The Daily Show Set to “Mess Around” in Austin

Some exciting news for the Lone Star State, and (presumably) for state politics.  Just as early voting commences in Texas, Comedy Central phenom Jon Stewart is bringing The Daily Show to Austin.  Here’s more on the news from Austin360

From world news headquarters in … Austin?

Don’t say Rick Perry never did anything for you.

Comedy Central has announced that anchor Jon Stewart is bringing “The Daily Show” to our city for a week’s worth of shows. Covering the upcoming midterm elections, “Democalypse 2014: South by South Mess” will be taped at ZACH Theatre, 202 South Lamar Blvd. and air nightly at 10 p.m. from Monday, October 27 through Thursday, October 30, the cable network announced.

If you’ve seen The Daily Show, you’ll know that Stewart never hesitates to wade squarely into the political waters for mostly comedic gain.  A pop culture shot in the arm could be just the thing to help increase voter turnout in the state too, especially among the younger adults that compose Stewart’s fan base.

We’ll have to see what effect it has.  But for now, Texas will look forward to its moment of Zen.

TLCQ 2014: Ron Hale

In the Second installment of the 2014 Texas Leftist Candidate Questionnaire we hear from Ron Hale, candidate for the Texas State Senate, District 15.  He is a Republican.

Please note: Responses have been received directly from the candidate, and have been posted ver batim from the email received. This is done out of fairness to all candidates. Publishing these responses does not constitute an endorsement, but will be considered during the endorsement process.


TL:  What is your name, as it will appear on the ballot? 

RH:  Ron Hale

TL:  Are you a current or former elected official? If so what office(s)? 

RH:  No.


TL: As a political candidate, you clearly care about what happens in certain levels of government. In your own words, why is government important?

RH:  Government is important to the point of protecting the god given rights we are all given.


TL:  If elected, name your top 3 priorities you hope to accomplish for 2015 legislative session.  Describe how you plan to accomplish them. 

RH:  Property Tax Reform

Abolish property taxes and replace them with reformed state sales tax that includes an adjusted tax rate base.

Ideally, the reformed state sales tax would closely resemble the option with an 11% sales tax rate and an adjusted base that includes all services taxed in at least one other state, including the sale of property

Municipal Pension Reform

We have to fight to bring pension control back to our cities, so we do not have another Detroit situation on our hands.

Freeze enrollment in the current defined benefit system and enroll newly hired or unvested employees in a 401(k) style defined contribution pension plan.

Implement either a hard or soft freeze of the system for vested employees.

Replace current employee health care plans with Health savings accounts.

Education Reform

We must maintain our role as world leaders in educating our youth to be the workforce and future of our great State of Texas, and for America.

  •  I believe in having options when it comes to school choice, and that our tax dollars should have the ability to follow each student to their selected school of choice.

  •  There needs to be an end to standardized testing in Texas, and no longer should teachers be teaching an evaluation exam to students in order to achieve higher evaluation scores for that school.

  •  We need to encourage corporations and small businesses to partner up with local schools in their area so that they may provide workforce training during high-school, ensuring our graduates will have better career training and job opportunities.


TL:  A 2013 survey found that 54 percent of Texas voters support Medicaid Expansion under the Affordable Care Act.  Expansion is also supported by the Texas Hospital Association.  Without Medicaid Expansion or an alternate solution, Texas Hospitals are having to provide over $5 billion dollars annually in uncompensated care to patients who lack insurance.  This leaves Texas taxpayers paying not only for the uncompensated care of our residents, but also paying for expanded health care benefits in other states. If elected, would you support Medicaid Expansion or an alternate solution for the state of Texas, so we can bring our tax dollars back where they belong?  If not, please explain why.  If so, please explain how you would work to pass such a measure. 

RH:  No I do not support Medicaid expansion. It is tax payer who fund Medicaid now and growth in the program means higher taxes. We need to figure out a way to lower health care cost in Texas to provide the best care possible and the lowest rates available.


TL:  In the coming years, the state of Texas is projected to have a population boom of historic proportions.  But with more people and more opportunities comes an ever-increasing strain on Texas roads and infrastructure.  Describe your thoughts on what needs to be done to improve Texas infrastructure now so we can plan for a bright future for the state. 

 RH:  We need to open the bidding process to more companies with the tools to complete the jobs. this will bring to light the ability of lower cost construction through competitive bidding.


TL:  What makes you the best candidate for this office? 

RH:  My ability to work well with others and the will to do the right thing for Texas not matter what the issue.


TL:  When not on the campaign trail, how do you like to spend your free time?

RH:  Reading and watching the history channel. Also, spending time with my wife and the rest of my family.



Thanks to Mr. Hale for his participation.

Texoblogosphere: Week of September 8th

The Texas Progressive Alliance commends Sen. Wendy Davis for her courage as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff thinks all the statewide candidates should engage in at least one public debate and applauds Sam Houston for pursuing the matter in the AG race.

Libby Shaw now posting at Daily Kos is both shocked and pleased that the Houston Chronicle’s editorial board spanked Greg Abbott hard for his disingenuous and exaggerated claims about voter fraud in Texas. Texas: “Voter Fraud? What Fraud?”

In a state with a rapidly growing population and the mounting set of challenges associated with that growth, Texas Leftist can’t even believe how much money Greg Abbott, Dan Patrick and other TEA-publicans are leaving behind in their refusal to expand Medicaid. Trust me, you won’t believe it either.

From WCNews at Eye on Williamson. If you’re in the “coverage gap” – someone who doesn’t have health care because Perry and the GOP declined to expand Medicaid in Texas – and don’t vote, then you’re choosing not to have health care coverage. To Expand Medicaid in Texas, Those Without Insurance Must Vote.

The disclosure by Wendy Davis in her forthcoming memoir of her pregnancy terminations pushed a reset button in the Texas governor’s race. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs says that whether it more greatly mobilizes her support or her opposition is something still to be determined.

Neil at All People Have Value said you should consider helping the Davis/Van de Putte ticket even if you are not a political person and if you have great skepticism about Democrats and our political system. The Abbott/Patrick ticket is a very extreme ideological team. APHV is part of

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wants you to know that cutting Medicaid reimbursements has shut down pharmacies in Texas. Cheap, short-sighted, heartless Republicans to blame.


And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Grits for Breakfast reflects on Rick Perry’s criminal justice vetoes.

Lone Star Ma reminds us that Texas law protects a woman’s right to breastfeed in any place where she would otherwise be allowed to be.

Nonsequiteuse blazes with fury at the “Greg Abbott crushes Houston Votes” story.

Texas Clean Air Matters wants a Clean Power Plan that rewards Texas, not Wyoming coal interests.

BOR issues the #TacosOrBeer Challenge.

The Texas Election Law Blog dismisses the lesser arguments in favor of voter ID.



(photo credit:  Thomas McConnell)