Nandita Berry named Secretary of State

Forgive me for the tardiness, I had a very busy day traveling yesterday, and despite there being Wifi on the airplane, it rarely works well enough to pen an entire post and link it to social media outlets. But without further ado, I have officially left Boston. I will  be hanging out in Houston for about three weeks for the holiday, and then will officially make the trip up to the State Capital.

The Houston Chronicle reports that Nandita Berry, a University of Houston Regent, has been appointed by Governor Perry to become the next Texas Secretary of State. Berry will succeed John Steen, an attorney who has decided to return to private practice after serving for roughly one year. Berry, who is also an attorney, is perhaps best known as the wife of former Houston City Councilmember and radio shock-jock Michael Berry.

“I am truly humbled to follow in the footsteps of Stephen F. Austin, Texas’ first secretary of state. Like him, I came to Texas in search of a better life and the limitless opportunities to be found across our great state,” Berry said after being appointed. Given the high profile of state’s new Voter ID Law, the Secretary of State might find greater coverage in the press as the lead-up continues towards next year’s elections.

Click here to read about what the Secretary of State does!

E-Voting for Soldiers

The San Antonio Express-News reports that HB1129 has passed the Senate, after passing the House. The bill would create a “pilot program” in one county that would allow for members of the armed forces officially residing there but de facto living in combat zones to vote via secure email addresses

I had never heard of this bill, which aggravated me a little bit. The press let us down on not reporting this potentially significant legislation. The Express-News speculates that the one county will be Bell, Bexar or El Paso, those with military bases therein.

The journal states that the bill passed the House unanimously, and a Senate panel unanimously as well. They haven’t published the roll call for tonight’s vote, but I can assume it had no opposition as well. The Secretary of State, John Steen, will make the final choice on the county selection. The bill now heads to the Governor.

Hoang and Steen

I promise, I was definitely going to break these stories before the Chronicle did, but I had a paper due today. Anyways, Councilmember Al Hoang has been repeatedly threatened by a political opponent of his, Etienne Nguyen. Nguyen allegedly pointed a pistol at Hoang, threatened to kill him and his family, and left a molotov cocktail on his doorstep. Scary stuff. Hoang, when approached by KHOU, stated that he believed Nguyen was after him because of Hoang’s recent support for a trade mission by the mayor to Vietnam.

Nguyen ran in 2011 and received about 10% of the vote.

In other news, Governor Perry has appointed Secretary Andrade’s replacement. San Antonio attorney John Steed has been tapped to take the office of Texas Secretary of State. Steed has been an outspoken Republican bigshot and major donor.