Dispatches from Dallas, September 22 edition

This is a weekly feature produced by my friend Ginger. Let us know what you think.

This week, in news from Dallas-Fort Worth, the big news is, of course, the Ken Paxton acquittal and the domino effect it’s having on North Texas politics. There’s also news about local districts joining a lawsuit against the TEA; city budget news in Dallas and Fort Worth; immigration news; assorted problems with environmental racism in the Metroplex; a wild story from Wise County that needs the Skip Hollandsworth treatment; blessing the drag queens; the best of Dallas; and more.

This week’s post was brought to you by Polyphia, a new-to-me Dallas band I found through the Dallas Observer’s best-of issue, mentioned below. They’re an instrumental progressive rock band, which isn’t what most of my friends think of as my style, but I really like them. They’re guitar-intense and I’d recommend you give them a try if you’re into Rodrigo y Gabriela or similar music.

Before we dive into the news, in case you haven’t heard, the government will mail you more COVID tests because COVID isn’t over, no matter what anybody says. Starting on 25 September, ask for your tests at https://www.covid.gov/tests. Stay safe out there, friends!

If you’re reading this blog, you’ve already read as much about the Paxton acquittal you can stand, and possibly more, so I’ll spare you most of the local stories. Here’s a sampling of the reaction pieces with information you might not have heard: the chair of the Collin County Republicans called the acquittal a ‘triumph’; the Tarrant County Judge (also Republican) blames the ‘corrupt media’ for the impeachment.

Meanwhile our supposedly-sensible business Republicans in the Metroplex are Not Pleased. A sampling of headlines: Why did Ken Paxton beat impeachment? Not enough evidence, too much partisan politics (Star-Telegram); A sad day for Texas: Acquitting Ken Paxton condones corruption, abuse of power (Star-Telegram editorial board); Ken Paxton verdict is an injury for Texas and conservatism (DMN editorial board); and With Ken Paxton verdict, mini-MAGA Texas Republicans mock conservative values (Star-Telegram again). Also here’s a NY Times article that you can send to your out-of-state friends that explains all these headlines: Behind Paxton’s Impeachment, a Republican Battle for Control of Texas.

You may have read a story about this already but Trump allies all but put the fix in on the trial. The Axios piece makes some additional sense of what my State Senator had to say which is that the Republicans were willing to be vote 21 but not vote 20. Close followers of the trial may remember that Defend Texas Liberty gave Lite Guv Dan Patrick $3 million back in June; as mentioned in the linked article, that’s what Jonathan Stickland is doing with his time now that he’s out of the Lege, with his work funded by Tim Dunn and the Wilks family. Defend Texas Liberty has been threatening all along to primary any Republican who voted for impeachment in the House or Senate, which both the DMN, the Dallas Observer and the Star-Telegram are concerned about. As mentioned in the Star-Telegram piece, the two Republicans in the Senate who voted to convict won’t face voters again until 2026. The Texas Standard has an interview with a Republican consultant on what may happen next spring as we go through the GOP primaries. A lot of the House members have pretty solid conservative credentials, so we’ll see how that plays out when the MAGA types start calling them RINOs. If the potential outcomes weren’t so bad I’d be getting the popcorn ready.

The DMN thinks that the five House Republicans from Collin County (all of them) will get primaried by Defending Texas Liberty. Meanwhile, they think that, short of the securities fraud case from back in 2015, eight years ago now, coming back to bite Paxton in the butt, Collin County’s favorite boy’s future is very bright. And as mentioned in the DMN piece, Paxton’s next RINO target may be John Cornyn, which will be another toss-up between brutal embarrassment and getting the popcorn out.

As a palate cleanser from all that, please enjoy this story about a thirteen-year-old journalist from Katy who covered the trial for his neighborhood paper. For him, like all of us, it was a learning experience.

While nothing can possibly top Ken Paxton’s acquittal for news, let’s look at what else is happening in the Metroplex this week:

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