Government

Campaign Finance
3:17 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Texas House And U.S. Senate Take On Nonprofit 'Dark Money' Disclosure

This week both a U.S. Senate committee and Texas House committee took up the issue of whether political nonprofits should be required to disclose their campaign contributions.

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are concerned with how these groups are trying to buy elections thanks to laws that don't require such groups to report their campaign contributions.

At the U.S. Senate Campaign Finance Committee hearing, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas argued that campaign contributions are a form of free speech.

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District 9 Special Election
10:02 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Donald Oroian Points To Civil Engineering Experience In Case For Dist. 9 Seat

Donald Oroian is running for the San Antonio District 9 seat on the city council.
Ryan Loyd TPR News

City Council District 9 candidate Donald Oroian is in good spirits and has plenty of confidence with over a week left until Election Day, May 10.

The small consulting firm owner is a neighborhood leader and a former city planning commission member who said he fits the bill for city council:

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Criminal Justice
4:33 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Pressure Builds For Additional Transparency In Texas After Oklahoma Execution

Following a botched execution in Oklahoma, anti-death penalty groups and attorneys are once again calling on the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to provide full transparency in the state's execution process.

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District 9 Special Election
1:27 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Pro-NDO Candidate Corey Clark Gives District 9 Something Different On May 10 Ballot

Corey Clark believes blockwalking is an effective way to win campaigns. He's relying on the technique to pull off a victory on May 10.
Ryan Loyd TPR News

Block walking is an effective way to reach voters, according to Corey Clark. He's the 26-year-old small business owner who is running for San Antonio City Council District 9 in the May 10 joint, special and bond election.

"Morning, y'all," he said to residents off Bitters Tuesday. "I'm running for city office right now, District 9 city councilman."

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Property Rights
12:49 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Feds, Landowners Trying To Resolve 29-Year-Old Red River Property Dispute

Area of the Red River in dispute near Wichita Falls. This map was provided to the Texas Tribune via Tommy Henderson. Can be downloaded at: http://www.texastribune.org/2014/04/28/blurred-lines-texas-blm-spat-has-complicated-histo/
Texas General Land Office

After 29 years of waiting for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to settle their claims, officials met with dozens of property owners who are disputing a federal land grab along the Texas-Oklahoma border.

The case involves about 90,000 acres of land along the Red River, the region's natural border with Oklahoma. Tommy Henderson, who lives near Wichita Falls, has 140 acres of the disputed land on his property. Henderson said the dispute centers around where the BLM believes the river begins, which currently is considered public domain.

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District 9 Special Election
11:20 am
Tue April 29, 2014

District 9 Councilman Joe Krier Aims To Fill Unexpired Term Permanently

Joe Krier was appointed to the city council by members to fill Elisa Chan's unexpired term.
Credit Ryan Loyd / TPR News

Among the list of candidates on the ballot for the May 10th joint, special and bond election is Joe Krier. The District 9 councilman hopes to lock in the seat for the next year.

It's been nearly six months since the San Antonio City Council picked Krier to fill the vacated seat of Elisa Chan's unexpired term.

And in that time, Krier said he's learned just how important basic city services are but that it does take quite a bit of time to do it all. He's a self-professed conservative who represents a rather conservative North Side district.

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Criminal Justice
10:11 am
Tue April 29, 2014

Lawmakers Look At Landlord Liability When Renting To Nonviolent Offenders

Credit Eileen Pace / TPR News

Last session lawmakers passed a bill that provides employers liability relief when they hire nonviolent offenders. In this interim period ahead of the 2015 session, members of the House are considering adding landlords to that same list.

Studies show former offenders with stable housing are less likely to commit another crime, which is one of the reasons the Texas House Committee on Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence is discussing whether to provide legal protection by allowing landlords liability relief when they rent to ex-offenders.

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Texas Politics
2:40 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

House Lawmaker Asks Abbott For Legal Opinion On Gov. Perry's Attorney Fees

As Gov. Rick Perry's coercion trial moves forward, one state lawmaker is asking whether or not the state should be footing the bill for Perry's defense.

State Rep. Joe Deshotel, D-Beaumont, has asked Attorney General Greg Abbott to provide his legal opinion on the matter.

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Political Dark Money
9:58 am
Mon April 28, 2014

House Lawmakers Take Another Look At "Dark Money" This Week

Credit Ryan Poppe / TPR News

Should the State of Texas be able to track contributions from 501 (c) (4) political nonprofits? This week a select committee of House lawmakers will discuss the possibility of legislation that could track this political "dark money" ahead of the 2015 session.

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Same-Sex Marriage
5:04 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

State Appellate Court Issues Stay In San Antonio Same-Sex Marriage Divorce Case

A same-sex couple married in Washington, D.C., and wanting a divorce in Texas was told by a state district judge that Texas’ view on same-sex marriages, which includes divorce, is unconstitutional.

Allison Lesh and Kristi Lesh were married in Washington, D.C., in 2010 and then moved to Texas. Soon after, Kristi was artificially inseminated and became pregnant and a year later the couple split up and a custody battle ensued.

Allison, who was not the biological mother, was prevented from any type of visitation because of Texas laws banning same-sex marriage.  

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