Texas politics daily reading (30 November 2011)

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Texas politics daily reading (29 November 2011)

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Texas politics daily reading (28 November 2011)

Top Stories: State Fights Federal Judiciary Over Redistricting Power Grab

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Texas politics daily reading (21 November 2011)

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  • Texas objects to federal judges' redistricting maps – Aman Batheja, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

    Lawyers for Texas accused a San Antonio federal court Friday of overstepping its authority and ignoring voters’ interests with new legislative redistricting maps.

    Accurate on both counts.

  • State: Court overstepping authority on redistrict maps – Mike Ward, Postcards

    “Because unelected federal judges possess neither the constitutional power nor the political competency to make the policy choices essential to redistricting, the (U.S) Supreme Court has prohibited lower courts from disregarding the Legislature’s intention as expressed in an enacted redistricting plan, unless it is necessary to avoid a constitutional or statutory violation,” Abbott’s filing on the House maps states.

    His conclusion: The Legislature-drawn maps have no such violations.

    “The court’s proposed interim plan would eviscerate countless legitimate, considered judgments of the Texas Legislature,” the filing states.

    “Indeed, the court’s proposal denies the Legislature the presumption of good faith and legality to which it is entitled. Moreover, it does so without any explanation, much less a compelling or narrowly tailored justification for the race-based ‘remedy’ it imposes. The court’s proposal appears to reflect the policy choices of unelected federal judges.”

    The left (and too many journos) seems to prefer rule by our judicial betters to self-government.

  • Did Texas let guns 'walk' into Mexico? – Dan Freedman, Houston Chronicle

    ATF officials in Dallas remain adamant that there was no Fast and Furious in Texas.

    “This case has nothing to do with Fast and Furious,” said Thomas Crowley, spokesman for ATF in Dallas. “There hasn’t been any gun-walking in the Dallas division of ATF.”

    The records reviewed by the Chronicle, some of them obtained from Iowa Republican Sen. Charles Grassley – who along with Republican Congressman Darrell Issa of California is probing the Fast and Furious debacle – suggest the Zapata gun case instead may have been an instance of missed opportunities, intelligence-sharing failures and the inability to connect the dots and make arrests before the weapon was ever purchased in October 2010.

    The Chronicle has since changed that misleading headline, but the current headline still isn’t as clear as it might be. Let’s be very clear that it is not in dispute whether the STATE of Texas “let guns walk into Mexico,” but rather whether Eric Holder’s Justice Department also had an additional Texas component to its Fast and Furious fiasco. It’s not entirely reassuring that the excuse may simply be that the Dallas ATF was incompetent.

  • Dewhurst, Running in Front, Avoids Competitors – Ross Ramsey, Texas Tribune
  • Ted Cruz Is a Test for the Tea Party in Texas Race – Kate Zernike, NYTimes.com

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Texas politics daily reading (18 November 2011)

Top Stories: Courts, Dems take on self-government

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Texas politics daily reading (17 November 2011)

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Texas politics daily reading (16 November 2011)

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Texas politics daily reading (15 November 2011)

Texas politics daily reading (14 November 2011)

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  • Houston politicians protest education cuts – Anna Gallegos, Houston Chronicle

    Three months into the school year, lawmakers and parents are angry about the effects of the $5 billion cut from schools by the Texas Legislature.

    The “$4 billion cut” lie keeps spreading (and now growing)! Do Texas journalists have no standards?

  • Dewhurst set to release first TV spot (with video) – Jason Embry, First Reading

    Sullivan said Sunday that the pledge Kronberg referenced is nowhere in his group’s materials.

    Kronberg posted an update Monday saying that Sullivan was right, that statement was not in Sullivan’s materials. Kronberg said in an email, “The offending sentence was added by the respondent and all the answers did not show up on the copy when uploaded. I did not catch the change since I worked from the original I had received.”

    In an email he circulated Saturday, Sullivan said, “You may have seen Harvey Kronberg issued a blast e-mail today about our candidate questionnaire. It’s news to Harvey, but we’ve been sending out the questionnaire for weeks… “

    Embry buried the lede in this post (the lockstep Texas political media do tend to cover for each other), so we gave it a little more attention.

  • Looks like another speaker’s race – Paul Burka, BurkaBlog

    The appalling Michael Quinn Sullivan seems to be determined to try once more to undermine Speaker Straus.

    See above.

    Also keep in mind that nasty lede next time anyone refers to Burka as a “journalist.” He’s become an ideological hack (see “Meltdown”) with a gossip blog, and lately he’s embarrassing himself more than the “targets” of his criticism.

  • Memo to voters: There's no free lunch – Ross Ramsey, Texas Tribune

    The courts might give lawmakers the guidance they’re not getting — at least not clearly — from voters.

    [snip]

    Politicians have to be careful how they talk about such things for fear of setting off activists and voters tuned to anything that sounds like a new tax or spending plan, a violation of the current Republican orthodoxies in Texas.

    Not “Republican orthodoxies” but majority will in Texas.

    Ross Ramsey (not to mention Texas Tribune editors) seems to have lost track of the narrative. On the one hand, Ramsey editorializes lawmakers are not getting guidance from voters. But a few grafs later, Ramsey editorializes that voter guidance is so clear that it is an orthodoxy!

    The real narrative is this: The growing “$4 billion education cut” lie, the “structural deficit” talk, the “sensible Republicans talking about finance” meme, even Burka’s recent angry outbursts — this steady stream of stories from the Texas lockstep political media all signal one thing: Texas taxpayers better hold on tightly to their wallets come the next legislative session.

  • While the rest of us . . . – Unca Darrell
  • UT Dean praises UT Faculty Productivity in New Report – Reeve Hamilton, Texas Tribune
    Unsurprisingly, a UT Dean finds that UT professors are the BESTEST!
  • Popping The Ted Cruz Bubble – Kevin Brennan, Hotline On Call/National Journal

    Those results, which come from live-call surveys that follow best-practices methodology most top-quality pollsters use, stand starkly at odds with the only available public poll, which was conducted by the University of Texas and the Texas Tribune, which showed Dewhurst’s support much lower and Cruz’s support marginally higher.

    That public survey used an opt-in survey panel — that is, it drew from a pool of respondents who had signed up to take surveys online. It is not a methodology that is widely used by political professionals, nor recognized by many media outlets, including National Journal….

  • Bexar now on 'Annie's List' – Brian Chasnoff, San Antonio Express-News

    There’s a new PAC in town.

    It’s called Annie’s List, a political action committee with thousands of women donors across the state who fund a slick operation that “recruits, trains and elects women, even if they don’t know those women,” says its executive director, Robert Jones.”

    “Women” is misleading. “Liberal women” is accurate.

  • Perry avoids gaffes at GOP foreign policy debate – Jason Embry and Chuck Lindell, Postcards
  • The muzzling of Ron Paul and the GOP debate – Jim Picht, Washington Times
  • Perry blows chance to be the anti-Romney – Byron York, Washington Examiner