King James VII

This is two days old (I was in meetings all day yesterday), but nonetheless very important news. The House has rejected the Senate’s bill to impose term limits on statewide officeholders. While most news sources had a line or two about this in their wire service, nobody wrote a major article on it–with the significant exception of the Tyler Morning Telegraph.

The bill had been proposed and pushed through the Senate by Kevin Eltife (R-Tyler), where it passed on a 27-4 vote. Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio) had similarly been campaigning for the bill, SJR 13, in the House. Not only did the bill fail to garner the 2/3 majority required for passage of a Constitutional Amendment, it couldn’t even muster up majority support. The roll call was 61 in favor, 80 in opposition.

While I want to just blame the tea party and the far-right for this, about half the Democratic caucus also voted in opposition to this legislation. Alma Allen, Carol Alvarado and Jessica Farrar, just to name a few Houstonians. The bill would have imposed term limits for EACH executive office (Gov, L. Gov, AG, etc), of two four-year terms. The limits would not be effective to current officeholders, meaning Perry would still be able to serve, hypothetically, through 2023. It’s official, Perry is now “King James VII.”

Lege update 5/10

I just got back from the Capital city, I won’t go into the details, but I accomplished a lot of great business. Anyways, I didn’t get the opportunity to discuss all the bills that the House has been passing recently, so let me go down the list.

First up, HB864, which cuts CHL training time, has been sent to the Governor.

The Chron reports that “Guns on Cars” has passed the House, 124-13, and has been sent to the Governor. Among those voting nay were Jessica Farrar and Carol Alvarado.

Using your cellphone as evidence for insurance was also sent to the Governor.

The expanded school breakfast program sent to Perry too.

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The Chronicle reports that the “Space X Bill,” Rene Oliveira’s HB 2623, has unanimously passed the Senate. The bill would allow open beaches to be shut down during SpaceX launches in very limited circumstances. Whitmire previously had some reservations over the measure, but those must have been alleviated. It’s a good bill, and it heads to Perry now.

Speaking of Whitmire, the Statesman reports that he is dropping most of his opposition to the “Guns on Campus” bill. He feels that the new system, which allows opt-outs, is not especially controversial. “I think it will pass,” Whitmire said of the legislation.

 

Teachers with guns

Senator Patrick, ladies and gentlemen! The Chronicle is reporting that the Senate has passed the infamous “give teachers guns” bill, again, with more Democrats than you would think.

SB17, which passed the Education Committee unanimously, was approved by the entire Senate in overwhelming manner (28-3). The 3 Democrats who opposed were Garcia, Watson and Jose Rodriguez. I am really happy that Garcia got in office, I feel like Alvarado would have been a pushover on things like this, for what it’s worth.

Anyways, the bill would have some school districts to send up to two teachers per school to receive special handgun training. According to the Chron article, the biggest opposition came from law enforcement officials, who believed that it could cause problems if police ever thought a teacher was the gunman.

The bill, however, would not apply to School Districts that have their own police force. I found this Trib article that says something like 160 districts have their own police force. Last time I crunched the numbers, something like 1000 school districts exist, but the vast majority don’t operate more than a few schools. So this will pretty much only apply to rural districts.

Bob Perry, 1932-2013

The Texas Tribune reports that GOP super donor Bob Perry died this morning in his sleep. He was 80.

Bob Perry had amassed a large fortune over the years from his large development company, Perry Homes. Eventually, the focus turned to philanthropy of a political nature. Perry was one of the biggest donors to politicians in the State, mainly giving to the GOP. Among his recipients were George W. Bush, Rick Perry, Sylvester Turner, Mario Gallegos, George P. Bush and Carol Alvarado. A Houston resident, he worked tirelessly to support candidates, both left and right (but mainly right), from his hometown.

Additionally, Perry was invaluable in silencing the far-right from dominating the Republican Party’s immigration policy. He was one of the key reasons the cruel Sanctuary City bill did not pass, and for that, liberals like me will always be grateful.

I do not believe I ever had the pleasure of meeting Mr Perry in person, but I wish I did. He will be missed and I was saddened to hear of his passing.

Garcia wins

With 100% of the precincts reporting, Sylvia Garcia won the SD06 runoff with roughly 53% of the vote, to Carol Alvarado’s 47%. 18,000 people voted in this runoff, compared to about 16,000 in January for the original special election.

Kuff has some info that insinuates Garcia will not be taking office for probably another two weeks, thereby disqualifying her from introducing legislation. What a bunch of hooey. However, it seems to be that Rep. Farrar, who was a huge backer of Garcia’s campaign, should just introduce the legislation on behalf of the Senator-elect.

Unfortunately for me, this means no writing about a Special HD145 election, but fortunately for me, my endorsed candidate won. Anyways the election was somewhat anticlimactic.

It’s runoff day!!!

Internet Husband - I told him we could do anything he wants he said he would live tweet the runoff

Well, the runoff is finally here. Contrary to what I might have said earlier, I actually am rooting for one of the sides now (Go Garcia!). I was going to live tweet the results, but then I remembered that they are coming in on a Saturday night, so… you can read about it tomorrow. My guess is an Alvarado victory, but I’ve been plenty wrong about these sorts of things before. Anyways, you can read about this tomorrow.

Texpatriate endorses Sylvia Garcia for SD06

It is with a heavy heart, and much contemplation, that I decide, against some of my better judgment, to weigh into this election. I vote in SD17, so I don’t really have a dog in this fight, thus I decided, at first, to stay out of the election. Before the initial election, I made no picks, and simply hoped that a Republican would not meander his way into the runoff. Well, that didn’t happen, and now, we have the ultimate runoff election on Saturday.

The two candidates, Carol Alvarado and Sylvia Garcia, are both Democrats, and most voters, counting myself at one time, thought of them as indistinguishable. Alvarado, as a State Representative and former City Councilmember, had the backing of larger proportion of the Hispanic community, including the deathbed endorsement of the late Senator Gallegos. Garcia, meanwhile, a former County Commissioner and City Controller, has the heavy support of much of the City establishment, as well as a few State Reps that must be dissatisfied with Alvarado.

Anyways, I didn’t see much in the part of differences between the candidates–that is, until today. Today, I read a startling article in BOR about Alvarado and Garcia’s donors. Naturally, I am dubious of anything coming out of an Austin blog, so I double checked. It’s legit. Alvarado’s money is coming from Bob Perry, the GOP mega-donor; Tort-reformers, and; loan sharks (aka payday lenders). Garcia’s money comes from typical Democratic sources, the Mostyns and Unions.

This reminds me of the 2008 Democratic Primaries, when Barack Obama was being underwritten by the big banks and insurance companies, but that is neither here nor there. Anyways, this, along with the fact that anti-Semite Larry Taylor is block-walking for Alvarado, is enough to turn me off from her completely.

If I lived in SD06, I would gladly vote for Garcia, to keep another elephant in donkeys’ clothing out of the Senate. It is my hope enough people agree with me.