The current position of House Speaker Joe Straus presents a stark contrast with the current crop of GOP candidates who are moving as far to the ideological right as possible in advance of next year’s primaries. This contrast presents a paradox. As the legislative session gives way to primary season, Straus is in the most stable position of the “big three” — a group that includes Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst — despite the fact that he has resisted the rightward momentum propelling the next generation of Texas Republican leaders epitomized by Senator Ted Cruz.From the top of the primary ballot to the bottom, candidates seemingly can’t get to the right end of the GOP spectrum fast enough…[to read more click below]
$50,000 – The amount Lubbock City Council spent investigating City Manager Lee Ann Dumbauld before they fired her without cause.
$350,000 – The settlement amount paid to former City Manager Lee Ann Dumbauld after she was fired without cause by the Lubbock City Council.
$25,000 – $50,000 – Estimated cost of special recall election in November for Councilman Victor Hernandez.
$5 to $10 million – The estimated amount for an outdoor tornado siren early warning system designed to warn to those outdoors of potential tornadic activity.
Zero – The amount to pay for tornado sirens that is included in the proposed city budget.
From Dallas Morning News:
White male Democrats are nearly extinct
By GROMER JEFFERS JR. / Staff Writer
AUSTIN — White male Democrats once dominated Texas politics. But next year’s elections could leave five or fewer of them in the House.
As Democrats put their emphasis on turning out more women and Hispanic voters and Republicans try to maintain advantages in the state’s small towns and rural areas, the trend, decades in the making, is expected to continue.
And it mirrors the national political dynamic, where Democrats are in a party dominated by minorities and Republicans by white men. Conservative Democrats in Congress like former Georgia Sen. Sam Nunn and former U.S. Rep. Charlie Stenholm of Abilene have all but vanished from the scene.
The polarization of the parties along racial and ideological lines makes it harder to reach compromise on economic issues and other matters. White male Democrats used to serve as a bridge between liberal and conservative elements of the party, but the conservative wing of the Democratic Party has been obliterated.
“The psychology of trying to figure out what happened will lead you to different variables,” said former Texas House Speaker Pete Laney, a conservative Democrat from Hale Center. “The Republicans successfully targeted rural Texas and the small towns. Maybe the Democrats forgot…[to read more click below]
The biggest underreported story out of Washington this year is that the federal budget is shrinking and much more than anyone in either party expected.
Consider the numbers: According to the Congressional Budget Office, annual outlays peaked at $3.598 trillion in fiscal 2011. After President Obama’s first two years in office, many in Washington expected that number to hit $4 trillion by 2014. Instead, spending fell to $3.537 trillion in fiscal 2012, and is on pace to fall below…[to read more click below]
In 1975 & 76 the United States was experiencing a crisis of confidence. Unemployment was at 8.5%, our allies in South Vietnam, who 58,000 American servicemen gave their lives to defend, had just been overrun and the reverberations of an OPEC embargo were sending oil prices from $15 a barrel to $100. At the same time Paul Ehrlich was warning about overpopulation and starvation, Newsweek was telling of a coming ice age and many thought we were conceding Eastern Europe to the Soviets.
It was into this emotional and economic morass stepped Ronald Wilson Reagan with a message of hope…[to read more click below]
Every complexity in the 4 million-word tax code was created at the behest of a muscular interest group that tenaciously defends it. Which is why tax simplification would be political reform: Writing lucrative wrinkles into the code is one of the primary ways the political class confers favors…[to read more click below]
There really is a class war in America today, but it’s not between any of these Marxist bumper cars. The three real classes are the Ruling Class, the Dependency Class, and Everyone Else…[to read more click below]
Sarah Palin has chosen sides in the ongoing feud between the Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
“I’m on team Rand,” she said on Fox News Saturday. “Rand Paul understands. He gets the whole notion of don’t-tread-on-me government. Whereas Chris Christie is for big government and…[to read more click below]
Three years, 5,000 door hangers and several garage sales after its opening, Beta Academy has a long waiting list but an empty bank account.But if the school’s founder, Latisha Andrews, has her way, Beta, a private elementary school that operates out of the Houston Christian Temple Assembly of God Church, will soon transform into a new operation: a publicly financed charter school.If the state approves Andrews’s application this fall, Beta Academy will join…[to read more click below]
-$158,290,731 total anticipated revenues
– 5.5% increase in revenues over FYE 2013
-Proposed property tax increase of 1.23 cents to pay for voter authorized improvements, i.e., this is a tax approved by the voters.
-Property tax generates $63.7 million in anticipated revenues for FYE 2014
-Proposed City property tax rate of $.50441 / $100 valuation.
-Tax revenues make up 70% of all general fund revenues