Feb 15th - 10:20 am
Republican Party of Texas Chairman Steve Munisteri is looking at different ways for the party to select delegates for its June 7 convention.
Munisteri released a statement following Tuesday’s testimony. He writes if a May 29 primary is scheduled, it would be impossible to select delegates in time. However, Munisteri says the RPT is prepared to bypass the election code–with permission from the court–if necessary.
Here’s what he is directing Republican county chairs, precinct leaders and activists to do:
Feb 13th - 6:29 pm
Elizabeth Ames-Jones is stepping down as chair of the Texas Railroad Commission to focus on her run for State Senate. Jones, a Republican, is challenging longtime incumbent Jeff Wentworth in the primary.
Jones’ decision comes amid controversy over state residency requirements. As Railroad Commissioner, she is required to live in Austin. Wentworth accused Jones of violating that requirement when she changed her official residency to San Antonio in order to run in Senate District 25. Jones has maintained that the state constitution does not state she can’t have homes in both cities.
Jones defended her residency in a statement announcing her resignation. It read, in part:
Feb 13th - 3:58 pm
It looks like the congressional redistricting fight could come down to Austin. Rep. Lloyd Doggett’s District 25 is one where the state, Democrats and minority groups cannot compromise. In an advisory released by Attorney General Greg Abbott Monday, Abbott says the district can’t be drawn within the parameters laid out by the U.S. Supreme Court. The state argues District 25 isn’t a protected district.
The court document also lays out the status of negotiations on state Senate District 10, Wendy Davis’ district. It looks like neither side can agree right now, but the state is still looking at a "final proposal" to see if "additional progress can be made."
The parties are still looking at trade-offs when it comes to the state House maps. Abbott writes the state just received a proposal which they will review.
You can see the document here:
Feb 10th - 5:26 pm
San Antonio judges have a clear message to parties involved in the ongoing redistricting battle: there will be a primary in April. A court order, released Friday, can be found on redistricting expert Michael Li’s blog.
The judges urge all parties to keep negotiating, or restart negotiations, in order to make an April primary possible, and to do so before oral arguments this coming Tuesday. In those talks they tell everyone to remember "the dictates of the Supreme Court," meaning flexible review standards, but also restrictions on the creation of new districts.
Here is a copy of the order.
Feb 10th - 1:07 pm
Gov. Perry is sending fundraising emails again, this time for Newt Gingrich. An email sent last night asks previous Perry supporters to donate to the Gingrich campaign by midnight Friday. The campaign is trying to reach 500 donors by then.
"There’s nothing more important than defeating President Obama and repealing Obamacare, which threatens the tenth amendment and the fiscal future of our country. That’s why I’ve endorsed Newt Gingrich for President," Gov. Perry writes in the email.
The note, which eyes Super Tuesday as being "just around the corner," promises Newt Gingrich "isn’t backing down."
And at the end of the email, it seems clear the Gingrich campaign is keeping their sights set on Mitt Romney.
"Let’s send a message to President Obama that the Republican Party is going to nominate a bold Reagan conservative who will repeal Obamacare," it says.
Feb 9th - 4:39 pm
State Comptroller Susan Combs is assessing the financial impact of the drought. She sat down with YNN’s John Salazar today.
Watch the full interview, here:
This is the comptroller’s full report:
Feb 9th - 2:46 pm
Republican Ernie Beltz Jr. is shifting gears in his run for U.S. Congress. He announced today he’ll run in the 25th Congressional district, instead of the 10th.
Beltz said he originally planned to run in the newly formed CD-25, but changed his candidacy to CD-10 based on the redistricting maps. In a statement today, Beltz said he “wanted to represent the area where he lived and grew up; but the districts have once again changed which is why I have decided to run in CD-25.”
Those district lines still aren’t finalized. The state and several minority groups are still negotiating a second set of interim redistricting maps.
Feb 9th - 12:50 pm
Texas will get $428 million of a $25 billion dollar settlement designed to help heal the housing market. The Justice Department announced a deal between 49 states and the country’s five biggest mortgage lenders earlier today. The nationwide agreement is the resolution of a multi-state investigation into foreclosure abuses.
The money will be used to reimburse Americans who lost their homes and to help homeowners who owe more than their homes are worth. President Obama says the "settlement is a start" and a "major step" toward healing the housing market.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott was at the negotiating table along with attorneys general from seven other states. Of the $428 million awarded to Texas, $287 million will go directly to Texans who are struggling in the current housing market. The rest will go into the treasury and the state legislature will decide how it will be spent.
Attorney General Greg Abbott released this statement on the settlement:
Here’s a breakdown from the attorney general’s website:
• Texas homeowners are scheduled to receive almost $287 million to help restructure existing mortgages and for payments to certain borrowers who lost their homes due to servicing abuses.
• Part of this amount will fund loan refinancing for homeowners who are upside down on their mortgage, meaning they owe more on their mortgage than what the home is worth.
• In addition, Texas will receive $141 million for the banks’ violations of state law. These dollars will be deposited into the treasury for future appropriation by the Texas Legislature.
The Attorney General’s Office also has a list of frequently asked questions for those who think they might be affected.
Feb 9th - 12:04 pm
Supporters of new interim redistricting maps are hoping to feel the love this Valentine’s Day.
A Federal Court in San Antonio moved up its hearing on interim redistricting maps today. The hearing, originally slated for February 15, will now be held on February 14. The three judge panel also indicated that it might last two days.
Feb 8th - 6:58 pm
Posted by Harold Cook in [...]
I trust others besides me have noticed that the last week or so has been the worst for conservative Republicans since Barack Obama won the Presidency in 2008?
It started last week when the Komen Foundation, at the behest of right-wingers so dead-set against Planned Parenthood, one of the nation’s leading health care providers to women, tried to screw the organization out of breast cancer screening funds, and in the process only succeeding in destroying their own good brand. Komen is still writhing around in the muck, trying to salvage what little is left of their organization, without much success. Planned Parenthood, meanwhile, has raised millions in extra funding and will undoubtedly step up, not cut back, on breast cancer screenings and other crucial preventive health care services.
Score: right-wing Republicans: 0, everybody else: 1
Next, the new job numbers came out. Turns out that despite Congressional Republicans’ best efforts to block as much of the President’s plan to right the economy as they can, the Obama administration’s efforts have been humming right along, and there is new optimism that the economy is going in the right direction, after years of worry. Suddenly the people who have tried for two years to pin the unemployment picture on Obama were arguing that presidents don’t really affect employment anyway, so it’s irrelevant. Right.
Score: right-wing Republicans: 0, everybody else: 2
In another development which is undoubtedly directly attributable to the news on jobs, National polling immediately showed an up-tick in Obama’s support, for the first time opening up some daylight in the theoretical general election match-ups, and showing Obama beating Mitt Romney in November.
Score: right-wing Republicans: 0, everybody else: 3
But speaking of front-runner Mitt "pink slip" Romney, funny thing happened on the way to the Republican nominating process yesterday in Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri. Romney didn’t win any of them. Neither did the self-proclaimed conservative alternative to Romney, Newt Gingrich. Instead, back-bencher Rick Santorum won them all, in a stinging rebuke of virtually every big money Republican funder and every establishment Republican leader, except for the evangelical leadership most out of tune with general election voters.
After Romney’s big come-back in Florida, Romney had about ten days to consolidate his support into a national movement. And with all the money and organization in the world to do so, he failed. Gingrich, being the chief architect of his own demise, has made himself seem qualified to be nothing more than the governor of our newest state, the moon. Which left Santorum to reap the benefit of one of the biggest leadership voids to hit the Republican Party since Herbert Hoover.
Score: right-wing Republicans: 0, everybody else: 4
So where do they go from here? The Republican nomination is in complete disarray. This, by itself, is not necessarily a train wreck for them – need I remind Democrats that at this point in our own nominating process four years ago, we were incapable of making a decision between Obama and Clinton?
No, here’s the train wreck, and the difference: four years ago, Democrats couldn’t make up their minds because our choices were both so damn good. Republicans today can’t make up their minds because each of their remaining four choices is so utterly and fundamentally flawed. The conservatives who make up the bulk of the Republican base hate Romney’s policies. Gingrich has made himself completely unlikeable to more mainstream establishment Republicans. Ron Paul is very busy being Ron "you kids get off my lawn" Paul. And Rick Santorum, being the new guy with the wind at his back, is about to have the worst three or four news cycles of his life, dealt him by Romney’s attack machine, which has all the cash.
Republican voters freshly supporting Santorum do so knowing very little about the man – they’re just opposing Gingrich and Romney. They’re about to know more about Santorum than Mr. Santorum ever wanted them to know.
Score: right-wing Republicans: 0, everybody else: 5
And that’s just a week. Have a great day, Republicans.
Update: oops, I forgot about this, the Proposition 8 ruling supporting Californians’ civil rights, despite me listing it in my head earlier before I got to my computer.
Score: Republicans: 0, everybody else: 6
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