Government

Texas Politics
12:00 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

San Antonio Lawmaker Calls Texas Republicans “Pendejos”

State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer.
Credit Trey Martinez Fischer

State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, caused a stir among Texas Republicans for comments he made during this weekend’s Texas Democratic Party convention.

During his keynote speech, Martinez Fischer said the GOP "should stand for gringos y otras pendejos."

Republican candidates immediately took issue with the comment.

Martinez Fischer said his comments were meant to address the name-calling and disrespect he says Democrats have been shown by Republican candidates in 2014 and meant to address some the items in the Republican party platform.

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VIA Street Car
10:26 am
Tue July 1, 2014

VIA Releases Economic Impact Study For Streetcar

The many proposed routes for streetcar pictured have been narrowed to just one in the Broadway corridor.
VIA Metropolitan Transit

VIA Metropolitan Transit has released a commissioned study showing a $1.3 billion economic impact along the routes of its proposed streetcar system. Those opposed to the street car system say the transit authority is paying for exactly what they want to hear.

The economic impact study commissioned by the SABÉR Institute at St. Mary’s University and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce predicts a multi-billion dollar return on investment over 25 years through VIA’s initial $280 million.

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Texas Business
3:24 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

California State Lawmaker In Texas To Convince Tesla Cali Is Best Fit For "Gigafactory"

Much like Gov. Rick Perry’s many trips to California to convince companies to relocate their business to Texas, a California state lawmakers is doing the same here, asking the electric car manufacturer Tesla to build its "gigafactory" in California rather than in Reno or San Antonio.

California state Sen. Ted Gaines, R-Roseville, said he’s not deterred by expert predictions that the electric car company will either build its gigafactory in Reno, Nevada or in San Antonio.  

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2014 Governor's Race
12:08 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Abbott Campaign Spends $10 Million For Fall Homestretch Advertising Push

The Abbott campaign is gearing up for what Cal Jillson is calling "the most heated advertising campaign we’ve seen in our lifetime."
Credit David Martin Davies / TPR News

Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott’s campaign confirmed they have spent $10 million to secure prime advertising spots in the last month of the general election.

Political expert Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University, said an early buy-in can mean locking in lower rates and the campaign’s ability to reserve the best ad placement. 

Jillson said the timing of this news, which comes the same time of the Texas Democratic Party convention, is also a "shot across the bow."

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City Government
9:21 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Villarreal Makes It Official: He Is Leaving Legislature To Run For San Antonio Mayor

State Rep. Mike Villarreal isn't waiting for Mayor Julián Castro to be approved by the full U.S. Senate before organizing his mayoral campaign.
Credit Eileen Pace / TPR News

Soon after word began to circulate about San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro’s appointment to President Barack Obama's cabinet, state Rep. Mike Villarreal, D-San Antonio, began announcing his intentions to run for mayor.

Villarreal has now made it official with a fundraising email to his past supporters, telling them he is stepping down from the Legislature to organize a campaign to be the next mayor of San Antonio.

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Terrorism
1:55 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Austin Man Pleads Guilty To Federal Terrorism Charges

In Austin on Friday, 23-year-old Michael Wolfe admitted in federal court that he had been planning since last August to travel to the Middle East to provide his services to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham and to engage in violent jihad in Syria.

He pleaded guilty to charges of attempting to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization.

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2014 Election
2:58 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Texas Democrats Don't Expect Any Platform Shakeups At State Convention

Credit Texas Democratic Party

The Texas Democratic Party’s 2014 state convention starts today and party officials say they are not expecting any major divisions in the party or surprises concerning the party’s platform.

Communication Director Manny Garcia said the conversations they have had with party delegates haven’t been about making any major changes to the party’s platform, just some tweaking.

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Abortion In Texas
12:19 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

A Look Back At The Wendy Davis Abortion Bill Filibuster One Year Later

A pro-life supporter reads the Bible at the state capitol as lawmakers engaged in heated debate over the new abortion clinic restrictions in July 2013.
Ryan Poppe TPR News

One year ago, the Democrats in the Texas Senate were gearing up for what some have called the filibuster heard around the world.  Since then, a lot has happened over the past year as a result of state Sen. Wendy Davis filibuster of the state's latest abortion bill.

The state’s newest abortion law, which became House Bill 2 in the first special session, was introduced during the Legislature’s regular session but blocked by Democrats using the Senate’s two-thirds majority rule. 

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Blighted Buildings
11:39 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Vacant Building Pilot Program Is Becoming Reality For Property Owners

This home in Tobin Hill has remained vacant for nearly 30 years. The area is not included in the initial 18-month pilot program.
Ryan Loyd TPR News

Owners of vacant buildings in San Antonio could be in for a reality check with a new city pilot program aimed at revitalizing pockets of town.

But San Antonio city leaders have said they hope to help owners bring properties into compliance, not bombard them with fees and other costs that bring properties up to code.

The vacant and underutilized buildings policy is a pilot program that District 1 Councilman Diego Bernal has said is aggressive in trying to eradicate empty structures around town. But the pilot program will be extremely focused for the first 18 months.

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Border & Immigration
12:43 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Refugee Nonprofit Says Influx Of Minors Has "Nothing To Do With Immigration Reform"

U.S. Border Patrol agents parked near the fence.
Credit David Martin Davies / TPR News

The thousands of unaccompanied children from arriving at the Texas-Mexico border have become the latest pawns in the political battle over immigration reform, that’s according to the nonprofit Women’s Refugee Commission, who says this not a problem unique to United States.

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