- Galveston, TX Weather :: 60F Overcast December 18, 201760F Overcast
- Galveston, TX Weather :: 60F Overcast December 18, 2017
- Jaguars thump Texans 45-7 for 1st playoff berth since 2007 December 17, 2017The Jacksonville Jaguars are returning to the playoffs for the first time in a decade thanks to a 45-7 drubbing of rival Houston on Sunday.Once the NFL's poster child for futility and a punchline for potential relocation, the Jaguars (10-4) are now one of the league's top turnaround stories.Blake Bortles threw three touchdowns passes, including […]
- Houston sports mascots come together for the holidays December 17, 2017The holidays bring a lot of family members together, but this year Houston sports mascots decided to link up.Orbit (Astros) posted a group photo with Clutch (Rockets), Foxy (Dynamo) and Toro (Texans)."I got the boys together to celebrate the holidays!" Orbit tweeted.It's been a busy season for all the mascots, but they all made time […]
- Harden, Paul lead Rockets to 13th straight victory December 17, 2017James Harden scored 31 points and Chris Paul had 25 in the Houston Rockets' 115-111 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night for their 13th straight victory.The winning streak is the Rockets' longest streak since a franchise-best 22 straight in 2007-08.Harden hit a step-back 3-pointer over Malcolm Brogdon and was fouled, giving Houston an […]
- Paul, Rockets rout Spurs for 12th straight victory December 16, 2017Chris Paul had 28 points, eight assists and seven steals to lead the Houston Rockets to their 12th straight victory, a 124-109 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night.Paul became the first player in NBA history to post 28 points, eight assists and seven steals in a game against the Spurs. In the […]
- World Champion Astros sign reliever Hector Rondon to 2-year deal December 15, 2017The World Series champion Houston Astros have bolstered their bullpen by signing free agent relief pitcher Hector Rondon to a two-year deal.The Astros are making good on their commitment to re-shape their bullpen this offseason after the team signed righty reliever Joe Smith Thursday.Rondon has spent each of his five major league seasons with the […]
- MD Anderson honors legendary sports reporter Craig Sager with Craig's Court December 15, 2017MD Anderson Cancer Center just honored former patient and NBA sideline reporter, Craig Sager Sr.MD Anderson Children's Cancer Hospital named its pediatric basketball court "Craig's Court" in a ceremony Thursday honoring the legend. WATCH: Craig Sager speaks about cancer battle, family"Craig's Court" is where pediatric patients and young adults at MD Anderson spend time playing […]
- Joe Smith, champion Houston Astros agree to 2-year contract December 14, 2017Right-hander Joe Smith and the World Series champion Houston Astros have agreed to a two-year contract.The 33-year-old was 3-0 with one save and 71 strikeouts over 54 innings in 59 relief appearances this year for Toronto and Cleveland, which reacquired him for a pair of minor leaguers at the July 31 trade deadline. Smith pitched […]
- Richmond 2-year-old buys Tic Tacs for firefighters December 14, 2017A little boy's good deed for a group of Richmond firefighters is going viral! Two-and-a-half-year-old Dawson usually gets a little reward for good behavior during shopping trips with his mom, Summer Aldridge.Last Thursday, during a trip to the Walmart on FM 1640 in Richmond, he earned $5 to spend on a toy or snacks.But after […]
- Doping: Russia backs Winter Olympics athletes December 13, 2017Russian athletes wanting to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea will have the unanimous support of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), the body said Tuesday.Last week Russia was banned from taking part in February's Games after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) found the country had engaged in "systemic manipulation" of anti-doping rules, […]
- Chris Pezman introduced as University of Houston athletics director December 12, 2017Officials at the University of Houston introduced Chris Pezman as the school's new athletics director during a news conference Tuesday.Pezman, who served as the assistant athletics director for football operations at UH during the 2012 and 2013 seasons, comes back to Houston after spending four years as senior associate athletics director at the University of […]
- Jaguars thump Texans 45-7 for 1st playoff berth since 2007 December 17, 2017
- TX Houston/Galveston TX Zone Forecast December 17, 2017National Weather Service Houston/Galveston TX. 212 PM CST Sun Dec 17 2017. TXZ211-181000-. Austin-. Including the cities of Bellville and Sealy. 212 PM CST Sun Dec 17 2017 .TONIGHT...Mostly cloudy. Patchy fog in the evening. Areas of fog. after midnight. A slight chance of showers and isolated.
- TX Houston/Galveston TX Zone Forecast December 17, 2017TX Houston/Galveston TX Zone Forecast for Sunday, December 17, 2017. _____. HGXZFPHGX. FPUS54 KHGX 171527. ZFPHGX. FPUS54 KHGX 171526. ZFPHGX. Zone Forecast Product for Southeast Texas. National Weather Service Houston/Galveston TX. 926 AM CST Sun Dec 17 2017.
- TX Marine Warning and Forecast December 17, 2017TX Marine Warnings and Forecast for Sunday, December 17, 2017. _____. SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY. URGENT - MARINE WEATHER MESSAGE. NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HOUSTON/GALVESTON TX. 505 AM CST SUN DEC 17 2017 ...ELEVATED SEAS WILL PERSIST OFFSHORE ...
- Special Weather Statement December 17, 2017TXZ213-227-237-238-170415- Brazoria TX-Galveston TX-Harris TX-Fort Bend TX- 927 PM CST SAT DEC 16 2017 ...STRONG THUNDERSTORMS MOVING ACROSS GALVESTON...EAST CENTRAL FORT BEND...BRAZORIA AND EASTERN HARRIS COUNTIES UNTIL 1015 PM CST... At 925 PM CST ...
- TX Houston/Galveston TX Zone Forecast December 17, 2017
Travel through time!
- COM TRUSTEES LEASE TRAINING SPACE TO ADDRESS SHORTAGE OF CONSTRUCTION WORKERS December 15, 2017College of the Mainland Trustees have approved a one-year, $54,264 lease with the Community Family Center at 2000 Texas Avenue in Texas City.
- Truman Taylor Insurance Joins Galveston Insurance Associates December 15, 2017Texas Senator Larry Taylor from Friendswood, president of Truman Taylor Insurance, is closing his agency after 55 years of operation and joining Galveston Insurance Associates, effective Dec. 15.
- City of Galveston December 15, 2017The City of Galveston will host the 6th Annual Santa Hustle 5K and Half Marathon on Sunday.
- H-GAC Transportation Policy Council December 15, 2017The Houston-Galveston Area Council Transportation Policy Council today voted unanimously to approve a set of amendments to the 2017-2020 Transportation Improvement Program and the 2040 Regional Transportation Plan.
- Galveston City Council December 15, 2017Galveston City Council on Thursday voted unanimously to appoint Council Member Dr. Craig Brown and Assistant City Manager Rick Beverlin to the Houston-Galveston Area Council Transportation Policy Council and Public Works Director Kyle Hockersmith and City Engineer Daniel Christodoss to the H-GAC Technical Advisory Committee.
- Galveston Welcomes Hale as Next Chief of Police December 15, 2017Galveston City Council on Thursday officially welcomed Vernon Hale as the city's next chief of police.
- Santa Fe City Council December 15, 2017Santa Fe City Council on Thursday voted unanimously to approve a collective bargaining agreement with the Santa Fe Police Officers' Association.
- Federal Bureau of Investigation December 14, 2017The Federal Bureau of Investigation is seeking the public's assistance in gathering information regarding the case of a boy whose body was found on a Galveston beach in October.
- Galveston City Council Workshop December 14, 2017Galveston City Council, during its workshop today, talked about an ordinance to add provisions for the regulation of substandard buildings in Chapter 10 of the city code.
- COM TRUSTEES LEASE TRAINING SPACE TO ADDRESS SHORTAGE OF CONSTRUCTION WORKERS December 15, 2017
- Trump Plans Shift to U.S. Security Strategy 18 Dec 2017 15:51 wsj.com WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump will put his domestic economic and trade policies at the heart of a new national-security strategy that depicts the world as one of heightened rivalries and potentially dangerous competition. The new strategy, with an …
- Trump to Declare China 'Strategic Competitor' in Security Speech 18 Dec 2017 15:49 News Max President Donald Trump will declare China a "strategic competitor" to the U.S. in a speech that lays out an official national security strategy heavily influenced by his views on trade and economic relations, senior administration officials said …
- Partial list of acts against Trump by Massachusetts’ Healey 18 Dec 2017 15:49 The Republic A partial list of legal and other actions announced by Democratic Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey targeted at President Donald Trump’s administration in 2017: JANUARY — Four days after Trump’s swearing-in, announced her office was intervening …
- 'Mean' Time: Greenwich Council Bans Donald Trump From Visiting 18 Dec 2017 15:46 Sputnik International Europe 18:31 18.12.2017(updated 18:35 18.12.2017) Get short URL The move is yet another episode in the prolonged row that British Prime Minister Theresa May is facing at home over her decision to invite the US president. This Tuesday, the councilors at …
- Putin thanks Trump for intel that thwarted terror attack 18 Dec 2017 15:46 Washington Times Russian President Vladimir Putin thanked President Trump in a phone call Sunday for U.S. intelligence agencies providing a warning that thwarted a major Islamist terrorist plot against a cathedral and other sites in St. Petersburg, Russia. The White House …
- Trump reverses Obama, eliminates climate from list of national security threats 18 Dec 2017 15:46 Washington Times President Trump will announce Monday his new National Security Strategy, putting his own stamp on a defense plan that reverses an Obama administration policy by eliminating climate change from a list of threats to national security. Senior administration …
- Trump Administration Dropping Climate Change As National Security Threat 18 Dec 2017 15:46 New York Magazine The year 2017 has seen a supercharged hurricane devastate Puerto Rico, wildfires raging out of control in California, and a catastrophic rainfall event in Houston. While it is notoriously difficult to link any one weather disaster to the effects of …
- Donald Trump is calm about the Russia investigation. For now. 18 Dec 2017 15:44 KITV Honolulu's Channel 4 Analysis by Chris Cillizza CNN Editor-at-large (CNN) -- Nothing has irritated President Donald Trump more in the first year of his presidency than the ongoing special counsel investigation into Russia. He has called it a witch hunt. A hoax. He's …
- Putin Thanks Trump For CIA Tip-off That Foiled Terrorist Attack 18 Dec 2017 15:41 RTTNews A tip-off by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) helped Russian security services foil a series of terrorist attacks in St. Petersburg. Russian President Vladimir Putin called his US counterpart Donald Trump to thank him for the unprecedented gesture of …
- Barron Trump Missing From Family Chrismas Card (Photo) 18 Dec 2017 15:40 Opposing Views President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump have revealed their official Christmas card for 2017. The first lady debuted the card on Twitter on Dec. 14, reports Empty World. In the caption accompanying the Trump's Christmas card photo, the …
- Arrests along border dipped sharply under Trump, according to federal data
- Woman with criminal history accused of setting Galveston man on fire turns herself in
- Man’s body found near Seabrook highway
- Officer kills burglary suspect in shootout in La Marque
- Deputy shoots teenage driver after driver attempts to run deputies over
- Gorilla escapes barrier into hog exhibit at Houston Zoo, officials say
- Meet the man who took his daughter out of school early for deer season
- Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick: Texas churches need to know they can have guns
- In Texas, you probably won’t get welfare benefits; even if you qualify
- Texas reform advocates want to close all state-run youth lockups
- Man exposes himself at tanning salon, League City police search for his identity
- Free Press Summer Festival is changing its name to this
- Assault charge against Johnny Manziel dismissed
- How Texas curtailed traditional welfare without ending poverty
- Texas parents wait in limbo as policymakers struggle to save Children’s Health Insurance Program
- Harris County man wanted for 2006 murder arrested in Mexico
- Members of street gang linked to series of burglaries of Apple products, police say
- Arrest expected soon after Galveston man set on fire, police say
- How Breitbart, Trump and Texas Politicians Spun a Tale out of a Border Patrol Agent’s Death
- Man accused of killing teen with whom he had inappropriate relationship appears in court
- Here’s what’s happening in Harris County now that the sheriff issues bail bonds
- Texas Court of Criminal Appeals halts state’s last execution of 2017
- Houston church threatened by gunman at Sunday’s service
- As Bayer and Monsanto push for merger, Texas farmers fear rising prices
- Civil Offenses: Those Calling for Political Civility Often Have the Least to Lose
- Without recovery funds, more than 50 Texas day cares close after Harvey
- 13-year-old robbery suspect shot in the head by apartment tenant, police say
- Man Mistaken for Burglar, Shot by Police then Shackled to Hospital Bed and Barred from Seeing Family
- Coyote attacks increasing: What you should know
- Postal worker accused of kidnapping, choking and fatally shooting co-worker girlfriend
- Medical marijuana in Texas: What you need to know
- Harris County deputy suspended after striking handcuffed man after chase
- Woman with F-Trump sticker adds Sheriff Troy Nehls to display on truck
- Abbott calls White House’s latest disaster aid request “completely inadequate”
- Former United Airlines pilot pleads guilty to running prostitution ring
- Abbott, Patrick push back on TxDOT’s plans for financing new toll projects
- Trial dates set for ex-deputy, husband charged in John Hernandez’s death
- Cities race to annex land before new Texas law goes into effect Dec. 1
- A “glitch” on U.S. Sen. John Cornyn’s website asked for visitors’ Social Security numbers
- Greg Abbott Declares War on Moderate Republicans
- He thought he had a free court-appointed lawyer. Then he got a bill for $10,000
- Man fights to prove he’s alive after bank reports him as deceased
- Scam costs Friendswood man thousands of dollars
- At the Texas Capitol, victims of sexual harassment must fend for themselves
- Human Rights Lawyer on How Government is Complicit in Mexico’s Drug War
- ‘Sean Hannity Show’ fans smash Keurig brewers over pulled ads
- Another woman accuses former President George H.W. Bush of groping
- Student sent home from school bruised, claims PE teacher slammed him onto concrete
- Gov. Greg Abbott endorses primary challenger to state Rep. Sarah Davis
- Analysis: A media exec in Texas politics, not quite ready for prime time
- Police dogs trained to ignore marijuana
- Former HPD officer accused of tampering with evidence makes first court appearance
- Rent-to-own complaints spur investigation by federal agency
- HPD officer accused of tampering with evidence
- Joel Osteen impersonator breaches security at Los Angeles event
- Former ‘All My Children’ star arrested in Galveston
- Cornyn and Cruz under pressure over allegations in Alabama Senate race
- Family’s beloved pony shot to death in Liberty County
- Coastal officials say feds failing Harvey victims on short-term housing
- 22 Houston gang members indicted for multiple violent crimes, officials say
- The Faith-Tinged Fatalism of Greg Abbott’s Response to Texas’ Deadliest Mass Shooting
- Execution date set for Sugar Land man on death row
- Trump in Japan…
- Free of criminal charges, state Rep. Dawnna Dukes says she was victimized
- With no state-approved textbooks, Texas ethnic studies teachers make do
- Texas back in federal court over anti-“sanctuary cities” law
- Clara Harris granted parole for husband’s murder
- Coast Guard searching area near Freeport after boat catches fire, sinks
- Dallas County sheriff Lupe Valdez emerges as potential challenger to Gov. Greg Abbott
- With Trump Cuts, Obamacare Enrollment is a Volunteer Affair in Rural Texas
- Explosion at vodka distillery burns 3 in north Harris County
- Documents: Texas National Guard Installed Cellphone Spying Devices on Surveillance Planes
- Police increase reward for information in case of child’s body found on Galveston beach
- Meet Nueces County’s New DA, a Self-Professed ‘Mexican Biker Lawyer Covered in Tattoos’
- Leon Jacob, man accused in murder-for-hire plot, faces new charge
- The Brief: The deadliest mass shooting in Texas history
- Counterprotesters say white supremacists, not Russian Facebook ads, drew them to rally
- What we know about Texas church shooter
- Harris County Precinct 4 deputy constable shot several times, officials say
- $500 million in Ike relief is still unspent. Will Texas do better after Harvey?
- Prosecutor asks for current medical standards in death penalty evaluations
- How to earn quick cash by flipping items
- Rick Perry ties fossil fuel use to sexual assault prevention
- Abbott Supports Removing Inaccurate Capitol Displays. Do Slavery-Denying Plaques Count?
- A Russian Facebook page organized a protest in Texas. A different Russian page launched the counter-protest.
- 24 Texas Dairy Queens closing after franchise company files for bankruptcy
- USDA Rolls Back ‘Fair Practice’ Rule That Would’ve Protected Texas Chicken Farmers
- Trump nominating Ryan Patrick, son of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, to be U.S. attorney
- Fired in 2009, football coach Mike Leach still rages at Texas Tech and Texas law
- Texas Toxicologist Who Rejects Basic Science Appointed to EPA Science Board
- Abbott presses Congress for an extra $61 billion to rebuild after Harvey
- The ‘Sanctuary Cities’ Ban Has Already Reshaped Some Police Department Policies
- Hurricane Harvey flood looters exposed
- U.S. Supreme Court examines investigatory funding in Texas death penalty case
- Who’s Defending Texas’ Confederate Monuments?
- Kicking in doors and crushing credit: How a Texas-based retailer torments customers
- Harris County jailer accused of letting prisoner attack fellow inmate
- House Democrat: Abbott supports removing Confederate plaque from Texas Capitol
- Legislators mull changing Texas law allowing criminal charges against rent-to-own customers
- Houston woman’s daughter stranded at sea with another woman for 5 months
- ‘Fail State’ Delves into the Shadowy World of For-Profit Colleges
- Grambling State student charged in double homicide
- How renting furniture in Texas can land you in jail
- ‘Wedding crasher’ says she never attacked guest, apologizes to bride and groom
- Something Yuuuge was Missing From Franklin Graham’s Waco Revival
- Family: Florida deputy caught on camera breaking into dying man’s home
- Federal government rolls out eight border wall prototypes
- In ‘The Second Coming of the KKK,’ a Timely Lesson in the History of American Hate
- US launches ‘most advanced’ stealth sub amid undersea rivalry
- Houston man identified as victim of barge explosion near Port Aransas, officials say
- Controversial Halloween decoration in Katy leads to threats against homeowner
- What does boycotting Israel have to do with Hurricane Harvey relief?
- Rep. Dawnna Dukes cleared of criminal charges, attorneys say
- $5,000 reward being offered in shooting that caused man to lose his legs
- Tornado leaves trail of damage in two Dickinson neighborhoods, NWS says
- Former HPD officer indicted in 2016 shooting of unarmed neighbor
- State Rep. Victoria Neave pleads no contest to June DWI charge
- Texas attorney general opens investigation Into Harvey debris removal companies
- Police: 3 Texas men arrested after shot fired at Richard Spencer protesters
- Perry pursuing policy on coal, nuclear power at odds with Texas record
- Cornyn: Trump assured me more Harvey aid for Texas coming in November
- Dallas Fed CEO: Technology, not trade or immigration, is main reason for job loss
- Immigrant Workers in Texas Could Fill Farm Vacancies, but They’re Trapped in the Valley
- Texas Cities Embrace a Softer Approach to Pot Possession as State Reforms Stall
- This man robbed woman who was 9 months pregnant, shot her husband, authorities say
- Ex-KIPP Explore Academy staffer arrested after accusations of child indecency
- U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson walks back comments on sexual assault
- Who is this mystery man? Galveston woman begins search to find apparent veteran’s identity
- U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz, Bernie Sanders face off in tax code debate
- A look back at Colt Stadium, the home of the Colt 45s
- After Failing to Prop Up Coal in Texas, Rick Perry is Trying Again Nationwide
- Potential new murder confession delays Texas serial killer’s execution
- Texas court halts execution to review claims that co-defendant lied at trial
- How much are property taxes in Houston going down next year?
- Cruz presses Sessions on Trump administration’s “catch-and-release” policy
- Federal Prisons Don’t Even Try to Rehabilitate the Undocumented
- Three teens charged with murder after missing teen’s body found
- 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
- This crazy thread got deleted off /pol/ and subsequent threads were 404'd trying to carry on the convo... December 18, 2017https://archive.4plebs.org/pol/thread/153674689 An alleged 33rd degree mason talking about a major happening in the next few months possibly regarding aliens. Someone posts a picture of a Mossad stamped handgun, and the thread 404's shortly afterwards. Picture: https://img.4plebs.org/boards/pol/image/1513/58/1513581194133.jpg /pol/ has way more threads than usual currently, users are saying in threads something weird is happening shortly before […]/u/Fusion7778
- Netflix's "Wormwood" - a series that delves into the "suicide" of Dr. Frank Olson, an Army biological warfare scientist involved in the CIA's Project MKUltra. What did everyone think of the docudrama? December 18, 2017For clarification: Dr. Olson was himself an unwitting subject of Project MKUltra while he worked with the CIA in another capacity. submitted by /u/thesadpumpkin [link] [comments]/u/thesadpumpkin
- So i'm lying in bed with my long skinny black phone and it hits me.... December 18, 2017submitted by /u/russianbot01 [link] [comments]/u/russianbot01
- We have video footage from US military documenting an encounter with UFO's but we STILL don't have a shred of video from Mandalay Bay before or during the Las Vegas false flag. December 18, 2017submitted by /u/SixVISix [link] [comments]/u/SixVISix
- Operation mockingbird in real time December 18, 2017submitted by /u/NOTT-kgb [link] [comments]/u/NOTT-kgb
- WTF is this doing in the NY Post? X post from r/WTF December 18, 2017submitted by /u/deeznootz [link] [comments]/u/deeznootz
- For the anybody that hasn't seen this amazing and complex documentary by Adam Curtis called "HyperNormalization", do yourself a favor and spend 2:40 hours witnessing the puzzle of the world today. Is confusion the real goal behind everything happening right now? December 18, 2017submitted by /u/mentallo [link] [comments]/u/mentallo
- Whatever it takes to get Google Home or Amazon Alexa in your home. Hmm wonder why?? December 18, 2017submitted by /u/Jocramid [link] [comments]/u/Jocramid
- Someone scratched "666" into the car on the Fox Live showing of "A Christmas Story" tonight. Why add a blatantly satanic message into a live Christmas special, Fox? December 18, 2017submitted by /u/HehTheUrr [link] [comments]/u/HehTheUrr
- I left in love, in laughter and in truth; and wherever truth, love and laughter abide, I am there in spirit. ~ Bill Hicks December 18, 2017submitted by /u/dreamslaughter [link] [comments]/u/dreamslaughter
- Q Said 10 Days of Darkness, Has It Begun With Power Outage At Atlanta Airport? December 18, 2017submitted by /u/WeAreTheResistance [link] [comments]/u/WeAreTheResistance
- There’s no way in hell that the busiest airport in the world just went total blackout. This is a beta test for something. December 18, 2017I’ve been to Hartsfield dozens of times. That place has got to have multiple redundant power systems in different locations so that something like fire can’t knock it all out at once. I’m calling BS submitted by /u/rbsams72888 [link] [comments]/u/rbsams72888
- New York Times 1902: "GIANT SKELETONS FOUND.; Archaeologists to Send Expedition to Explore Graveyards in New Mexico Where Bodies Were Unearthed." December 17, 2017submitted by /u/Question_History [link] [comments]/u/Question_History
- I know what is happening to Terry Crews. IDK why it's not talked about much here. December 17, 2017Targeting and Gang Stalking is a massive set-up by TPTB & Deep State. This is/was prevalent in Scientology communities to silence dissenters, etc. They may be the originators. It involves government agencies, Private detective but also regular citizens, neighborhood watch groups led to belie they are doing something good. These tactics have been used on […]/u/positiveascension
- Brittany Murphy and her husband had serious conflicts with Weinstein and his people. Tried to blame husband? December 17, 2017submitted by /u/aquamansneighbor [link] [comments]/u/aquamansneighbor
- This crazy thread got deleted off /pol/ and subsequent threads were 404'd trying to carry on the convo... December 18, 2017
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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday endorsed a primary challenger to a fellow Republican, state Rep. Sarah Davis of West University Place, following through on his promise earlier this year to play a more aggressive role in the 2018 election season.
Abbott released a video throwing his support to Davis opponent Susanna Dokupil, who worked under Abbott when he was the state’s attorney general.
“We need leaders in Austin who will join me to build an even better future for Texas,” Abbott said. “That’s why I’m so proud to support Susanna Dokpuil for state representative of House District 134 in Houston, Texas.”
Davis, who chairs the House General Investigating and Ethics Committee, had clashed with Abbott over the summer over the governor’s decision not to include ethics reform among a list of 20 items he directed lawmakers to tackle during a special session. Heading into that special session, Abbott had raised the prospect that he could back challengers to incumbents who were less than supportive of his agenda. Dokupil is the first primary challenger to an incumbent he has endorsed this cycle.
Dokupil served as assistant solicitor general in the attorney general’s office.
Abbott made his first endorsement in the 2018 House primaries last week, backing state Rep. Paul Workman, an Austin Republican who had authored legislation for Abbott’s special session agenda. Workman faces a primary challenger from his right, Jay Wiley.
Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez has emerged as potential Democratic challenger to Gov. Greg Abbott in 2018.
In an interview Monday, Valdez described herself as “in the exploratory process,” looking at the data for a potential run against the Republican incumbent. “I’ve been approached and I’m listening,” she said.
There are 35 days until the candidate filing deadline for the 2018 primaries, and Texas Democrats are looking for a serious contender to take on Abbott. Valdez said she believes it’s “time for a change” in GOP-dominated state government.
“Too much of one thing corrupts, and I’m a strong believer in a two-party system,” Valdez said. “I’m hoping that enough people are seeing that too much one-sided is not healthy for Texas.”
First elected in 2004, Valdez is serving her fourth term as sheriff of Dallas County, the second most populous county in the state and a Democratic stronghold. She is one of only a few female sheriffs in Texas and the only Hispanic female sheriff in the country.
Abbott and Valdez have a history. In 2015, they clashed over her department’s policy regarding compliance with federal immigration authorities — an issue that later came up in Travis County, which includes the state capitol of Austin. Those debates drove support behind the “sanctuary cities” bill that Abbott signed into law earlier this year. (The law is currently the subject of a legal challenge working its way through the courts.)
So far, only little-known Democrats have lined up to challenge Abbott, a group that includes Dallas businessman Jeffrey Payne and Tom Wakely, a former congressional candidate from San Antonio. In recent weeks, Andrew White, the son of late Gov. Mark White, has said he is considering a run. And Michael Sorrell, the president of Paul Quinn College in Dallas, continues to get mentioned as possible contender.
The filing period for next year’s elections opens Saturday and ends a month later.
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.”