Government

2014 Republican Lt. Gov. Runoff
1:50 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

After Weeks Of Mudslinging, Dewhurst And Patrick Stay Amicable In Last Debate

Early voting continues through Friday. Runoff election day is Tuesday, May 27.
Credit Chris Eudaily / TPR News

There was the release of mental health records and stories leaked about fist fights and racial slurs, but at the last debate in the Republican lieutenant governor runoff election the two candidates kept it cordial.   

Yesterday's debate between incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and state Sen. Dan Patrick of Houston surprised many political experts who were expecting personal attacks during the debate in Salado, which was hosted by the Central Texas Tea Party.  

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Payday Lending
11:54 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Texas Payday Lending Study Shows Industry Raised Fees In 2013

Credit Flickr user Rambergmediaimages / cc

The Center for Public Policy Priorities, a left-leaning political think tank, released a study showing that in 2013 the industry raised it’s fees by 12 percent, collecting over $1.3 million from Texans.

Don Baylor, a senior policy Analyst with the center, said that Texans between 2012 and 2013 paid more in fees for loans using a paycheck or car title as collateral.

“So we saw these loans become more frequent and we also saw them become much longer in terms, which means Texans are paying a lot more for these products,” Baylor said.

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University of Texas
10:35 am
Wed May 21, 2014

This Week House Committee Working Up Articles Of Impeachment For UT Regent Hall

The Texas House Select Committee on Transportation in State Agency Operations is in unfamiliar territory with the first impeachment of a governor-appointed position in Texas history.
Credit Ryan Poppe / TPR News

Members of a Texas House committee are moving forward with the impeachment of University of Texas Regent Wallace Hall by drawing up the official articles of impeachment. Hall informed UT’s Board of Regents he would not be resigning from his post.

The Texas House Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations voted 7-1 in favor of impeaching Hall. This week only those who voted for impeachment will be able to weigh in on what codes Hall violated, which will be the official articles of impeachment.

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Immigration Reform
10:16 am
Wed May 21, 2014

House Will Consider Amendment To Admit DREAMers To Miltiary Academies

U.S. Rep Joaquín Castro, D-San Antonio.
Credit U.S. Government

Immigration reform goes to the House floor this week, and San Antonio Congressman Joaquín Castro has introduced an amendment to the next military budget bill that would give students with Deferred Action Childhood Arrival (DACA) status the same rights given to many international students who apply to military academies.

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Bexar County Commissioners Court
9:09 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Republican Precinct 4 Runoff Features Alan Baxter & Tim Wilson

Alan Baxter (left), and Tim Wilson are last two up for the Republican spot on the Precinct 4 ballot in November.
Credit Campaign photos

Tommy Adkisson vacated the Precinct 4 Bexar County Commissioners Court seat to run for county judge. Adkisson has held the seat since 1998 and it will be filled by one of four contenders in the runoff; two from each party.

On the Republican ticket are a pair of mayors from two of the county’s cities: Alan Baxter, the mayor of Windcrest, and Tim Wilson, the mayor of Kirby.

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City Government
3:00 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

If Castro Departs, City Council Would Fill Mayor's Seat From Within

Mayor Julián Castro spoke to members of the San Antonio media Monday after news spread that he could be tapped for HUD secretary in President Obama's administration.
Credit Ryan Loyd / TPR News

If San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro leaves his position for a post in President Barack Obama's cabinet, city council will then select an interim successor from one of their own.

Will it be someone with the most experience? Could it be someone who has a lot of background with policy?

The answer may include a variety of those qualifications. But whatever they are, it won't matter much to residents.

Political consultant Kelton Morgan said the members will work that out.

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Election Campaigns
12:57 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

The Leak Of Dan Patrick’s Mental Health Records May Have Helped Him

Republican lieutenant governor candidate Dan Patrick outside the Alamo ahead of his debate with San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro.
Credit Dan Patrick via YouTube

Just before start of this week, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, who is supporting Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst's bid for re-election in the runoff, leaked documents detailing state Sen. Dan Patrick's treatment for depression during two separate hospitals stays 30 years ago.  

Professor Mark Jones, the head of the political science department at Rice University in Houston, said Dewhurst and his associates have made the impossible, possible.

"It’s taken Dan Patrick, who is not especially a sympathetic figure, and turns into him into a sympathetic figure,” Jones said.

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Disaster Relief
11:04 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Emergency Management Chief Says State Is Missing Out On Billions Because Of Poor Planning

TDEM Chief Nim Kidd walks with Gov. Rick Perry during a hurricane emergency response exercise and resource showcase in Austin ahead of the 2013 hurricane season.
Credit Texas DPS

Texas cities damaged by various disasters in the last five years still qualify for billions of dollars in federal aid, but an official with the Texas Division of Emergency Management testified before state lawmakers this week that the state needs to do a better job getting and using that money.

Chief W. Nim Kidd, the head of the Texas Division of Emergency Management, told the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Rural Affairs and Homeland Security that one of the areas in need of improvements is how to get counties affected by a disaster the federal money they need to rebuild.

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Bexar County Commissioners Court
9:01 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Debra Guerrero & Tommy Calvert Vie For Democratic Spot On Precinct 4 Ballot

Tommy Calvert and Debra Guerrero are trying to be the Democrat on the Precinct 4 ticket in November.
Credit Campaign photos

Among the races being decided during the runoff election is the open Precinct 4 seat on the Bexar County Commissioners Court. One of four people, two from each party, will take the place of Tommy Adkisson, who who gave up the seat to run for county judge.

Tommy Calvert and Debra Guerrero are the two Democratic candidates who survived the March 4 primary election.

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Mayor Julián Castro
11:57 am
Mon May 19, 2014

With Talk Of Cabinet Position Swirling, City Ponders Life Without Mayor Castro

Mayor Julián Castro delivered the keynote speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. The speech, many have said, put him on a national platform.
Ryan Loyd TPR News

The White House isn't talking and neither is Mayor Julián Castro.

Today he helped hand out awards inside city council chambers to businesses for the 2014 Healthy Workplace Recognition Program.

Afterward, a swarm of media caught up with him, only to hear the three-term mayor say what he's said before.

"All I'm going to say today is that I enjoy being mayor, and I'm going to continue to work hard on behalf of the people that elected me," Castro said. "I'll talk about the future and other things later."

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