- Galveston, TX Weather :: 72F Fair October 18, 201772F Fair
- Galveston, TX Weather :: 72F Fair October 18, 2017
- Simone Biles begins gymnastics training with eyes on 2020 Tokyo Olympics October 17, 2017Five-time Olympic medalist Simone Biles will return to gymnastics training in October with new coach Laurent Landi. She will continue to train at World Champions Centre in Spring, and hopes to return to competition by the summer of 2018."I have enjoyed my time away from training since the Olympics, but am excited to get back […]
- Judge, Sabathia help Yankees beat Astros 8-1; Houston leads ALCS 2-1 October 17, 2017Back in the Bronx, the big guys delivered.Greeted by an array of "All Rise" signs in a ballpark that fits their style, Aaron Judge hit a three-run homer and made a pair of sparkling catches, leading CC Sabathia and the New York Yankees over the Houston Astros 8-1 Monday night and cutting their deficit to […]
- Former Astro Lance Berkman talks about Houston's path to the World Series October 16, 2017After school at Second Baptist High School, you'll find coach Lance Berkman prepping the future of baseball."It's a good group of kids here and I love the fact that baseball is appealing to younger fans," Berkman said.Berkman knows the importance of a crowd rooting you on.Remember Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio?Berkman was also one of the […]
- Additions give new-look Rockets a fresh take on 2017-18 season October 16, 2017The Houston Rockets have been the talk of the offseason after the acquisition of veteran point guard Chris Paul and, more recently, a change in ownership as Tilman J. Fertitta takes over the team.With the addition of other defensive-minded veterans, the new-look Rockets have a compelling argument to become one of the NBA's top teams.The […]
- Louisville fires Rick Pitino amid federal investigation October 16, 2017Louisville's Athletic Association has officially fired coach Rick Pitino nearly three weeks after the school acknowledged that its men's basketball program is being investigated as part of a federal corruption probe.The association, which oversees Louisville's sports programs and is composed of trustees, faculty, students and administrators, voted unanimously to oust the longtime Cardinals coach following […]
- Astros host postseason watch parties at Minute Maid Park for away games October 16, 2017Fans are invited to Minute Maid Park for to watch every Astros postseason away game.To attend the watch party, fans must claim a free voucher at www.astros.com/postseason or at any of the watch party entrances the day of the event.Parking is available for a fee in all Astros-controlled parking lots. Two hours before each away […]
- 3 keys to an Astros win against the Yankees in Game 3 October 16, 2017The Astros protected their home field and now, the Yankees will try to do the same on their home turf in the Bronx. The "must win" theme is certainly in place as only one team has ever come back from being in a 0-3 hole and win a series.The Yankees believe they can pull it […]
- Altuve's dash lifts Verlander, Astros over Yanks in Game 2 October 16, 2017With each stinging line drive, Jose Altuve is putting his stamp on this October. Same with every pitch from Justin Verlander, no matter the inning or score.Houston's longest tenured player and its durable new ace -- an incomparable pair so far this postseason.PHOTOS: 2017 ALCS Game 2 Astros vs. YankeesAltuve raced home on Carlos Correa's […]
- Watson tosses 3 TDs as Texans beat Browns 33-17 October 16, 2017Deshaun Watson threw for 225 yards and three touchdowns, becoming the first rookie in NFL history with at least three TD passes in three straight games, helping give the Houston Texans a 33-17 win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. Watson has thrown 15 touchdown passes this season, the most in NFL history by a […]
- Astros trying to give Houston a boost in wake of Harvey October 16, 2017Every time the Astros suit up, they wear a simple patch as a reminder of what Houston lost to Hurricane Harvey and its catastrophic flooding.The city is determined to rebuild, and the Astros are careful to honor Houston with every game as they chase a second trip to the World Series in the franchise's history."I […]
- Simone Biles begins gymnastics training with eyes on 2020 Tokyo Olympics October 17, 2017
- Addicks and Barker Reservoirs: floodwaters discharged, ready for next rain event October 17, 2017The USACE Galveston District was established in 1880 as the first engineer district in Texas to oversee river and harbor improvements. Its main ...
- Texas A&M researchers study Harvey's impact on southwestern Texas bays October 17, 2017Researchers at Texas A&M's Galveston campus, led by Karl Kaiser, are focusing their efforts on Galveston Bay, testing for sewage, pharmaceuticals, ...
- Air Quality Alert October 17, 2017GALVESTON AND SURROUNDING AREAS ON WEDNESDAY. YOU CAN HELP PREVENT OZONE POLLUTION BY SHARING A RIDE...WALKING.
- EPA Cleanup Plan for Houston Superfund Site Opposed by Industry October 17, 2017The San Jacinto River meets the Houston Ship Channel before entering Galveston Bay. The San Jacinto waste pits are just upstream. Photo courtesy ...
- TX Houston/Galveston TX Zone Forecast October 17, 2017Copyright 2017 AccuWeather. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. © 2017 The Associated ...
- High tides has coast seeing red October 17, 2017The Sabine Pass, Galveston, Freeport, Matagorda and Port O'Connor jetties have coughed up consistent catches of reds as well. Cracked crabs, fresh ...
- Galveston Avenue parking study shows crowding October 17, 2017Crowding along Galveston Avenue in Bend leads to parked cars illegally blocking driveways or intersections even as streets a few blocks away sit ...
- Addicks and Barker Reservoirs: floodwaters discharged, ready for next rain event October 17, 2017
Travel through time!
- Fall Events in Full Swing This Weekend, Closures throughout the City of Galveston October 17, 2017This weekend the sound of street musicians, runners, and cyclists will fill the fall air on Galveston Island. Visitors and citizens should expect street closures across the city.
- The Grand 1894 Opera House October 17, 2017The Grand 1894 Opera House in Galveston will host "Christmas Wonderland" on November 24-25.
- Friendswood Public Library October 17, 2017Friendswood Public Library will host artist Ted Ellis on Wednesday to discuss his paintings.
- University of Texas Medical Branch October 17, 2017The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston today announced that it has opened a new transplant clinic in the Rio Grande Valley.
- H-GAC Board of Directors October 17, 2017The Houston-Galveston Area Council Board of Directors today voted unanimously to approve the negotiation and execution of a contract with the Texas General Land Office for Hurricane Harvey Direct Housing Assistance Program.
- Hitchcock City Commission October 17, 2017The Hitchcock City Commission on Monday voted 3-1, with Fard Abdullah opposed, to lift the city's moratorium on sand pit applications and permits.
- League City Police Department October 17, 2017League City Police Department will host a DEA Drug Take Back event on October 28 at the League City Public Safety Building parking lot.
- Jamaica Beach City Council October 17, 2017Jamaica Beach City Council on Monday voted 3-2-1, with Gene Montgomery and Marci Kurtz opposed, Rosemary Lindley abstaining, to approve a contract with Atkins North America, Inc. for professional services associated with obtaining a permit for seaweed maintenance.
- College of the Mainland October 16, 2017College of the Mainland today announced that four graduates of Dickinson High School have created a scholarship fund to assist Dickinson High School students planning to attend the college following Hurricane Harvey.
- Fall Events in Full Swing This Weekend, Closures throughout the City of Galveston October 17, 2017
- Donald Trump Blasted After 'Sarcastically' Telling Army Widow 'He Knew What He Signed Up For' 18 Oct 2017 12:38 Huffington Post A US Congresswoman has claimed Donald Trump told the widow of a soldier killed during an ambush in Niger earlier this month that he “must’ve known what he signed up for”. Frederica Wilson was in the car with Myeshia Johnson when the President called to …
- Trump to widow of fallen soldier: 'He knew what he signed up for' 18 Oct 2017 12:38 MSNBC October 18th, 2017 After facing criticism for not reaching out to the families of fallen soldiers, President Trump called one of the widows Tuesday and said her husband, Army Sgt. La David Johnson, "knew what he signed up for," according to …
- "Total fabrication!" Trump denies vile phone comment to soldier's pregnant widow and says he has proof 18 Oct 2017 12:38 The Mirror Donald Trump has denied making a vile comment to a grieving widow moments before she wept over his coffin. The bouffant-haired President was accused of telling pregnant Myeshia Johnson that her dead husband Lance Sergeant David Johnson, 25, "knew …
- “The best thing that ever happened to her” | Trump accuses Comey of protecting Clinton 18 Oct 2017 12:37 Y Naija President Trump has accused former FBI director, James Comey of drafting a letter which exonerated his fierce opponent and former Democrats presidential candidate in the last election, Hillary Clinton, from the then investigation into her use of private …
- 'Repulsive Oaf' Trump Ripped For What He Said To Slain Soldier's Widow 18 Oct 2017 12:34 Yahoo! Voices President Donald Trump was slammed on social media overnight for his comments to the grieving widow of a fallen U.S. serviceman. “He knew what he signed up for ... but when it happens, it hurts anyway,” Trump told Myeshia Johnson, according to Rep. …
- Donald Trump and the new politics of honoring war dead 18 Oct 2017 12:34 Washington Times WASHINGTON (AP) — After her Army son died in an armored vehicle rollover in Syria in May, Sheila Murphy says, she got no call or letter from President Donald Trump, even as she waited months for his condolences, wrote to him to say “some days I don’t want …
- Donald Trump told widow that fallen soldier knew what he signed up for 18 Oct 2017 12:34 Washington Times MIAMI (AP) — President Donald Trump told the widow of a soldier killed in an ambush in Niger that her husband “knew what he signed up for,” according to a Florida congresswoman who says she heard part of the conversation on speakerphone. Rep. Frederica …
- US Rep. say President Trump says fallen soldier knew what he signed up for, President denies claims 18 Oct 2017 12:34 WHNT × US Rep. say President Trump says fallen soldier knew what he signed up for, President denies claims MIAMI (AP) — President Donald Trump told the widow of a soldier killed in an ambush in Niger that her husband “knew what he signed up for,” according to …
- The Latest: Rep. stands by account of Trump’s call to widow 18 Oct 2017 12:33 KIRO President Donald Trump speaks during anews conference with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017. Trump on Tuesday will call the families of four soldiers killed this month in Niger …
- Trump to widow: ‘He knew what he signed up for’ 18 Oct 2017 12:33 Cairns Post PRESIDENT Trump has accused a Democratic Congresswoman of lying over his words to the pregnant widow of a slain US soldier. “Democrat Congresswoman totally fabricated what I said to the wife of a soldier who died in action (and I have proof). Sad!” Trump …
- Houston serial killer faces execution this week
- Insurance company accused of delayed response to storm claims
- Some Texas Republicans in Congress again outraised by challengers
- To fund bid against Ted Cruz, former mayor puts up building as prize in “essay and rib contest”
- U.S. House passes hurricane relief bill after tense day for Texas delegation, Abbott
- It’s Time to End Austin’s Failed Experiment in Police Oversight, Activists Say
- Prosecutors drop 1 of 13 felony charges against Rep. Dawwna Dukes
- League City mayor hospitalized after heart attack
- ICE Detained a Pregnant Rape Survivor for Six Months, Records Show
- Husband, wife each lose leg after hit-and-run crash in Waller County
- Temporary bans placed on fishing near site of busted cap
- Texas man travels to Orlando to sexually assault 9-year-old girl, police say
- Mom, older brother charged after 11-year-old found smoking meth
- Days from execution, man convicted in prison guard’s murder insists on innocence
- Truck involved in multiple accidents leaves 1 dead, 1 injured in Texas City, police say
- $1M worth of iPads mostly unused after being purchased for local elections
- Woman caught on camera stomping small dog inside elevator
- How much has been raised for Harvey relief — and how’s it being spent?
- The Case to End Assembly Line Justice for Poor People in Harris County
- Mother, son charged in murder-for-hire plot
- How scammers are using homeowners to defraud FEMA
- Police find man’s body stuffed in closet after victim ‘tortured’ to death
- In historic win, charters getting state funding for facilities for the first time
- Dreamers greet DACA renewal deadline with anxiety and unanswered questions
- Attorney General Ken Paxton’s trial is delayed for a third time
- Judge blocks Texas secretary of state from giving voter information to Trump commission
- East Texas county sues drug companies, alleges role in opioid crisis
- North Korean workers prepare seafood for U.S. stores, restaurants
- 3 Harris County Sheriff’s Office employees indicted in assault cases
- Reward raised for man on Texas 10 Most Wanted Sex Offenders list
- Texas business mogul Mark Cuban offers details for hypothetical 2020 presidential run
- Woman accused of killing taxi driver appears in court
- Texas death row inmate Duane Buck has sentence reduced to life after Supreme Court orders retrial
- Hearing in Paxton case to consider delaying trial for third time
- Appellate judges show concern over Harris County bail practices, court ruling
- 28 organizations that got money from the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund
- Pasadena drops appeal, will remain under federal oversight of election laws
- Almost 400,000 Texans’ insurance at risk after Congress fails to renew CHIP
- How Harris County’s federal bail lawsuit spreads beyond Houston
- HHS Secretary Tom Price resigns amid criticism of his travel on private planes
- Houston mayor calls off property tax hike after Abbott delivers $50 million
- ‘I’m just gonna shoot him if things go sideways,’ cop tells college student during traffic stop
- Hearing set for Friday in wrongful death suit in John Hernandez case
- Aide found half-naked after sexual contact with student, deputies say
- Thousands of Poor Texans Could Lose Health Care With Congress Distracted by ACA Repeal
- Slideshow: For southeast Texas, recovery after Harvey is slow
- Even Hurricane Harvey Can’t Temper GOP Hostility Toward Texas’ Big Cities
- Murder suspect arrested in 27-year-old ‘killer clown’ shooting married to victim’s husband
- Texas attorney general now accepting complaints on “sanctuary” jurisdictions
- Abbott: Houston has enough funding for Harvey recovery
- U.S. House passes tax breaks for victims of Harvey, Irma and Maria
- New state law seeks to reduce the number of child brides in Texas
- Texas can enforce more of ‘sanctuary cities’ law
- Florida trooper accused of showing porn to child
- Town mayor facing assault charges
- 13-year-old accused in kidnapping and rape plot
- Hensarling to flood victims: ‘God’s telling you to move’
- Body Cam Policies in Texas Exacerbate a System Designed to Protect Police, Critics Say
- Army vet shown walking after claiming he couldn’t owes government $434K
- Analysis: X-factor in 2018’s Texas elections might be Harvey, not Donald
- Federal appeals court to hear arguments on Texas “sanctuary cities” law Friday
- Texas teens to be trained next year on police interactions
- Newlyweds say DJ robbed wedding cash
- How Galveston is offering a free beach weekend
- Lyft ride leads to hate crime charge for Houston man
- Florida woman makes ‘sexy’ plea to get power back after Hurricane Irma
- Report: Indicted state Rep. Dawnna Dukes spent $51k on online psychic
- Report: Trump’s judicial nominee from Texas called transgender kids part of “Satan’s plan”
- Hospital workers in hot water over Snapchat video, picture calling newborns ‘mini Satans’
- How some see Texas as the “gold standard” against wrongful convictions
- New leak discovered on Battleship Texas
- Texas House Speaker Joe Straus calls for removal of “inaccurate” Confederate plaque
- Hey, Texplainer: How is FEMA distributing money to areas hit by Harvey?
- Friendswood man accused of raking in nearly $2 million in decadelong pay-phone scheme
- Mayor Sylvester Turner has strong words for Red Cross after problems surface
- Trump Nominee to FEC Tried to Shred Texas’ Already-Weak Ethics Laws
- Dad in clown mask shot at while chasing daughter through neighborhood
- As a result of Hurricane Harvey, 600 more Texas prisoners getting AC
- Trooper fired for Sandra Bland stop: “My safety was in jeopardy.”
- Mysterious sea creature that washed up on Texas beach after Harvey identified
- Within days, this Austin company hopes to start legally growing marijuana
- Former officer accused of stealing $2,400 from dead man indicted on theft charges
- 135,000 gallons of sludge released into Galveston Bay after equipment failure, officials say
- Post-Harvey, Houston officials hope Congress is up for funding Ike Dike
- Ex-husband strangled Baytown realtor while children in next room, prosecutors say
- Pizza Hut manager threatened workers evacuating for Irma
- The Road to Huntsville
- Now you can carry any knife (almost) anywhere in Texas
- In beleaguered La Marque schools, Harvey stirs up old anxieties
- Flooded cars already being put up for sale
- Trump Nominates Lawyers from Anti-LGBT ‘Religious Freedom’ Group to be Texas Federal Judges
- Man survives being shot 16 times outside southwest Houston home
- Floridians jam highways to flee wrath of Hurricane Irma
- U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul again top contender to be Trump’s homeland security chief
- Experts: Much of Harvey-Related Air Pollution was Preventable
- Texans in Congress aim for united front ahead of long fight for Harvey aid
- Texas churches damaged during Harvey sue FEMA for federal funding
- Amazon wants to open $5 billion second HQ in North America
- New law allows hunting hogs from hot air balloons, but few balloonists will offer it
- New texting while driving ban full of loopholes
- Woman urinates herself, yells racial slurs during DUI arrest, police say
- Police shoot, kill tiger running loose in neighborhood
- What to do if your vehicle flooded during Hurricane Harvey
- House overwhelmingly passes $7.9 billion Harvey aid bill
- Selena’s family mourning the death of Houston relatives killed in Harvey flooding
- Trump ending immigration program that has impacted more than 120,000 in Texas
- Cinco Ranch flood victims demand buyout from federal government
- The Impossible City
- Our Lady of the Underground
- Texas officials see long road from Harvey for state transportation network
- Officials are starting to grapple with the costs of Harvey. Here’s what you should know today.
- Thanks to their State Rep, Friendswood Family Rushes to File Insurance Claim for their Flooded Home
- President Trump to visit Houston today to survey Harvey destruction
- As floodwaters continue to rise in Lake Jackson, crews come in to help with evacuees
- Residents being warned of people impersonating city of Houston, FEMA inspectors
- Renters find issues with flood-damaged units, property
- Crosby plant explosion highlights state efforts to block access to chemical information
- Where the government spends to keep people in flood-prone Houston neighborhoods
- Texas Gov. Greg Abbott: No special session needed for Harvey aid
- Five days after Harvey, here’s where things stand in Texas
- Harvey brings catastrophic flooding to Houston; 5 reported dead
- Trump pardons former Sheriff Joe Arpaio
- Why Houston isn’t ready for Hurricane Harvey
- Judge Emmett, Mayor Turner say ignore ‘rumors’ about Hurricane Harvey
- Galveston Island prepares for Harvey’s impact
- Former Galveston ISD teacher accused of having sex with high school student
- Galveston deputy accused of assaulting girlfriend, investigators say
- In San Antonio, Cops Punch Down
- The Brief: Battle lines are (curiously) drawn in Texas’ redistricting fight
- Analysis: Firing the opening shots in the 2018 GOP primaries
- As Houston plots a sustainable path forward, it’s leaving this neighborhood behind
- Harris County emergency officials preparing for tropical system Harvey
- Federal court puts hold on Houston ordinance aimed at homeless camps
- Puppy attacked by pet store owner’s dog
- Mother left kids in hot car while she drank at bar, police say
- Angela Paxton, Texas attorney general’s wife, eyes Texas Senate run
- US imposes sanctions on Russian, Chinese firms over North Korea
- Parents’ plea for help in finding teenage couple missing for 48 hours
- 2 women claim they were groped by local massage therapist
- Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller criticizes Six Flags’ removal of Confederate flag
- El Paso City Council votes down city ID program
- League City Man Sentenced to 6 Years for Online Solicitation of a non-existent Minor
- UT-Austin removing Confederate statues in the middle of the night
- Galveston County Deputies Prevent Jumper on Bridge at 646 & I-45
- Dickinson Cops use Facebook to Catch a Burglar Named Jesus
- Evading Theft Suspects Taken Into Custody After Causing Accident in League City
- Father faces charges after he and missing boy found at hotel, authorities say
- Confederate Monument Protest Draws Hundreds in Houston
- Former HPD officer among those arrested in prostitution sting
- Mother charged with murder after child ejected during drunken driving crash
- Over 250 sex buyers, traffickers arrested on prostitution charges during sting
- Remember the Alamo (Differently)
- Your phone’s Bluetooth can locate illegal skimmer devices
- With Supreme Court appeal, Texas wants to keep congressional map intact
- Dallas, Houston Protests Planned as Confederate Monuments Under Fire in Texas
- With Trump’s Infrastructure Plan, Rural Texas Could be Left in Disrepair
- Body found in Bayou Vista while searching for woman who disappeared under ‘suspicious circumstances’
- South Florida woman accused of DUI with 3-year-old unbuckled in back seat
- Deputies: Mother tells son to buy her drugs
- HPD officer relieved of duty after DWI charge, officials say
- Abbott: Removing Confederate monuments “won’t erase our nation’s past”
- Prosecution rests at trial of woman accused in 2012 death of husband
- Confederate statue controversy hits Houston
- Selena’s brother taken into custody after landing on most wanted list
- In special session rubble, spotlight shines bright on Straus
- President Trump disbands White House business councils as CEOs leave
- Video shows deadly jailbreak; Man who pleaded guilty in deputy’s death sentenced to life
- Fisherman hooks gator in Buffalo Bayou
- Squatters or scam victims? Homeowner finds another family living in home
- Charges sought against those who toppled Confederate statue
- Houston group asks mayor to remove Confederate statue from downtown park
- Federal court invalidates part of Texas congressional map
- Texas to receive millions in federal funding for wildlife conservation projects
- How a total solar eclipse created France, Italy and Germany
- Deputies Go Unpunished for Invasive Cavity Search on Houston Roadside
- Florida man gets 6 years for firing gun during strip club selfie
- Map details where Texas hate groups are in 2017
- Man blames ‘hookah-smoking caterpillar’ for wrecking liquor store, police say
- ‘I feel like I was raped,’ woman says of invasive roadside strip search
- New Mexico Bandidos members held in Texas in firearms case
- Man, 57, commits suicide after shooting juveniles during road-rage incident, police say
- Mother charged with child abandonment after newborn found in flower bed
- President Trump condemns KKK, neo-Nazis as ‘thugs’
- Woman hit, killed by Houston garbage truck while crossing street
- Legislature advances annexation bill to Gov. Abbott
- 2 Teens Who Attacked Man Shot After Auto Accident in Galveston
- White nationalist rally, counter protest planned at Texas A&M on Sept. 11
- Hundreds Clash over Confederate Monument in San Antonio
- Greenspoint Mall to close in 60 days, sources say
- Texas House approves “compromise” city annexation bill
- Asps — poisonous, stinging caterpillars — back in season
- Texas bathroom bill appears to be all but dead in special session
- Gator spotted on Galveston County road
- After 2015 legalization, Texans may be able to buy medical cannabis oil by January
- Conroe Chief of Police asked to leave doctor’s office
- Law Enforcement Increasingly Opposed to Abbott’s Agenda
- Meet the Expert Who Helps Texas Cops Justify Extreme Behavior
- Baytown woman charged in two La Porte road-rage incidents
- FBI agents searched former Trump campaign chair’s home
- Special Session a ‘Battle Royal’ for Dominionists Who Seek Christian Rule
- Zoo employee accused of sex with 14-year-old boy
- New requirement for Texas driver’s license begins soon
- With 8 days left in special session, Texas House and Senate remain far apart
- What you need to know if your vehicle is flooded
- City of Houston applies for FEMA grant to help elevate homes in flood-prone areas
- Commissioners vote to ban swimming, fishing in San Luis Pass
- Texas backs Wisconsin in battle to protect partisan gerrymandering
- SE Houston gas pump appears to charge customers after they are done filling up
- Carjacking suspect accused of shooting father multiple times sentenced to 171 months in prison
- 4 arrested in connection with 2 deadly shootings in Montgomery County
- 1 drowns, 2 injured in incident at San Luis Pass
- 1 arrested, 1 on the run in linked cases of Spring nurse found dead, missing UH student
- Near Drowning at Bacliff Chase Park Pool
- Drunk Wrong Way Driver Arrested in Dickinson
- Lasker Park Community Swimming Pool to Open on August 15th
- Man accused of touching girls’ buttocks in back-to-school aisle at Walmart
- Rare pink dolphin spotted in Louisiana waterway
- Woman found hiding in bed of pickup truck says she ‘was just looking at the stars’
- Amazon sells out of toilet paper with Trump’s tweets
- Teen home invasion suspect killed, man on the run in Baytown
- Houston man last seen throwing life jacket to daughter before going underwater at Canyon Lake
- Deadly dare: 8-year-old girl dies after drinking boiling water
- 2nd Man In Robbery Spree Gets 20 Years Prison
- Oklahoma to seek death penalty against William Reese
- 4 officers taken to hospital after 2 patrol units run into each other, police say
- STATE LEGISLATURE PUTTING THE BRAKES ON TEXAS CITY ANNEXING SAN LEON WITHOUT SAN LEON RESIDENTS APPROVAL:
- 2 men charged in teen girl’s shooting death in Bacliff
- Weed company buys town in hopes of creating pot-friendly tourist destination
- Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick calls city governments the source of “all our problems in America”
- Man, 25, arrested for DWI after crashing into patrol car, deputies say
- Texas man snags “bucket list” 12-foot tiger shark off Padre Island
- Chauna Thompson, deputy terminated in wake of Denny’s choking death, appeals firing
- Humble ISD police officer accused of child pornography
- Angry woman robs cellphone store with large gun
- Dalia Dippolito discusses prison break in recorded jail call after recent conviction
- Tiny mermaid-painted shed drifted 200 miles in Gulf of Mexico
- Uber ride turns into nightmare for recent Texas A&M graduate
- ‘Sugar daddy’ banned from beaches after handing out provocative cards
- Business owners fight against crime in Chinatown
- 14-year-old girl clocked driving 107 mph during chase in Montgomery County
- Fight outside Spire Nightclub ends in crash, shooting
- When school’s out, rural Texas towns struggle to feed their hungry kids
- Guided bus tour of Houston’s strip clubs, massage parlors sheds light on human-trafficking business
- NASA looking to hire officer to protect earth from alien harm
- In Texas House, property tax proposals range from minor tweaks to abolishment
- Man exposes himself to woman outside fitness center, police say
- Man accused of robbing people who post items on buy, sell sites
- What it means for Texas colleges if Trump targets affirmative action
- ‘Cash Me Outside’ girl sentenced for stealing mother’s car, using her credit cards
- President Trump signs bill imposing sanctions on Russia
- Wife shoots, kills husband after finding him with another woman, police say
- Humble restaurant employees accused of sexually assaulting teenage girls
- Family reunited with dog 3+ years after it went missing
- Angleton animal sanctuary facing fines after filing lawsuit
- Woman finds evidence bag full of marijuana at neighborhood park
- State Rep. Dawnna Dukes declines deal from Travis County District Attorney
- Report: Texas could lose billions if new immigration enforcement law stands
- Texas’ War on Local Control is Part of National Trend
- Wife of accused gunman dies after double shooting that led to innocent woman’s death
- ‘Ghost forests’ appearing from Canada to Texas
- Man charged after leaving crash that left motorcycle rider in critical condition, police say
- Flight in Vegas delayed by naked passenger, officials say
- Galveston’s Pleasure Pier ride Revolution shut down temporarily
- How often do shark attacks happen in Texas waters?
- Naked bank robbery suspect tosses stolen money
- Harris County officials continue crackdown on unlicensed after-hour bars
- Wife: Disagreement over Trump contributed to divorce from state attorney
- Kingwood native torches 8 cars after wedding called off, police say
- HPD officer hit by car, plunges 16 feet off Southwest Freeway
- Texas executes man who claimed his lawyers committed fraud
- Woman arrested on suspicion of posting ‘revenge porn’ online
- Statue honoring Alvin’s hometown hero, Nolan Ryan, topples
- Man arrested after showing porn to child at supermarket, authorities say
- Underage woman claims she was raped after being served at Houston-area restaurant
- The Woodlands teens accused of Florida crime spree after posting Snapchat videos
- La Marque residents asked to boil water after order issued
- Man who fled to Mexico after murder charge 21 years ago arrested trying to re-enter US
- Texas Senate passes bill to allow people to vote on whether a city can annex them
- Spring man caught filming up skirts arrested on child porn, invasive photography charges
- One-armed, machete-wielding clown arrested, police say
- Despite Knowledge of Climate Change in 1970s, Texas Utility Companies Funded Climate Denial
- Venus Williams accuses 78-year-old man killed in crash of not wearing seat belt
- Scammers target college students eager for scholarship money
- Woman accused of kidnapping baby while hitchhiking
- Every Texan in the U.S. House just voted for sanctions against Russia
- Man accused of producing child pornography
- Persistence pays off for rural Texans besieged by sky-high power prices
- Man accused of beating dog with crow bar
- 2 charged with prostitution after offering sex acts to undercover constables, authorities say
- Senate votes to start debate on health care bill
- Harris County pastor charged with sexual abuse of a child
- Trump’s New Immigration Lockup Draws Local Opposition in Conroe
- Set for execution, death row inmate alleges legal fraud in hopes of a stay
- Concerns raised over new Harris County bail system
- Crooks return to rob dentist office after police leave
- 2 throw drugs out window during high-speed chase, police say
- 5 arrested after drugs, gun, money seized from Magnolia home
- 15 years later, Clara Harris remains in state prison for husband’s murder
- Woman, 91, kicked out of Sunnyside home
- Congressman: If female GOP senators were South Texas men, I’d challenge them to a duel
- Turning Tail
- Death toll in San Antonio immigrant-smuggling case rises to 10
- Ex-Mexican drug cartel leader gets 30 years in US prison
- Kushner’s statement on Russia: What to know
- Analysis: In special session, Texas Senate’s the hare, House is the tortoise
- Texas Senate panel targets mail-in ballot fraud after high-profile case
- Drunk Driver Sentenced to 50 Years for Fatal Crash
- Tanker Crew Rescues 5 In Capsized Boat
- Man Sentenced to 45 Years on Drug Charges
- After Texas “human trafficking crime,” Lt. Gov. Patrick lauds sanctuary city law
- Charges possible in disturbing Florida drowning case
- Texas Senate committee OKs bill to outlaw city cellphone restrictions
- Texas Senate panel approves teacher bonuses, retirement benefits
- Carjacking suspect opens fire on officer during chase in SW Houston
- Man, 2 children killed in crash in NE Houston
- Katy woman arrested for DWI after man follows, records her erratic driving
- Mickey Mouse mask-wearing burglar caught on camera breaking into 2 stores
- Houston pastor Victoria Osteen says she does not endorse skin care product
- Senate committee passes bills on private school choice and school finance study
- Bill limiting city, county spending fuels war over local control
- Woman, 93, dragged during carjacking at church, police say
- Trans Texans, Advocates Swarm Texas Capitol to Oppose ‘Bathroom Bills’ (Again)
- Man admits to killing 14-year-old half-brother, authorities say
- Monkey on the loose in south Houston after attacking girl, police say
- ‘Million Dollar Ho’ arrested in Florida prostitution sting
- Turner reopens bids for recycling contract to 4 companies
- District attorney to pursue death penalty against 4 suspects
- Houston woman charged in connection with ransom scheme
- Pastor in The Woodlands accused of prostitution
- Academy Sports + Outdoors laying off 100 employees
- 1 dead after shooting at NW Harris County apartments
- Kay Bailey Hutchison vows toughness on Russia as NATO ambassador
- Conroe horse-riding trainer accused of sexually assaulting child
- Environmental groups sue EPA over lax Texas air pollution permits
- Abbott adds school finance, retired teacher benefits to special session
- Bodycam allegedly shows Baltimore cop planting drugs
- Key events in OJ Simpson’s fall from sports hero, movie star
- Heat is part of life at Texas prisons, but federal judge orders one to cool it
- Growing health trend bypasses doctors’ offices for diagnosis, treatment
- HPD chief answers questions about Josue Flores murder case
- Sarah Davis wants more information about “misconduct” at TABC
- Texas Bill Would Revoke Medical License of Doctors Who Perform Abortions
- Senate gives early OK to must-pass “sunset” legislation
- Lead singer of The Suffers featured in national campaign
- Man wanted in 2016 fraud case
- Couple arrested for second time for impersonating Adele’s manager, police say
- Mexico says electronic device checks on US flights begin
- Dancing with Denial
- Teen shot at high school party at AirBNB house in southwest Houston
- Toll road drivers getting fed up with erroneous charges
- Trump administration: Trust Texas on voter education spending
- Baby dies after being infected with cold sore virus through kiss, parents say
- 24 firearms stolen after Texian Firearms robbed twice in one day
- Texas Republicans in Congress process health care bill’s collapse
- Florida man arrested after reporting cocaine stolen, deputies say
- Teens arrested after Facebook Live video of 23-year-old woman’s assault
- Girl, 17, fires shot at intruder while chasing him out of her house
- Police: Aunt charged after leaving young neice, nephew in hot car outside grocery store
- Texas Senate moves to fast-track special session agenda
- President Trump: ‘Let Obamacare fail’
- Why the murder charge against the Texas police officer who killed Jordan Edwards is rare
- What happens if Congress fails to repeal Obamacare?
- Four Texas Republicans in Congress were just outraised by Democratic challengers
- Angleton mulls proposal for RV park next to Stephen F. Austin statue
- Trump administration awards $2.3 million to Texas for border security
- Texas Democrats lay out their own special session priorities
- Gov. Abbott says property taxes are his top issue for special session
- Small Government Crusader Wants $35 Million to Fix a Battleship in His District
- OJ Simpson faces good chance at parole in Nevada robbery
- It’s a Trump Miracle! There are Signs of Life Among Texas Democrats
- IBM ups the ante in fight against Texas bathroom bill
- At some Texas universities, students accused of rape can transfer without a record
- Gas pump overcharges customers in League City
- Father survives after van crushed by 7,000-pound scrap metal
- Two killed in crash during police chase in NE Houston, police say
- At tail end of Texas redistricting trial, judges skeptical of state’s defense
- After dissident’s death, Ted Cruz hopeful about changing Chinese Embassy address
- Harris County Toll Road Authority faces lawsuit over fees charged to drivers
- 1 killed in shooting at Bella Terra shopping center in Fort Bend County, deputies say
- On day 5 of redistricting trial, Texas refutes claim that current political maps discriminate
- Trump Administration Preparing Texas Wildlife Refuge for First Border Wall Segment
- Second arrest made in death of 79-year-old Hedwig Village woman
- Greg Abbott’s Latino Problem
- Texas Gov. Greg Abbott formally launches 2018 re-election bid
- Licensing director is seventh official out at troubled Texas liquor agency
- Sketch released of man wanted in shooting that wounded 1-year-old
- Critics say Abbott catering to donors with special session priorities
- Former deputy constable facing sexual assault charges; other victims sought
- Man on Jet Ski catches goliath grouper off coast
- DPS trooper accused of prostitution
- Two arrested in connection with prostitution spas near The Woodlands
- MEET JOY: Baby elephant born at the Houston Zoo
- Revised Senate health care bill draws Cruz’s support but still short votes
- Heartbreakers in Dickinson and Jackie’s Brickhouse in Kemah Sued by Victim of Drunk Driver
- Galveston Yacht Captain Who Used Phony ID To Hide After Mysterious Deaths Is Sentenced
- Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick proposes millions for teacher bonuses and retirement
- Texas Republican congressman calls on Trump to keep his kids out of White House
- Trump meeting with France’s Macron in Paris
- Beto O’Rourke posts $2 million in fundraising in bid against Ted Cruz
- As congressional races draw big interest, Democrats still filling out statewide ticket
- Lawmakers failed to end troubled Driver Responsibility Program
- Man sues city, HPD, officer after excessive-force arrest, lawsuit says
- Family escapes SUV after it catches fire, days after purchase
- In court, redistricting battle puts sharper focus on 2013 Legislature
- Push made for change in evaluation of parolees after repeated crimes
- Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission names lone finalist for new executive director
- U.S. Rep. Al Green joins California Democrat’s effort to impeach President Trump
- Police seek father suspected of causing brain injury to child
- 4 arrested during home invasion in north Harris County, deputies say
- NYC launches $32 million plan to reduce rat population
- Houston public works director placed on leave amid bribery case involving HCC trustee
- Prying Eyes: Border Sheriffs to Use Iris-Scanning Tech in Push for ‘Virtual Wall’
- Trump defends embattled son after Fox News interview
- Texas death row inmate Scott Panetti to get further competency review
- Firefighters demanding pay raise in line with police officer salaries
- Former housekeeper’s son accused in Hedwig Village woman’s murder
- Two women accused of attacking woman with a hammer
- Woman, children left devastated after husband murdered by ex
- New executive director appointed to troubled Texas liquor agency
- U.S. Sens. Cornyn and Cruz sidestep questions about Trump and Russia
- Don’t throw rocks in glass cars? Glass concept car unveiled
- Community removes basketball hoop from park due to profanity
- Tow truck driver finds father of 4 shot to death outside SW Houston apartments
- Susan Combs, Fierce Critic of Endangered Species Act, Tapped for Agency in Charge of its Implementation
- Harris County will not join suit over state’s ‘sanctuary cities’ law
- Report: Shopping for electricity is getting cheaper in Texas
- Jenna Bush Hager goes through astronaut training at NASA’s JSC
- Trump Jr. tweets email chain on meeting with Russian lawyer
- Beachgoers form human chain to rescue family in water
- Five New Laws that Will Likely Get Texas Sued (Or Already Have)
- Sketch released of woman sought in northwest Houston shooting
- Video shows police officer violently beating homeless woman
- Voting rights battle in Pasadena could have Texas-wide legal ramifications
- Trial over Texas political maps starts in San Antonio
- 2 charged with capital murder after shooting man during drug deal, dumping body, police say
- Astros reach All-Star break in midst of historic season
- Willie Nelson on the road again, coming to Sugar Land’s Smart Financial Centre
- Texas Lawmaker Files Bill to Repeal SB 4 During Special Session
- Woman sought in shooting near Missouri City
- Shots fired at officers in southeast Houston, police say
- Man arrested after alleged road rage incident
- Report: Loopholes Allow Polluters to Get Away With Worsening Air Quality
- Corvette-driving North Carolina priest arrested in Florida road-rage incident
- Prosecutors: 12 people rescued after being locked in sweltering truck
- Abbott officially calls special session, allowing lawmakers to begin filing bills
- SWAT standoff at southeast Houston lounge turns out to be misunderstanding, police say
- Acting director of Texas liquor agency abruptly quits
- With 2018 election looming, Texas back in court over political maps
- This Texan’s daughter needed medical marijuana, so he moved to Colorado
- 11 teens hospitalized after eating drug-laced gummy bears
- Upcoming Area Live Music Shows thru August
- Man catches 1,033-pound hammerhead shark in Texas City fishing tournament
- Handcuffs couldn’t stop man from proposing to girlfriend
- Austinite and former intern for House Speaker Straus killed in Greece
- Counterprotesters outnumber, confront Klan supporters at Virginia KKK rally
- Sen. Ted Cruz speaks with CVA at town hall meeting in Houston
- Woman pleads guilty to voting twice for Donald Trump in US election
- Biker gang member added to Texas Top 10 fugitives by DPS:
- Mother charged with child endangerment after leaving 4 children in hot car, police say
- Harris County judge suspended without pay amid drug, prostitution allegations
- Blue bullfrog reported in Iowa
- Texans to be allowed to carry swords, machetes in public places:
- Cop accused of robbing dead man had other troubles…
- Inmate’s escape: Phones, wire cutters, a drone and $47,000
- Federal judge throws out effort by UT professors to overturn campus carry
- US economy rebounds, adding 222,000 jobs in June
- Warren Buffett unveils deal to buy big piece of Texas electric grid
- Celebratory gunfire enters child’s room at Oak Forest home
- Back home in Texas, Cruz confronts health care politics
- Two more liquor regulators leaving troubled TABC
- Ex-Texas City police officer facing theft, drug charges
- Trump administration: New Texas voter ID law fixes discrimination
- Lawmaker urged Abbott to veto bill legalizing hot air balloon hog hunting
- ‘Habitual offenders’ caught during theft, arrested, police say
- City threatens veteran with fine for flag in front yard
- Abandoned puppy found in airport bathroom with note from owner
- ‘Recipe for Discrimination’: Legal Battle Brews Over New ‘Religious Refusal’ Child Welfare Law
- Paxton’s “friends” are still helping attorney general pay for his legal defense
- US intelligence: North Korea launched new kind of missile
- Trump at odds with many G20 nations on several issues
- Father drowns saving son, 5, at San Luis Pass
- Female NYPD officer shot in the head, dies in hospital
- La Porte firefighter accused of driving drunk, crashing truck into child’s bedroom
- My grandfather was a death row doctor. He tested psychedelic drugs on Texas inmates.
- Residents concerned over dangerous intersection after 4 crashes in 1 month
- Small dog survives after being thrown from moving vehicle on I-10
- Body found in Lake Livingston during search for missing man, 1 day after wife’s body found
- Man catches massive 964-pound shark during Texas City fishing tournament
- Woman, 79, ‘brutally murdered’ in Hedwig Village home put up fight, officials say
- Menacing monkeys video shows animals charging family
- Gator’s Rant: Trump to meet with Putin
- Ted Cruz gets an earful in McAllen for July 4
- Video: ‘Freedom’ Rally Brings Alt-Right Groups to Austin for Fourth of July Weekend
- Why one of the largest counties in Texas is going back to paper ballots
- Man arrested, accused of impersonating police officer
- Embattled Texas liquor agency announces third high-level departure
- Christie defends use of beach closed to public amid shutdown
- Man pretends to be FBI agent after crash, police say
- Illegal Immigrants Returning To Mexico For American Jobs
- Texas City commissioner charged in Galveston Causeway crash that killed 2
- Fox Tucker gets cut off when talking about the Uranium deal ... technical difficulties LOL October 18, 2017submitted by /u/petereddit6635 [link] [comments]/u/petereddit6635
- Jesus is actually going on Ellen... October 18, 2017submitted by /u/nnDMT420 [link] [comments]/u/nnDMT420
- “State Department reveals 2,800 Huma Abedin government documents on Weiner’s laptop”-Clinton Email Federal Court Hearing Thursday, October 19 October 18, 2017submitted by /u/onelove1979 [link] [comments]/u/onelove1979
- No one in /Conspiracy gives a shit about Harvey Weinstein, fake accounts have to be posting about it to move Las Vegas posts to bottom October 18, 2017I mean, come on, I can’t be the only one browsing /conspiracy thinking, with all that just happened in Vegas, do people really care about Harvey Weinstein here? I’ve been thinking it for days, but now, felt compelled to address it. I think there are tons of fake accounts posting all this Weinstein nonsense here […]/u/smerff
- CIA urges POTUS Trump to delay release of 3,000 never-before-seen documents on assassination of John F. Kennedy October 18, 2017submitted by /u/jsuibck [link] [comments]/u/jsuibck
- r/conspiracy is falling (or being pushed) into the abyss, despite recent popularity increase. 1st class suppression of free thought debate, no way there is 3,559 people on here, yet we cant prove it October 17, 2017submitted by /u/NewPerspectiveTruth [link] [comments]/u/NewPerspectiveTruth
- I’m starting to buy in to all this October 17, 2017This morning I posted a link about the FBI Hilary/Obama coverup and Today I was banned from r/News. I am shocked, I know I shouldn’t be. There is a massive conspiracy to lie, hide, and misinform the masses. **** EDIT screen shot of the ban, https://ibb.co/i8dcO6 **** submitted by /u/TheRealBob_Belcher [link] [comments]/u/TheRealBob_Belcher
- R/NEWS censorship of Russian bribery plot before Obama administration October 17, 2017submitted by /u/GalacticCannibalism [link] [comments]/u/GalacticCannibalism
- Conspiracy Theory: Soros is moving money the same day the Obama/Hillary/Mueller Russia deal hit the news October 17, 2017Soros is the top of the pyramid for a giant RICO conspiracy. This deal means the FBI (at least a few people) helped The Clinton Foundation accept bribes for a Uranium One deal. This means Mueller, who was head of FBI at the time allowed it to happen. This means FBI was aware of pay […]/u/facereplacer3
- User in /r/Socialism accidentally realizes that the 1% are pitting us against each other so we never notice it’s the rich who are destroying society. Another user tells OP to ignore this and to continue following the approved narrative. As of now the mods have deleted the post. October 17, 2017submitted by /u/Inelon_ [link] [comments]/u/Inelon_
- Is no one else comprehending the fact that they put a senior citizen in a jail cell because she said something that contradicted her government? Holy fucking shit we are living in clown world. October 17, 2017submitted by /u/Inelon_ [link] [comments]/u/Inelon_
- FYI: the story that broke today about the Obama admin & Russia collusion is NOT old news. Yes, we knew they were involved in the sale of uranium but the kickbacks & other corruption is NEW & still developing. October 17, 2017And I'm getting annoyed as fuck that people are saying "look how long it took for this investigation to bring this to light... Trumps investigation will take a long time to bring truth too." Correct me if I'm wrong but the way I've interpreted this story is that the FBI investigation started* in 2009 and […]/u/okokok7654
- "Let's wait to see what Hillary has to say in interviews today. She cancelled them all? Oh." October 17, 2017The most obvious sign of guilt is her panic - just as she did the night she realized she just helped Trump win the election. What did she do? She vanished. First time a presidential nominee failed to concede in how long? Hiding is in her nature and she's doing it right now. When she […]/u/SixVISix
- This type of bullshit on Reddit that controls the narrative October 17, 2017submitted by /u/don_tiburcio [link] [comments]/u/don_tiburcio
- RED FLAG: George Soros has just transferred $18 billion dollars to the Open Society Foundation. Something is brewing... October 17, 2017It has jus been reported as of 3 hours ago that George Soros has just transferred a staggering $18 billion dollars to the Open Society Foundation, prompting question and concern. Something big is brewing.... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1abcRocxOxo http://dailycaller.com/2017/10/17/soros-transfers-18-billion-to-his-open-society-foundations/ submitted by /u/The_SaltLife [link] [comments]/u/The_SaltLife
- Fox Tucker gets cut off when talking about the Uranium deal ... technical difficulties LOL October 18, 2017
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Author Archives: Patrick Svitek
HOUSTON — Attorney General Ken Paxton‘s trial has been put off for a third time.
The judge in the securities fraud case against Paxton sided Wednesday with prosecutors who had been pushing for another trial delay because of a long-running dispute over their fees. The decision by Harris County District Court Judge Robert Johnson scrapped Paxton’s current Dec. 11 trial date and left the new one to be determined, possibly at a Nov. 2 conference.
Paxton had been set to go to trial on Dec. 11 on the least serious of three charges he faces. The date for that trial had already been pushed back twice because of pretrial disputes, first over the venue and then the judge.
For more than two years, Paxton has been fighting charges that he misled investors in a company from before his time as attorney general. The delayed trial deals with the charge that Paxton failed to register with the state securities board.
Paxton has pleaded not guilty to all the allegations. He has already been cleared in a similar, civil case at the federal level.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton‘s lawyers and the prosecutors handling the securities fraud case against him are preparing to debate a familiar topic Wednesday: whether his trial should be delayed — for a third time — until the prosecutors can get paid.
Both sides are due in Houston for a hearing on the prosecutors’ latest effort to push back the trial amid a long-running legal battle over their compensation — a fight that recently reached the state’s highest criminal court, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. Earlier this year, when Paxton’s case was before a different judge, the prosecutors were unsuccessful in a prior attempt to delay the trial until they could collect their paycheck.
Currently, Paxton is set to go to trial Dec. 11 on the less serious of three charges he faces. The date for that trial has already been pushed back twice due to pretrial disputes, first over the venue and then the judge.
In a recently filed motion, the prosecutors asked the judge in the Paxton case to further delay the trial until the Court of Criminal Appeals can sort out of the payment issue — “a process which could take many months.” That ongoing litigation, coupled with logistical difficulties created by Hurricane Harvey, “make a trial date in December impossible” for the prosecutors, they wrote.
Paxton’s team scoffed at that ask in a response Tuesday, saying the prosecutor pay battle is “wholly irrelevant to the trial.”
“If ‘a trial date in December [is] impossible,’ for the attorneys pro tem as they state in their brief, then their remedy is not further degradation of Paxton’s right to a speedy trial — it is withdrawal,” Paxton’s lawyers wrote. “Should they wish to do so, Paxton will not lodge any objection.”
Last week, the Court of Criminal Appeals intervened in the dispute over the prosecutors’ pay, issuing a stay of a lower-court ruling last month that voided a six-figure paycheck for them. In its decision, the Court of Criminal Appeals gave all sides 30 days to respond to the prosecutors’ argument that the lower court, the Dallas-based 5th Court of Appeals, overreached when it invalidated the payment.
The issue of the compensation of the prosecutors on the case stems from a series of lawsuits from Jeff Blackard, a supporter of the attorney general, who has sought to limit the payments by the Collin County Commissioners Court, arguing excessive taxpayer money is going toward prosecuting Paxton. The commissioners ultimately took up the fight, asking the 5th Court of Appeals to cut off the prosecutors’ pay.
For over two years, Paxton has been fighting charges that he misled investors in a company from before his time as attorney general. The Dec. 11 trial deals with the charge that Paxton failed to register with the state securities board.
Paxton has pleaded not guilty to all the allegations. He has already been cleared in a similar, civil case at the federal level.
Paxton will not attend the hearing Wednesday.
“Attorney General Paxton is traveling on official business to meet some long standing commitments that were made prior to the hearing,” Matt Welch, a spokesman for the Paxton campaign, said in a statement. “Both the judge and the special prosecutors agreed to waive his appearance requirement.”
AUSTIN – Gov. Greg Abbott said Friday another special session of the Texas Legislature won’t be necessary to deal with the response to Hurricane Harvey.
“We won’t need a special session for this,” Abbott told reporters, noting that the state has enough resources to “address the needs between now and the next session.”
The Legislature isn’t scheduled to meet again until January 2019. Abbott has the authority to call them in the interim for special session lasting up to 30 days, as he did in July to address a 20-item agenda.
Abbott also noted that state lawmakers have “smartly kept a lot of money” in the Rainy Day Fund, the state’s savings account. The fund, which is largely made up of tax revenue on oil and gas production, was projected to have a balance of $10.3 billion at the end of August, according to a recent estimate from the Texas Comptroller’s Office.
Abbott made the remarks during a news conference at the state’s Emergency Operations Center in Austin, where he had received a briefing on Harvey.
In recent days, some members of the Texas Legislature have speculated that a special session to address the recovery seemed likely.
State lawmakers are already preparing to begin work on Harvey assistance before the 2019 session. In a letter to House members Wednesday, Speaker Joe Straus said he will soon issue interim charges to House committees to address the challenges created by Harvey.
“Undoubtedly, the financial cost of rebuilding will be significant,” the San Antonio Republican wrote. “The House Appropriations Committee will identify state resources that can be applied toward the recovery and relief efforts being incurred today, as well as long-term investments the state can make to minimize the impact of future storms.”
Angela Paxton, the wife of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, is considering a run for state Senate, according to people familiar with her thinking.
Paxton has her sights set on Senate District 8, which is currently held by Van Taylor, R-Plano. He’s expected to give up the seat to run for Congress in 2018.
Paxton is a guidance counselor at Legacy Christian Academy in Frisco. She’s also active in Collin County Republican politics.
A Paxton candidacy would shake up the current race to replace Taylor. Phillip Huffines, the chairman of the Dallas County GOP, has emerged as a frontrunner after two Republican state representatives from Plano, Jeff Leach and Matt Shaheen, considered running but ultimately took a pass.
“I’m excited to hear that she’s prayerfully considering it and think she would make an incredible state senator for our district,” Leach said. “She already has my support.”
Shaheen, who announced Friday he would instead seek re-election to the House, said Paxton running is a “great idea” and she would “absolutely” have his support. She’s a “needed voice to replace Van,” Shaheen said.
State Rep. Jodie Laubenberg, R-Parker, also said Paxton would have her support.
Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday weighed in on the renewed debate over Confederate monuments in Texas, saying that removing them “won’t erase our nation’s past, and it doesn’t advance our nation’s future.”
Abbott’s statement follows deadly violence that broke out Saturday at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where participants were protesting the proposed removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. The unrest in Charlottesville led elected officials in some of Texas’ biggest cities to begin looking into taking down similar monuments in their areas.
“Racist and hate-filled violence – in any form — is never acceptable, and as Governor I have acted to quell it,” Abbott said in the statement. “My goal as governor is to eliminate the racist and hate-filled environment we are seeing in our country today.”
“But we must remember that our history isn’t perfect,” Abbott added. “If we do not learn from our history, we are doomed to repeat it. Instead of trying to bury our past, we must learn from it and ensure it doesn’t happen again. Tearing down monuments won’t erase our nation’s past, and it doesn’t advance our nation’s future. As Governor, I will advance that future through peace, not violence, and I will do all I can to keep our citizens safe.”
It’s not just in Texas’ cities that the debate over Confederate monuments is heating up. Earlier Wednesday, state Rep. Eric Johnson, D-Dallas, sent a letter to the State Preservation Board asking it to immediately remove a Confederate plaque outside his office. The plaque, Johnson wrote, “has no rightful place in the Texas Capitol.”
“Also, given the recent tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia, I cannot think of a better time than the present to discuss the removal of all Confederate iconography from the Texas Capitol Complex,” Johnson wrote, asking for a meeting of the board to discuss the issue and requesting an inventory of such iconography at the Capitol.
Even in recent history, this discussion is not new for Texas lawmakers. Two years ago, after the South Carolina Legislature voted to remove the Confederate flag from its Capitol grounds, a group of five Democratic state legislators from Texas asked the state’s top leaders, including Abbott, for the creation of a task force to study the numerous Confederate monuments, markers and statutes on the Capitol grounds in Austin.
It’s unclear whether anything ever came of the lawmakers’ request. At the time, a spokesman for House Speaker Joe Straus said he’d visit with the legislators to hear their concerns. The offices of Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick did not return requests for comment.
Texas House Speaker Joe Straus and his chamber emerged from the rubble of a bruising special session Wednesday as a subject of both intense criticism and speculation about his future as head of the lower chamber.
There did not appear to be any immediate threats to Straus’ speakership, though the post-session finger-pointing signaled the intra-party conflict that consumed most of it is not going away anytime soon.
The House abruptly closed out the special session a day early Tuesday, declining to further negotiate on a key property tax bill after it agreed to Senate changes to a school finance package. Over the next 12 hours, both the governor and lieutenant governor of Texas sharply criticized Straus, a fellow Republican, making clear they both believed that the blame for measures that didn’t survive should be laid at his feet.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who oversees the Senate, declared the House “quit on the taxpayers of Texas” and unfurled a bevy of jabs at Straus — one of them invoking the Battle of the Alamo — at a late-night news conference following the Senate’s decision to follow the House’s lead and end the session in their chamber a day early. The Senate did so without accepting a House version of the property tax bill, rejecting what one senator described as a “take-it-or-leave-it” proposal.
Gov. Greg Abbott cranked up the heat Wednesday morning, assigning blame to Straus and the House for slow-walking his agenda and not giving all 20 items a vote on the House floor. He also portrayed Straus as an obstructionist when it came to the most controversial legislation on the call, a so-called “bathroom bill” that would have regulated which restroom transgender Texans can use.
“There’s no evidence he’s going to change his mind on it, and that’s why elections matter,” Abbott told Houston radio station KTRH, immediately stoking speculation that he was laying the groundwork for a Straus ouster.
In a subsequent radio interview, Abbott stopped short of calling for a new speaker but made clear many of the unfinished items on his agenda are unlikely to become law as long as Straus is speaker. “We’ve got to get the votes in the House,” said Abbott, whose well-funded political operation is gearing up for a much bigger role in the upcoming primaries than it had last time around.
Abbott’s blows landed as Straus attended a closely watched meeting of the House Republican Caucus. It had been requested by the conservative Freedom Caucus, which is looking to establish a process for Republican lawmakers to determine a candidate for speaker before the next session — potentially someone other than Straus, who intends to seek a record-breaking sixth term behind the gavel in 2019.
The House elects its speaker on the first day of the regular session. Historically, all of the 150 members in the chamber have voted on their own, leading to speakers supported by a coalition of Republicans and Democrats in the past. Democratic support played a role in Straus’ original election to Speaker in 2009, prompting critics who view Straus as too moderate to argue that the caucus could draw a more conservative speaker if they could unite behind another candidate.
Over 80 of the chamber’s 95 Republican members reportedly showed up to Wednesday’s meeting, which lasted roughly an hour and a half and ended with a standing ovation for Straus. Freedom Caucus members came out of the meeting saying they were looking forward to continuing a discussion about speaker nomination rules at the House Republican Caucus’ September retreat.
“Nothing was decided except that it’s a conversation that’s worthy of being continued,” said state Rep. Matt Schaefer, R-Tyler, chairman of the Freedom Caucus. “We’re not talking about a person. We’re talking about a process.”
Straus briefly spoke with reporters as he left the meeting, making a short walk from the room where the caucus met to a bank of elevators.
“We had a very good conversation, and I enjoyed it,” Straus said. “I think all of us did. Very constructive, very positive, very unifying in a lot of ways.”
He did not answer shouted questions about Patrick’s criticism Tuesday night. In a statement after the meeting, Straus said the House “considered every idea carefully, listened to constituents, and acted on a number of critical issues” during the special session. He also thanked Abbott for working with the lower chamber on his “very ambitious agenda.”
A number of Straus lieutenants were tight-lipped about how the caucus meeting went as they darted out of it. “Very good,” said state Rep. Todd Hunter, R-Corpus Christi, chairman of the Calendars Committee. “Good, productive meeting,” repeatedly said state Rep. Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, chairman of the State Affairs Committee. State Rep. Dan Huberty — a Houston Republican who was deeply involved in end-of-session talks as the House’s education chief — declined to comment.
Straus’ situation was not just the talk of Republicans on Wednesday morning. He was repeatedly mentioned at a nearby Capitol rally featuring Democratic lawmakers, where U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro of San Antonio, a former member of the Texas House, spoke of a “very ugly internal fight” in the Texas GOP and accused Abbott and Patrick of seeking to “cannibalize” Straus. As for the speaker’s future, Democrats suggested they were watching the GOP caucus deliberations with interest.
“The jury’s out,” state Rep. César Blanco of El Paso said, “and we’ll see what Republicans decide.”
Straus has easily survived various challenges since he rose to power in 2009. The last time the GOP caucus chose to collectively nominate a speaker candidate — in 2011 — Straus prevailed with the support of an overwhelming majority of members.
Straus does not seem fazed by his critics as of late. With a few days left in the regular session in May, Straus quietly filed paperwork with the Texas Ethics Commission declaring his candidacy for speaker in the 2019 session. Asked if he was definitely running again Wednesday, Straus offered a smile and few words as he waited for elevator doors to close, a pack of reporters in tow.
“No big announcements in that room,” Straus responded. “It was a good conversation. Very positive.”
Lillie Schechter, the new chairwoman of the Harris County Democratic Party, has watched in recent months as at least seven candidates have come through the doors of the party headquarters to introduce themselves, eager for their shot at U.S. Rep. John Culberson, R-Houston.
That’s seven candidates that she can recall, but she may be forgiven for forgetting: Texas’ 7th Congressional District is one of several that have already drawn a swarm of Democratic candidates for 2018. The bonanza is unfolding not just in districts like the 7th — one of three in Texas that national Democrats are targeting — but also in even redder districts, delighting a state party that is not used to so much so interest so early.
“When we have competitive primaries, we get to engage with more Democrats,” Schechter said. “I do not see that as a negative thing.”
Yet it’s just one part of the picture for Democrats at the outset of the 2018 election cycle. While the congressional races are overflowing with candidates, the party remains without a number of statewide contenders — a reality that is coming into focus ahead of Republican Gov. Greg Abbott‘s anticipated announcement Friday that he’s running for re-election. Barring any last-minute surprises, Abbott will make his second-term bid official without the presence of a serious Democratic rival.
The state’s Democrats are urging patience, saying they are in talks with potential Abbott challengers and other possible statewide candidates.
“I think if you look in past years, traditionally candidates will start filing in the fall, and by the end of the filing deadline, I think we’ll have a full slate of strong candidates to run statewide,” said U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro of San Antonio, who himself took a pass on statewide race earlier this year, declining to challenge U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. “I know there’s been a lot of energy across the country and in Texas on the Democratic side, and so many people want to get a move on already, but by the end of year, I’ll think you’ll see a full slate of strong Democratic candidates.”
Several holes to fill
So far, Democrats have three statewide candidates they see as serious: U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke of El Paso for U.S. Senate, Houston-area accountant Mike Collier for lieutenant governor and Kim Olson, a retired Air Force colonel, for agriculture commissioner. They are without similarly credible contenders for governor, comptroller, land commissioner, railroad commissioner and attorney general — a seat considered particularly worth targeting because the GOP incumbent, Ken Paxton, is under indictment.
By far the biggest profile belongs to O’Rourke, who announced his challenge to Cruz in March. As the top of the ticket — assuming he wins his party’s primary next year — he stands a chance of being Texas Democrats’ standard-bearer in 2018, regardless of whom they ultimately put up for the other statewide jobs.
In an interview Monday, O’Rourke said he was not worried about the lack of company so far on his party’s statewide ticket.
“I can’t worry about what I can’t control, and so we’re just going to focus on our campaign,” he said.
But he also expressed optimism for the party’s prospects up and down the ballot in 2018 “as more people become aware of how significantly the dynamics have changed in Texas.”
It may be somewhat early, but the lack of a gubernatorial candidate — or even a well-known potential contender — is particularly glaring. Taking out Abbott would likely be an even steeper climb than usual for Texas Democrats seeking statewide office, as the governor has a massive $34.4 million war chest. It’s a number expected to grow by the millions when he discloses his latest fundraising numbers next week.
“We’ve had conversations with a handful of folks who are considering a run for governor,” said Manny Garcia, deputy executive director of the Texas Democratic Party. “They’re the kind of people that make us excited. They’re the kind of people who can raise credible resources, they have a great story to tell and they’re the kind of people who, most importantly, could get the job done.”
Of the last four Democratic nominees for governor, none of them announced his or her campaign this early. The closest was 2006 nominee Chris Bell, whose announcement came on July 28, 2005 — 467 days before Election Day. The 2018 election is currently 481 days away.
Yet previous cycles have typically brought a bit more excitement and buzz leading up to such announcements. There were the months of speculation that came before the launch of South Texas millionaire Tony Sanchez’s 2002 bid to become the first Hispanic governor of Texas. In 2014, former state Sen. Wendy Davis kept Democrats waiting until 14 weeks after her anti-abortion filibuster made her a national star.
This time around, such hype is subdued at best. Perhaps the most prominent name to garner some speculation is former state Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer of San Antonio, who recently told his hometown newspaper a potential candidacy is “not a conversation that I’m entertaining at this time.”
While there has not been frenzied speculation about the governor’s race, Democrats note their talent was on full display earlier this year when two rising stars, O’Rourke and Castro, both seriously considered the Senate race. While Castro ultimately declined to run, there’s still another statewide contest that could involve two credible Democrats: former state Rep. Allen Vaught of Dallas is weighing whether to join Collier in the race for lieutenant governor.
Flood of congressional contenders
In any case, the current state of Democrats’ statewide ticket provides a contrast with the congressional map, where several vigorous Democratic primaries are already underway — not just in the three districts in the crosshairs of national Democrats but also in a few not on their radar.
There are at least half a dozen Democratic candidates in the 21st district, which is currently represented by Lamar Smith, a San Antonio Republican who drew only two challengers in 2016 and won re-election by more than 20 percentage points. In the 31st district, John Carter, a Round Rock Republican, is up to at least four Democratic foes after just one ran in the primary last time.
Candidate after candidate points to a common denominator in their decision to run.
“Knowing what happened on Nov. 8 and knowing that Donald Trump is our president … it’s just really galvanized a lot of Democratic support all around the state and locally, and people are stepping up,” said Ed Meier, a former Hillary Clinton staffer looking to unseat U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Dallas.
Early signs indicate some of the races are also drawing big money. In the 32nd district, Meier’s campaign says he raised $345,000 in its first two months, while another Democratic hopeful, Colin Allred, took in more than $200,000 over a similar period, according to his team. In the 7th district, Democratic contender Alex Triantaphyllis says he raised over $450,000 in eight weeks, while primary rival Lizzie Pannill Fletcher has announced a haul of more than $365,000 in seven weeks.
With Abbott’s announcement looming, though, the spotlight is intensifying on Democrats’ statewide recruits. Republicans say they are being anything but complacent as they wait for Democrats to fill out their statewide ticket.
“Texas Democrats have two problems aside from being unable to field a full slate of credible candidates in 2018: We’re mobilizing our grassroots as vigorously as if they did have that full slate, and Texas Republicans continue to deliver for Texans,” state GOP spokesman Michael Joyce said in a statement.
Harris County, the biggest in Texas, will no doubt be on their radar next year. While Clinton easily won it in the 2016 presidential election, it has a history of being a battleground for both parties — and a highly prized ingredient in any recipe for statewide victory.
For all the Democratic enthusiasm in the Trump era, Schechter said she was not too surprised it has not yet translated into a full and robust statewide slate.
“I think Texas is a really big state, and it’s a really big challenge,” she said, adding that her central focus is the countywide ticket in 2018. “We still need to shore up our votes in a major metropolitan area like Harris County to make it an easier statewide run.”
Abby Livingston contributed to this report.
MCALLEN — U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, waded into this Democratic stronghold Tuesday to celebrate the Fourth of July — and predictably got an earful from protesters, many upset with the Senate’s efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Cruz, who has a knack for confrontation with his political opponents in Washington and far outside it, had to speak over the demonstrators for most of his speech at an Independence Day ceremony, twice pausing to address the commotion. They were countered by a similarly vocal group of Cruz supporters, who sought with varying success to drown them out with chants of “USA!”
“Isn’t freedom wonderful?” Cruz said shortly after taking the stage. “Think about it: In much of the world, if protesters showed up, they would face violent government oppression. In America, we’ve got something different.”
As he ended his remarks, Cruz again made reference to the protesters, addressing them as “our friends who are so energized today that they believe that yelling is a wonderful thing to do.”
“I will say you have the right to speak, and I will always defend your right to speak and participate in the democratic process,” Cruz said. “That’s what makes us free, that’s what makes us America.”
Cruz received a calmer reception later in the morning as he participated in a parade through downtown McAllen, waving from the back of a convertible followed on foot by two security guards.
Yet Cruz’s appearance in McAllen did not go unnoticed by local Democrats. Speaking after Cruz at the ceremony, U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez of McAllen called on Cruz, who was seated behind the congressman, to join him in urging President Donald Trump to work to bring home military veterans who have been deported. Gonzalez recently met with Trump about the issue.
“Today I ask Sen. Cruz to support me on this idea — and all the others senators and members of Congress,” Gonzalez said. “We should not leave one soldier behind.”
Cruz’s involvement in the July Fourth festivities had become something of a local story here in recent days. After the announcement of his participation drew a backlash, McAllen Mayor Jim Darling released a statement defending the senator’s attendance at the event, which Darling called an “opportunity to engage in productive dialogue.”
There appeared to be an initial possibility that Cruz could meet with La Union del Pueblo Entero, a local immigrant rights group, while in McAllen. But the organization ultimately declined to visit with Cruz, pushing instead for a town hall where the senator could hear directly from his constituents.
Cruz has made three trips to McAllen since December, part of an uptick in travel across the state after his 2016 presidential campaign — and a 2018 re-election race against U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso. For his part, O’Rourke was over 600 miles away Tuesday morning, participating in the July 4 festivities in Lubbock, an area as Republican as McAllen is Democratic.
“I think the fact [Cruz] has been in office so long and only recently taken interest in the Rio Grande Valley means that he’s not really interested in listening,” said John-Michael Torres, the communications coordinator for LUPE. “He’s just trying to improve his image.”
While the town hall did not materialize Tuesday, Cruz did get some face time with his critics. He worked the crowd for several minutes before the ceremony, though he stopped short of the most vocal group in the bleachers, where awaiting him were signs saying, “Ted wants us dead,” and “Cruzin for a Bruzin 2018.”
Speaking with reporters after his remarks, Cruz suggested the protesters were part of “a small group of people on the left who right now are very angry.” Asked if he planned to directly acknowledge the protesters, he insisted he had visited with them when he greeted the crowd earlier and nodded to some common ground, noting he saw one sign about health insurance costs being too high.
“I tell ya, I agree,” said Cruz, who has had a key role in negotiating the Senate’s plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, though he remains a holdout on its most recent version. “I hear that from Texans all over the state who face premiums skyrocketing under Obamacare, who want relief.”
Health care was a resonant issue for Matthew Martinez, a local accountant who was toting one of many signs in the crowd reading, “Health care is a human right,” on one side and “Beto 2018,” on the other.
“He wants to completely gut Obamacare,” Martinez said of Cruz, “and he’s one of the few people against the Trump plan because he wants it to be stronger, which is crazy.”
Alex Gelman, a local GOP activist who had helped pass out pro-Cruz shirts and signs, said he and others wanted to show Cruz still has support in the Valley despite its strong Democratic tradition. Lingering on the sidewalk after the program, he said he found the protesters a bit disrespectful.
“If you want to protest us, fine, but just let him speak,” Gelman said. “He might — might — say something you like.”
The securities fraud case against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton kicked off Thursday in Harris County with no new trial date being set.
Instead, the new judge in the case, Robert Johnson, asked both sides to come back July 27 to continue discussing a potential schedule. Prosecutors pushed to hold off setting a trial date until they can get paid – an issue currently tied up in a Dallas appeals court.
Paxton has had two previous trial dates scrapped due to legal disputes – first over the venue, then over the judge. The hearing Thursday was the first time Paxton appeared before Johnson, the new judge, in the relocated venue of Harris County.
Paxton is accused of misleading investors in a company from before his time as attorney general. He has been fighting the charges for nearly two years now, and if convicted, he faces up to 99 years in prison.
He has beaten a similar, civil case at the federal level.
The issue of the prosecutors’ pay has long consumed the case. Collin County commissioners voted last month not to approve payments to the prosecutors and to instead take the dispute to the Dallas-based 5th Court of Appeals, where it has not yet been resolved.
“As long as they continue to sue us, our hands our tied,” said one of the prosecutors, Brian Wice. “This is an unprecedented attempt to defund and ultimately derail the prosecution.”
Paxton’s lawyers countered that the payment case could take much longer than the prosecutors were letting on, insisting that Paxton has a right to a speedy trial.
“Whether they get their money is not our problem,” Paxton lawyer Dan Cogdell said, adding that the citizens of Texas also deserve a speedy trial. “He is the sitting attorney general.”
The former judge in the case, George Gallagher, had rejected a similar effort by the prosecutors to put off the trial until they could get paid.
Johnson made another ask of both sides at Thursday’s hearing: He wants them to prepare a timeline of the case so far and submit it to him before their next meeting. They agreed on a July 7 deadline.
Whenever the trial date is set, it will only be for the lesser of three charges Paxton faces. Both sides expect the other two charges to be taken up in a potential subsequent trial.
Back in March, James Dickey, then the chairman of the Travis County Republican Party, showed up at the state Capitol to testify in support of House Bill 1911 — a proposal known as constitutional carry, or the ability to carry firearms without a license. It was a top legislative priority for the state GOP, and Dickey brought a message tailored for the Republicans on the House panel considering it: Don’t forget the platform.
“The plank which said we should have constitutional carry scored a 95 percent approval rate, outscoring over 80 percent of the other planks in the option,” Dickey said, referring to the party platform — a 26-page document outlining the party’s positions that is approved by delegates to its biennial conventions. Constitutional carry, Dickey added, “is something very clearly wanted by the most active members of the Republican Party in Texas.”
The bill never made it to the House floor, but a couple months later, Dickey ascended to the top of the state Republican Party — a perch he is now using to wield the same platform more aggressively, especially under the pink done. It’s become an early hallmark of his tenure, which is unfolding in the run-up to a special session expected to re-ignite many intra-party debates.
“I think he wants to try to utilize the party infrastructure to push for the ideas, not just simply elect Republicans,” said Brendan Steinhauser, a Republican strategist steeped in Travis County and statewide politics.
Could that lead to Dickey ruffling feathers at the Capitol?
“I hope so,” Steinhauser replied, “and I think so.”
Even before Gov. Greg Abbott announced earlier this month a special session beginning on July 18, Dickey sought to put a new emphasis on the platform. A day before the announcement, Dickey and most of the State Republican Executive Committee sent Abbott a letter asking him to use a potential special session to address the party’s incomplete legislative priorities.
Dickey claimed victory after Abbott announced the special session and its agenda, noting that half the items matched up with platform planks. They included Abbott’s calls for property tax reform, school choice for special needs students and a so-called “bathroom bill” that would regulate which restroom transgender Texans can use.
Now, the party is organizing teams of activists to focus on 15 issues during the special session, including the 10 that relate to platform planks.
The flurry of platform-related activity is not by accident. In an interview, Dickey said he saw delegates working hard on the platform at the last convention, and it was “such a wasted opportunity … in that we weren’t clearly, publicly showing them that we took all that effort seriously, and I wanted to fix that.”
“I absolutely felt like this was something people were looking for, but I’m also a marketing and business guy with a customer service background,” Dickey said, describing the platform as a way to both unify and grow the party. “In business, the easiest way to get extra customers is to show you care about your current customers and listen to what they ask for.”
Dickey’s predecessor, Tom Mechler, was far from absent at the Capitol but was viewed as less willing to push the platform in legislative debates — a disinclination that sparked some criticism as he prepared to step down. His tenure nonetheless saw some notable developments in the party’s platform process: The 2016 convention was the first time delegates voted on the platform plank by plank, and it was the first time they included legislative priorities in the document.
Mechler “was engaged a lot with us,” said Mike McCloskey, an SREC member from Cedar Park who serves on the legislative committee that is responsible for seeing the priorities through at the Capitol. For Dickey, the platform is “an area that is obviously important to him, and he has placed an emphasis on that,” added McCloskey, who supported Dickey’s opponent, Rick Figueroa, in the chairman’s race earlier this month.
It remains to be seen how GOP lawmakers are receiving the platform push. In an email to supporters Saturday, Dickey said Patrick had responded to his letter, promising the Senate is “ready to take action.” The party has “received multiple calls and emails from legislators who are willing to take point on Republican platform planks and put those bills in motion,” Dickey wrote.
The likeliest source of resistance is in the House, where leaders have shown no signs of backing down from their opposition to a number of the plank-related items. In just the latest example, state Rep. Dan Huberty, the Houston Republican who chairs the House Public Education Committee, said Sunday that school choice — Plank No. 147 — remains a nonstarter in the lower chamber.
For those watching Dickey’s early days as chairman, such resistance raises the question of how willing he’ll be to call out lawmakers who do not hew to the platform. In the interview, the new party leader presented himself as a “very much a glass-half-full guy,” saying he is aiming for “meaningful progress toward” the plank-related items and not demanding absolute loyalty.
“I would not expect anyone to know them all, much less than support” them all, Dickey said. “On the other hand, I would be gravely disappointed if anyone was a current Republican officeholder and could not find a few in there that they could not wholeheartedly support.”
While the platform has long included planks supported by the vast majority of Republicans, such as opposing a state income tax, there are other sections that are more controversial. The latest version urges support for a “return to the precious metal standard for the United States dollar” and describes homosexuality as a “chosen behavior that is contrary to the fundamental unchanging truths that has been ordained by God in the Bible.”
But Dickey is far from the first party chairman to grapple with how to best utilize the platform.
“There are debates on the platform and there are heated divisions, but I think it’s more a question of representing the conservative philosophy, which we tried and which was consistent with the platform,” said Tom Pauken, who led the state party in the 1990s. “I don’t think it makes sense to get into every detail of platform because conservatives have differences.”
A state lawmaker says his office was “grossly misled” by a group of white nationalists that wanted to have a rally at the Texas Capitol.
State Rep. Matt Schaefer, R-Tyler, said Monday that his office last month received a request from a man claiming to be a veteran with family from Schaefer’s district, asking if the lawmaker could sponsor a rally Saturday at the Capitol in support of Gov. Greg Abbott‘s and President Donald Trump’s policies. Schaefer, the leader of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, approved the request but said he immediately withdrew it when he learned the rally “involved participants who have a reputation for racist rhetoric.”
The rally, organized by a group called Tomorrow Belongs to Texas, was intended to “demonstrate how white identity is necessary to continue as a people and preserve Western culture,” according to a news release.
Earlier Monday, the Texas Democratic Party highlighted the rally, saying Schaefer “owes all Texans and the taxpayers who pay his salary an apology and complete explanation.” Schaefer fired back at the party in a statement explaining the situation.
“The Texas Democratic Party press release is false on its face and is a despicable fundraising ploy on an issue where we actually have common ground,” Schaefer said. “I guess Democrat party officials are more interested in political posturing, instead of standing together against hate speech.”
It appears Schaefer was not the only one to have been duped by the group. Scholz Garten, a popular restaurant near the Capitol, suggested on Facebook that the same group misrepresented itself as a veterans group when it made short-notice accommodations for a Saturday party.
Harris County District Judge Robert Johnson’s court has been randomly assigned to the case, according to Bill Murphy, a spokesman for the county district clerk.
Paxton’s lawyers had fought for months to get rid of the previous judge, George Gallagher, who had presided over the case since its early days in 2015. They were finally successful last week when the state’s highest criminal court declined to overturn an appeals court ruling backing their push for a new judge.
Last year, Johnson, a Democrat, narrowly unseated a Republican incumbent, Ryan Patrick, the son of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.
A 2011 graduate of Texas Southern University’s law school, Johnson worked for more than a decade in private practice before running last year for the 177th State District Court. As an attorney, Johnson mostly specialized in criminal defense.
Johnson, who is black, said in 2015 that he was running for judge because the criminal justice system was “broken” and that the courts needed more diversity.
“I don’t want you to vote for me because I’m a Democrat,” he said in one appearance on the stump. “I want you to vote for me because you believe I can make a difference.”
Paxton, a Republican, has been fighting the securities fraud charges for almost two years. He is accused of misleading investors in a company from before his time as attorney general. If convicted, he faces up to 99 years in prison.
Before the judge shakeup, Paxton had been set to go to trial on Sept. 12 in Houston on the lesser of three charges he faces.
The momentum seemed to be there.
After Donald Trump easily defeated Hillary Clinton in Texas, two of the state’s 38 Electoral College members cast ballots for someone other than the Republican nominee — a less-than-flattering moment for a state with a strong GOP tradition. In the days — even hours — after the Electoral College meeting in December, some of the state’s top Republicans rallied around proposals to “bind” presidential electors to the result of the statewide popular vote.
Yet no such legislation made it to Abbott’s desk over the course of the legislative session that ended in May. Instead, lawmakers are now seeking to study the issue during the interim, an anticlimactic end to a session that began with major-league support for the cause.
“We were kind of stuck,” said Eric Opiela, the former general counsel for the Texas GOP — which ended up opposing the way one of several filed bills dealt with “faithless electors.”
The debate appeared to boil down to whether such electors should be fined after going rogue or be immediately disqualified if they submit a ballot for someone other than the winner of the statewide popular vote. The former proposal was what emerged in the immediate aftermath of the Dec. 19 meeting, when electors Chris Suprun and Bill Greene voted for Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Lake Jackson, respectively.
More than a week before the vote — but after Suprun had already made clear he would not cast a ballot for Trump — state Rep. John Raney, R-College Station, filed House Bill 543, which would have created a $5,000 fine for any elector that does not support the winner of the statewide popular vote. Two days after the Electoral College meeting, Raney’s bill received a Senate companion, Senate Bill 394, by then-incoming state Sen. Dawn Buckingham, R-Lakeway.
In the House Elections Committee, HB 543 received a committee substitute that did away with the fine, instead making any elector ineligible to serve if he or she submits a ballot for someone other than the candidate who received the most votes in the general election in Texas. On April 17, the House elections panel approved the committee substitute on a unanimous vote. However, it never got a vote on the House floor.
Three days later, the Senate State Affairs Committee held a hearing on Buckingham’s legislation, which still included the fine. It was there that SB 394 encountered opposition from the state Republican Party. Opiela told the committee that the bill “would not solve the problem it is intended to address,” saying the fine could be “easily covered” by the elector or third parties and questioning whether it would survive a court challenge.
“The preferred method of ensuring the will of Texas voters is respected — and one which has been tested and withstood constitutional scrutiny by federal and district courts of appeal this past cycle — is to bind electors to the vote in Texas and provide a process for automatic resignation when an elector violates his pledge,” Opiela said during the hearing.
SB 394 was left pending in committee that day. It never got a vote.
Meanwhile, more legislation addressing rogue electors had cropped up. A pair of bills filed in late December and early January proposed to invalidate any ballot cast by a faithless elector — similar to the committee substitute to the Raney bill.
Neither bill made it out of committee, but in the final days of the session, one of their authors, GOP state Sen. Paul Bettencourt of Houston, sought to add his proposal as an amendment to another bill making various other changes to the state’s election code, House Bill 1735. That led to a tense exchange between him and Buckingham, who argued Bettencourt’s approach would make the Electoral College “obsolete.”
“If we’re going to force our Electoral College into a rubber stamp — against what our Founding Fathers wanted — why have an Electoral College at all?” Buckingham asked on the Senate floor.
Bettencourt, who insisted his amendment was “elegant in its solution,” ultimately withdrew it.
Later acknowledging that lawmakers were beginning to “have a very lively discussion” on whether to bind electors, state Sen. Joan Huffman, the Houston Republican who chairs the State Affairs Committee, suggested making the topic one of the interim charges Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick directs members of the Senate to research between the current session and the next one.
“I will ask for an interim charge on the issue at the appropriate time, and the lieutenant governor will make the ultimate decision as to whether it is issued,” Huffman said in a statement Thursday.
Elector-binding supporters will likely have a sympathetic ear in Patrick, who served as the Trump campaign’s Texas chairman. He had called Suprun’s decision a “slap across the face” to Trump’s voters in Texas and was among the first elected officials at the time to raise the prospect of an elector-binding law for the state.
Looking back on the session, people involved in the debate cite a number of reasons why a bill never made it to Abbott’s desk, including the Texas GOP’s influential opposition and the emergence of more pressing issues once the session got underway in January, a month after the Electoral College meeting. Abbott also never publicly weighed in on the issue beyond his remarks in December.
“Unfortunately the bill itself was hung up in the legislative process, but it is my understanding that the topic will be revisited as an interim study,” Raney said in a statement. “We will use the information gathered in the interim study, and review the issue again before the 86th Legislature.”