf.

And with respect to the climate crisis, we need everything in the bakery.


Platitudes R Them.  It's what Kamala brought to the ticket, it's what got Mayo Pete another job in government, and it's apparently what sustains the sycophants among the Donkey orthodoxy who are breathing easier, sleeping well, and brunching every weekend.  These compromises, like the $1400 stimmys, the still-not-enough $15 minimum wage killed by Joe Mansion and Kristen's Enema, the initiative to expand the Supreme Court that died at Nancy Pelosi's hand last week, and all the other things that would keep this sentence running on to infinity and beyond are leaving me with a very sour taste in my mouth again.

So I really didn't need to hear that Biden hasn't canceled the Enbridge #3 pipeline yet to know that there's a lot he'll give lip service to, but only so much he's willing to do.

Ed Markey and AOC have introduced Bernie Sanders' watered-down Green New Deal once more, to the expected huzzahs and hosannas.  They'll have to fight not only Pelosi and Schumer but MTG and Ted Cruz every step of the way, so it's performative, an art the Queen of Queens (and the Bronx) is burnishing of late.  Their highest hopes are by aiming low, maybe they can slip under the bar, much like old Joe himself.


I'm gonna take a hard pass on all of that.

Twenty twenty-two is the statewide cycle, which means that a whole bunch of Blue Dogs will try to show that they're not as bad as the TXGOP.  And our state media will focus on the Republican primary, because their self-fulfilling prophecy for about 30 years now has been that's the only election that matters.  Meanwhile the Permian farts methane like a small gaseous planet -- from fracking flares to uncapped, abandoned wells; the Amazon burns, our oceans are full of plastic and our air is full of carcinogens.  Does that sound like something we ought to keep doing?

If it is then you must be on the waiting list to buy a ticket on the first Elon Musk rocket flight outta here.  Good luck with that.

The pandemic, and the resulting economic slowdown, demonstrated that reducing our consumption of fossil fuels could heal the Earth.  But we're getting back to business now.  That's a death sentence.  Now a very wise man once said that repeating the same action and expecting a different result is a symptom of insanity.  So now you know why I will be voting for NO Democrats who don't indicate that they understand this simple logic.

In the case of Governor of Texas, the choice is easy.


David Collins interviewed her some time back, and she's got an active and engaged Tweet feed, so direct your questions there if you have any.

Don't expect her to get much publicity.  That's up to you and me, unless you think voting for a conservative Democrat again -- or Dishrag forbid, Matthew McConaghey -- and anticipating that person to defeat Greg Abbott is a smart idea.  (Hint: Abbott isn't going to lose a November election, no matter what that recent poll says.  If he gets upset in his primary, that Republican will win.  Which means Texas will have a farther-right-wing freak than him calling the shots.)

Even Rick Perry got re-elected running against another Republican and Kinky Friedman not so long ago.  And the other Republican, in this case, wasn't Chris Bell.  So you might as well vote for someone with some principles you believe in, as opposed to 'lesser evil', 'harm reduction', etc.  And maybe the Democrats will catch a clue and stop running GOP-Lite.

Maybe that last is too much of a stretch ...?

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Leftist Wrangling every day until Election Day


And beyond!



A few words in Tweets about the polls that broke yesterday.


DfProg being a Democrat-funded poll, both the result and Collins' observation reveal its bias compared to the other two. I am more inclined, as I have been for a few weeks now, that Biden and Hegar cannot pull off a win here. I could be wrong, natch, and the money pouring in to both top-ticket races will at least make it close. Maybe not as close as Ted Cruz and Beto O'Rurke two years ago.

As for Greens ... yes, they have suffered the predictable slights this cycle. Once again this morning, "Jill Stein" is a trending Twitter topic.


A couple of weeks ago Bill Maher set off the Stein Derangement Syndromers. It was just yesterday that I read Digby, who put the blame back on James Comey. Once more, since this 2016 parlor game is like fucking Groundhog Day: Bernie would have beaten Trump four years ago, his Justices would be on the Supreme Court, and he would be running for re-election. Probably against Ted Cruz.


Yes, the 'what if'/alternate timeline fantasy can be fun, if you're not forced to play it with the dumbest mfers on Earth. Couple more things about the Texas polls, and then the TX Greens.

Ben Wermund, noting that these tightly contested races up and down the ballot are uncharted waters for Texas pollsters operating in a difficult environment on their best day, asks: how much trust should we place in their conclusions?


Probably just a coincidence. In other news ...

Jim Henson and Joshua Blank at the Texas Politics Project examined the shift of independent voters away from Republicans in recent statewide elections. Matt Mohn marvels at the extreme variance in polling preferences of Texas Latino/as in this cycle. Kuff tried to make sense of some recent polls that show Biden with a slight lead. (He failed. Dude has made multiple mistakes in trying to keep up this year. It's understandable, but his blogging needs to evolve to something more relevant. Discussions aimed at Lone Star Donkey political consultants -- budding, over the hill, and whatever detritus lies in-between -- is a gossamer-thin market.)

Here's some environmental news, agua being the focal point (some places have too much, some not enough): the Texas Living Waters Project tries to imagine what our state would be like without water. Schaefer Edwards at the Houston Press looks at a Bayou City plan to fight flooding and climate change by planting a ton of trees.


Now for some social justice posts.


Jacob Vaughn at the Dallas Observer writes about Fort Worth city council's approval of the new name for a stretch of road between I-35W and US 287: the Atatiana Jefferson Memorial Parkway. And Grits for Breakfast collates four stories that lets us gaze into the soul of the Houston/Harris County criminal justice system, as well as a round-up of cops behaving badly in Waco, Nacogdoches, on social media, and several other Lone Star jurisdictions.

To wind this up today, here's some funny.

Reform Texas is amused by John Cornyn's delicate ears. Jen Rice categorizes Harris County drive-through voting locations by their fast food counterpart.

Monday, October 19, 2020

The Election 2020 Wrangle from Far Left Texas


I'm throwing in some centrist viewpoints for balance.


TXElects has a great deal of analysis based on their internal models and posted outside its paywall. Excerpting liberally:

Trump is currently projected to win the state by 2 points over Biden, 50.5%-48.5%. He carried the state by 9 points, 52%-43%, in 2016. The projected 2020 margin is slightly tighter than Ted Cruz’s 50.9%-48.3% victory over then-U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-El Paso) in 2018.

A total of 20 races’ ratings moved one column toward the Democrats:

  • President to Toss Up from Lean Republican
  • CD2 (Crenshaw) to Toss Up from Lean Republican
  • CD3 (Taylor) to Toss Up from Lean Republican
  • CD31 (Carter) to Toss Up from Lean Republican
  • HD64 (Stucky) to Toss Up from Lean Republican
  • HD92 open to Toss Up from Lean Republican
  • HD93 (Krause) to Toss Up from Lean Republican
  • HD121 (Allison) to Toss Up from Lean Republican
  • HD66 (Shaheen) to Lean Democratic from Toss Up
  • HD67 (Leach) to Lean Democratic from Toss Up
  • HD112 (Button) to Lean Democratic from Toss Up
  • HD45 (Zwiener) to Likely Democratic from Lean Democratic
  • HD47 (Goodwin) to Likely Democratic from Lean Democratic
  • HD52 (Talarico) to Likely Democratic from Lean Democratic
  • HD102 (Ramos) to Likely Democratic from Lean Democratic
  • HD113 (Bowers) to Likely Democratic from Lean Democratic
  • HD129 (Paul) to Lean Republican from Likely Republican
  • HD150 (Swanson) to Lean Republican from Likely Republican
  • HD33 (Holland) to Likely Republican from Safe Republican; and
  • HD91 (Klick) to Likely Republican from Safe Republican.

The U.S. Senate inches closer to the Toss Up line but remains rated as Lean Republican along with the other statewide races.

The nine Republican-held House seats projected to flip to the Democrats are HD26 open (Miller), HD64, HD66, HD67, HD96 open (Zedler), HD108 (Meyer), HD112, HD134 (S. Davis) and HD138 open (Bohac). The four within a point of flipping are HD92 open, HD93, HD94 (Tinderholt) and HD121. The Senate seat projected to flip to the Democrats is SD19 (Flores).

The four Congressional seats projected to flip to the Democrats are CD10 (McCaul), CD21 (Roy), CD22 open (Olson), CD23 open (Hurd) and CD24 open (Marchant). The three additional seats within 1.2 points of flipping are CD2, CD3 and CD31.

Read on there, and don't miss "Echoes of 2010" at the end.  My personal O of Jeff Blaylock's news and views is that his bias leans toward establishment conservatism, but he is very fair and accurate.  A less partisan Joe Straus Republican, as I might best classify.  Or the reverse of Mustafa Tameez, if that helps.  So this is a very rose-colored snapshot for Texas Democrats coming from him, and very much in line with my own prognostications.  For you data nerds, Derek Ryan has his pie charts and bar graphs posted (.pdf) for last week's partisan and demgraphic EV analysis.

Turnout remained wowza through the weekend, which is where all this optimism is coming from, and if it holds, it's going to be a big blue wipeout for Team Elephant.


All of the state's counties are blowing the roof off, but Harris County ...


Guess who's complaining about long lines at their EV polling places?


Another guess what: Harris County's boffo vote turnout may STILL not be enough to get it done for Joe Biden and MJ Hegar (as both TXElects and I have already said).


So for all you Democrats still hoping for a clean sweep, it's time for you to get on your phones and text/call/email/browbeat/cajole/guilt your registered voter friends and family.


As of 7pm on Sunday October 18, 2020, according to GitHub’s U.S. Elections Project, only 3.8 million people in Texas have voted so far. 3,881,004, to be precise. This is no good. We have 16.9 million voters in Texas, so that means 13.1 of y’all still haven’t made it out.

According to the AP, thus far, Democrats have been outvoting Republicans 2:1, but that could change at any minute. We aren’t safe until every one casts their vote.

(What I like about Michelle is that she doesn't tear down the Green Party in relentlessly boosting the Blues.  She's definitely a VBNMW kinda person, but she focuses her considerable ire and wit in the right direction and not the left.  Her blog is must-reading for you Democrats in North Texas.)

John Cornyn keeps shitting his own bed, and I am here for it.


He doesn't dare debate Hegar again. He can't afford another beating.


Progressives and liberals: share the wealth!


And with lots more non-election/turnout-related posts and Tweets to come later in the week, I'll wrap this Wrangle here.

Monday, August 17, 2020

The TexProgBlog Wrangle (DNC Week)



The leftists in the Texas Progressive Alliance won't be tuning in to the DNC convention this week (not even to Bernie and AOC).  The DSA and progressive Democrats in the Alliance may or may not be, depending on how strenuously they define 'progressive'.  The Blue Dogs, shitlibs, Blue MAGAts, neoliberals, establishment Dems and their paid consultants, lobbyists, pollsters, and associated lickspittles -- and of course the RINOs and the Never-Trump Republicans -- will have their eyes glued to the screen every single night.


Lone Star Latinxs in particular seem a little put out about it ...

"I think that we could win the battle and lose the war," (Julian) Castro told "Axios on HBO" of Democrats' chances this fall. "We could win in November, but you could see a potential slide of Latino support for Democrats."

... even Stace, reverting to his milquetoasty form.  But the Texas Signal, your home away from Kuffner with all the insidery establishment goodness you can tolerate without any clues to what's actually going on with the Donkey Party's eroding youth base, is there for you.  Their opinion editor -- a Latina -- even managed an English-only interview with the "Spanish press secretary" for the TDP.  Somebody let me know if they get around to posting a transcript en Espanol.  At least they mentioned "the" chancla.

And all this time I thought Texas was a swing state ...

Updates:

-- Can Joe Biden win over the young Latinxs that flocked to Bernie Sanders?

Houston PD chief Art Acevedo apparently spoke last night.  Acevedo, who's welcoming furloughed cops from other cities to come to Houston, probably delivered a real puke-a-thon about law and order and Blue Lives Mattering and such.  I didn't look too hard to find anything about his talk.  If you did, hit me up.  Update: Stace, coming a little stronger.  Judge Hidalgo, by contrast, belonged at the top of this schedule.

Then there's Matt Angle of the Lone Star Project, who resurrected his ten-year-old grievance with the Texas Green Party.


And sure enough:

Charles Waterbury, the Green Party candidate for Texas Supreme Court chief justice, has dropped out of the race after an opponent questioned his eligibility to run.

Waterbury’s withdrawal notice was submitted to the Texas secretary of state’s office Monday after being notarized Friday, the same day his Democratic opponent, Amy Clark Meachum, sought a court order declaring his candidacy invalid.

Meachum’s emergency petition to the Supreme Court, the same body she hopes to join, argued that Waterbury is prohibited from appearing on the ballot as the Green Party nominee because he voted in the March 3 Democratic primary.

State law prohibits candidates for state or county office from representing one political party in the general election if they voted in another party’s primary in the same election cycle.

I have three things to say about this.

1. If you search the archives of this blog hard enough (yesyes, I should have tagged posts long ago) you'll find one where I actually agreed with Angle on this point of his. Along about in 2009 when I became disillusioned with Obama's capitualtion on health care and began to look at the Green Party more seriously, I asked them about this business of having the TXGOP fund their ballot access. The response was quick and certain: "no permanent enemies, no permanent allies". That's kind of how it it with Donkeys and Elephants, too yes?  Isn't John Kasich demonstrating precisely that premise by speaking at the DNC, endorsing Joe Biden, but declaring he's not abandoning the GOP and has been assured that Biden "isn't moving left", toward AOC, as the Jackasses applaud?

2. Amy Clark Meachum just lost my vote in November.

3. If this affects any other Texas Green Party candidates' eligibility, then that's on them, too.  As a member of the Harris County Ballot Board in 2010, the presiding judge disqualified me for the exact same reason (voting in the D primary and serving as a Green judge).  It's a chickenshit play, and in that case, it did not withstand scrutiny; the County Clerk -- Stan Stanart at that time -- asserted that his office selected HCBB judges and that nobody other than him had authority to disqualify them.  (I chose to say off the Board anyway, FWIW, until a new presiding judge took over.)  I have not blogged about this until now for many reasons, as you might suspect.

We're still waiting for that court ruling.

Since I turned this post into a rant, I'll have an actual Wrangle in short order.


(Here's the original for a bigger view)

Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Race for the White House Update: Live and Let Die


As Jimmy Kimmel observed, it's difficult to think of a better metaphor for the president's response to the pandemic than that.

-- Andrew Yang's lawsuit  was successful, and as a result Bernie Sanders is back on the June 23rd New York primary ballot.


I don't take this to mean any more than it is.  I do not anticipate Sanders re-entering the race for the nomination even if Sleepy Old Joe Biden withdraws or becomes "officially" incapacitated.  With so many of Bernie's former campaign staff having moved on -- to start Super PACs, with Nina Turner having joined the Movement for a Peoples Party and Briahna Joy Gray's full break with him -- I just don't see him getting the band back together.

If Biden has to check out ...


... then Tom Perez, the rest of the DNC, the superdelegates, et.al. are going to pick the nominee, and not the delegates at this summer's convention.  About that: it's 'On, Wisconsin'.


And while some Bidenites present convoluted logic for continuing to support him even when they believe he should drop out, all this speculation places tight focus on his choice for running mate.  The betting odds would seem to favor Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris, but I'm still of the view that Amy Klobuchar or Gretchen Whitmer is ultimately his (or perhaps I should say, Anita Dunn and Jill Biden's) pick.  I discount Stacey Abrams for a variety of factors that I'll mention if I'm wrong and she winds up on the ticket.

Warren's replacement in the Senate (short-term; there was early gaming-out about this) would be a Republican.  And the last time Massachusetts held a Senate special election, Scott Brown won it.  Kamala energizes African American women voters, which may help in the South, but passing her over is perhaps a greater electoral danger than selecting her would be a strength.  Amy and Gretchen are ideologically and geographically the most compatible with Biden, as well as helping him swing the Midwestern states.

Otherwise my thoughts align with Perry Bacon's, who sees the Democratic Party strongly controlled by neoliberals, conservative Dems, former moderate Republicans, and #NeverTrump-ers.


-- That just ain't gonna be my party any more.  So with respect to the front-running third party for progressives, there were several breaking news items this week.


David Collins, the Texas Green Party's US Senate nominee, telegraphed this, and for my part I could not find any evidence that Ventura was publicly supporting Medicare for All -- despite him cracking on Mike Bloomberg for not doing so, back when MoneyBags was still in the primary -- during his "waters-testing" period, and this Tweet appears to reveal his hypocrisy regarding that.


Jesse can't afford an Obamacare policy?

Meanwhile, Howie Hawkins picked a running mate yesterday.


Walker was the vice presidential nominee of the Socialist Party USA in 2016, and ran as an independent on a Black Lives Matter platform for sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin in 2014.  Should Ventura actively campaign for this ticket, it could be an exciting fall season.

-- Justin Amash could also cause some trouble in November, as Geoffrey Skelley and Julia Azari write in FiveThirtyEight.com, but as posted in the last White House Update, it's not clear whether that trouble will be Trump's or Biden's.  In other Libertarian news, the party put off their national conclave, scheduled for later this month.

(Last Saturday, May 2nd), the Libertarian National Committee voted to:
  1. Invoke the “impossibility” clause in its convention contract with the JW Marriott in Austin, Texas; and
  2. Postpone the 2020 Libertarian National Convention to a place to be determined, and an opening date no later than July 15; and
  3. Adjourn their e-meeting to (this coming) Saturday to consider options for that move.

Thomas Knapp, the author there, has more thoughts at the embedded link.

-- A former Lib contender has repositioned.

New Hampshire state Representative Max Abramson, who previously sought the Libertarian Party’s 2020 presidential nomination before withdrawing in March, has decided to seek the presidential nomination of the Veterans Party of America.  Abramson broke the news last Tuesday on his campaign blog.  Last month Abramson told IPR that two different political parties had contacted him about running for their presidential nominations.  He did not specify which ones at the time.

According to Abramson, the Veterans Party of America is in the process of organizing for November on a platform of “restoring the Constitution and bringing the troops home.”  It plans to hold its national convention May 17 online.

The Veterans Party of America was founded in 2014.  In 2016, it ran reliability engineer Chris Keniston for president.  He appeared on the ballot only in Colorado and Mississippi and received 7,251 votes. ...

Although the party, which describes itself as “centrist,” is concerned with veterans’ issues, being a veteran is not a requirement for membership.

More about Abramson at the top link.

-- Trump will have a little competition from his right; the Constitution Party nominated former coal magnate Don Blankenship to be its presidential candidate last week.

Blankenship, 70, was the CEO of Massey, a coal mining company, from 2000 until 2010.  During his tenure, the 2010 Upper Big Branch Mine disaster killed 29 people in West Virginia. Blankenship blames the disaster on the negligence of officials from the Mine Safety and Health Administration.  The federal investigation that followed the disaster led to the prosecution of Blankenship.  At the criminal trial, the jury rejected three felony charges but found him guilty of conspiring to violate federal mine safety laws, a misdemeanor with a prison sentence of one year.  The prosecutors were later found to have committed reckless misconduct due to their failure to disclose witness memoranda. Blankenship continues to maintain his innocence and decided to run for West Virginia’s U.S. Senate seat after leaving prison in 2017.

During the three-man 2018 campaign for the Republican nomination, at least 105 media outlets and individuals falsely described Blankenship as a “felon” and/or “convicted felon.”  Blankenship alleges the coverage implied his responsibility for the deaths in the mine disaster and cost him the election.  He sued for defamation and the case is currently going to trial.  After losing the primary, Blankenship joined the Constitution Party and attempted to run as the Constitution Party nominee for the seat but was denied ballot access.

Blankenship announced his intention to seek the Constitution Party presidential nomination in October 2019.  During his campaign he sought to out-Trump Trump, meaning he wanted to present himself as a better reflection of the President Donald Trump’s moment than Trump himself.  This included a populist platform of restrictive immigration and protectionist trade policies.

Ahead of the national convention, Blankenship participated in a few presidential debates and won the non-binding primary in Missouri.  He also won the binding primary in Idaho that effectively left him as the nominee of the unaffiliated Idaho Constitution Party.

Blankenship’s running mate, William Mohr, is from the Michigan Taxpayers Party, the Constitution Party affiliate in Michigan.  He ran on the party line for state legislature in 2012 and 2014, receiving 3 percent and 2.3 percent, respectively, in those elections.

According to the April 2020 print edition of Ballot Access News, the Constitution Party is currently on the ballot in Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.


May do another electoral map next week as all these things settle out a bit.

Monday, December 23, 2019

The Festivus TexProg Wrangle

Christmas Eve Eve is a time of panic for shoppers who've procrastinated (pro tip: a gift card from Kroger earns you gas points), the start of a long holiday week certain to be filled with high caloric lack-of-activity, and the much-anticipated airing of grievances.


Here comes your round-up of the best of the left from around and about Deep-In-The-Hearta for the next-to-last week of the decade.



First we have some political posts (the Alliance is foremost about politics, after all).




David Collins updates the list of Texas Green Party 2020 candidates Kuff published three interviews with SBOE candidates: Michelle Palmer, Kimberly McLeod, and Debra KernerJohn Coby wraps up the Houston elections.  And Stace at Dos Centavos posts about a Harris County judicial filing controversy.


And statehouse Republicans will make every effort to continue the legacy of ultraconservative oligarchy in Austin.


PDiddie at Brains and Eggs caught up his Democratic presidential primary updates with four posts leading up to, and then after, the sixth debate last Thursday.

DC politicos like Chuck Schumer want to keep chasing the Republicans being left behind by the careening Right; the DSCC chose to endorse the Libertarian who voted in the GOP primary in 2016 for US Senate, to the outrage of ... well, pretty much everybody.



(T)he Democratic Senate Campaign Committee endorsed former U.S. House candidate MJ Hegar in her bid to run against Republican incumbent Senator John Cornyn. The decision to back Hegar -- who is running in a crowded, diverse field -- strikes at the heart of an intra-party debate: how to run (and win) in red states on the brink of political realignment.

The endorsement drew swift backlash from Hegar’s fellow candidates, who condemned the national party’s Senate campaign arm. Although the committee has played primary favorites in other priority Senate races, many people in Texas politics were surprised that it waded into a race more than three months out. “We had no idea that was going to happen,” said Abhi Rahman, the communications director for the Texas Democratic Party, which is running a multimillion-dollar operation aimed at defeating Cornyn.


Lite Guv Dan Patrick and Commissioner of Land George Pee Bush kicked off their Festivuties a few days early.


Lone Star political podcasts are all the rage these days.



A smattering of posts about the homeless at Christmastime always seem to tug at the heartstrings (not Greg Abbott's, but Texans who actually have hearts).




There are some environmental justice -- mostly injustice -- developments to report.






This Wrangle caught several Tweets about immigration and border news and opinions.






SocraticGadfly, with background on Muenster teacher-relationship conviction and other such cases, talks about how issues of philosophy play out in the courts.

Thanks for reading this elongated-for-Festivus Wrangle.  Wrapping it up and putting a bow on it with a few lighter items.



The Webb County Heritage Foundation will celebrate the 180th anniversary of the declaration of the Republic of the Rio Grande with a cocktail reception on January 11, 2020 in the historic capitol building of that independent nation -- the Republic of the Rio Grande Museum at 1005 Zaragoza St. in Laredo.

The San Antonio Current provides solid advice about tamales.

The Bloggess is starting a book club.




Tuesday, May 28, 2019

The Sine Die Wrangle

The Texas Progressive Alliance waves adios to the Texas Legislature until January of 2021 (with any good luck).  Now our lawmakers watch, along with the rest of us, to see which of their hard-worked, hard-argued, hard-fought bills become law -- or not -- by the pen of Greg Abbott.


The Texas Tribune, always with the most comprehensive coverage, has a photo gallery and a list of winners and losers from the 86th session.  The Dallas News' Texas Tracker aggregated their Lege reporting (which subscribers can customize to their interests).

Here's just a sampling of the latest from yesterday and the holiday weekend from those two sources:

Gunsense  and gun-nonsense bills made it through at the deadline.  Criminal justice reform advocates ran into one final roadblock in the Texas Senate, as a watered-down amendment was stripped out at the last minute.

After the fate of (House Bill 2754) was decided, state Rep. Joe Moody, D-El Paso, added a more limited version of the provision as an amendment to Senate Bill 815, which was a fairly uncontroversial bill relating to the preservation of criminal records. The House approved the bill, with Moody’s amendment about Class C misdemeanor arrests, in an 81 to 52 vote. But the Senate didn't approve the change, and Moody's amendment was taken out of the bill in a compromise report proposed by a group of lawmakers from both chambers.

Moody partly blamed the amendment's downfall on the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas (CLEAT) -- one of the top police unions in the state -- who he said "stabbed me in the back and waged an outrageous campaign of outright lies and character assassination." He added that "pressure from the top down" in the Senate ultimately killed the bill.

Grits for Breakfast had the early analysis on this clusterf.

The most significant legislation of the session, the bill that reduces property taxes and adequately funds public schools, reached bipartisan consensus (and self-aggrandizement to the point of overkill).

Lawmakers also signed off on the state's two-year, $250-plus billion dollar budget.

The approved $250.7 billion, made up of state taxes and fees, local property tax dollars and federal funds, marks a 16% spending increase over the two-year budget approved by lawmakers in the tight-fisted 2017 legislative session. ... Facing a cautiously optimistic fiscal forecast, lawmakers expect to have an additional $10 billion or so to spend over the next two years, compared with the previous budget cycle. They agreed to allocate $6.5 billion in new state funding for schools and $5.1 billion to buy down Texans’ local property taxes, which state dollars supplement to pay for public education.

Pay raises for teachers -- not the $5000 across-the-board increase Dan Patrick had promised, though -- and a 13th pension check for retired teachers are included.

Texas Freedom Network made note of the fact that 2018's blue wave, and another one looming in 2020, made divisive legislation more difficult to pass.  Better Texas Blog enumerates five good bills that passed, five bad bills that failed, and five missed opportunities.  Environment Texas also scores the Lege's results as mixed.  Texas Vox blogged that lawmakers punted on taking any action with respect to the chemical fires Houston has recently suffered from.  And the Texas Observer's Candice Bernd wrote that despite efforts to soften the penalties for protesting against pipelines, the Lege passed the bill designating them as felony offenses.  (IANAL, but I would not expect these laws to withstand legal/judicial/constitutional muster.)

There was a raft of election law developments that was good news/bad news: SOS David Whitley caught all the blame for the ill-fated voter roll purge and went unconfirmed by the state Senate, thus forcing him to resign.  Many of the worst bills meant to intimidate voters were similarly defeated; SB9's failure was one of Progress Texas' best moments of the session.  But Houston Public Media reported that Harris County remains one of the most difficult places in the United States for people to both register and vote.

“Registration rates in Texas are among the lowest in the United States. Yet voter registration rates in Harris County are far lower, and increasingly so,” said University of Houston researcher Suzanne Pritzker. “If we look between 2010 and 2016, we see that the voter registration gap between Texas and Harris County has been increasing.”

Meanwhile, Texas Public Radio reported on Bexar County's $11 million dollar acquisition of new voting machines that include a paper trail.

Several bloggers opined about the bill that enables the Texas Green Party to be on the 2020 ballot.  David Collins has been tracking its progress; it's now awaiting the governor's signature.  Socratic Gadfly also had some thoughts prior to passage.  Kuff's take is just as elitist as you would expect from a Democratic establishment suck-up, but at least it's not as whiny as it could have been.  And in other third party developments, Ballot Access News says that an Odessa Libertarian Party member has won a seat on the Ector County Hospital Board.

(Gadfly also looked at the latest woes of the Dallas Morning News.)

Stephen Young at the Dallas Observer has the news about CBD oil's legalized usage for certain medical conditions, but most experts agree that the Lege made the barest measurable expansion of cannabis decriminalization.

There's some 2019 and 2020 election news that Texas blogs and news sources had last week.  First: Joe Biden makes a campaign and fundraising appearance in Houston today.  He's running precisely as you'd expect the front-runner would.


Hillary Clinton also spoke at the Harris County Democratic Party's Johnson Rayburn Richards luncheon last Friday, and in what must have created some awkward moments, it was revealed by Justin Miller at the Texas Observer that Tony Buzbee, a Houston mayoral challenger to Sylvester Turner who donated over $500,000 to two of Donald Trump's PACs in 2016, also gave the HCDP $5000 as a "White Pantsuit" sponsor for the JRR fundraiser.

Early voting begins today in most Texas jurisdictions with municipal runoff elections on June 8.  The Rivard Report highlights the nastiness of the mayoral runoff in San Antonio.  Mark Jones at Rice's Kinder Institute (Urban Edge blog) reminds us that there are less than six months until Houston holds its city elections.

US Rep. Chip Roy single-handedly delayed a $19.1 billion disaster aid funding package, including Harvey relief, that John Cornyn, Ted Cruz, and Donald Trump had all approved, drawing universal condemnation.

Texas Standard also reported that Galveston Bay's oyster harvest was halted shortly after the ITC chemical fire caused a benzene spill into the Houston Ship Channel two weeks ago.

Last weekend at Crystal Beach, a Jeep rally got so out of control that even the libertine, libertarian locals were terrified and appalled.  John Nova Lomax at Texas Monthly:

Nobody knows for sure how many Jeeps, lifted trucks, ATVs, side-by-sides, and four-by-fours descended on the Bolivar Peninsula - -a narrow spit of storm-wracked sand between Galveston and Port Arthur -- during last weekend’s chaos. One estimate pegged the number at no fewer than 40,000 vehicles, many with intoxicated drivers zigzagging beaches with no marked lanes or navigating a two-lane highway with lots of construction zones, often with up to a dozen people riding unsecured in the backs of pickups.


Galveston County authorities made at least 100 arrests (most for alcohol-related offenses) as Jeep enthusiasts converged for Go Topless Weekend, an annual car show and campout in Crystal Beach. Of eighteen wrecks in the area, eight were deemed serious. EMS dispatchers were barraged with more than 600 calls for service, and one of the accidents snarled traffic on Highway 87 -- the sole east-west thoroughfare and only way to drive on or off the peninsula --for about six hours. Videos of the weekend’s drunken brawls have been posted to YouTube. A young man emerged from a coma on Monday after his head was run over by a truck from which he’d fallen, and at least a half-dozen injured passengers were evacuated by helicopter to the UTMB hospital in Galveston.


Yet it’s far from just Jeep owners who are to blame for the mayhem. The event coincided with prom weekend for many schools in Deep East Texas, leading to the presence of hordes of young people arriving in jacked-up trucks and zipping around on dirt bikes and four-wheelers. Thanks to a swirl of teenage hormones, copious amounts of alcohol, and the revving of high-powered engines, fights inevitably broke out, and some young women took the event’s invitation to Go Topless literally. The Texas Patriot Network’s MAGA Beach Bash was also taking place nearby, near the town of Port Bolivar, adding to the crowds on the peninsula. On top of it all, a whim of Mother Nature—an abnormally high “bull tide”—forced all this humanity into a narrower and narrower slice of drunken, thrown-together life, hemmed in by saltwater on one side and dunes on the other.


Finally, Pages of Victory has some voting advice for progressives, while Harry Hamid contemplates his reality.