Showing posts sorted by relevance for query killer keller. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query killer keller. Sort by date Show all posts

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Killer Keller skates

Because "public humiliation" is punishment enough for her.

A special master has concluded that Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Presiding Judge Sharon Keller doesn't deserve to be removed from office or even given “further reprimand beyond the public humiliation she has surely suffered” for her conduct in a death row inmate's failed effort to file a last-minute appeal before his execution. San Antonio-based District Judge David Berchelmann Jr., serving as special master in the case of alleged judicial misconduct, wrote that the Texas Defender Service in representing Michael Richard “bears the bulk of fault for what occurred on September 25, 2007.”

Unbe-fucking-lievable. Here's her attorney:

"Judge Keller takes to heart the advice that she should strive to be more collegial and that the Court's internal communications should improve," (attorney Chip) Babcock's statement said.

'More collegial'.


Interesting to note that "public humiliation" is a substitute for an official reprimand when a judge engages in behavior that's "not exemplary of a public servant" and considered "highly questionable." ... Judge Berchelmann's recommendation will now go to the full Commission on Judicial Conduct who will decide whether to dismiss charges, reprimand Keller, or recommend her removal from office.

And Elise Hu:

The timing of (death row defendant Michael) Richard's last-minute appeal was especially key in this case. He was set to be executed the same day the U.S. Supreme Court stayed all executions in the country after it decided to hear Baze v. Rees, which questioned whether lethal injection constituted cruel and unusual punishment. The SCJC review says Richard's execution would have likely been stayed too, but his lawyers had to exhaust the lethal injection argument in state courts first. The claim was never presented to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, which Keller leads, after a series of miscommunications between her court and lawyers from the defender service. A key miscommunication had to do with the message about the early closing time.

I gotta say I'm speechless. A compilation from the StandDown Texas Project for the history of this case is here and my previous postings are here.

Updates:  More astounded reactions. Othniel ...

Equality under the Law?
Due Process for all?
Not in Texas. More process than is due to and superior standing under the law is accorded to Chief Judge Keller than to litigants before her.  Apparently those who dare approach her Court seeking Justice enjoy neither equality nor due process.  She cannot be bothered to keep open the Court House door after 5:00 p.m., even though a defendant's life hang in the balance.

WSJ Law Blog (the most conservative source I would ever post):

Well, we weren’t entirely sure that Sharon Keller, the presiding judge the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, was going to get in big trouble over the events of Sept. 25, 2007.

But we hardly expected that the special master presiding over the judicial misconduct charges against Keller would blame another party for the unfortunate series of events. Or that the master, San Antonio-based judge David Berchelmann Jr., would express sympathy for Keller.

Texas Cloverleaf:

Ethics in Texas is never really ethical, and this case is no different. Judge Sharon Keller closed her office promptly at 5pm and allowed a man to be executed, rather than accepting the appeal. ...

Republican judges saving Republican judges. Ahhhh the ethics of Texas. Way to go, impartial judiciary.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Brainy endorsements: Keith Hampton

Keith Hampton is the Democrat running for Presiding Judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. His opponent is the most reprehensible Republican serving in the entire judicial system in Texas, Sharon "Killer" Keller. There is no Libertarian or Green on the November ballot. In Hampton's own words, here is one sentence about the incumbent.

(Keller) is the judge who shut the courthouse doors promptly at 5PM to a death-sentenced inmate, and agreed that poor people aren’t entitled to lawyers who remain awake during trial

Keller tried to get Hampton removed from the ballot by challenging his petition signatures, but that effort failed. Hampton has outraised Keller over 60 to 1 in the most recent fundraising period. When Hampton ran for the CCA in 2010, he received broad bipartisan support, and that is once again the case in 2012. We have previously seen what happens when Republicans publicly reject Republican judges who betray the public trust.

Here's Scott Henson at Grits for Breakfast, outlining the pitch-perfect strategy Hampton must pursue if he is to win.

Judge Keller, the self-styled, "pro-prosecution" judge, has so much baggage coming in it'd be hard to know where to attack first. The findings of facts against her by the Commission on Judicial Conduct were damning and provide ample fodder for campaign attacks. (Her punishment was overturned as illegal but the findings of fact on the merits remained untouched in a circus-like tragi-comedy that embarrassed the court and the state.) Keller was also fined by the Ethics Commission $100,000 for failing to disclose a vast web of financial entanglements. (See the ruling [pdf].)

Even more than those dark moments, though, many of her opinions and dissents contain jaw-dropping pro-government assumptions that could be mined for anti-populist material that would make any good Tea-Party type cringe. Just as Governor Perry's greatest political achievement has been to maximize power over state agencies through appointments of political allies, creating a (relatively) strong executive where Texas historically had a weak one, Judge Keller's principal achievement as the CCA's Presiding Judge has been to oversee (and arguably principally author) an expansionist accumulation of government power by law enforcement and prosecutors over nearly two decades. A comprehensive vetting of her opinions by a campaign researcher would yield lots of attack fodder. But (Hampton) must undertake that work, then use the information to construct and deliver political attacks: That's the piece that I'm not sure is going to happen, though there's still time.

Most recently, the state of Texas executed a man whose IQ of 61 defined him as retarded. Though the United States Supreme Court has ruled that mentally incapacitated people are not to be executed, Sharon Keller -- and Antonin Scalia -- made sure he was put to death anyway.

Keith Hampton is the only sane option for Democrats, Greens, Libertarians, and Republicans. Period, end of story.

Hampton has a Facebook page, and here's his Twitter feed. Do what you can: volunteer, donate, advocate. We can't begin to change much in Texas until we rid our government of fiends like Sharon Keller.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Sharon Killer's Justice

"Judge Keller's actions denied Michael Richard two constitutional rights, access to the courts and due process, which led to his execution," the complaint states. "Her actions also brought the integrity of the Texas judiciary and of her court into disrepute ... "

Judge Sharon Killer's interpretation of 'justice for all' closes at 5 p.m.

"Justice should be both fair and competent. Here it was not. The result is a man was killed on a day he should have lived," said Chuck Herring, an Austin lawyer who joined in the complaint and who has written on professional ethics and responsibility.

Judge Sharon Killer, who was narrowly re-elected in 2006 over an opponent who barely fielded a challenge, has a longstanding reputation for sending Texans to their death under questionable circumstances.

Judge Sharon Keller, landlord to a Dallas titty bar which has had more than its share of police calls and neighborhood complaints, disagreed with most of her colleagues that a woman whose children burned to death in a accidental fire wasn't criminally responsible.

Keller's killing has failed to draw any response from Texas attorney general Greg Abbott, and two previous attorneys general -- Mark White and Jim Mattox -- have criticized him for his silence.

Sharon "Killer" Keller is way beyond the cartoon conceptions of hanging-tree, Judge Roy Bean, cinematic Texas justice. She is an abomination and a disgrace to the bench, and should resign or be removed from it.

Friday, February 20, 2009

That loathsome toon from the NY Post, and more postpourri

-- Sean Delonas, the cartoonist from the New York Post who drew the cartoon that sparked so much outrage, has a long pattern of over-the-top offensiveness more suitable to Hustler Magazine ... or maybe the Washington Moonie Times.

-- TIME has a 25 Best Blogs Index, along with some overrated ones. This blog didn't make either list, so I'm not pimping anything here.

-- Cornyn: No investigations of the Bush administration crimes can be undertaken at this time because of the economic crisis.

-- Now it makes sense: the GOP hates unions because they improve the economy.

-- Sharon "Killer" Keller: a Texas judge who had better start asking for mercy:

This is a woman who voted to deny freedom to a man imprisoned for rape even after DNA evidence showed the sperm belonged to someone else. Her argument: He might have worn a condom.

Later evidence provided proof of his innocence even she couldn’t explain away.

This is a woman who, with her colleagues, appointed grossly incompetent lawyers to handle appeals for indigent death row inmates and then said, “Sorry, your client had his chance,” when skilled lawyers later came in to try to clean up the messes.

This is a woman who, a week before Christmas in 2002, voted to deny freedom to a man who under pressure had accepted a plea bargain for a crime that new evidence showed — “unquestionably,” according to the trial judge who heard the evidence — he did not commit.

Sadly, those aren't even the worst of this woman's crimes against justice.

Chief Judge Keller went home early and was called shortly before 5 p.m. by Marty. Richard’s lawyers were having computer problems and wanted the clerk’s office to stay open until 5:20 or so to receive their filing. Rather than forward the message to Johnson as policy required, Keller instructed Marty to tell the lawyers no. The lawyers made attempts up until 6 p.m. to deliver the filing but were told nobody was there. Richard was executed at about 8:20 p.m.

Two days later, the Supreme Court stopped all executions by injection based on the same arguments Richard’s lawyers made. Richard was the only convict executed until six months later, when the Supreme Court OK’d lethal injection as constitutional.

Here’s the stunner: The morning after Richard’s execution, the nine judges had their weekly conference. At the end of it some of the judges expressed surprise that Richard’s lawyers hadn’t submitted a filing.

Cochran even raised the question — hypothetically, she thought — of what would happen if the lawyers showed up after the clerk’s office closed. She said the court should accept the filing anyway. According to witnesses, Keller said, “The clerk’s office closes at 5 p.m. It’s not a policy, it’s a fact.”

Keller lacked the decency or the courage to tell her colleagues about the call she had received.

This "judge" needs to be immediately removed from the bench.

-- Is it possible that Citi and Bank of America still won't make it? Sheesh.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Two noteworthy hearings in the Lege today

The first is "Killer" Keller's impeachment inquiry. From Trailblazers via Grits:

Sharon Keller, the chief justice of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, could soon face impeachment proceedings - there's a resolution under review by the House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee to consider impeachment for "gross negligence of duty ... with willful disregard for human life." Keller's court hears appeals in capitol murder cases, and she refused to keep her office open past 5 p.m. to accept an appeals filing hours before an execution in 2007. The committee hearing begins upon final adjournment of the House.

The second is our blogger bill. Vince has the details:

On Monday, the Texas House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee will hold a public hearing on a bill which will give Texas bloggers and citizen journalists some much-needed protections under Texas law.

The committee will take public testimony on House Bill 4237 by State Rep. Aaron Pena (D-Edinburg).

This bill gives bloggers and citizen journalists the same protections that the mainstream media has when it comes to covering matters of "public concern," such as legislative proceedings, school board meetings, and the actions of state officials.

Under current law, commonly known as the "Privileged Matters Clause" of the Texas Civil Practices & Remedies Code (Sec. 73.002), coverage by the mainstream media of matters of "public concern" such as those listed above cannot be used as grounds for a libel action.

Texas bloggers and citizen journalists, however, do not have similar protections. In theory, if a politician or officeholder wanted to cause a blog a great deal of problems, he or she could file a libel or slander lawsuit over writings discussing a matter of "public concern." It would then be up to the court system--after, no doubt, significant expense for the blogger or citizen journalist--to determine whether or not the "Privileged Matters Clause" applies to bloggers.

Texas bloggers have been fortunate in that no one has been forced to be a test case for this yet. Rep. Pena's bill ensures that no Texas blogger or citizen journalist ever will. It gives us the same protections as the mainstream media in this regard.

Texas bloggers and citizen journalists have pushed for "Privileged Matters" protection since 2006.

The fight for "Privileged Matters" protection was triggered after State Rep. Vicki Truitt (R-Keller) filed HB 129 in late 2006. Truitt's bill was a broadly-worded bill which would have essentially subjected every blog and citizen journalist in Texas to frivolous lawsuits.

Truitt said the bill was designed to allow people legal recourse if someone knowingly publishes information about them online that could lead to identity theft.

However, her bill was poorly drafted and opened bloggers and citizen journalists to frivolous lawsuits.

Truitt ultimately pulled the bill after Republican and Democratic bloggers (as well as party-neutral bloggers) raised outcry significant enough for the mainstream media to notice.

After Truitt announced she had screwed up on the bill, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram editorialized that bloggers and citizen journalists needed "Privileged Matters" protections, which I first wrote about a couple of days after Truitt's bill was filed:

The law specifically protects "a newspaper or other periodical" from being sued for libel when reporting on things that happen in a court of law, the proceedings of a government body or meetings dealing with public issues.

The protection also extends to "reasonable and fair comment on or criticism of an official act of a public official or other matter of public concern for general information."

One way to look at it is that the Star-Telegram is specifically protected by state law when it criticizes Truitt for her official acts, but Internet bloggers are not. That's not good.

We're both doing the same thing, and we both deserve the same protection for fair reporting and comment.

During the days before the 2007 session, with the controversy over the election for House Speaker and other concerns, it was difficult to find legislators willing to introduce legislation to give bloggers and citizen journalists "Privileged Matters" protections, and the issue was ultimately laid to rest after Truitt pulled her bill with the intent of trying again for the legislation this session.

This session, State Rep. Aaron Pena (D-Edinburg) was asked to carry the legislation and agreed to do so. Pena is himself a blogger and understands the technology and the legal issues at play for bloggers.

If you are in Austin today, make your voice heard.

: Muse has a Twitter feed posted.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Killer's defense rests

Hard to characterize this obnoxious aggression as "defense":

“Judge Keller didn't close the court to anybody,” said Chip Babcock, Keller's attorney. “Michael Richard's lawyers never knocked on the right doors and they gave up.”

Screw you, Chip. Right in your Swiss bank account.

See, that's the problem with people who think they're above the law, that favor judicial procedure over actual justice.

If the facts are as reported, Judge Keller should be removed from the bench. It would show monumental callousness, as well as a fundamental misunderstanding of justice, for a judge to think that a brief delay in closing a court office should take precedence over a motion that raises constitutional objections to an execution. If the facts have been misreported, the impeachment process would allow Judge Keller to set the record straight.

Impeaching a judge is not a step a legislature should take lightly. It is important that judges be insulated from political pressures so they have the independence necessary to administer justice fairly. But judges cannot be allowed to use their extraordinary discretion to deny litigants the fundamentals of due process. That is especially true if the stakes are literally life or death.

Really though, to be fair to Keller, she's just following Supreme Court precedent.

The outcome here won't be known for weeks, even months, but to expect anything more than a whitewash by the ethics panel would simply be naive.

This is Texas, after all.

Update: Charlie's got a good take and some excellent linkage.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Joe Horn, Sharon Keller, and Texas' frontier justice

Kudos to Lisa Falkenberg for her willingness to write the ugly fact:

Human life is worth more than property. It seems like a universal truth. But apparently not in Texas, or other states with similar laws.

Over the past week, I've researched the Texas Penal Code and discovered some provisions that were surprising even to this fifth-generation Texan. The law of our land seems to place more value on the property being stolen — even if it belongs to a neighbor — than on the life of the burglar stealing it.

A review of our state's protection-of-property statutes suggests that Horn's repeated declarations about not letting the burglars "get away with it" may be the words that ultimately set him free.

If Horn doesn't get indicted, don't blame the grand jury. And don't blame Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal. Blame the section of Chapter 9 of the Penal Code that deals with protection of property.

Under the section, which has been in place at least since 1973, a person is justified in using deadly force to protect a neighbor's property from burglary if the person "reasonably believes" deadly force is immediately necessary to stop the burglars from escaping with the stolen property. It's also justified if the shooter "reasonably believes" that "the land or property cannot be protected or recovered by any other means."

Justifiable homicide. Castle doctrine. "He needed killin' ".

The vast majority of Texans -- conservative Republicans and Democrats alike -- love this idea of Judge Roy Bean, "shoot-first-ask-questions-later" dispensation of justice. The rest of us know it's crude, ignorant, and abhorrent, and the majority of nearly 500 comments (at the time of this posting) from Chronicle readers at the link to the op-ed above proves it.

The "hang 'em high" mindset screeches at full volume today on the Chron's website, from that page to the latest report about Judge Sharon "Killer" Keller's 5 p.m. justice. Commenters at both pages represent many more -- and likely a majority of Texans -- who would just as soon take matters into their own heavily armed hands and dispense their personal opinion of 'criminal justice' at the end of a gun, or a needle, or a noose.

If that's really what Jesus would do, then I'm glad I'm not a Christian.

Falkenberg finds someone who acknowledges the inherent political cowardice reality:

"My sense is that the reason, not just Texas, but other states have been enacting statutes more and more like this is because politicians are afraid to vote against them," said Steven Goode, a law professor at the University of Texas.

"They don't want the next attack ad to be one where they are criticized for voting against someone's ability to protect themselves in their home."

"In a calmer and less politicized environment we might have different laws," Goode said. "But campaign ads don't allow for particularly nuanced discussions of issue."

Let's bottom-line it.

Judge Keller needs to resign, or be impeached. Joe Horn needs to be arrested and charged with murder in the first, so that a jury of his "peers" can determine his guilt or innocence. I'm convinced he'll be just as safe following the verdict as he is today -- certainly so if he is tried in Harris County. That's how justice is supposed to work, after all.

Monday, September 19, 2016

The Democratic statewide judicial slate is a farce

Last week in this post I gave my old buddy Kuff a bad time about his unforced error linking to the wrong Betsy Johnson, the one who isn't running as the Democratic nominee for the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 5.  This week the Dallas Morning News editorial board -- perhaps in payback to the GOP for endorsing Hillary Clinton -- exposed nearly the entire D statewide judicial slate as a joke.  First, their kudos for the Republican in Place 5, Scott Walker (no, not that one).

To our readers who have a natural inclination to generally favor Democratic candidates, please give these next few sentences great heed. A vote for Betsy Johnson, of San Antonio, who may or may not be earning a livelihood as a lawyer these days, strikes us as reckless.

She doesn't return our phone calls nor respond to requests to fill out a candidate questionnaire or attend an interview. She was removed from the Bexar County appointed attorney list by the criminal district court judges in June 2011 after multiple cases of refusing to represent defendants who declined to plead guilty.

Not only can we find no shred of evidence that she's qualified for this job, reports from the Bexar courthouse indicate her conduct was boorish and unrestrained.

This person is on the ballot for a single reason: to try to deny the Green Party a 5% capture and knock the party and all of its candidates off the ballot beginning in 2018.  Vote for Judith Sanders Castro if for no other reason than the worst of the duopoly in Texas badly needs the competition.  (With very little in the way of online presence herself, you might be reminded that she long ago paid a political price for fighting for Latin@ voting rights and the environment.)

The DMN similarly trashed the CCA Place 2 incumbent, Lawrence Meyers, who as it turns out is more of a death penalty advocate than Chief Justice Sharon "Killer" Keller.

Meyers, 68, was elected as a Republican but switched parties in 2013 for a failed run at the Texas Supreme Court, the state's highest for non-criminal cases. He remains the only Democrat in statewide office.

He since has formed something of a faction with conservative Presiding Judge Sharon Keller. Interestingly, while the appeals court granted an unusual eight stays of execution in 2015, Meyers, the court's lone Democrat, dissented on half.

This year, he was the only dissent to a stay for Robert Roberson III, whose attorneys argued that his conviction was based on "junk science" and false testimony. Meyers also unsuccessfully opposed the recent stay for Jeff Wood, sentenced to death despite not being the gunman in a 1996 convenience store killing in Kerrville.

In 2012, Meyers refused to pay a speeding ticket until an Austin municipal judge issued an arrest warrant. Last month, Meyers and some neighbors in Fort Worth tried to bar TCU students from parking near their homes with fake "no parking" signs until the city took them down.

Another race where sensible Democrats -- even those who have been scared into voting for Hillary Clinton just recently -- should be splitting their tickets.  (If you like your judges flamboyant in the Texas style, then the Green, Adam "Bulletproof" King Blackwell Reposa, is your man.)

Finally, the Democratic challenger for TXCCA Place 6 earns plaudits for being a good judge but demerits for being a truthfully lame political candidate.

Count Democrat Robert Burns among the critics who contend that the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals is too reflexively tough on crime. The question then is whether Burns should replace Place 6 incumbent Republican Michael Keasler.

This newspaper says no. This is not an easy call, since Burns, 52, is a strong Dallas County trial judge, by reputation and by Dallas Bar Association ratings. He runs an efficient court, and his rulings are well-reasoned.

Our problem is that his run seems half-hearted. He isn't raising campaign money, he expects to spend less than $1,000 for a statewide office, and he tells us he expects to lose.

That hardly makes a case to oust a judge with a background and resume' like Keasler's. If he won re-election, Keasler, 73, would reach the mandatory retirement age of 75 during the next six-year term; by law, he could serve only four years. Gov. Greg Abbott would appoint his replacement for the final two years on Texas' top appeals court for criminal cases.

He clearly has moved toward a more reasonable position, indicative of a judge who weighs the law more than ideology in reaching decisions.

In May 2012, for instance, Keasler shot down arguments from Abbott's AG office and wrote that death row inmate Hank Skinner should be allowed to have DNA evidence from the crime scene tested. "You really ought to be absolutely sure before you strap a person down and kill him," Keasler said.

I don't believe that Greg Abbott is capable of picking a qualified, dispassionate, unbiased jurist as Keasler has been -- by the DMN's account -- four years from now, and there's no Green in this race, so I'll be voting for the "indifferent Democrat" on the off chance that he can get lucky, overcome his own negativity, and that Hillary Clinton can find and reattach her downballot coattails.  (But if you're inclined to go Libertarian, Mark Bennett is IMHO a good enough choice.  He writes a great blog.)

Better luck securing candidates in two years, Democrats.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Still Early Voting Wrangle

In breaking developments late last evening in the Texas House Speaker's contest, Rep. John Zerwas of Richmond -- probably the most moderate Republican in the unofficial race for the post -- announced his withdrawal.  Forty House Republicans declared their support for Angleton Republican Dennis Bonnen, who had previously told the Texas Tribune he wasn't running for the job.  There will be more news in the days ahead as Democrats are huddling today to determine their course.

And with that as an opener, the Texas Progressive Alliance wants you to be sure to encourage your like-minded friends to get to the polls this week since we know you've already voted yourself.

Ahead of the midterms, NPR notices that our indicted felon/state attorney general Ken Paxton gets busy chasing ghosts ramping up efforts to "combat voter fraud" (sic).

Voting experts say actual instances of fraudulent ballots knowingly cast are extremely rare, leading to accusations that the effort is intended to intimidate voters.

"I think it's all politically motivated," said Greg Westfall, a Texas lawyer currently representing a Hispanic woman who was charged this month with voter fraud. "If you look at the timing, that's what's breathtaking."


"The fact that there is this concerted effort in Texas to prosecute these cases to the full extent – particularly against people of color – is supremely troublesome," (Beth Stevens of the Texas Civil Rights Project) said. "And then we know what happens in Texas goes to the rest of the country as a model."

Zenén Jaimes Pérez, the communications director for the TxCRP, said the attorney general's own numbers show that his office was tackling an issue that wasn't a growing problem, as shown by the small number of cases in the many years before the crackdown.

"They have prosecuted an average of around 30 election violations since 2004," Pérez said in an email. "To be sure, the AG started the Election Integrity Initiative in without evidence of increasing elections violations," Pérez said.

Beto O'Rourke's plan to maximize the African American vote in H-Town hit high gear over the weekend, with Say Something appearances by musical artists at EV locations around town, the Souls to the Polls rallies, and other efforts accounted by Justin Miller at the Texas Observer.

Even as another 'Beto as Superman' mural was unveiled in Houston ...

... the first, in East Austin and mentioned in this 'scattershot' post from Brains and Eggs, was defaced by MAGA vandals shortly after it debuted.

Rogers’s mural has been defaced phrases like "El Paso gentrifier supports Israel" and "No hero” spray-painted onto the artwork in red and white.

Socratic Gadfly does some number-crunching on the early voting surge and offers a quick hot take on what it might mean for the Cruz-O'Rourke Senate race.

Progrexas carries the piece from the TexTrib about how the statewide judicial candidates will win or lose solely on the basis of their party affiliation.

If anyone is poised to spoil (yet another GOP) sweep, it’s R.K. Sandill, a long-serving Democratic district judge in Harris County who’s consistently outraised his opponent, Justice John Devine. In addition to an impressive cash-on-hand tally, an endorsement from the Houston Chronicle and victories in the Houston Bar Association and Texas Bar Association polls, Sandill faces perhaps the most controversial incumbent on the high court. Before being elected to the high court in 2012, Devine was sued for displaying the Ten Commandments in his courtroom. Devine has also boasted publicly that he was arrested 37 times protesting outside abortion clinics.

See also this post at Brains and Eggs for the 'vulnerable, least discussed' Republican -- Presiding Judge Sharon "Killer" Keller of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals -- if the blue wave crests high enough on November 6.

Rewire writes about how a federal court in Texas -- Judge Reed O'Connor's in the Northern District -- will shape the legal fight under way over transgender rights.

Brandon Formby at the Texas Tribune describes the collision of rural and urban values as the high speed rail line between Houston and Dallas continues to move ahead.

Think Progress has details on far-right activists and militia groups headed to the southern border to stop the caravan of Honduran migrants (that are still a thousand miles away).

Earlier (last) week, the U.S. Border Patrol warned landowners in Texas that they could expect “possible armed civilians” on their property because of the news about the caravan. The exact details of when and where the militia would deploy are unclear, but one militia leader told the Associated Press that they would have upwards of 100 members guarding the Mexico-Texas border.

David Collins added some thoughts to Nick Cooper's (he's the drummer for local band Free Radicals) about the border wall.

Stace at Dos Centavos reflected on his weekend of politics y cultura.

The TSTA Blog resorts to begging teachers to support public education at the ballot box.

Texas Standard updates the story of the city of Houston's legal tussle with Southwest Key, the operators of a proposed child detention facility on the northeast side, in reporting that the city has rejected a settlement offer from the company.

A political sign opposing Prop 2 -- the Houston firefighters' pay parity proposal -- was tastelessly posted at the vacant site where five died and thirteen were injured fighting a terrible motel fire just a few years ago.  Fox26's Greg Groogan captured the reactions of HFD union head Marty Lancton and Mayor Sylvester Turner.

"I don't know how you walk up here and see five flags flying, the thin red line and the 13 that were injured and not understand that this is not the place to show your disdain and your vindictiveness toward Houston Firefighters," said Lancton.


At City Hall, Mayor Sylvester Turner, who is bankrolling the PAC and leading the fight against pay parity, stopped short of an apology.

"I don't know who put it there. I'm just saying whoever put it there, it's important to be respectful and not just of places, but family members as well," said Turner.

Stephen Willeford, the Sutherland Springs "good guy with a gun", is profiled by Michael J. Mooney in Texas Monthly.

Dallas City Hall has stonewalled a pair of open records requests by Downwinders at Risk regarding a mysterious clean air fund and a Joppa polluter.

Jim Schutze at the Dallas Observer thinks it's great that a rec center was renamed for Santos Rodriguez, the boy who was killed by a Dallas policeman in 1973 (updated by the Militant in this Wrangle from August).

Sanford Nowlin at the San Antonio Current reminds us that some Christians do support progressive liberal ideas and politics.

CultureMap Houston describes how 'Old Spanish Trail', aka old Highway 90 connecting El Paso, San Antonio, and Houston and built over hundred years ago missed its intended history ... but created a new one that's now old enough for us to celebrate all its own, particularly in the Alamo City.

Grits came to Houston and took in a Contemporary Arts Museum collaboration by artists about the justice system (highly recommended).

Both CNBC and The Verge covered the news about the Sam's Club in Dallas which will be a cashier-less operation, similar to the five (so far) Amazon Go stores in Seattle and Chicago.

And Harry Hamid went out for a bottle of wine at midnight, took in the 'Trose scene, and got ready to tell another story.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Rick Perry skates

Justice purchased once again.

The state’s highest criminal court dismissed the indictments against former Gov. Rick Perry on Wednesday morning, apparently ending the case that started with his threat to veto state funding for a local prosecutor if she refused to quit her office. 
After Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg was arrested and pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated, Perry threatened to veto state funding for her office unless she first resigned. The Travis County DA's office was home to the state's public integrity unit, which is charged with investigating and prosecuting state corruption. 
Lehmberg, who served a short jail term, refused to quit. Perry followed through on his threat to veto state funding for her office. 
He was indicted by a grand jury, accused of using his office to coerce a public official. He and his lawyers argued — successfully, as it turns out — that he was acting within the powers of a governor and did nothing criminal.

Here's the only news we need more of.

Two of the courts nine judges dissented; one abstained. 

Here are the nine Texas Court of Criminal Appeals judges.  They include Chief Justice Sharon "Killer" Keller, Bert Richardson (about whom I have written extensively and endorsed in 2014) Larry Meyers (the only Democrat on the bench), and six other greasy no-name Republicans.  Until I know for sure, I'll wager that Richardson and Meyers were the dissenters -- or the abstention.  Meyers (Place 2), Place 5 (open) and Place 6 (Keasler, R incumbent) are on your November ballot.  We'll be blogging a lot more over the next eight months but for now, keep in mind that this court needs fresh, uncorrupted faces.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

What happens when only Republicans turn out to vote

You get the highest criminal court in Texas ruling that it's legally okay for pervos to take upskirts.

Confused and frustrated people tore out enough hair to fill a ten-gallon hat when the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled that a statute banning “improper photography,” such as taking sketchy shots of children in bathing suits who have no idea they are being photographed, was unconstitutional this week. The WTF reactions went beyond the Lone Star State with national news sites wondering how it was possible that such a blatant personal violation — and one that is a potential harbinger of child pornography — could have no legal ramifications?

Yet, with almost complete unanimity (only one of the nine judges dissented), the highest criminal court in Texas struck down the section of the improper photography law that forbids taking photographs in non-bathroom and non-dressing room spaces (essentially public spaces) under the following conditions:

— without the other person’s consent; and
— with intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person

Didn't I just reference something about the egregious, horrid, painfully obnoxious, conservative-extremist-Republican Court of Criminal Appeals less than a week ago?  I wonder if any straight-ticket-voting Republicans will try to blame this on those ACLU socialists at the CCA.

The case they decided involved a nice fellow -- none of his neighbors would have ever guessed he was a weirdo -- who took photos and video of women, and young children, in their swimming attire.  Please note that bastion of Puritans in Massachusetts has specifically banned upskirt photos.  Oh, and the Texas Lege went a little farther.  But they apparently stretched too far -- surprise! -- and the court struck the law down.

It is evident in the ruling that fears of potentially sweeping First Amendment violations drove the ruling, which is painfully ironic considering presiding Judge Sharon Keller’s disregard for other individual rights. Keller earned the nickname “Sharon Killer” for effectively blocking the stay of an execution in 2007 by refusing to let her court remain open past 5 p.m. Apparently, Keller’s rigidly lethal punctuality is tempered by her generous view of freedom of expression.

There remain plenty of defenders of the right to... something.

Creepy? Yeah. Illegal? Not so, the Court of Appeals ruled.

The photos themselves and the act of using a camera are covered by the First Amendment’s protections of freedom of speech, the court said. If the photos aren’t actually obscene, it’s not the government’s job to police how a person reacts to them.

People in public can’t expect total privacy, the court went on. They are, after all, publicly visible to anyone who might pass by. Even someone taking an upskirt photo.

“A person who walks down a public street cannot prevent others from looking at him or her with sexual thoughts in their heads,” the court said.

The original law does accomplish what it aimed to do, criminalize upskirt photos, the court added. But it goes much farther than that, which could lead to the law being misused — which is why they struck it down.

“This statute could easily be applied to an entertainment reporter who takes a photograph of an attractive celebrity on a public street,” the court said.

Bottom line? The invasion of privacy of an upskirt photo is “intolerable, and the legislature ought to ban it, the court said. This just isn’t the law to do it.

The last word.

Protecting someone who appears in public from being the object of sexual thoughts seems to be the sort of ‘paternalistic interest in regulating the defendant’s mind’ that the 1st Amendment was designed to guard against. We also keep in mind the Supreme Court’s admonition that the forms of speech that are exempt from 1st Amendment protection are limited, and we should not be quick to recognize new categories of unprotected expression.

Yup, you read that right — anti-creepshot laws are “paternalistic.” Indeed, Thompson’s attorney echoed this sentiment, in casting the laws as “Orwellian.”

This story should give pause to Texan women everywhere. The Court essentially ruled that women anywhere out in public have no reasonable expectation of privacy, even if an unwanted photographer’s intent is overtly sexual — in practice, it makes visiting a water park for a woman in Texas like signing a release waver to be ogled and snapshotted. This isn’t to say that freedom of expression, photography and videography rules in public places aren’t important — they undoubtedly are, and forcing courts and juries to make judgments about the intent behind random photographs can be a precarious position.

But as the law stands now, especially after this ruling, it’s hard not to feel as though Texas’ women are being failed in the most basic of ways. When the same anti-creepshot law was ruled against in 2013, the Bexar County district attorney’s office put out a press release with a cautionary title, according to The Guardian: “Cover up while we appeal.” For now, at least, that message still rings true — in Texas, it seems, wearing a swimsuit in a public place is giving license to lech.

I'd like to think that Texas women -- and yes, Texas liberals and progressives, the people who are the only ones concerned with the greater good --  could begin to gradually correct some of this legal nonsense by establishing a habit of voting every time there's an election.  And if the tide is turning; if it's happening as this is written, then all the better.  I'd just like to live long enough to see some progress made with regard to the Neanderthals in the Texas judicial system evolving into something that comes closer to being human.  You know, with a soul and/or a conscience.

But I doubt that will ever happen, so they need to be voted out of office.  Click here and scroll to the very bottom.  Up from there -- seven races -- are the candidates on your November ballot for the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals... and the Texas Supreme Court as well.  Let's get started by not voting for any of the Republicans.

For the sake of your wives, daughters, and all Texas women.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Payback, TXGOP style

When you go up against these thugs, you better be well-armed and well-prepared.

Nearly seven months after the 4th Court of Appeals ruled prosecutors had missed the deadline to file a contempt claim against local defense attorney Michael McCrum, the decision was reversed Wednesday by Texas' highest court for criminal matters.

The Court of Criminal Appeals opinion again opens the possibility that McCrum — currently serving as special prosecutor in the case against Gov. Rick Perry, who is also accused of professional misconduct — could spend up to six months in jail if found in contempt of court.

McCrum has denied any wrongdoing.

The Bexar County district attorney's office filed the contempt motion against McCrum in January, several months after a trial in which his client, Taylor Rae Rosenbusch, was convicted of intoxication manslaughter.

Prosecutors alleged McCrum had instructed Melanie Little, a punishment-phase witness who had served as Rosenbusch's addiction counselor, to “get lost for awhile,” turn off her cellphone and take a long lunch to avoid coming back to testify.

He was also accused in court documents of having told her “the DA was out for blood” and “wanted Taylor to be put away for a long time.”

A contempt hearing began in January, but it was halted after McCrum's attorneys took the case to the San Antonio-based 4th Court of Appeals, arguing that the state missed its deadline. The 4th Court agreed, ruling in February that the state was five days late.

The article goes on to detail some of the long-standing grievances between McCrum and the Bexar County DA's office.  Bad blood indeed.

The Fourth Court of Appeals, noteworthy for its seven women justices -- several are Latina -- has jurisdiction over thirty-two Central and South Texas counties, and the evidence suggests that it is a good mix of Democrats and Republicans.  The Court of Criminal Appeals is an entirely different kettle of (Republican extremist) fish.  Presiding judge Sharon "Killer" Keller is someone I've long blogged about; she has her own ethical challengesThree of the nine seats on that court are on your November ballot, and one of the Republican candidates, Bert Richardson, is the man who appointed McCrum special prosecutor.

That could make for some awkward moments next year in the CCA building.

I'd like to see more develop out of this investigation or hearing or whatever it may be called as it moves forward, but I expect McCrum and his counsel to be ready and able to defend his integrity, should the claims against him proceed.

I just don't think Rick Perry's indictments are going away so easily.

Update: More from Texas Lawyer.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Weekly Wrangle

The Texas Progressive Alliance is busy building unbustible brackets as it brings you this week's roundup.

Is there finally about to be an uprising against the legislative hostility towards women we've seen so much of lately? Off the Kuff sure hopes so.

BossKitty at TruthHugger discovered with minimal effort that any group using the words God, Christian, or Jesus has a free ride with the right wing media. Why is accountability off the table if you use those specific words? Rush Limbaugh, blinded by hatred for anything Obama, leaped before he looked at the facts ... and casually acted surprised when the truth was revealed, in Limbaugh Endorsed Christian Cannibals.

BlueBloggin was thrilled that the recent solar activity was only a light show. But because scientists warn that 2012 will experience more frequent solar events, why are the 2012 candidates ignoring this science? Updated: What is a CME and Why Should Presidential Candidates Care.

The Republicans opened a new front in the culture wars in Houston last week, when Pastor Steve Riggle of Grace Community Church suddenly opened fire on Mayor Annise Parker's right to have an opinion on gay marriage. PDiddie of Brains and Eggs has a dispatch from the front line.

For too long we've been told by our elected leaders that our government will be better if we sell it to the highest bidder. WCNews at Eye On Williamson reminds us that only the people can make it stop: Outsourcing at A&M, a microcosm.

Neil at Texas Liberal wrote about the Texas forced sonogram law, and about how this law is state-mandated rape. The facts are going to prevail on this issue. People in Texas, across the nation, and across the world are going to see that Texas has passed a law mandating the rape of some its citizens.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme notes that the Nueces County Republicans are just as dirty as the Republicans in the legislature with regard to their redistricting methods.

At TexasKaos, Libby Shaw gets up to date with the war on women and on voters in Texas GOP Policies Flog Poor Women, Health Care and Voter's Rights.

At the Lewisville Texan Journal, Ken Judkins points out that Mitt Romney may have won Super Tuesday but he failed a leadership test.

Bay Area Houston wonders about Judge Sharon "Killer" Keller's $100,000 ethics fine.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Our lesser-publicized Texas Conservative Kooks

Their stupid continues to flow like water over Niagara Falls.

-- State representative Joe Driver double-billed his expense report and then pretended he thought nothing was wrong with that. Really.

-- Bill Hammond, the president of the Texas Association of Business, tried to compare Bill White's plan for transportation to California. He got McBloggered for that.

-- Former chair of the Texas State Board of Education Don McLeroy, defeated in the Republican primary for re-election (because apparently even the GOP can occasionally be embarrassed), continues to shame the entire state.

-- The Texas Supreme Court bravely upholds Sharon "Killer" Keller's slap on the wrist.

-- Greg Abbott, who has waded into every single federal law issued or proposed of late with his popguns blazing -- from comprehensive healthcare reform to cap-and-trade to the offshore drilling ban  -- declines to offer an opinion on whether transgender marriage might be "legal" in Texas.

His base is going to be very unhappy about that.

-- Bill Birdwell, the Republican running for SD-22 who happens to be as residency-challenged as ol' Tom DeLay, might still be removed from the ballot (just as The Hammer was forced to stay on it). That development would be a good thing for the newly-selected Democratic candidate, John Cullar.  

Update: The (GOP) three-judge panel approved Birdwell's ballot eligibility. The TDP may appeal to the (GOP) state Supremes. Today is the deadline. Charles Kuffner delves deeper into the matter.

-- Lastly, the Teen Lit Festival sponsored by the Humble ISD chose to un-invite an author over what appears to be semi-sorta-controversial subject matter for teens, and as a result other authors are dropping out.

“What is important is that a handful of people – the superintendent, the one (one!) librarian, and “several” (three? five?) parents – took it upon themselves to overrule the vast majority of teachers and librarians and students who had chosen one of the most popular YA authors in America to be their headliner,” wrote Hautman in a blog post. “That is a form of censorship as damaging and inexcusable as setting fire to a library.” And on her blog, de la Cruz wrote, “I believe that as a writer, we have to stick up for each other, and against censorship, and against people who want to tell everyone else what to think, what to read, what to watch.”

Censorship? At a Houston-area high school? Tell me no.

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

The statewides: One May 22 runoff and November matchups

-- O'Rourke versus Cruz is your marquee.  As posted earlier, Lyin' Ted wasted no time in calling Robert a pussy "liberal man".  This is how it's going to be for the next eight months, Donkeys; better get used to it.  If Bob doesn't start counter-punching now, this race is gonna be over before the kids are out of school for the summer.

Update: This is the best take on the whole "Rafael versus Robert" nothingburger.  As a reminder, I will be using the candidates' birth names, not their chosen nicknames nor their assumed names (as with the incumbent lite governor), but I will be making puns like this out of them.

Don't leave the fighting-back to the bloggers, Bobo.

-- Valdez (or Average White Guy) against the juggernaut with $43 million, a bad attitude, and an ileostomy bag.  Valdez has a lot to do in the less-than-six-months after May 22 so as not to embarrass herself or the Texas Democrats to any worse outcome than they have experienced for the past 24 years.  Surely improving on 38% and not losing the female vote again, as Wendy Davis managed, is not so difficult as it sounds, yes?  No?

-- Mike Collier versus Danny Goeb.  Once more, if Texas conservatives actually functioned with a speck of rationality, this would not be a brainer.  But this is Texas, and conservatives think with their red, swollen, baboon-ish ass and not with the proper end.

"Keep Texas RED!"

Update (3/9): Goeb's challenger in the GOP primary, Scott Milder, has endorsed Collier this morning.

"I cannot on good conscience vote for a man who I know to be a liar, nor can I vote for a man who willfully ignores and disrespects his legislative colleagues and his constituents," Milder said in the (Facebook) post. "I will be casting my vote for Mike Collier, the rational Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor, and will strongly encourage all Texans who voted for me in this race to cast their votes for Mr. Collier as well."


"It doesn't happen very often that a Republican endorses a Democrat, but public education groups recruited (Milder) to run against Patrick and he and I viewed proper funding of public education as very important," said Collier, a retired Kingwood CPA and business executive.

"I've already had a fair number of moderate Republican donors (to Milder's campaign) who have called and said they want to join me."

The salience here is that Milder earned nearly 368,000 votes last Tuesday.  That covers a lot of the ground between Democrat (bit more than a million voters) and GOP (over 1.5 MM) totals in the two March 6 elections.  It also provides a bigger opening for Collier to go after the Joe Straus/Sarah Davis Caucus.  This development doesn't enthuse me at all -- I voted for Michael Cooper because I thought Collier was too much like a Republican as it is -- but it can prove beneficial for him if he can walk the line between pandering to mild conservatives while not losing any D votes.

If Straus, for example, followed suit with his endorsement as well as some of that cash he's still sitting on, it would become a more compelling storyline for November, the corporate media, and "we just wanna win something" Dems (Kuffner).  Not so much me.

-- Ken Paxton versus Justin Nelson.  Ordinarily when your state's top law enforcement official is under criminal indictment for fraud, he would stand no chance of being re-elected, much less nominated.  Paxton drew no primary opponent.  Why are Texas Republicans afraid to run against him?  Texas Republicans nominated his wife to serve in the Texas Senate, for crine out loud.

Banana republics point and laugh at this.  National politicos -- poorly informed ones -- posit questions a ten-second Google search would clear up for them.  This may indicate a depth of ignorance and dysfunction of our political gatekeepers that even cynical ol' me hasn't plumbed.

-- Sid Miller versus Kim Olson.  Would anyone mind if I just typed 'ditto' to all of the above -- especially the baboon's ass -- and moved on?  Okay, one thing: Jim Hogan, just as he did in 2014 as a "Democrat", made no effort to get elected beyond pay his filing fee but almost pushed Sid into a runoff.  Trey Blocker is still drinking somewhere this morning.

-- George Pee Bush v. Miguel Sauzo.  There was some buzz about Bush being in trouble against Jerry Patterson that I read as late as Monday morning.  Can't find that article now.  Some journalist had their webmaster scrub it, I guess.  Screenshot, anyone?  The story this morning is that it's okay to fluff Trump if you're a Texas Republican, or IOKIYAATxR.  I don't think anybody asked Kathaleen Wall about that, though.  (Next post.)

-- Glenn Hegar against Joi Chevalier.  Maybe a spirited race for the most boring job in state government could turn in the Democrats' favor.  Chevalier defeated my candidate, Tim Mahoney, by a nose, perhaps on the strength of glowing endorsements in the Dallas News, the Houston Chronicle, and others.  Chevalier is the only African American on the state D slate who's not a judicial candidate.  If she can campaign effectively, raise and spend a little money to get her name out there, take advantage of whatever boost she can get running against the charisma-challenged GOP beancounter Jethro Bodine ... possibly there's a chance.

-- Christi Craddick facing off with Roman McAllen to run Texas railroads fellate oil and gas interests under the guise of regulating them.  No offense intended to Mr. McAllen, but he's up against more Texas Republican nepotism here.  He'd be one against two other conservatives in trying to slow down the fracking train if he pulled off the upset anyway.  Still, if the Latin@ turnout (as with evidence of the Russians hacking the election) were to finally show up, I could be a believer.  I remain of the opinion that the onus is all on Lupe.

One judicial tilt I'll mention for now: Sharon "Killer" Keller barely survived her primary and will match up with Maria Jackson in the fall.  If I do any volunteer work this cycle, it will be in this race.

Congressional races, a much hotter topic, coming, maybe by lunchtime today.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Texas Shorts

We're going briefs, not boxers, as we catch up with the news.

-- The Republican Party of Texas opens its state convention this weekend. We'll be posting occasional updates on the free-flowing crazy (hey, there's only so much we can all take). Here's a teaser from the Fort Worth Startlegram; the header is "Texas GOP delegates not keen on 'sensible immigration reform'"; emphasis at the end is mine:

Norm Adams wants Texas to find middle ground in the nationwide immigration debate.

The 65-year-old Houston insurance agent caused a ruckus Tuesday by presenting his "sensible immigration policy" -- a proposal that the Texas Republican Party reverse course and support a path to legalization -- to party faithful gathered in Dallas to prepare for their state convention.

His proposal is designed to secure the borders, deport noncitizens with violent records and give visas to illegal immigrants, who would pay taxes at a higher rate than citizens. In the process, he said, Republicans might regain countless Hispanic voters who shifted to the Democratic Party.

"The Republican Party needs to come together on a sensible immigration policy -- one that is not amnesty, one that is not deportation," Adams told a committee working on party platform issues. "If we get this passed, Texas will set the standard.

"I want this party to come together, folks," he said. "I hope and pray you people give this serious consideration."

Adams' proposal drew heated responses. More than 10,000 Republicans are expected in Dallas for their two-day convention, where they will approve a 2010 platform.

Sara Legvold, a delegate from Keller, was among those to speak against Adams' proposal.

"No compromises, no guest work, until we have our borders under control," she said. "I want to deport everybody who is illegal -- children, dogs, pets, birds.

"My compassion has dried up, just as my tax dollars have dried up."

Your compassion, your tax dollars, your brain, your soul. I hope your God calls you home very soon, Sara.

Update: they've got a three-way of nuts going for the chair.  Get your corn popped now.

-- The Greens made the ballot. Let the lawsuits begin. In Harris County, their candidates for county clerk and statehouse representative in District 144 will very likely be problematic for the Dems.

Update: once again via South Texas Chisme, the Greens won't be on the ballot if it turns out their Republican benefactor has violated the law:

Kat Swift, state coordinator for the Green Party in Texas, said the party's attorney is awaiting written confirmation that an outside group that bankrolled the effort is not a corporation.

Texas law forbids campaign contributions from corporations.

"Unless that paperwork comes through, all of it on the up and up, we're not moving forward with it," Swift said. ...

Swift said if the party gets written confirmation that it can legally list Take Initiative America as the in-kind donor, it intends to move forward and field candidates in the fall campaign. She said the group has until June 30 to make the decision.

-- After seeing Bill White's tax returns, an envious Governor Coyote Killer called for him to quit the race. It's just too funny. The comments in the Chronic are even running against Perry... no small feat.

Still no word on debates.

-- I learned this week that Boyd Richie has an opponent for chairman of the Texas Democratic Party. Talk about David versus Goliath Neck...

-- The Trib also reminds us that there is likely to... well, maybe possibly ... be a contest for Speaker of the Texas House next year, as Joe Straus has managed to alienate several Republicans and most all of the Democrats. Some history here about how speakers never used to serve multiple terms until the 20th century, and that the consolidation of power began with Billy Clayton, who was of course scandalized -- along with dozens of others -- by L'Affaire Sharpstown in the early '70's.

-- Tory Gattis has his post up about the charter amendment petition drive organized by Renew Houston. His conclusion:

So my feelings on the initiative are mixed: I agree with the concept, but have serious concerns about the details - especially the open-ended development impact fees.  Unfortunately at this point, the language is set - and I think that language will bring out some tough opponents in the fall.  In addition, this is shaping up as the year of the angry, anti-tax, Tea Party voter, which does not bode well at all for initiatives like this.  DOA?  Maybe.  We'll just have to see how it plays out.

So he thinks it makes the ballot but gets rejected by the voters. I believe that's a fair handicap of the race today.

Monday, May 04, 2009

The Weekly Wrangle

It's Monday -- time for another edition of the Texas Progressive Alliance's weekly blog roundup.

How would Republicans handle a pandemic? CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme knows. They'd hunker down. Get out their guns and shoot anybody with a runny nose.

After a record 3 weeks without a post in his six years of blogging, Easter Lemming has a very brief round-up of the Pasadena elections.

Off the Kuff writes about the resolution to impeach Judge Sharon Keller as submitted by Rep. Lon Burnam, which received a committee hearing last week.

Vince at Capitol Annex tells the sad story of how a fundamentalist "historian" and evangelist who believes that hurricanes are God's punishment on society for tolerating gay citizens will guide the writing of Texas' new social studies standards. If you thought Darwin versus Don McLeroy was a train wreck, wait until it is the treatment of American Indians, what labor unions have done for America, Islam, women's suffrage, 9/11, the free enterprise system, and the civil rights movement versus David Barton. First one who catches one of the new "experts" complaining about too much information about minorities in textbooks wins a prize!

WCNews at Eye On Williamson posted this week on the latest transportation funding scheme the Lege came up with ... a "transportation bank": Texas Transportation Revolving Fund?.

Neil at Texas Liberal wrote a helluva post about the inability of the Republican Party to return to its pre-1929 stock crash numbers in the U.S. Senate. He also wrote about the albino buffalo in Kenya. Texas Liberal passed 600,000 total page views this week and is averaging 1570 a day for 2009. Thanks blog reading public!

Why on Earth is the Texas Senate, working with TXDOT, trying to turn the public pensions trusts into another AIG? McBlogger would really like an answer.

Arlen Specter's political deathbed conversion didn't strike PDiddie at Brains and Eggs as something wonderful. And Burka's conflating Kay Bailey into the conversation was greeted with even more derision.

BossKitty at TruthHugger wonders about those poor souls on death row who depend on the passion of protesters and technology for hope. Whether they know they are guilty or innocent, at least they know they'll get the needle instead of the chair or the noose. Those death row inmates now have the best chance ever, and with revelations about bias and legal system misconduct front and center, death penalty question marks are getting bolder. Take a look at Killer Texas Laws and Lawmakers Continue To Amaze with many historic reference links to click.

Over at TexasKaos, Boadicea says no to Fake Reform. See what she has to say in her posting: "Transparency"-I Don't Think That Word Means What You Think It Means...

After much talk about secession, Gov. Perry has found yet another reason to keep the federal government around. The Texas Blue notes that the guy who wanted American troops to defend the border and asked for money -- and then more money -- to help the Hurricane Ike cleanup shortly before talking about leaving the Union now wants the Centers for Disease Control to give us 37,000 doses of Tamiflu to help with the swine flu virus.

WhosPlayin is neck-deep in the local (Lewisville) mayor's race, and examined candidate Winston Edmondson's wacky ideas to increase police morale by giving them more patches, and finding corporate sponsors.