Category Archives: Texas

Texoblogosphere: Week of November 1st

The Texas Progressive Alliance asks if you have voted yet as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff compares current and older poll results to evaluate the argument that Texas Democrats should not get too giddy.

Socratic Gadfly calls Mark Miller, the Libertarian candidate for the Texas Railroad Commission, a dangerous alternative, and calls out any and all state-level Democratic fixtures endorsing him instead of Green Martina Salinas over Grady Yarbrough.

Libby Shaw at Daily Kos learned that elections are rigged in a certain way. The rigging is called voter suppression and gerrymandering. Where the Real Rigging Takes Place.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wonders why Texas Republicans hate women and children so much. Funerals for miscarriages? Giving tax cuts to corporations while stiffing health care for children.

Turnout in Harris County and across Texas and the country swelled as Americans chose to end the 2016 presidential election as early as humanly possible. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs wrote about his personal experience voting early at one of Houston’s heaviest polling places.

Neil at All People Have Value said that if you see a gap, you should fill it in yourself. APHV is part of NeilAquino.com.

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

Lone Star Ma wants to know what your voting plan is.

Grits for Breakfast despairs over the degraded state of Texas high criminal court elections.

The TSTA Blog calls on Dan Patrick to put his money where his mouth is on special education.

Mimi Marziani argues that Texas still has a long way to go to get it right on voter registration.

Paradise in Hell wonders how many more Republican judges will switch parties.

 

And Just for Fun…

Via 270 to Win, here’s the election prediction for 2016.  While I certainly see a Blue Texas for the future, I’m not sure that it will be happening next week.  Though I would be very happy to be wrong about that, and see Hillary win in a landslide!!

 

2016-prediction

 

Do you have an Election prediction?  If so, share yours in the comments.

TLCQ 2016: Mark Miller

In the Second installment of the 2016 Texas Leftist Candidate Questionnaire, we hear from Mark Miller, candidate for the Texas Railroad Commission.  He is a Libertarian.

Please note: Responses are 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 may be considered during the endorsement process.

 

 

TL:  What is your name, as it will appear on the ballot and the office that you are seeking in 2016?

MM:  Mark Miller

Texas Railroad Commissioner 

 

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

MM:  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?

MM:  Government has a primary responsibility to protect the rights, liberties, property, and common resources of its citizenry. Good governance simply requires that those goals be effectively executed. 

 

TL:  If elected, what is your top priority in office for the upcoming term? Describe how you plan to accomplish it.

MM:  My top priority will be to seek ways through both rule-making and legislation to provide a better balance between surface property rights vs. subsurface mineral rights and between property rights vs. commercial rights. The dominance of both mineral rights and commercial rights have serious implications for things that are sorely in need of reform – e.g., urban drilling, eminent domain authority of common carrier pipelines, and seismic activity triggered by wastewater injection. These issues are bound to increase in importance as the State’s shale resources are developed in the future. The time to address them is now. 

 

 TL:  Recent years in American Politics have yielded an environment of hyper-partisanship, the results of which have often led to government inefficiency, and sometimes total government gridlock.  Describe how you plan to break through this partisan gridlock for the good of your constituents, and work with those from differing political ideologies. 

MM:  Texas government has little gridlock because of one-party dominance in our State. But even where the two parties manage to vie for power, gridlock is exacerbated by the duopolistic nature of our current politics. Partisan deadlock can best be dealt with by ensuring that three or more parties share political power. This is one of the main reasons I am running for office as a Libertarian and not as either a Republican or Democrat. 

 

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

MM:  Because of my petroleum engineering experience and expertise, I am far more qualified than anyone else running for Railroad Commissioner. I am also the only candidate who truly believes in limited government whose responsibilities should be focused solely on protecting public safety, our common natural resources, the rights of all property owners, and personal liberties.

I have also thought and written extensively about the Railroad Commission. My policy recommendations can be found on my website blog and in a recently-published book titled Oil & Gas and the Texas Railroad Commission: Lessons for Regulating a Free Society

 

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

MM:  I like to spend my free time doing things with my grandchildren and working on our new house on five acres in Dripping Springs.

 

 

Thanks to Mr. Miller for the responses.

Election Day 2016 is Tuesday November 8th, and Early Voting runs from October 24th through November 4th.  For Houston area voters, here’s early voting information for Harris CountyFort Bend County, Brazoria County, Montgomery County, and Galveston County.  For other areas, visit the Texas Secretary of State’s Elections Page for your county information.

mark-miller

Texas Leftist 2016 Endorsements

For those interested, here are the Texas Leftist endorsements for 2016.

Texas Leftist has chosen to endorse candidates because they have demonstrated a commitment to advancing public policies that will improve the lives of Texans.  Though each person’s individual positions vary, they are generally candidates that stand for equality, social justice, healthcare expansion, living wage and economic prosperity.

Election Day 2016 is Tuesday November 8th, and Early Voting runs from October 24th through November 4th.  For Houston area voters, here’s early voting information for Harris CountyFort Bend County, Brazoria County, Montgomery County, and Galveston County.  For other areas, visit the Texas Secretary of State’s Elections Page for your county information.

 

 

Federal Races

U.S. President:                                                 Hillary Rodham Clinton (D)

U.S. Rep. District 2:                                       Pat Bryan (D)

U.S. Rep. District 7:                                      James Cargas (D)

U.S. Rep. District 9:                                       Al Green (D)

U.S. Rep. District 18:                                    Sheila Jackson Lee (D)

U.S. Rep. District 22:                                    Mark Gibson (D)

 

State Races

Railroad Commissioner:                             Mark Miller (L)  [TLCQ 2016]

State Board of Education, 6:                     R. Dakota Carter (D)

Justice, Supreme Court Place 3:            Mike Westergren (D)

Justice, Supreme Court Place 5:            Dori Contreras Garza (D)

Justice, Supreme Court Place 9:            Eva Guzman (R)

Court of Criminal Appeals Place 2:      Lawrence “Larry” Meyers (D)

Court of Criminal Appeals Place 5:      Betsy Johnson (D)

Court of Criminal Appeals Place 6:      Robert Burns (D)

 

State Senator, District 13:                            Borris Miles (D)

State Rep. District 126:                                 Joy Dawson- Thomas (D)

State Rep. District 127:                                 Joseph McElligott (G)

State Rep. District 134:                                 Ben Rose (D)

State Rep. District 135:                                 Jesse A. Ybanez (D)

State Rep. District 137:                                 Gene Wu (D)

State Rep. District 147:                                   Garnet Coleman (D)

State Rep. District 149:                                  Hubert Vo (D)

State Rep. District 150:                                  Michael Shawn Kelly (D)

 

District Races

Chief Justice, 1st Court of Appeals:          Jim Peacock (D)

1st Court of Appeals, Place 4:                       Barbara Gardner (D)

14th Court of Appeals, Place 2:                   Candance White (D)

14th Court of Appeals, Place 9:                   Peter M. Kelly (D)

11th Judicial District:                                         Kristen Hawkins (D)

61st Judicial District:                                          Fredericka Phillips (D)

80th Judicial District:                                         Larry Welman (D)

125th Judicial District:                                      Kyle Carter (D)

127th Judicial District:                                      R.K. Sandill (D)

129th Judicial District:                                      Michael Gomez (D)

133rd Judicial District:                                      Jaclanel McFarland (D)

151st Judicial District:                                       Mike Engelhart (D)

152nd Judicial District:                                      Robert K. Schaffer (D)

164th Judicial District:                                      Alexandra Smoots-Hogan

165th Judicial District:                                      Ursula A. Hall (D)

174th Judicial District:                                      Hazel B. Jones (D)

176th Judicial District:                                      Nikita “Niki” Harmon (D)

177th Judicial District:                                      Robert Johnson (D)

178th Judicial District:                                       Kelli Johnson (D)

179th Judicial District:                                       Randy Roll (D)

215th Judicial District:                                       Fred Shucart (R)

333rd Judicial District:                                       Daryl Moore (D)

334th Judicial District:                                       Steven Kirkland (D)

337th Judicial District:                                       Herb Ritchie (D)

 

Harris County Races

District Attorney:                                                 Kim Ogg (D)

Sheriff:                                                                         Ed Gonzalez (D)

County Attorney:                                                  Vince Ryan (D)

County Clerk:                                                          Ann Harris- Bennett (D)

County Commissioner, Pct. 3:                      Jenifer Rene Pool (D)

County School Trustee Pos. 2:                      Sherrie L. Matula (D)

County School Trustee Pos. 4:                      Marilyn Burgess (D)

Constable, Precinct 1:                                        Alan Rosen (D)

Constable, Precinct 6:                                        Silvia Trevino (D)

Justice of the Peace, Pct. 5, Place 1:          William “Bill” McLeod (D)

HISD Proposition 1:                                            AGAINST

 

The following resources were consulted for the 2016 Texas Leftist endorsements:  Project Vote SmartHouston Association of Women Attorneys, The Texas Tribune, The Houston Chronicle Endorsements, The Dallas Morning News, Houston GLBT Caucus, Off The Kuff, and Ballotpedia.

 

2016

 

 

TLCQ 2016: Matt Murphy

In the First installment of the 2016 Texas Leftist Candidate Questionnaire, we hear from Matt Murphy, candidate for the Texas House of Representatives, District 147.  He is a Republican.

Please note: Responses are 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 may be considered during the endorsement process.

 

TL:  What is your name, as it will appear on the ballot and the office that you are seeking in 2016?

MM:  Matt Murphy (R) for Texas House of Representatives-District 147

 

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

MM:  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?

MM:  The Declaration of Independence and Constitution clearly shows how to govern effectively and protect our individual Liberty. It is important to have a representative democracy where the voice of the people can be heard. If partisian politics would follow the Constitution as it is written and all politicians actually started representing the people instead of their party platform, our society would be better. It also takes the participation of the voters, however most have become so apathetic to the process. It is time to be different in our approach to help maintain our FREEDOM. 

 

 TL:  If elected, what is your top priority in office for the upcoming term? Describe how you plan to accomplish it.

MM:  As a political outsider, I choose to reverse the current trend of representation by going into the community instead of waiting for the community to come to me. This refreshing approach has helped me gain a diverse group of supporters from Republicans,Democrats, and Independents while also encouraging new voters to get involved in the political process. 

Our campaign encourages people to “Know Your Neighbor”. If we can strengthen our relationships with our neighbors, we can unify local leaders and unite as one voice for better streets, better schools and better crime prevention. By avoiding divisive social agendas pushed from the top down, we can refocus on the core role of government, and free up resources to address pressing concerns. I have always said that if you know your neighbors name, then you are obligated to look after them regardless of your differences. 

 

TL:  Recent years in American Politics have yielded an environment of hyper-partisanship, the results of which have often led to government inefficiency, and sometimes total government gridlock.  Describe how you plan to break through this partisan gridlock for the good of your constituents, and work with those from differing political ideologies.  

MM:  Most partisan politics are lead by the elite few leaving most of America without strong leadership. This becomes very discouraging to many because their vote does not matter, so they stop voting altogether. One of the biggest ways this has happened is because the politicians pander to the political PACs with money instead of depending on the grassroots efforts for the people. Grassroots efforts are rarely appealing because it does not account for enough money to run a campaign. This has resulted in a politician having to listen and vote the way that those that “give them money” want them too instead of represent those they represent in their district. However, incumbents continue to get elected by a large majority because their name recognition is increased while in office and low voter turnout. We may never be able to change this through legislation, but if candidates were willing to stay determined and resilient towards the grassroots movement, they will eventually get elected and become a strong voice for the people that will focus on creating an efficient government that looks at the source of problems instead of the surface of problems. 

 

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

MM:  For over 25 years the people of Texas House District 147 have not been given a choice in who represents their values in Austin because my opponent has ran unopposed. This lack of accountability has resulted in my opponent ignoring the responsibility to represent our diverse district with an equal voice. He has also showed a complete disrespect of the law and our freedoms. He is a political insider that feels untouchable. 

The people of Texas House District 147 want a CHOICE. They want a leader that represents their values of Faith, Family, Freedom, Patriotism, and Building Stronger Communities. They want a leader that will put his own opinions aside and represent the community opinion as the way a representative democracy was invented. The people of this district are yelling, “I Matter!”

I am completely different than my opponent because I choose to be in the community instead of forcing the community to come to me in Austin. I choose to educate the community on the facts surrounding issues instead of giving them my own personal opinions in efforts to make them a more informed voter. Once I receive a consensus of the community, I can go back to Austin and vote based on their values while maintaining an open channel during the process. This continues to resonate with the voters in this district and hopefully results in our success on election night. 

 

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

MM:  I am fortunate to have an amazing son, Shawn, and a smoking hot wife, Rachel that I love to spend time with when I am not on the campaign trail. We love to explore our district by going to all of the amazing parks, businesses and restaurants in Downtown, Midtown, Museum District, Third Ward, OST/South Union, Sunnyside, South Park and Hobby Airport area. Since we live so close to Hermann Park, we love to ride our bikes there to enjoy a good picnic, feeding the ducks, playing frisbee, or going to a great performance at Miller Outdoor Theater. Our district is amazing, and we need a true representative that believes in the values of the voters that will protect our great places. I hope my campaign can get out the “good news” that District 147 finally has a choice, because “Your Choice Matters!”

 

Thanks to Mr. Murphy for the responses.

Election Day 2016 is Tuesday November 8th, and Early Voting runs from October 24th through November 4th.  For Houston area voters, here’s early voting information for Harris CountyFort Bend County, Brazoria County, Montgomery County, and Galveston County.  For other areas, visit the Texas Secretary of State’s Elections Page for your county information.

matt-murphy-2016

2016 Texas Leftist Candidate Questionnaire

As Early Voting is literally days away for the Lone Star State, Texas Leftist has once again seeking to grow the information available to voters by asking candidates directly.  For the 2016 Texas Leftist Candidate Questionnaire (TLCQ), candidates across the region  have already been sent information, and each response will be published as it is received.  Texas Leftist will also issue endorsements for select races.  This year, a common set of questions has been sent to candidates, regardless of the office being sought.

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  1. What is your name, as it will appear on the ballot?

 

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

 

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

 

  1. If elected, what is your top priority in office for the upcoming term? Describe how you plan to accomplish it.

 

  1. Recent years in American Politics have yielded an environment of hyper-partisanship, the results of which have often led to government inefficiency, and sometimes total government gridlock. Describe how you plan to break through this partisan gridlock for the good of your constituents, and work with those from differing political ideologies. 

 

 

  1. What makes you the best candidate for this office?

 

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

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Though much attention this cycle has been focused on the Presidential race, it is very important to highlight the races of down ballot candidates.  If elected, they are the ones who will have the most immediate impact on the lives of Greater Houston residents, and all of Texas.  Check here for the responses, and endorsements coming soon.

tlcq-2016

Wait… How Many Teachers Would Lose Their Jobs If Trump Is Elected??

Is it November the 9th yet?? 

No seriously… many Americans have had it up to HERE with the 2016 election.  For various reasons, they don’t like either choice being offered as the country’s next Commander-in-Chief for the next four years.  There will a be a follow-up post soon to hopefully help ease the pain of that choice, but for now, let’s just call the spade what it is:  a SPADE.

Ok now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, it’s time to remember that the 2016 elections really ARE happening, and they’re really not a joke.  It’s unfortunate that so many in the mainstream media have simply refused to cover substantive issues in lieu of Hillary’s email saga and Donald’s daily antics.  But someone has got to step and speak the truth of why this election is important.  And, we also have to entertain the possibility that Donald Trump could become the next President of the United States.  This is happening… it is REALLY HAPPENING.

So what would the United States Education system look like under a Trump Administration, and a ReTRUMPlican-controlled Congress?  Well, from the, uhh… “plans” he has on his website, it’s kind of ambiguous.

I’m a tremendous believer in Education, but Education has to be at a local level.  We cannot have the bureaucrats in Washington telling you how to manage your child’s education.  So Common Core is a total disaster, we cannot let it continue.  We are rated 28th in the world… the United States, 28th in the world, and frankly we spend far more per pupil than any other country in the world by far, it’s not even a close 2nd.    So here we are… we spend more money, and we’re rated 28th.  Third World countries are ahead of us.  We’re going to end Common Core, we’re going to have Education an absolute priority.

Umm… yeah.  That’s literally the whole Education section of his website.  A 51 second video, nowhere near a school, that cuts away to some random school kids like once.  Here’s a screenshot for those afraid to click…

trump-plans

 

It’s fair to say that Hillary Clinton’s Education Plans are a bit more detailed.

Lacking actual proposals or facts, serious voters have to turn to Donald’s Trumps public statements to try and piece together his views on education.  CBS News gives a decent attempt at comparing Clinton and Trump, though it’s hard to actually do so when one side lacks accountable facts.  For Higher Education, Trump acknowledges that students are in debt, but offers no solutions whatsoever to help those with student loans.  Instead, he suggest that debt would go down if colleges just “let in fewer people.”  Disturbing to say the least.

But the real scare with a President Trump lies in what could happen to our public school system.  In a word, it would be essentially destroyed, with “school choice vouchers” as the only alternative.  And just how many of our nation’s hard-working teachers would hear the signature phrase “you’re fired” if Mr. Trump is elected??  Per the Center For American Progress, nearly half a million educators would receive pink slips.  And for those wondering, a full 49,000 those teachers would be taken from Texas public schools.

cap-trump

Besides our decimated K-12 schools, the Trump campaign has apparently promised to eliminate the Pell Grant entirely, and eradicate most other forms of Financial Aid.  With a lack of ability to pay for college, students would be unable to attend or finish any degrees.  This is more than a way to reduce student debt… it’s a way to also destroy our nation’s higher education system.

This is real folks.  Please know before you vote.  The 2016 elections are more important than ever before.  Are we really willing to put our entire education system at risk for the guy who’s only experience in the field is operation of the ponzi scheme Trump University??

One more time… know BEFORE you V-O-T-E!!

 

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(if you like this Texas Leftist post, please consider a donation!  Help us encourage Progressive, common sense ideals in the Lone Star State!!)

Texoblogosphere: Week of September 19th

The Texas Progressive Alliance prefers tote bags for its deplorables as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff encourages you to read the Houston Chronicle’s story about how special education services have been systematically denied to Texas families.

Libby Shaw at Daily Kos is not in the least bit surprised to know TX Governor Greg Abbott threw his hat into the ring with the The Grand Wizard of Birtherism.

On Sept. 11, Socratic Gadfly looked back at 9/11 and reminded readers of many repeated, recurring causes of death that kill almost as quickly as 9/11, some with political connections, that still don’t get truly addressed.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme blames Republicans for playing mean political games instead of addressing real problems like the spread of the Zika virus. Cruel like Texas Republicans denying services to disabled children

Political polling wizard Nate Silver tells Democrats they can start to panic this week, as passed along by PDiddie at Brains and Eggs.

Neil at All People Have Value took the Harris County Volunteer Deputy Voter Registrar class this past week. It takes a long time to really be able to register anybody after you take the class because the Republicans who run the county don’t want you to register anybody. APHV is part of NeilAquino.com.

The gap between the lived experiences of White Americans and Americans of color is significant. With this in mind,Texas Leftist offers a viewpoint on and justification for Black Lives Matter. Most that have lived the experience of being unlawfully detained (or worse) by police see the movement as not only valid, but necessary.

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

Better Texas Blog has a bit of good news in the fight against food insecurity.

The Lunch Tray packs up six years of lunch packing advice.

Grits for Breakfast interviews Rebecca Bernhardt, executive director of Texas Fair Defense Project, which is one of the plaintiffs suing Harris County over its bail practices.

Streetsblog wonders why TxDOT doesn’t believe its own data that show Texans are driving less per day on average than they were a decade ago.

Eileen Smith has a few questions about those charitable Trump portraits.

The TSTA Blog sounds the warning about school vouchers again.

houston-freeways

(photo credit:  TexasFreeway.com)