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Category Archives: Texas

RIP Ernesto Carrman

When I knew Ernest he was trying to be a good man and father, and even though he had flaws, he was loved.


(News 4) SAN ANTONIO — The San Antonio Police Department is investigating after a man died while in police custody early Saturday.

Police received a call about a family disturbance at a home on the 1200 block of Crystal, near Interstate 35 and Division, around 3 a.m. Saturday. The family of the suspect told police the man, later identified as 41-yaer-old Ernesto Carrman, was causing a disturbance and throwing items around inside the house.

When the officers arrived, they made contact with Carrman. The officers said they attempted to place him in handcuffs, but Carrman resisted and tried to punch on of the officers. The officers said they then used their taser on Carrman to try to bring him under control, but it did not have any effect on him. The officers told investigators they were eventually able to handcuff Carrman and called EMS to the scene to evaluate him.

Police say Carrman was unconscious but breathing at that time. EMS then arrived and prepared him for transport to a hospital. However, police say once he was inside the EMS unit, his condition deteriorated. Investigators say EMS took “live saving measures” but were unsuccessful.

No officers were injured during the incident. Witnesses were taken in to provide statements.

The incident is still under investigation. Police are waiting on the Medical Examiner to determine an exact cause of the death.

Posted in News, Texas|

LIBTARD Austin slap Perry video of Rosemary Lehmberg

SO a LIBTARD and a LIBTARD Austin grand jury acting out in true public corruption slap Perry with an indictment. 

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Texas – Texas Gov. Rick Perry has been indicted for abuse of power after carrying out a threat to veto funding for state public corruption prosecutors.

The Republican governor is accused of abusing his official powers by publicly promising to veto $7.5 million for the state public integrity unit at the Travis County District Attorney’s office. He was indicted by an Austin grand jury Friday.

Perry said he’d veto the funding if the district attorney, Rosemary Lehmberg, didn’t resign. Lehmberg had recently been convicted of drunken driving. The state’s Public Integrity Unit operates out of her office.

When Lehmberg refused, Perry carried out his veto, drawing an ethics complaint.



The Lone Star State

Spanish explorers, including Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca and Francisco Vásquez de Coronado, were the first to visit the region in the 16th and 17th centuries, settling at Ysleta near El Paso in 1682. In 1685, Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle, established a short-lived French colony at Matagorda Bay.


Americans, led by Stephen F. Austin, began to settle along the Brazos River in 1821 when Texas was controlled by Mexico, recently independent from Spain. In 1836, following a brief war between the American settlers in Texas and the Mexican government, the Independent Republic of Texas was proclaimed with Sam Houston as president. This war was famous for the battles of the Alamo and San Jacinto. After Texas became a state in 1845, border disputes led to the Mexican War of 1846–1848.


Possessing enormous natural resources, Texas is a major agricultural state and an industrial giant. Second only to Alaska in land area, it leads all other states in such categories as oil, cattle, sheep, and cotton. Texas ranches and farms also produce poultry and eggs, dairy products, greenhouse and nursery products, wheat, hay, rice, sugar cane, and peanuts, and a variety of fruits and vegetables.


Sulfur, salt, helium, asphalt, graphite, bromine, natural gas, cement, and clays are among the state’s valuable resources. Chemicals, oil refining, food processing, machinery, and transportation equipment are among the major Texas manufacturing industries.


Millions of tourists spend over $50 billion annually visiting more than 100 state parks, recreation areas, and points of interest such as the Gulf Coast resort area, the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, the Alamo in San Antonio, the state capital in Austin, and the Big Bend and Guadalupe Mountains National Park.


The 2011 drought gave Texas its hottest, driest 12 months on record. The drought brought up the same questions of water supply as the state’s seven year drought back in the 1950s. With the state’s population predicted to double by the year 2060, Texas began researching new water sources in 2011.


Capital: Austin

State abbreviation/Postal code: Tex./TX

Governor: Rick Perry, R (to Jan. 2015)

Lieut. Governor: David Dewhurst, R (to Jan. 2015)

Senators: John Cornyn, R (to Jan. 2015); Ted Cruz, R (to Jan. 2019)

U.S. Representatives: 36

Historical biographies of Congressional members

Secy. of State: Hope Andrade (apptd. by gov.)

Comptroller: Susan Combs, R (to Jan. 2015)

Atty. General: Greg Abbott, R (to Jan. 2015)

Entered Union (rank): Dec. 29, 1845 (28)

Present constitution adopted: 1876

Motto: Friendship

State symbols:

flower bluebonnet (1901)
tree pecan (1919)
bird mockingbird (1927)
song “Texas, Our Texas” (1929)
fish guadalupe bass (1989)
seashell lightning whelk (1987)
dish chili (1977)
folk dance square dance (1991)
fruit Texas red grapefruit (1993)
gem Texas blue topaz (1969)
gemstone cut Lone Star cut (1977)
grass sideoats grass (1971)
reptile horned lizard (1993)
stone petrified palmwood (1969)
plant prickly pear cactus
insect monarch butterfly
pepper jalapeño pepper
mammal longhorn
small mammal armadillo
flying mammal Mexican free-tailed bat

Nickname: Lone Star State

Origin of name: From an Indian word meaning “friends”

10 largest cities (2010 est.): Houston, 2,099,451; San Antonio , 1,327,407; Dallas, 1,197,816; Austin, 790,390; Fort Worth , 741,206; El Paso, 649,121; Arlington, 365,438; Corpus Christi, 305,215; Plano, 259,841; Laredo, 36,091

Land area: 261,797 sq mi. (678,054 sq km)

Geographic center: In McCulloch Co., 15 mi. NE of Brady

Number of counties: 254

Largest county by population and area: Harris, 4,092,459 (2010); Brewster, 6,193 sq mi.

State forests: 5 (7,314 ac.)

State parks: 115 (600,000+ ac.)

Residents: Texan

2010 resident population est.: 25,145,561

2010 resident census population (rank): 25,145,561 (2). Male: 12,472,280 (49.6%); Female: 12,673,281 (50.4%). White: 14,799,505 (71.0%); Black: 2,404,566 (11.5%); American Indian: 118,362 (0.6%); Asian: 562,319 (2.7%); Other race: 2,438,001 (11.7%); Two or more races: 514,633 (2.5%); Hispanic/Latino: 6,669,666 (32.0%). 2010 percent population 18 and over: 72.7; 65 and over: 10.3; median age: 33.6.


Posted in Texas| Tagged , , |

The century’s most blatant force of satanic utopianism is communism.

In William F. Buckley’s 1955 mission statement, he wrote,

The most alarming single danger to the American political system lies in the fact that an identifiable team of Fabian operators is bent on controlling both our major political parties(under the sanction of such fatuous and unreasoned slogans as “national unity,” “middle-of-the-road,” “progressivism,” and “bipartisanship.”) Clever intriguers are reshaping both parties in the image of Babbitt, gone Social-Democrat.


Conservatives in this country — at least those who have not made their peace with the New Deal, and there is serious question whether there are others — are non-licensed nonconformists; and this is dangerous business in a Liberal world, as every editor of this magazine can readily show by pointing to his scars. Radical conservatives in this country have an interesting time of it, for when they are not being suppressed or mutilated by the Liberals, they are being ignored or humiliated by a great many of those of the well-fed Right, whose ignorance and amorality have never been exaggerated for the same reason that one cannot exaggerate infinity.


Among our convictions:

  1. It is the job of centralized government (in peacetime) to protect its citizens’ lives, liberty and property. All other activities of government tend to diminish freedom and hamper progress. The growth of government(the dominant social feature of this century) must be fought relentlessly. In this great social conflict of the era, we are, without reservations, on the libertarian side. 
  2. The profound crisis of our era is, in essence, the conflict between the Social Engineers, who seek to adjust mankind to conform with scientific utopias, and the disciples of Truth, who defend the organic moral order. We believe that truth is neither arrived at nor illuminated by monitoring election results, binding though these are for other purposes, but by other means, including a study of human experience. On this point we are, without reservations, on the conservative side. 
  3. The century’s most blatant force of satanic utopianism is communism. We consider “coexistence” with communism neither desirable nor possible, nor honorable; we find ourselves irrevocably at war with communism and shall oppose any substitute for victory. 
  4. The largest cultural menace in America is the conformity of the intellectual cliques which, in education as well as the arts, are out to impose upon the nation their modish fads and fallacies, and have nearly succeeded in doing so. In this cultural issue, we are, without reservations, on the side of excellence (rather than “newness”) and of honest intellectual combat (rather than conformity). 
  5. The most alarming single danger to the American political system lies in the fact that an identifiable team of Fabian operators is bent on controlling both our major political parties(under the sanction of such fatuous and unreasoned slogans as “national unity,” “middle-of-the-road,” “progressivism,” and “bipartisanship.”) Clever intriguers are reshaping both parties in the image of Babbitt, gone Social-Democrat. When and where this political issue arises, we are, without reservations, on the side of the traditional two-party system that fights its feuds in public and honestly; and we shall advocate the restoration of the two-party system at all costs. 
  6. The competitive price system is indispensable to liberty and material progress. It is threatened not only by the growth of Big Brother government, but by the pressure of monopolies(including union monopolies. What is more, some labor unions have clearly identified themselves with doctrinaire socialist objectives. The characteristic problems of harassed business have gone unreported for years, with the result that the public has been taught to assume(almost instinctively) that conflicts between labor and management are generally traceable to greed and intransigence on the part of management. Sometimes they are; often they are not. NATIONAL REVIEW will explore and oppose the inroads upon the market economy caused by monopolies in general, and politically oriented unionism in particular; and it will tell the violated businessman’s side of the story. 
  7. No superstition has more effectively bewitched America’s Liberal elite than the fashionable concepts of world government, the United Nations, internationalism, international atomic pools, etc. Perhaps the most important and readily demonstrable lesson of history is that freedom goes hand in hand with a state of political decentralization, that remote government is irresponsible government. It would make greater sense to grant independence to each of our 50 states than to surrender U.S. sovereignty to a world organization.

Guide to the Nov. 5 TX Constitutional Amendments Election

Why was this so hard to find?

FREE: A Voter’s Guide to the Nov. 5 TX Constitutional Amendments Election

Published October 21, 2013 7:50am by Sentinel Staff




The following Voters Guide, which presents the nine proposed Texas Constitutional Amendments on the Nov. 5, ballot, is funded and published by the League of Women Voters of Texas Education Fund.


For more than 90 years, helping voters cast an informed vote when they go to the polls has been the primary goal of the League of Women Voters.


As an organization that encourages informed and active participation in government, the League believes that all of us are stakeholders in Making Democracy Work. Neither the League nor the Education Fund supports or opposes any political party or candidate.


This guide states the official ballot language for each proposed constitutional amendment, followed by an explanation of the amendment, the arguments for and the arguments against.


The propositions were researched by trustees of the League of Women Voters of Texas Education Fund, who reviewed the legislative history and contacted persons and organizations who have supported and opposed the proposed amendments. See the Constitutional Amendments page at for links to the legislative history and the list of witnesses for and against each of the proposed amendments.


Check the League’s website for other helpful information about elections, voting and issues:


Proposition 1

Official Ballot Language: The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of all or part of the market value of the residence homestead of the surviving spouse of a member of the armed services of the United States who is killed in action.


The proposed amendment would allow the surviving spouse of a member of the U.S. armed services who was killed in action to be exempt from paying local property taxes based on all or part of the total appraised value of the homestead. This proposed amendment follows prior amendments that have passed, granting property tax exemptions to veterans who are 100% disabled and their surviving spouses.

Under Proposition 1 and its enabling bill SB 163, a surviving spouse is eligible if he or she has not remarried since the death of the spouse who served in the armed forces and if the qualifying homestead was the residence of the spouse at the time of death. Upon remarriage, the surviving spouse would lose the property tax exemption. The surviving spouse would be able to transfer the exemption to a new homestead, but it would be limited to the dollar amount of the prior homestead exemption.

Arguments For

• The proposed amendment would allow local governments in Texas to assist surviving spouses of U.S. armed services members who have been killed in action by providing valuable relief during such a difficult time. Surviving spouses who qualify would be able to save money on property taxes and could use this money elsewhere.

• Surviving spouses would be able to transfer the exemption to a new residence if the surviving spouse chose to move within the state.

Arguments Against

• School districts would receive less revenue from property taxes so the state would have to cover the reduction by pulling from state general revenue, creating a cost to the state.

• Local governments would lose revenue, especially in cities and towns where military families largely populate the area. This would result in a projected yearly loss of up to $84,000 from counties, $93,000 from cities, and $45,000 from school districts by 2018 (SB 163 Fiscal Note). An increase in the number of people who receive property tax exemptions might require local governments to increase taxes for other taxpayers.



Proposition 2

Official Ballot Language: The constitutional amendment eliminating an obsolete requirement for a State Medical Education Board and a State Medical Education Fund, neither of which is operational.


In 1952, voters amended the constitution to direct the Texas Legislature to create the State Medical Education Board (SMEB) and a scholarship fund to issue loans to medical students who agreed to practice in rural areas of Texas. In 1973, the Legislature created the SMEB. In 1987, the Legislative Budget Board reported that only 11 percent of loan recipients since 1973 were practicing in rural Texas counties, and only 14 percent of those were in medically underserved areas. No new loans have been issued since January 1988.

In 1989, after a recommendation by the Sunset Advisory Commission, the Legislature attached the SMEB to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB). All existing loans have been serviced or turned over to the attorney general for default collection. Loan repayment programs are now used instead of direct loans to medical students to attract physicians to practice in rural Texas.

The proposed constitutional amendment, and its enabling bill HB 1061, would remove references to these defunct entities in the constitution and state law.

Arguments For

• Since the SMEB and its education fund are no longer operational, references to them should be removed from the state’s unwieldy constitution.

Arguments Against

• The SMEB and its education fund are obsolete and no loans have been issued since 1988, so a constitutional amendment to remove references to them is unnecessary.



Proposition 3

Official Ballot Language: The constitutional amendment to authorize a political subdivision of this state to extend the number of days that aircraft parts that are exempt from ad valorem taxation due to their location in this state for a temporary period may be located in this state for purposes of qualifying for the tax exemption.


Currently, in order to promote economic development in the state, the Texas Constitution allows local taxing authorities to exempt from ad valorem taxation property that is in Texas temporarily. This tax exemption is commonly referred to as a “freeport exemption.” Eligible property includes goods, wares, merchandise, other tangible property, and ores, other than oil, natural gas, and other petroleum products. To be eligible for the exemption, the property must be acquired in or imported into Texas for export; detained for assembly, storage, manufacturing, processing, or fabrication; and shipped out of Texas no later than 175 days after acquisition or importation.

Eligible property currently includes aircraft and aircraft parts used for maintenance or repairs by certified air carriers. The proposed amendment and its enabling bill HB 3121 authorize the governing body of a political subdivision that already grants a freeport exemption to extend, up to 730 days (two years) after acquisition or importation, the date when aircraft parts with an exemption have to be transported outside of the state. The extension would apply only to the political subdivision that grants it.

If passed, the amendment would take effect January 1, 2014, and apply only to a tax year that begins on or after that date.

Arguments For

• The proposed extension of the freeport exemption would provide an economic development tool designed to make Texas competitive in the aerospace industry that contributes billions to the state’s economy. Texas is one of only a few states with a tax on inventory. Since aerospace suppliers often require inventory to be onsite for much longer than 175 days, at least one aerospace company has moved its storage or operations to another state because of the inventory tax.

• Granting an extension would be totally at the option of each local government already granting an exemption.

• Loss of tax revenue to a school district that grants a freeport exemption may be offset by additional state aid, since the amount of the exemption is subtracted from the market value of inventory or property to determine the taxable value for the taxing authority. Any extra cost to the state could be offset by additional revenues from increased economic development and jobs.

Arguments Against

• Singling out one group for special tax exemption status raises issues of uniformity in taxation. If the extension is authorized for aircraft parts, similar industries that make specialized parts and have a high portion of idle inventory may seek similar extensions.

• Granting an extension reduces tax revenues for local governments.

• An increase in exemptions by school districts could result in higher costs to the state.



Proposition 4

Official Ballot Language: The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of part of the market value of the residence homestead of a partially disabled veteran or the surviving spouse of a partially disabled veteran if the residence homestead was donated to the disabled veteran by a charitable organization.


Currently, the Texas Constitution provides that a 100 percent or totally disabled veteran, or the veteran’s surviving spouse, is entitled to an exemption from ad valorem taxation of the market value of the disabled veteran’s resident homestead, subject to certain restrictions.

This proposed amendment, and its enabling legislation HB 97, would provide a similar exemption to a partially disabled veteran or surviving spouse, if the homestead has been donated by a charitable organization at no cost to the veteran. The amount of the exemption would be a percentage of the market value of the residence homestead that is equal to the percentage of disability of the veteran. Proposition 4 would allow the legislature to provide additional eligibility requirements for the exemption, and would not affect whether a qualified disabled veteran was entitled to another exemption for veterans for which he or she may qualify. It also allows partially disabled veterans to be added to the list of individuals authorized to pay property taxes in installments as provided by current law.

Arguments For

• Texas charitable organizations have given homes to disabled veterans, but in some cases the veteran is unable to pay the property taxes, resulting in an unintended consequence of foreclosure. These veterans have sacrificed for our country and are deserving of help. The cost of the exemption is small because only a dozen or so homes per year are donated cost-free to disabled veterans.

• Partially disabled veterans who receive these homes are not likely to return to full employment and need help with their taxes.

Arguments Against

• Singling out one group for special tax exemption status, even though deserving, raises issues of uniformity in taxation and could open the door to continued erosion of the tax base.

• If the purpose of the bill is to help partially disabled veterans keep their homes while they are unable to pay property taxes, the exemption should not be permanent. It should expire when the veteran can afford to pay property taxes.



Proposition 5

Official Ballot Language: The constitutional amendment to authorize the making of a reverse mortgage loan for the purchase of homestead property and to amend lender disclosures and other requirements in connection with a reverse mortgage loan.


A “reverse mortgage for purchase” allows a senior aged 62 or older to purchase a new principal residence and obtain a reverse mortgage within a single transaction. Texas is the second largest market in the country for reverse mortgages, but the only state that does not offer the “reverse mortgage for purchase” because it is not authorized in the state constitution.

A reverse mortgage is a form of home equity loan that does not require a monthly payment. During the course of the loan, the debt increases with the addition of various costs such as interest, mortgage insurance premiums, and servicing fees, while the homeowner’s equity decreases. Repayment of the loan is deferred until the borrower dies, sells, or moves out of the residence. While reverse mortgages are a small market nationally, approximately 70,000 originated per year, it could grow dramatically in the decades ahead spurred by an aging baby boomer population.

Proposition 5 would enable Texas seniors to use “reverse mortgages for purchase” to acquire a new residence. It would also require reverse mortgage lenders to expand currently required counseling to borrowers to include disclosure of the specific behaviors that can lead to foreclosure on a property.

Arguments For

• This proposition saves costs for seniors by allowing a reverse mortgage loan to be set up as part of a purchase rather than after a purchase to eliminate duplicative processes.

• Using a “reverse mortgage for purchase,” the homeowner can occupy a new residence without making a single mortgage payment. This helps seniors relocate to other geographical areas or downsize to homes that better meet their needs.

• Reverse mortgage loans are typically easier to qualify for than traditional loans, which have income and credit score requirements to support the borrower’s ability to meet repayment commitments.

Arguments Against

• All reverse mortgages are complex financial products. Surveys have found that consumers struggle to understand and make good decisions even after required counseling.

• Homeowners can lose a lifetime of home equity as a result of fraud, scams, misleading advertising, aggressive sales tactics and discriminatory practices sometimes associated with reverse mortgages. This risk increases significantly when state regulation and enforcement are weak.

• As baby boomers consider the reverse mortgage market, their choices may put them at considerable risk at a time in their lives when making a financial recovery is unlikely.



Proposition 6

Official Ballot Language: The constitutional amendment providing for the creation of the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas and the State Water Implementation Revenue Fund for Texas to assist in the financing of priority projects in the state water plan to ensure the availability of adequate water resources.


The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) develops a state water plan based on information from each of 16 regional water-planning groups. Existing state funding relies primarily on issuance of general obligation bonds, legislative appropriations, and federal grants that finance loans to local and regional water suppliers. In November 2011, voters approved a constitutional amendment that authorized the TWDB to issue additional general obligation bonds not to exceed $6 billion at any time.

Proposition 6 establishes two funds to finance water plan projects: the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT) and the State Water Implementation Revenue Fund for Texas (SWIRFT). The two funds would receive financial resources for water projects, including revenue authorized by the state legislature, investment earnings and interest, and proceeds from the sale of bonds. The two funds would be part of the state treasury but outside the general revenue fund, a constitutional requirement to give the legislature control over disbursements.

Under Proposition 6, TWDB would have the power to enter into bond enhancement agreements to make bonds more attractive to purchasers. If the legislature provides authorization and the Legislative Budget Board approves, TWDB would have the authority to issue bonds and related credit agreements and to make direct loans for water projects in the state water plan. Repayment of loans would provide a revolving cash flow for additional loans.

HB 1025 authorizes the transfer of $2 billion from the economic stabilization fund, commonly known as the Rainy Day Fund, if the amendment passes. Money in the fund would be available to provide support for low-interest loans, longer repayment terms for loans, incremental repurchase terms for projects in which the state owns an interest, and deferral of loan payments. The enabling legislation for the proposed amendment, HB 4, prescribes how the funds are to be invested and how they may be apportioned within the state water plan. At least 10 percent of funds would be applied to projects designed to serve rural areas and 20 percent for water conservation or reuse.

Arguments For

• Ensuring an adequate water supply is essential to the public and economic health of Texas. These two funds provide a sustainable mechanism for funding water development projects with an initial transfer of $2 billion from the Rainy Day Fund to seed a revolving cash flow for making loans for water projects.

• Responding to the current drought emergency is an appropriate use of the Rainy Day Fund and will provide a better return on investment than if the money were left in that fund.

• Without the necessary funding for priority projects in the state water plan, Texas stands to lose millions of jobs and suffer reduced economic activity and decreased tax revenues.

Arguments Against

• These two new funds are unnecessary as there is already available funding for water development projects administered by TWDB.

• While TWDB needs to proceed with priority projects, taking money from the Rainy Day Fund is inappropriate. Reducing the amount in this fund could reduce the state’s excellent credit rating and affect the state’s ability to respond to a natural disaster or other emergency situations. The legislature should make a separate appropriation from the general fund.

• The state should not take on the financing of water plan projects. Financing should be provided by those benefiting from the projects.



Proposition 7

Official Ballot Language: The constitutional amendment authorizing a home-rule municipality to provide in its charter the procedure to fill a vacancy on its governing body for which the unexpired term is 12 months or less.


Almost all Texas cities of more than 5,000 population have adopted a home rule or an independent city charter. A home rule city can pass any regulations or laws it deems necessary as long as they are consistent with the state constitution and statutes.

Section 11, Article XI of the Texas Constitution prohibits a city with terms of office between two and four years from filling vacancies by appointment. These cities must fill vacancies by majority vote during a special election held within 120 days after the start of the vacancy.

The proposed constitutional amendment and its enabling bill HB 1372 would authorize a home rule city to provide in its charter a procedure other than a special election to fill a vacancy in its governing body for which the unexpired term is 12 months or less.

Arguments For

• Proposition 7 would cut taxpayer costs. When an elected city official passes away or otherwise leaves office, the Constitution requires the city to hold a special election within 120 days even if only a few months remain in the term. Taxpayers pay thousands of dollars to hold special elections only a few months before a regular election.

• This proposition would provide parity in election regulations. Vacancies for elected city officials with terms of office of less than two years can be filled by appointment. This proposition would allow vacancies to be filled by the same process for all elected officials. It would preserve democratic accountability because cities would have to hold elections as usual after the expiration of an appointed official’s term.

Arguments Against

• Proposition 7 might increase the opportunity for corruption by allowing city officials to appoint one another.

• Voting and elections are the best way to ensure democratic accountability. The cost of special elections is a small price to pay to ensure accountability.



Proposition 8

Official Ballot Language: The constitutional amendment repealing Section 7, Article IX, Texas Constitution, which relates to the creation of a hospital district in Hidalgo County.


Proposition 8 would remove from the Texas Constitution a 1960 amendment that authorized the creation of a hospital district in Hidalgo County with a maximum tax rate of 10 cents per $100 valuation of taxable property. This limit is below all other counties in Texas, and no hospital district has been created in Hidalgo County. Repealing the 1960 amendment, which applies only to Hidalgo County, would allow it to come under Section 4 of the Texas Constitution which provides for hospital districts in all counties, with a maximum tax rate of 75 cents per $100 valuation of all taxable property.

If Proposition 8 is passed, the formation of a hospital district in Hidalgo County and the district’s tax rate would require approval from the county’s voters during an election.

o Arguments For

• Hidalgo is the only county in the state with a tax limitation of 10 cents per $100 property valuation. It is also the largest county without a hospital district. The existing limitation hinders its ability to create and operate a sustainable district. Passage of Proposition 8 would allow Hidalgo County the same taxing rate that other counties have.

• Hidalgo County has a high rate of uninsured residents, and this proposition could help the county establish a hospital district and obtain federal funds for much-needed emergency care for the poor.

o Arguments Against

• Passage of this proposition would likely increase the taxes for property owners in Hidalgo County, since a hospital district could be created with a tax rate as high as 75 cents per $100 valuation of all property.

• An increase in taxes could hurt the very people this proposition is hoping to serve: the poor.



Proposition 9

Official Ballot Language: The constitutional amendment relating to expanding the types of sanctions that may be assessed against a judge or justice following a formal proceeding instituted by the State Commission on Judicial Contact.


The State Commission on Judicial Conduct (SCJC) was created in 1965, through a constitutional amendment, to investigate allegations of judicial misconduct or disability and to discipline judges. The SCJC is responsible for ensuring that Texas judges comply with standards of conduct established in the Texas Constitution and by the Texas Supreme Court. Currently, after a formal disciplinary proceeding, the SCJC may issue an order of public censure or recommend removal or retirement of the judge/justice.

During its review of the SCJC, the Sunset Advisory Commission recommended that the SCJC be authorized to use its full range of disciplinary actions following a formal proceeding. If this proposed amendment passes, the SCJC may at its discretion issue a private or public admonition, warning, reprimand, or requirement that the person obtain additional training or education, as well as the censure or formal recommendations of resignation or retirement.

Arguments For

• Proposition 9 would lead to greater public accountability for judges and justices; continue to promote public confidence in the integrity, independence, competence, and impartiality of the judiciary, and encourage judges to maintain high standards of conduct both on and off the bench.

Arguments Against

• Stronger measures than those provided by Proposition 9 are needed to reinforce the SCJC’s authority to discipline judges and hold them accountable for judicial misconduct.

Senator Cruz returns to Texas welcome after shutdown battle

By Jim Forsyth

SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) – Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, a favorite of the conservative Tea Party movement, returned home to a rousing welcome in Texas on Saturday after his attempt to derail Obamacare with a shutdown of the federal government led to sharp criticism of his tactics as reckless and futile.

“After two months in Washington, it’s great to be back in America,” Cruz joked in speaking to a crowd of about 750 people in a packed downtown San Antonio hotel ballroom.

Cruz was greeted with an eight-minute standing ovation in an appearance organized by the Texas Federation of Republican Women. People in attendance, many of them wearing red to show their support for keeping Texas a conservative-leaning state, lined up to greet him.

The speech and another talk earlier in the day at a panel in Austin marked Cruz’s first public appearance in his home state of Texas since his part in the showdown in Washington over the rollout of Obamacare that resulted in a 16-day shutdown of the federal government that ended on Thursday.

A related stalemate over the debt limit threatened to lead to a default on U.S. government debt until the Senate on Wednesday voted 81-18 to end the crisis and the House of Representatives followed with a vote of 285-144 to approve the plan, allowing government to open without defunding Obamacare.

Cruz in his speech in San Antonio blasted Senate Republican leaders for “failing to stand with House Republicans against the train wreck that is Obamacare.”

He declined to criticize any Republicans by name.

While he said the agreement to end the shutdown and extend the debt ceiling was a “lousy deal for the American people,” Cruz said the battle he and other Republicans waged will end up helping his party.

Cruz became a lightning rod for criticism from Democrats and even from key Republicans when he staged a 21-hour filibuster-style talk on the floor of the Senate last month, as part of his attempt to defund the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The Texas senator, who has been in office for 10 months since his election last year, received scathing criticism from Democrats, the White House and even some of his fellow Republicans in the Senate during the shutdown and the debate leading up to it.

Senator John McCain from Arizona, a former presidential candidate, and Representative Peter King from New York have been two of the most vocal Republican opponents of Cruz’s tactics, with McCain calling Cruz and his allies “wacko birds.”

Cruz also took a hit in the polls. A Gallup poll released on October 10 found he had gained significant name recognition, but the percentage of Americans with an unfavorable view of him has jumped to 36 percent from 18 percent in June.

But the welcome Cruz received in Texas demonstrated his popularity among many Republican activists has grown.

In an interview with Reuters after his speech, Cruz said there is “a lot to be encouraged about” after the battle in Washington.

“We saw what can happen when the American people unite, when the American people stand up,” he said. “What the American people want is economic growth and job creation. They are crying out for something that fixes all the enormous damage that Obamacare is causing.”

(Additional reporting by Kevin Murphy in Kansas City, Missouri; Editing by Alex Dobuzinskis and Eric Walsh)

Restrict our freedoms to “sooth” the phobia of a few?

The Texas Penal Code makes it illegal to display “a firearm or other deadly weapon in a public place in a manner calculated to alarm.”

what the hell does that mean? alarm who? “people leaving the store “expressed concern,”” and ‘men had the rifles “on their laps and in hand.””

in their hand how? as they set it down by the table? there are tons of stories about LIB’S “alarmed” by the site of a gun that isn’t a “gun” a drawing a pic on a t shirt a hand gun that’s really a hand of a 6yo even a POP TART

why should we have laws that restrict our freedoms to “sooth” the phobia of a few?
Look Mr.,Miss. Lib in your average week you are next to , in proximity of 100’s of “arms” just like spiders, snakes, and other dangerous things that can wound or kill.

you are more likely to die in your bathroom than get shot especially by a Law Abiding Citizen. Make no mistake the law abiding is what we are talking about in every gun law debate. criminals by definition do not fallow LAWS.

‘That’s What America’s About’: Armed Gun-Rights Activists Rally at the Alamo |

Story by the Associated Press; curated by Dave Urbanski

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Several hundred gun-rights activists armed with rifles and shotguns rallied outside the Alamo Saturday in a demonstration that broke a longstanding tradition of not staging such events at the enduring symbol of Texas independence.

Organizers called the “Come and Take It San Antonio!” rally after a confrontation two months ago in which San Antonio police threatened to arrest several gun-rights activists who were carrying their rifles outside of a Starbucks. They oppose a local ordinance that they say impinges on gun rights.

Image source: KEYE-TV

Demonstrators carried flags emblazoned with “Come and Take It” and “Don’t Tread on Me” that fluttered above the crowd as gun-rights leaders and politicians spoke about Texas liberty and the Second Amendment.

San Antonio Police Chief William McManus mingled in the crowd, which police estimated was 300 to 400 people. He chatted with rally organizers while a substantial police presence remained outside the event’s perimeter.

The event was organized by several gun-rights groups that advocate for the open carrying of long guns — rifles and shotguns — which is allowed under Texas law.

Open Carry Texas President C.J. Chivers told the crowd that he wanted to hold the event in San Antonio because of a confrontation here between police and gun-rights advocates a couple months ago.

“[The San Antonio Police Department] is no longer going to be messing with us,” Chivers said from a podium, with the Alamo’s famed Spanish mission behind him.

Image source: KEYE-TV

The city has an ordinance that limits the carrying of firearms, especially at public events.

Asked about the enforcement of that ordinance Saturday, McManus said, “there are too many issues associated with trying to enforce every ordinance here today.” He said his priority was that people being allowed to exercise their constitutional rights and that everyone remain safe. He said police preparations had been underway for about two weeks.

Chivers and others credited police in helping to coordinate the event. Before the rally began, announcements were made to remove ammunition from rifle chambers, and volunteers walked through the crowds inserting red straws in rifles to show the chambers were clear.

Colt Szczygiel, 27 — a retired U.S. Marine rifleman who just moved to Converse, Texas from Connecticut in September — was excited to be making his first visit to the Alamo on such an occasion. With a Bushmaster ACR rifle hanging from his shoulder, Szczygiel read a plaque about the site’s history like any first-time tourist.

“It’s great to be able to come here with my rifle for the first time,” he said, adding that Texas’ gun-friendly culture made the move all the more attractive coming from Waterbury, Conn. Szczygiel noted that he’d participated in gun-rights rallies there, but this was his first one in Texas.

Image source: KEYE-TV

Reactions from tourists who happened upon the demonstration were varied.

Don Norwood, 49, of Little Rock, Ark., was visiting with his wife and daughter. He hadn’t expected the demonstration, but gazing over the crowd, he said, “it’s healthy, that’s what America’s about.”

Asked if it made him nervous to approach the old mission chapel through the armed crowd, Norwood said, “no, they’re not a threat to me.”

A 21-year-old from Houston, who would only give his name as Neil, was a little more apprehensive. At the edge of the crowd he paused while his girlfriend snapped photos.

“I was just trying to figure out what was going on and then I saw everybody carrying their weapons and I caught on,” he said. “I don’t own any guns, but I do feel people have the right to bear arms as per the constitution.”

He did express doubts though about the location. “Why here? Why come out in an open park? Why in front of a monument? I do think that’s a little inappropriate.”

It was a question raised earlier by the Alamo Defenders’ Descendants Association. Lee Spencer White, its president, said her group considers the Alamo its family cemetery and as hallowed ground should remain free of demonstrations, which historically have been held on the adjacent plaza.

From 1905 to 2011, the Daughters of the Republic of Texas were the Alamo’s custodians. But in 2011, lawmakers gave the state’s General Land office control of the monument where Col. William Travis and 200 Texas defenders famously died in a Mexican army siege in 1836. It was Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson who approved the rally here.

“I respect the opinions of folks who say this is not the right place,” Patterson said to the crowd on Saturday. “But I submit to you there’s one standard we should apply to gatherings here at this sacred cradle of Texas liberty and that is whether our activity and our purpose would be supported by those men who gave it all.”

Patterson, who is running for lieutenant governor, did ask attendees to not block the path to the mission and to leave their rifles and signs outside when entering the chapel. “Even though you can lawfully do that, we have a reverence for that location where those men died.”

Here’s a report from KEYE-TV:

Here’s a report from KENS-TV on the three men behind the “open carry” demonstration conducted outside of a San Antonio Starbucks which helped lead to Saturday’s demonstration a the Alamo:

Thu Aug 29 16:24:41 PDT 2013

via ‘That’s What America’s About’: Armed Gun-Rights Activists Rally at the Alamo |

Come And Take It America |

Come And Take It America

We are proud to introduce the next big movement for all Americans that love our freedoms. This is for the people that have enjoyed the good life this country has offered and want a better life for our kids. We want to protect our freedoms by returning this land to a more constitutional version for gun laws. Because without your right to bear arms you cant defend any other rights.

Nationwide movement of armed marches are spreading. If you would like to host a local chapter in your own town please send us details.  These monthly walks through your downtown area with like minded people will continue to keep the right to bear arms fresh in the minds of police. It will show the public that we are law-abiding friendly citizens and are nothing to fear. Find a network of like minded people here.

The stated goals of Come And Take It America are to:

1) Educate Americans on their right to openly carry shotguns and rifles in a safe manner.

2) To condition Americans to feel safe around those of us that carry them.

3) Encourage our elected officials to pass less restrictive open carry legislation.


via Come And Take It America |

October 19th we will stand under weight or arms and declare ‘THIS IS OUR LINE IN THE SAND!”

Push back is growing to a planned ‘open carry’ gun rights rally which is set for Saturday on Alamo Plaza, 1200 WOAI news reports.


Several groups and prominent individuals, including State Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, who wrote the state’s concealed handgun law while he was a member of the Texas Senate, plan to gather at the Alamo carrying loaded rifles, including some weapons which are categorized as ‘assault rifles.’


“We cannot stand by any longer in silence,” says a statement by a group called ‘Don’,’ which is one of the organizers.  “They (police agencies) have been left unchecked too long.  October 19th we will stand under weight or arms and declare ‘THIS IS OUR LINE IN THE SAND!”  We will stand as free men and women!”


Even though a concealed handgun license, which required a training course and a background check, are required to carry a handgun in a concealed holster, Texas law allows rifles and other long guns to be carried openly, without any training or permitting required.


Michelle Green, who heads the Texas chapter of a group called ‘Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America’ says that law, which dates to the 19th Century, was passed to make sure people could hunt game in rural areas unmolested, and it was never intended to allow people to carry AR-15s in the downtown areas of big cities.


“The thought of walking around a Wal-Mart or a Starbucks with a loaded long rifle is alarming, and it is completely disproportional to what anybody needs,” Green said.


Gun rights advocates say it is not up to the government to decide what level of weapon they ‘need,’ and say the Second Amendment is clear that no laws can infringe on the right to bear arms.


Several people organizing the rally say they are concerned that police departments around the state are targeting law abiding gun owners.  A man is on trial in Belton after he was arrested while carrying a long rifle down a country road while hiking with his son. says San Antonio Police Chief William McManus has authorized ‘a policy of harassing law abiding citizens and gun owners.’


Green says most members of her group own guns and all support the Second Amendment.  But they say carrying a loaded rifle to a downtown rally goes over the line for them.


“I think most of us understand the need for hunters to be able to carry their guns when they are hunting out the country,” she said.  But she called the Saturday rally ‘alarming and sickening’ and said the ‘Come and Take it, Line in the Sand’ organizers are a ‘fringe group.’


Adding to the controversy is the fact that the Alamo is generally off limits to political rallies, and permission for dozens of political rallies were rejected by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas when they operated the Alamo.  But the Alamo is now under the control of Patterson’s General Land Office.


Patterson, by the way, is a candidate for Lieutenant Governor.


Read more:

Best Blaze Comment

In an argument on a post from the theblaze this comment strikes me as the best sum-up



Sep. 7, 2013 at 10:36am


Yes Texas needs to get going. In an economic crisis the people voted not one but twice for BO it is very hard to argue with that kind of Short Bus. Texas has spent billions in the last few years but not on Texans. They have spent most of it on Katrina refugees and illegal aliens and the fact that they won’t go home. Houston alone had to raise taxes just to cover the cost of tutors year round to attempt to bring NOLO kids up to speed for the schools. Couple that with slashed oil production because of Obamas illegal shutting of federal oil leases and lands and the out of work roughnecks, and the EPA stopping mining and production of energy as well as the thousands of businesses that have been closed as a result and you have a lot of red ink.

If Texas seceded most of the Welfare professionals would leave immediately and probably go to Cali or Maine for the lavish benefits. The working welfare cases would just go back to work. Also the corporate taxes that the federal government relies so heavily on like Exxon and Valero would no longer go to DC and let us not forget how much military hardware and munitions the Federal Government purchases that is made right here in Texas. The Agri-Business from Texas A&M and the number of US military personnel.

I think Texas would do much better after a soul restoring divorce from this abusive dysfunctional marriage we have had to endure with the self centered egotistical parasitic rest of the nation.
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