Politics

Texas Matters
3:09 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

DWI Dude Running For Texas Top Cop To Legalize Pot

Credit dwidude.com

The race for Texas attorney general already has it’s oddities: The Democrats are fielding a candidate named Sam Houston and the Republican candidate, state Sen. Ken Paxton, has pleaded guilty to securities fraud and more criminal charges could be coming.

Enter the Libertarian in the race, attorney Jamie Balagia, who is also known as the "DWI Dude," a moniker he acquired for his stalwart defense against DWI and drug charges. His website is dwidude.com

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2014 Governor's Race
4:39 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Abbott Campaign Files Ethics Complaint Over Wendy Davis Book Tour

Democratic nominee for governor, Fort Worth State Sen. Wendy Davis at book signing in Austin
Credit Ryan E. Poppe

Wendy Davis' Republican gubernatorial opponent Greg Abbott has gone from asking for a general inquiry regarding Davis' book sales and promotional activity to launching a formal complaint with the Texas Ethics Commission.

The Abbott campaign filed the formal complaint during the first stop of Davis’ book signing tour in Austin.

In a statement, the Abbott campaign’s Matt Hirsch writes:

"Sen. Davis' book promotion has gone from ethically questionable to outright unlawful,"  

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Texas Politics
12:55 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Update: Statewide Gubernatorial Debate In Dallas Is Back On Schedule

Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott.
Credit Ryan Poppe / TPR News

Update (9/3): The debate scheduled for Sept. 30 is back on the schedule for both campaigns.

State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, and Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott have reached an agreement for a debate in Dallas.

Last week the Abbott campaign backed out of the event because it was formatted as a roundtable debate and they were concerned about response times.

KERA, Public Media for North Texas, was able to reach an agreement between the two campaigns by switching to a stricter debate format.

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Voting Rights
10:23 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Trial Begins In Lawsuit Challenging Texas Voter ID Law

Credit David Martin Davies / TPR News

A federal judge in Corpus Christi began hearing arguments this week in a case challenging the state of Texas’ 2011 voter ID law.

The federal case is the first of its kind in the nation, which is one of the reasons University of Texas at Austin law professor Joseph Fishkin said that it’s being followed closely by other state governments.

"I do think it’s a case that a lot of people outside of Texas are watching because it will be the first real test of the question of whether section 2 of the Voting Rights Act calls voter ID laws into any sort of question,” Fishkin said.

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Texas Politics
3:58 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Gov. Perry's Legal Team Files To Have Case Dismissed

Gov. Perry's mugshot taken at the Travis County Jail last week.
Credit Travis County Jail

Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s legal team has filed a constitutional challenge seeking to dismiss his two-count felony indictment.

In a writ of habeas corpus filed today, the governor’s legal team contends there are problems with separation of powers, rights to free speech, and say the penal code used to charge Perry is vague and overboard; that it doesn’t clearly define what is and isn’t permissible under the law.  

University of Texas at Austin School of Law professor Jennifer Laurin said this type of challenge has a very limited set of arguments.

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Texas Politics
2:27 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Lawmaker Says Public Integrity Unit Will Likely Move Out Of Travis County DA Office

Credit Ryan Poppe / TPR News

The state’s public integrity unit has filed a request with the governor’s office and legislative budget officials to restore funding to the agency in 2015.

But that effort may not be possible unless the unit is moved out of the Travis County district attorney’s office, which is headed by Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg.

State Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, who chairs the Senate Committee on Finance, said she would like to see the unit moved in 2015. In a statement, Nelson wrote that "we need to move the unit somewhere less partisan."

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Texas Politics
12:51 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

The Story Of The Other Texas Governor Indicted For Vetoing Funds

1914 Jim Ferguson campaign literature. Image URL: https://www.tsl.texas.gov/governors/personality/pferguson-pro-2.html
Credit Texas State Library & Archives Commission

Rick Perry isn't the first Texas governor to stare down an indictment for his actions in the office. 

In 1917 the Travis County district attorney’s office filed an indictment against then Gov. Jim “Pa” Ferguson for vetoing the budget of the University of Texas.

Professor Don Carleton, who heads up the Dolph Briscoe American History Center at the University of Texas at Austin, described the political climate at the time as being a prohibition vs. anti-prohibition, rural vs. urban environment of political bosses, and Ferguson certainly was that.

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Texas Politics
9:44 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Rick Perry’s Legal Bill For Indictment Defense Will Be Picked Up By His Campaign

Gov. Rick Perry addressed the media on Tuesday before heading into the Travis County Justice Center to be booked.
Credit Ryan E. Poppe / TPR News

The cost of Texas Gov. Rick Perry legal dream team, who is fighting his two-count indictment, isn’t one that is expected to come cheap, but the governor’s campaign has announced it will be picking up the tab.

In the last two month just prior to Perry’s indictment, the governor's office said his legal tab for one attorney was running just over $80,000. Perry has since added three more attorneys to work on his defense.

Lucy Nashed, a spokesperson with the governor's office, said the Texas taxpayers have nothing to fear regarding the cost of the case.

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Texas Politics
12:51 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Perry's Legal Team Releases Findings That Veto Had Nothing To Do With CPRIT Investigation

On Tuesday evening, Gov. Perry addressed the media outside the Travis County Justice Complex before heading in to be booked.
Credit Ryan E. Poppe / TPR News

Indicted Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s legal team is dismissing accusations that the governor’s veto of the state public integrity unit’s budget was related to another ongoing investigation involving the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.   

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Texas Politics
4:25 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Governor Perry Pleads Not Guilty To Two Felony Counts

Gov. Rick Perry's mugshot.
Credit Travis County Jail

Update (8/20):  Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s legal team are waiving their client's right to an arraignment and Perry has pleaded not guilty to both felony counts involving abusing the power of his office.

Perry is charged with abuse of power, a first-degree felony punishable by 5-99 years in jail, and coercion, a third-degree felony punishable by 10 years in jail. 

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