Texas

Texas Matters
2:51 pm
Mon October 29, 2012

Greg Abbott Threatens Election Observers, Texas Education in Court and Hangings in Gainsville

Early voting locations like this one at Brook Hollow Library in North San Antonio have been busy since early voting began earlier this week.
Chris Eudaily TPR News

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is threatening an international democracy observer group with criminal charges if they interfere with Texas election locations. The education system in Texas is on trial this week to answer the question: Is the present system violating the state’s constitution? 150 years ago there was a hanging in Gainesville that claimed the lives of 40 men.

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2:26 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Travis Letter Returning To Alamo

Lead in text: 
The Texas State Library and Archives Commission has agreed to allow Col. William Travis' "Victory or Death" letter to be displayed at the Alamo for two weeks early next year.
The famous "Victory or Death" letter will return to the Alamo for the first time since Col. William B. Travis wrote it there in 1836. The Texas Library and Archives Commission voted 6-1 to allow the Texas General Land Office to display the document during a special exhibit at the Alamo from Feb.
Texas
4:12 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Texas State Fair's Big Tex Destroyed by Fire

@elainea Twitter

Big Tex is 60 years old this year, but instead of birthday candles to blow out, firefighters had a fully engulfed fire to extinguish.

State Fair Vice President of Marketing Mitchell Glieber said the fire ran up the electrical line to his jaw, destroying the 52-foot icon of the Texas State Fair.

"Probably within 5 minutes or so, all of his clothes were pretty much on fire," said Glieber. "It happened fairly quickly, but there weren't a lot of people in the park."

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Texas Matters
3:09 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

The State Legislature, Budget Cuts, and Pre-Election Opinion Polls

State of Texas Capitol building in Austin.
Wikipedia Commons

The Texas Legislature will be back in a few months facing a budget deficit. Will the next round of state budget cuts clip Texas high school football? Or could expanded gambling in the state help solve education funding shortfalls? Nate Silver writes the New York Times political blog about polls and political probability, Five Thirty Eight, and talks about how useful (and reliable) pre-election opinion polls can be.

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Texas Matters
4:31 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

Latino Voter Turnout, Gun Control, Planned Parenthood and Celebrity Drug Busts

Chris Eudaily Texas Public Radio

Increasing voter turnout in the Texas Latino community - Ben Philpot, a reporter for KUT Austin and the Texas Tribune, explores some of the issues. Ted Cruz and Paul Sadler are trying to position themselves as defenders of a great Texas tradition: gun ownership. What happens if Texas Legislators win their court battle and zero-out state dollars for the Planned Parenthood clinics? A celebrity tour bus rolls into the West Texas town of Sierra Blanca and the there’s a drug bust that makes national headlines.

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Texas Matters
10:46 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Why Does Texas Have Such a Low Voter Turnout?

Fred Lewis, the Director of Texans Together, says the real challenge is getting people involved more often on a local level, so they can see concrete results from participating. University of Texas at San Antonio political science professor Walter Wilson says poorly distributed congressional districts contribute to poor Latino voter turnout. Saul Elbein's article, “No Shows: why so few Texans bother to vote” also explores the reasons why so many people don't even try to get to the polls.

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Texas Matters
12:39 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Presidential Campaign, Infighting at UT, and the Dallas Cowboys

Texas Tribune reporter Jay Root's book,
Credit Jay Root

Texas Tribune reporter Jay Root has written a book about the Perry presidential run called “Oops! A Diary From the 2012 Campaign Trail.” The latest issue of Texas Monthly says there’s a battle over the future of UT; Paul Burka is the Texas Monthly senior editor and wrote the article “Storming the Ivory Tower.” Joe Nick Patoski talks about writing his new book: “The Dallas Cowboys: the outrageous History of the Biggest, Loudest, Most Hated, Best Loved Football Team in America.”

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Texas Matters
11:10 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Separating Church and State, Wind Energy and Wine

Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States (1940) painting by Howard Chandler Christy.
Howard Chandler Christy

Governor Rick Perry appeals to the religious right by talking about the "myth" of the separation of church and state and Rob Boston from Americans United for the Separation of Church and State responds. Wind energy is revitalizing rural Texas, so what is the future for the renewable energy source? How a Texas winery is using renewable energy to be self-sufficient.

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Texas Matters
11:44 am
Fri September 14, 2012

Zombie Voters and Honesty in Politics

Chris Eudaily Texas Public Radio

Dead voter letters are one way that Texas scrubs its voter registration rolls. Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector and voter registrar Don Sumners says he’s not going along with the Texas plan to scrub the voter rolls, and the state says he is violating the law. Gardner Selby with Politifact Texas talks about how they check statements made by politicians.

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Texas Matters
12:26 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

Texans at the DNC, Party Power Changes and Juvenile Justice

Wikipedia Commons user Angr cc

More from the Democratic National Convention from TPR's Ryan Loyd. Is Texas on the verge of being a fertile ground for Democratic candidates? The Quorum Report's Harvey Kronberg shares his thoughts on future elections in Texas. An update on the Texas juvenile justice system five years since the scandal broke at the Texas Youth Commission.

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