The Riddler goes on a rampage

The Observer looks at a trio of bills by Rep. Debbie Riddle in which she tries to solve the immigration issue all by herself.

Rep. Debbie Riddle, R-Tomball, is launching a three-pronged attack on non-citizens this session. Prong 1: Hook 'em at work with HB 48, which would suspend employers' licenses for "knowingly" employing undocumented workers. Prong 2: Nail 'em at school with HB 50, which would disqualify undocumented students from receiving in-state tuition.

And then there's Prong 3, which would, it seems, get 'em everywhere else. HB 49 would create a Class B misdemeanor (Criminal Trespass by Illegal Aliens) that would effectively authorize local law enforcement to enforce two sections of the federal code governing most immigration law.

Asked if there were a precedent for such a law in other states, Riddle said, "If not, I'm willing to be on the cutting edge and do what's bold here in Texas."


Under HB 49, peace officers, acting on "reasonable suspicion," could detain people for being undocumented - even if they have not committed another crime. If ICE confirms the detained person is in the U.S. illegally, the peace officer could then make an arrest.


Constitutionality aside, leaving immigration to the feds has worked out for federal agents and local law enforcers alike, says El Paso Police Chief Gregory Allen. "It's been pretty clear cut," Allen says. "I don't think it should be spread out. ICE doesn't help us out with our robbery problems or our burglary problems. They're not cruising our neighborhoods. We shouldn't be required to help them."

Riddle's response? "I don't think that we should have this hair-splitting of, oh, well, this isn't my job," she says. "Citizens don't really care that much about who is making sure that their security is established in place."

However, according to Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo, burdening local law enforcement with enforcing federal immigration law could negatively impact a police department's capacity to fight crime, since city police departments already have their hands - and jails - full enforcing current criminal statutes. What's more, allowing local law officers to arrest illegal immigrants might discourage victims of questionable status from coming forward and reporting crimes, particularly in cases of family violence.

"You'd lose a lot of witnesses. There'd be a lot of crime that would go unreported," says Acevedo. "I'll give you an example. We went to a call with domestic violence. Here, a young woman was beaten by a legal resident and his threat to her was, if you call the police, you're going to get deported."

There is a precedent for this, and we know from experience that the result is even worse than what Chief Acevedo anticipates. I'm talking about Maricopa County and Sheriff Joe Arpaio, which has been doing exactly what Riddle wants for years. How's that working out for them?

In Guadalupe, grocery store employees waited in vain for help during an armed robbery.

In Queen Creek, vandalism spread through a neighborhood where Maricopa County sheriff's deputies rarely patrolled.

In Aguila, people bought guns in the face of rising crime that deputies couldn't respond to quickly enough.

And in El Mirage, dozens of serious felony cases went uninvestigated.

Response times, arrest rates, investigations and other routine police work throughout Maricopa County have suffered over the past two years as Sheriff Joe Arpaio turned his already short-handed and cash-strapped department into an immigration enforcement agency, a Tribune investigation found.

Read the whole five-part series, which I've referenced before, and ask yourself why we'd want to emulate that. I can't think of any good reason. I'm sure this thing would come with a hefty fiscal note as well, which in these tight budgetary times ought to be enough to give one pause regardless of one's ideological perspective on the issue. I doubt Riddle cares about that, however - I'm sure she'd be happy to reapportion money from just about anywhere else for this. The bill has been referred to the Criminal Jurisprudence committee, where it will hopefully die a swift and well-deserved death.

02/26/09 | permalink | comments [1]

AG to approve HISD bond money

Looks like the last major hurdle for the HISD bond referendum has been cleared.

The Texas Attorney General's office plans to give a preliminary green light Thursday to the Houston Independent School District's $805 million bond -- effectively ending a three-month long legal standoff that has held up school construction.

With no appeals pending in state court, Assistant Attorney General David Mattax issued a letter this week saying that the critics' remaining federal lawsuit, which claims that some HISD's policies discriminate against poor, minority children, isn't enough to keep the state from signing off on the public securities.

"Rather, (the) policy-making role lies with the local elected officials who vote to place a bond election on the ballot, and the voters who choose whether to approve the bonds," Mattax wrote.

HISD's controversial bond, which passed by a 2,000-vote margin in November, is expected to build 24 new schools and renovate 134 others. The AG is expected to approve the bonds after a scheduling hearing set tomorrow on the federal lawsuit. Approval will be final no earlier than March 7, officials said.

So this means construction can begin. There is still that federal lawsuit, but I couldn't tell you what effect that may have, or when it may have it. The bottom line is that the bonds can be issued without having to wait for further court rulings, which is not how things turned out in Waller County. As someone who voted for the HISD bond referendum, I'm glad to see this.

I'm also amused by this:

Attorney Ty Clevenger, who represented critics of both the Waller and Houston bonds, said he could have salvaged the case against HISD in Supreme Court. He said he's dropping the case because he never got paid by the opponents, who were organized by State Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston.

"I took the Waller case pro bono, but that was never the agreement with HISD," he said. "And I have not even been reimbursed for my expenses."

I'm just gonna let that one slide by as it is.

02/28/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Another win for HISD in bond lawsuits

It doesn't mean much in practice, but it's still a win.

In an ongoing legal battle that could have a major impact on Texas taxpayers and school districts, a Travis County judge refused Wednesday to grant a new bond validation hearing for opponents of the Houston district's $805 million bond package.

State District Judge Gisela Triana declined to vacate her December ruling that validated the election process, a decision needed before the bonds can be sold.

Leaders in the Houston Independent School District called the ruling a big win, saying they hope the state attorney general will decide soon on whether to sign off on the bond money. The funds are planned for projects including construction of 24 schools and repair of 134 others.

I'm having a little trouble keeping up with all this. Far as I knew, it was Judge John Dietz who made the ruling in the bond validation lawsuit. Am I missing a lawsuit, or was it just a different judge ruling on the same matter?

Like its neighbors in the much smaller Waller school district, HISD faces state and federal challenges to its recent bond election. While opponents in both districts have had little legal success, their challenges have blocked sale of the bonds.

In Waller, lawyers estimate that the delays are costing taxpayers $40,000 a week because of inflation in construction costs. HISD's loss could be several times higher, an attorney said.

Still, Ty Clevenger, the lawyer for opponents to both bond issues, said he will appeal Triana's decision and continue his fight in federal court, where critics accuse HISD of shortchanging minority students. HISD disputes that, saying about 90 percent of its students are black or Hispanic.

"This is a partial victory because (the judge) does not construe her order to prevent us from proceeding in federal court," Clevenger said. "So that prevents the school district from waving this order in front of the attorney general and saying, 'You have to approve these bonds.' "

Triana told Clevenger and HISD's attorney, Pat Mizell, that her order doesn't prevent a federal court from reviewing civil rights claims raised by bond opponents. She said she would be extremely upset if either one misrepresented her position in federal court.


In the Waller case, Mizell is asking the Texas Supreme Court to order the attorney general to release the bond money.

In rare cases, the high court has ordered the attorney general to approve bonds. The attorney general also has signed off on bonds after concluding that pending litigation was frivolous, say attorneys who specialize in bonds.

I don't expect AG Abbott to do anything to help HISD in any way. I will be happy to be proven wrong about this.

02/07/08 | permalink | comments [1]

Motion to overturn bond validation lawsuit

Remember that bond validation lawsuit that HISD filed and won, practically by forfeit, in Travis County after the last election? Opponents of the bond have now filed a motion to overturn that ruling.

The motion contends that state District Judge John K. Dietz did not have jurisdiction in the case -- a lawsuit the district filed in Austin shortly after the Nov. 6 election to stave off expected legal challenges that district officials feared could tie up the bond money.

While a hearing on whether to reconsider the issue could be held as early as next week, HISD attorney Pat Mizell said he is confident the district followed the law.

"The district plans to aggressively address these allegations, and we believe the judgment entered in Travis County is solid," said Mizell, a partner with Vinson & Elkins. "The district needs to press forward to build schools as quickly as possible."

Wednesday's filing was the latest development in what appears destined to be a long and costly legal battle for both sides. Critics also vowed Wednesday to beef up a federal lawsuit filed Dec. 14 by three families who say the school district's policies deny poor and minority children quality educations.

"Eventually, I think you will see this gravitate into a class-action lawsuit," said state Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, one of the most vocal critics of the bond plan.

The motion filed Wednesday in state court is "just us challenging on all fronts," he added. "What we're doing is making sure all bases are covered."

He and others contend that the bond plan -- and more generally, HISD policies -- shortchange African-American and other minority students. They say schools in those neighborhoods don't offer the same quality of education as schools in other areas.

Mizell said he expects to file a response to the federal lawsuit, as well as a motion to dismiss all or part of it, this month. A scheduling conference is set for late February.

I really don't know how to evaluate all these claims. We'll see what happens.

01/04/08 | permalink | comments [1]

Burka and Kennedy on Barrett's win

Paul Burka admits that his earlier call about the HD97 runoff was wrong, and gives his reasons for why State Rep. Dan Barrett pulled off the win.

Shelton ran a bad race. He waffled about the robo-calls. He had bad campaign materials. One Republican voter told me about getting a flyer from Shelton that talked about his being an Eagle Scout and all three of his sons being Eagle Scouts -- and then viciously attacked Barrett, a trial lawyer, undermining the character issue Shelton was trying to promote. Then there was his open endorsement of Tom Craddick. Why do it? Which voters were going to think to themselves, "I have to go vote for Shelton so that Tom Craddick can be speaker"? I wonder whether Craddick wanted Shelton to go public so that, expecting Shelton to win, he could make the race a referendum on himself. Be careful what you wish for.

Since Tom Craddick became speaker, the Republicans have lost a net nine seats. The Republican majority has shrunk from 26 to 8. Craddick has argued in appearances before Republican groups that if he loses the speakership, the Democrats win, but the evidence suggests that the opposite is true: Because of him, Republicans are losing their majority. You have to think that at some point Republican candidates in contested races against Democrats, or even in Republican primaries, are going to ask themselves whether Craddick is a benefit or a burden. And, for that matter, you would think that at some point Republican honchos, from Rick Perry down to the money guys and the consultants and the lobbyists, would start to worry that he could cost them their majority. If this isn't part of the Republican conversation, it had better be.

You do have to wonder at what point the Republican money people throw Craddick under the bus. I think it's too late and they have too much invested in him to turn their ship around. They win or die with Craddick next November. What happens after that, especially if the GOP House majority becomes a thing of the past, I have no idea. But I'm sure I'll enjoy watching.

A better question from my perspective is at what point will the Democratic money people realize that, as a Burka commenter put it, a 60% Republican district doesn't mean much of anything any more? How many seats could we win if we really tried to expand the map? We've got the issues, we've got the energy, we've got proof that we can win places we're not supposed to win - what else do we need? It seems to me that the right lesson to draw from this race is that we have no excuse for not pouring as many resources as we can into any State Rep race that's remotely viable. In particular, the past electoral history of any given district should not be seen as an insurmountable barrier. Any place we have a good candidate running against a Craddick stooge, we should think of it as winnable. Anything less is leaving money on the table.

By the way, be sure to read through the comments for some awesome excusemaking by Republicans for why they lost this one. My favorite is the one who claimed that the runoff's proximity to Christmas was a barrier for them, as if it hadn't been Governor Perry's decision when to set the date.

Meanwhile, the Star-Telegram's Bud Kennedy also weighs in:

Barrett won because Texas Democrats sent help.

But he also won because his opponent became the Amazing Vanishing Republican, and because suburban Republican voters pulled their own vanishing act on election day.

Fort Worth pediatrician Mark Shelton had leveraged volunteer help and Texas doctors' money into a first-round victory over five other Republicans, making him the favorite in the runoff.

But then, the friendly Shelton began avoiding reporters' questions, refusing interviews and responding only by e-mail.

By the final week, he seemed trapped in a campaign that was not his own.

His Austin campaign consultants, Craddick allies, sent reams of hostile mailers about illegal immigration, as if that were the sole issue.

On election day, suburban Republicans stayed home, voting by the handfuls instead of by the hundreds in Benbrook and at huge boxes such as the one at North Crowley High School.

North Crowley parents were among the big winners. Their growing district would be among those hurt most by a private-school voucher plan that Shelton supported.

The biggest loser was Craddick.

Two Republican candidates had already opposed him, and he wound up losing yet another vote in his campaign to keep his 18-year rule as the party's House leader.

"It seemed to me that Shelton was never speaking for himself," Barrett said. "Everything had to go through e-mail or through his handlers. It was as if everything came from Craddick."

Not exactly. But if Shelton had been elected, he would have been pressured to vote Craddick's way in Austin, no matter what was best for Fort Worth or Benbrook.

I'll say it again: Any place we have a good candidate up against a Craddick toady, we should view it as a pickup opportunity. It's as simple as that.

12/20/07 | permalink | comments [2]

Barrett Wins! Republican Leadership Rejected

In an indictment of Craddick's leadership, House District 97 was won today by Democrat Dan Barrett, in the special election to fill an unexpired term that opened up when Republican Anna Mowery resigned in August.


Barrett 52.2%, 5365 votes
Shelton 47.8%, 4913 votes

Barrett won the early vote 55-45%.

Barrett was clear all along that he was running against the corrupt Republican leadership in the House - Craddick and his lieutenants.

Fort Worth voters clearly think it's time for a change. Where will the next five come from?

If Fort Worth voters have this much good sense, John Cornyn might want to look over his shoulder.

Congrats to Dan Barrett and everyone on the ground who made this happen!

UPDATE: Here's the Star-Telegram story. One other portent from this race:

Shelton rarely spoke about health care as he campaigned, but relentlessly focused on illegal immigration. Shelton repeatedly said that was the issue Republican voters in the district were most interested in.

Sweet. Y'all keep running on that, Republicans. We'll keep winning.

UPDATE: For the ultimate schdenfreudistic experience, read this DMN overview of the race from Sunday.

The west Tarrant County district has become a proving ground for House Speaker Tom Craddick. It hosts the first election since the divisive legislative session ended in May and, therefore, has become a bellwether for what's to come next year.

The race pitting Democrat Dan Barrett against Republican Mark Shelton has been replete with subversive political tricks, lots of cash and surprising outcomes.

The fact that Mr. Craddick was a specter in the race - appearing at fundraisers, asking candidates to sign pledge cards and keeping a close eye on the election through operatives in Fort Worth - speaks volumes about what the Midland Republican has at stake in the runoff.


The special election was rife with intrigue early on, culminating with an Election Day attack on GOP candidate Bob Leonard in the Nov. 6 balloting to whittle seven candidates down to two.

Local operatives were advising the speaker and other observers that Mr. Leonard, who refused to commit to Mr. Craddick, was the presumed front-runner and that the perceived "Craddick guy," Craig Goldman, was falling behind.

That morning, mysterious "robo-calls" went out to voters telling them to vote against Mr. Leonard. Suddenly, the guy who was on no one's radar - Mr. Shelton - stunned pundits and operatives and grabbed a runoff spot.

Now the heir apparent in the longtime GOP district, Mr. Shelton formalized his support of Mr. Craddick by signing a pledge card and became the new darling of the Republican leadership - after battling virtually alone to get to the runoff, with no organized fundraisers and no major endorsements outside the medical community.

The party is hosting phone banks, and money-raising has picked up, his coffers landing big contributions from the likes of homebuilder Bob Perry in Houston and AT&T, longtime allies of the speaker.

Mr. Craddick himself recently appeared at a Shelton fundraiser in Austin.

"Now it's no longer just me," Mr. Shelton said. "The Republicans in the Texas House and Senate, they're all behind me. We have help and support behind me that I never had before."

Observers say the speaker's involvement in the race proves that he's not taking any chances- and that a mere win won't be good enough. He needs a commanding victory by his candidate to reinforce confidence in his power.

If this were any sweeter, I'd need to take an insulin shot.

12/18/07 | permalink | comments [0]

A House Pick-Up On Tuesday?

December 18th is election day in Tarrant County in the runoff election to select a new member to the Texas Legislature. Democrat Dan Barrett got 31.5% of the vote in the recent special election against five Republicans. He faces Republican Mark Shelton in the runoff.

This special election became necessary when Anna Mowery, a Republican, retired in August from the Legislature after serving 19 years.

The Fort Worth Star -Telegram endorsed Barrett, saying:

Democrat Dan Barrett has a ready answer for people who contend that the controversies involving Speaker Tom Craddick's heavy hand in the Texas House don't matter to the voters in District 97.

"Maybe only the most inside of political wonks know his name," said Barrett, who is facing Republican Mark Shelton in the Dec. 18 runoff, "but they are upset by a style of leadership that allows Craddick and the people he works with to exercise absolute control by fair means or foul."

Craddick's "politics of fear and intimidation" came to a startling climax in the last session, Barrett said, when the speaker declared himself the ultimate authority in the House, but this has been an issue ever since the Midland representative took the speaker's chair.

"That is so contrary to the very principle of democracy," Barrett said. Even if people aren't well-informed about the particulars of government, they still care what happens in Austin. "They want to make sure that things are going OK so they don't have to watch every single move. That's why they elect representatives."

Barrett is counting that the concerns for fair government will propel him to victory Dec. 18, given that his opponent, a pediatrician at Cook Children's Medical Center, is a Craddick backer.

Barrett pulled in 31.5 percent, or 5,575 votes, in the Nov. 6 special election. Shelton -- one of five Republicans in the race -- came in second with 22.8 percent, or 4,047 votes.

Early voting for the Dec. 18 runoff election begins Monday.

Barrett is "absolutely against" school vouchers, supports a local-option sales tax for rail transit projects, believes that state lawmakers' votes should be on the record "from start to finish," and will work for comprehensive measures to bring North Texas into compliance with Environmental Protection Agency clean-air standards.

To paraphrase Barrett from a League of Women Voters forum, District 97 voters who think things are hunky-dory in Austin should vote for Shelton.

Unfortunately, the last legislative session was far from hunky or dory. Although Barrett is a realist in admitting that he alone, as a freshman legislator, can't change the status quo, he just might make a difference as part of a growing body of lawmakers who represent a growing number of Texans who are dissatisfied with House leadership.

The Star-Telegram recommends Dan Barrett in the Dec. 18 runoff for Texas House District 97.

3352 votes were cast during early voting for the runoff election.

Follow Tuesday's election night results at the Tarrant County Elections site.

12/17/07 | permalink | comments [0]

The successful Caucus

The Houston GLBT Political Caucus had a pretty good election season this year. Here's the press release they sent out about it:

The Houston GLBT Caucus was victorious in 16 of the 17 races in which they endorsed in the November general election and December runoff election including the city council race for District D which encompasses the Montrose Area. Unofficial canvass reports from Harris County had Adams winning Montrose by about 800 total votes, receiving 88% of the vote in those precincts. The GLBT Caucus also endorsed Jolanda Jones, At-Large 5 and James Rodriguez, District I for Houston City Council.

GLBT President Jennifer Pool said, "The Caucus worked very hard to elect those candidates it endorsed, and it worked. Jolanda Jones and Wanda Adams each won decisively in their respective runoff races because of the extraordinary work of our volunteers coordinated by Nick Hellyar."

Pool also emphasized, "We are not a special interest group; we are a general interest group. That is why we endorsed in the HISD, county, and state bond elections as well. Our focus is on cleaner air, better public schools, increasing public safety, and electing quality progressive candidates. We want a better Houston for our families, and that starts by electing the best candidates."

The Houston GLBT Political Caucus (HGLBTPC), founded in 1975, is the South's oldest GLBT civil rights organization. The HGLBTPC is member based and serves as the political arm of the Houston GLBT community. The Caucus meets the first Wednesday of every month at 7:00 p.m. The monthly meeting is held at the Havens Center, 1827 W. Alabama. For more information go to

The one race they did not win was in the HCC Trustee election where they endorsed Kevin Hoffman over Yolanda Navarro Flores. Other than that, they ran the table. It's a pretty impressive achievement, especially when you consider how wide open a couple of those races were.

This Chron story took a look at one big way in which the Caucus affected the outcome of a race, the District D runoff election.

Montrose, on the map an awkward appendage to a district that covers the south side of the city, provided almost all of the margin of victory for candidate Wanda Adams in Saturday's runoff election contest against Lawrence Allen Jr.

Adams, who lives in the Hiram Clarke neighborhood several miles to the south, had worked in the Montrose area and was backed by the Houston Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Political Caucus.

Allen never sought the endorsement of the caucus, which ran an aggressive voter turnout program in support of Adams.

The group exploited its database with contact information for more than 30,000 friendly voters throughout Harris County.

In some Montrose precincts, Adams garnered more than 85 percent of the vote. Allen's showing was not as strong in any single precinct in the district.

Adams won with 57.2 percent of the 8,183 votes cast.

"I thank the citizens and voters of Montrose," Adams said. "They really wanted their voice to be heard."


Caucus president Jenifer Rene Pool said the group backed Adams and Jolanda Jones, who won a citywide council race Saturday, because they are "people who believe in equality for all and not just equality for a selected few."

The results showed that the caucus can influence local contests "especially in a low-turnout election," she said.

The data isn't available online yet, but the Montrose precincts accounted for nearly all of Adams' margin of victory. That's what I call getting out the vote.

One interesting sidebar from that story:

The council voted in 1993 to move Montrose to D from C to balance population and because of court pressure to create more districts in which clusters of minority voters have influence.

Some gay activists, however, accused then-Councilman Vince Ryan of District C of letting Montrose go because [Annise] Parker had run against him in 1991 in hopes of galvanizing gay support in the southwest side.

Ryan denied the allegation, but added, "Maybe if they had been friendly and not run someone against me, I could have helped them prepare to run a good candidate" in future contests.

Given that Ryan will be back on the ballot in 2008 as the Democratic nominee for County Attorney, all I can say is that I hope he and the Caucus have mended their fences by now.

12/14/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Still one election to go

Early voting begins today for the last election in 2007, the runoff elections in Fort Worth, which include the special election runoff for HD97. Democrat Dan Barrett picked up the endorsement of the Star Telegram as voting opens.

Democrat Dan Barrett has a ready answer for people who contend that the controversies involving Speaker Tom Craddick's heavy hand in the Texas House don't matter to the voters in District 97.

"Maybe only the most inside of political wonks know his name," said Barrett, who is facing Republican Mark Shelton in the Dec. 18 runoff, "but they are upset by a style of leadership that allows Craddick and the people he works with to exercise absolute control by fair means or foul."

Craddick's "politics of fear and intimidation" came to a startling climax in the last session, Barrett said, when the speaker declared himself the ultimate authority in the House, but this has been an issue ever since the Midland representative took the speaker's chair.

"That is so contrary to the very principle of democracy," Barrett said. Even if people aren't well-informed about the particulars of government, they still care what happens in Austin. "They want to make sure that things are going OK so they don't have to watch every single move. That's why they elect representatives."

Note the contrast with Austin's Rep. Dawnna Dukes regarding how much people know and care about Speaker Craddick. We'll see who's right. If you live in Fort Worth, please be sure to vote for Dan Barrett. Thanks to BOR for the link.

12/10/07 | permalink | comments [0]

What's a bond validation lawsuit?

I confess, this story from Saturday confuses me.

In a little-publicized decision, a judge in Travis County signed off this week on the validity of the Houston Independent School District's $805 million bond election.

The pre-emptive court action means that HISD won't be handcuffed from selling the bonds, even if critics file a lawsuit against the district for its handling of the election.

HISD took its lesson from the Waller school district, in neighboring Waller County, which has seen more than $49 million in bond money put on hold because of a legal challenge that thus far has received little backing in court.

"It's absolutely the right thing to do," HISD spokesman Terry Abbott said Friday. "The election is over. We need to move on and build schools."

But the legal maneuver has infuriated critics of the bond issue, who plan to officially respond Monday.


[Three days after the November 6 election], HISD filed a bond validation lawsuit in Travis County. The school board discussed the lawsuit the following week, partly during a closed-door meeting.

Pat Mizell, a partner with the Vinson & Elkins law firm, said he filed the case in Austin because "the Austin courts are more accustomed to this type of administrative proceeding."

"There was no attempt to hide anything," Mizell said, adding that HISD posted legal notice of the court action and the school board meeting.

Ty Clevenger, the attorney representing the Waller County resident who is suing the Waller district, disagreed.

"It was a really dirty trick," he said. "They had absolutely no other reason to file in Travis County other than to hide it."

The proceedings unfolded without the knowledge of the most vocal critics of HISD's bond plan, who said they would have appeared at the Dec. 3 hearing in the court of state District Judge John K. Dietz.

As it was, no opponents spoke in court, HISD officials said.

Okay, what the heck is a bond-validation lawsuit, and under what conditions does one file such a thing? I don't know how to judge this action without knowing if it's a standard thing to do or not. How often does this happen?

I can say that whatever the case, filing it in Austin with apparently minimal notice does strike me as an attempt to hide things. Maybe it wouldn't have mattered anyway, and maybe the bond opponents should have been prepared for HISD to take this action, but still. The fact that no opponents spoke in court is pretty telling.

So anyway. Dirty trick or clever gambit? Help me out here if you can. Thanks.

12/10/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Jones, Adams, Sullivan, and Galloway win runoffs

12/09/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Runoff day is today for Council and HISD

12/08/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Early voting ends today for Council/HISD runoffs

12/04/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Statement from Annette Dwyer on District E runoff

12/03/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Statement from Michael Sullivan on District E runoff

12/03/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Endorsement watch: Runoff edition

12/01/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Statement from Jolanda Jones on At Large #5 runoff

12/01/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Statement from Joe Trevino on At Large #5 runoff

12/01/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Statement from Lawrence Allen on District D runoff

11/30/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Statement from Wanda Adams on District D runoff

11/30/07 | permalink | comments [1]

HISD Trustee runoff overview

11/29/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Early voting starts today for city election runoffs

11/28/07 | permalink | comments [0]

District D runoff overview

11/25/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Runoff overviews: District E, At Large 5

11/23/07 | permalink | comments [0]

TLCV endorses Dan Barrett

11/21/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Dan Barrett gets ParentPAC endorsement

11/19/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Wrapup roundup

11/09/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Prop 15 not so popular in Travis County

11/09/07 | permalink | comments [2]

Why was Sue Lovell's race so close?

11/09/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Why did the jail bond lose?

11/09/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Prediction review

11/07/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Uncle Dan wins!

11/07/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Results wrapup

11/07/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Late night early results

11/06/07 | permalink | comments [0]

The Bill White line

11/06/07 | permalink | comments [0]


11/06/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Open predictions thread

11/06/07 | permalink | comments [4]

"Minor challenger"

11/04/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Mayor White endorses HISD bond referendum

11/04/07 | permalink | comments [3]

Bonds or tax cuts?

11/04/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Endorsement watch: Vote for 'em all!

11/03/07 | permalink | comments [1]

One more look at the early vote

11/03/07 | permalink | comments [2]

Endorsement watch: Those other bonds

11/02/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Perry predicts Prop 15 passage

11/02/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Last day to vote early

11/02/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Endorsement watch: One bond

11/01/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Referendum Roundup

10/30/07 | permalink | comments [0]

"A low turnout affair"

10/30/07 | permalink | comments [2]

Endorsement watch: Mayor White and the HISD bond referendum

10/30/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Endorsement watch: HCCS trustees

10/29/07 | permalink | comments [1]

The HISD bond opposition makes its case

10/29/07 | permalink | comments [2]

Early voting: Week two

10/29/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Endorsement watch:

10/29/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Endorsement watch: The HISD bond referendum

10/28/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Prop 15 opposition ramps up

10/27/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Urban League endorses HISD bond

10/26/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Doing the referendum shuffle

10/26/07 | permalink | comments [5]

Bonds here, bonds there

10/25/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Interview with Paula Harris

10/24/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Bush 41 endorses Prop 15

10/23/07 | permalink | comments [1]

The HISD District 2 trustee overview

10/23/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Proposition 4

10/23/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Early voting Google map

10/23/07 | permalink | comments [0]

The Pearland anti-smoking referendum

10/23/07 | permalink | comments [1]

The Mayoral race

10/22/07 | permalink | comments [3]

Saavedra speaks

10/22/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Early voting begins today

10/22/07 | permalink | comments [2]

The HCC trustee races

10/22/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Endorsement watch: Mayor White

10/21/07 | permalink | comments [1]

The District I overview

10/21/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Houston Votes Kick-off Voter Registration Training

10/20/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Who endorses you, baby?

10/20/07 | permalink | comments [0]

The HISD District 4 overview

10/19/07 | permalink | comments [0]

ACORN endorses HISD bond referendum

10/19/07 | permalink | comments [5]

The District B overview

10/18/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Candidates and back taxes

10/18/07 | permalink | comments [1]

The District E overview

10/17/07 | permalink | comments [0]

The At Large #5 overview

10/16/07 | permalink | comments [2]

What did Saavedra promise to the unions?

10/16/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Harris County GOP: We're not pro-cancer!

10/16/07 | permalink | comments [2]

Port bonds

10/15/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Those other bonds

10/15/07 | permalink | comments [0]


10/14/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Endorsement watch: Five for City Council

10/14/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Endorsement watch: More officeholders for the bonds

10/12/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Endorsement watch: Prop 15

10/12/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Armstrong to campaign for Prop 15

10/11/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Council campaign cash, 30 days out

10/10/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Interview with Kevin Hoffman

10/10/07 | permalink | comments [0]

The District D overview

10/10/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Endorsement watch: Districts B and C

10/09/07 | permalink | comments [0]

HISD and union support

10/09/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Interview with Will Williams

10/09/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Dan Barrett for HD97

10/09/07 | permalink | comments [0]

District C overview

10/09/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Bundling jail bonds

10/08/07 | permalink | comments [1]

TMO will not support the HISD bond referendum

10/08/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Have you registered to vote?

10/08/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Interview with Reginald Adams

10/08/07 | permalink | comments [0]

AFL-CIO endorses HISD bond proposal

10/08/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Turnout and Prop 15

10/07/07 | permalink | comments [2]

The HISD bond opposition organizes

10/06/07 | permalink | comments [2]

Endorsement watch: Edwards for Adams, HPOU for Sullivan

10/05/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Greater Houston Partnership endorses HISD bond proposal

10/04/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Interview with Annette Dwyer

10/03/07 | permalink | comments [0]

A look at At Large #2

10/02/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Interview with Jolanda Jones

10/02/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Interview with Wanda Adams

10/01/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Proposition 11: Recorded votes

10/01/07 | permalink | comments [2]

LULAC endorses HISD bond proposal

09/30/07 | permalink | comments [0]

At Large #3, take three

09/30/07 | permalink | comments [2]

More on the Hispanic Chamber endorsement of the HISD bond referendum

09/30/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Endorsement watch: District I

09/29/07 | permalink | comments [0]

District D candidate switches to At Large #1

09/29/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Endorsement watch: HISD Trustees

09/28/07 | permalink | comments [2]

HISD gets Hispanic Chamber endorsement

09/28/07 | permalink | comments [0]

State Proposition 2

09/28/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Christie's back

09/26/07 | permalink | comments [2]

Interview with Marlon Barabin

09/26/07 | permalink | comments [0]

HISD still struggling with the bond referendum

09/25/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Interview with James Rodriguez

09/25/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Interview with Council Member Anne Clutterbuck

09/24/07 | permalink | comments [1]

GLBT Political Caucus endorses revised HISD bond proposal

09/24/07 | permalink | comments [2]

Uncle Dan update

09/22/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Winning the write-in way

09/21/07 | permalink | comments [4]

Interview with Manisha Mehta

09/20/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Of bonds and taxes

09/19/07 | permalink | comments [3]

Interview with John Marron

09/19/07 | permalink | comments [1]

HISD bond proposal changes: Too little, too late?

09/18/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Interview with Lawrence Allen

09/17/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Christie departs, Tahir stays

09/16/07 | permalink | comments [2]

A bit more about the candidates

09/16/07 | permalink | comments [0]

The Chron on carpetbagging

09/15/07 | permalink | comments [3]

Three strikes for Christie

09/15/07 | permalink | comments [6]

More on the non-residency story

09/14/07 | permalink | comments [1]

(Not) in residency

09/13/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Interview with Joe Trevino

09/12/07 | permalink | comments [0]

More grumbling about the HISD bond vote

09/11/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Interview with Zaf Tahir

09/10/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Lance Armstrong at Rice

09/09/07 | permalink | comments [0]

The HCCS Trustee elections

09/08/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Still time for the HISD bond referendum?

09/06/07 | permalink | comments [1]

More on the announced candidates

09/06/07 | permalink | comments [2]

The filing deadline approacheth

09/05/07 | permalink | comments [7]

Prop 15 campaign kickoff at Rice today

09/05/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Not much bonding

08/25/07 | permalink | comments [0]

HISD bond skepticism

08/23/07 | permalink | comments [0]

You can't sue me! I'm suing you!

08/19/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Another special election?

08/18/07 | permalink | comments [2]

From the "Some People Never Learn" Department

08/16/07 | permalink | comments [0]

HISD bond referendum officially on the ballot

08/10/07 | permalink | comments [2]

Mowery resigns, special election coming

08/09/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Council filings are now open

08/08/07 | permalink | comments [3]

HGLBT Endorses Candidates in November 6th Races

08/06/07 | permalink | comments [0]

The amendment lineup for the fall election

08/03/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Report from the Tejano Democrats endorsement meeting

07/13/07 | permalink | comments [6]

Harris County Tejano Democrats meeting tonight

07/12/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Welcome to the club

06/27/07 | permalink | comments [0]


06/17/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Off to Melissa's election night party

06/16/07 | permalink | comments [3]

Today's the day - Vote!

06/16/07 | permalink | comments [0]

It's not about Roy

06/15/07 | permalink | comments [1]

From the "Why Every Vote Counts" Department

06/13/07 | permalink | comments [3]

Early voting: Last chance

06/12/07 | permalink | comments [2]

Early voting: I'll let John handle it

06/11/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Early voting: A quick look at San Antonio

06/10/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Early voting: Quote this!

06/09/07 | permalink | comments [4]

Early voting: The wrong question

06/07/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Early voting: Candidate forum Saturday

06/07/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Early voting: The one-trick pony

06/06/07 | permalink | comments [4]

Early voting Day Two

06/05/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Early voting begins today for Houston runoff elections

06/04/07 | permalink | comments [3]

More endorsements for Noriega

05/24/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Lawsuit against Roy Morales

05/21/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Andy Neill endorses Melissa Noriega

05/16/07 | permalink | comments [0]

How about best five out of nine?

05/15/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Election wrapup: Farmers Branch

05/13/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Election wrapup: New Braunfels

05/13/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Election wrapup: Houston City Council

05/13/07 | permalink | comments [3]

Runoff coming

05/12/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Get out there and vote!

05/12/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Farmers Branch mayor: Vote against the ordinance

05/12/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Care to revise and extend your turnout estimate?

05/11/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Last chance to vote early today

05/08/07 | permalink | comments [0]

If not you, then who?

05/07/07 | permalink | comments [2]

Have I mentioned voting?

05/06/07 | permalink | comments [0]


05/05/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Early voting: West University Place

05/04/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Early voting: Current info in San Antonio

05/03/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Early voting: San Antonio and Dallas

05/02/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Early voting in New Braunfels

05/01/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Early voting in Farmer's Branch

04/30/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Early voting starts today

04/30/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Possibly the only Chron story you'll see about the May 12 election

04/29/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Chron endorses Melissa Noriega

04/29/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Early voting starts Monday for the City Council special election

04/28/07 | permalink | comments [0]

It's official: Ray Jones will not be on the May 12 ballot

04/22/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Are you registered for the special election yet?

04/11/07 | permalink | comments [1]

City responds to Jones again

04/06/07 | permalink | comments [1]

More Council interviews

04/02/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Supreme Court agrees to hear Jones' appeal

03/29/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Ray Jones appeals to Supreme Court

03/28/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Jones' petition denied

03/22/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Jones responds back

03/22/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Jones and Morales

03/21/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Melissa Noriega campaign headquarters opening this Saturday

03/20/07 | permalink | comments [2]

On qualifying for the ballot

03/19/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Interview with Noel Freeman

03/19/07 | permalink | comments [0]

More on Ray Jones' ballot suit

03/16/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Why some made the ballot and others didn't, continued

03/15/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Voters reject tax decrease

03/15/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Interview with David Goldberg

03/14/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Why some made the ballot and others didn't

03/13/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Interview with Roy Morales

03/12/07 | permalink | comments [0]

A brief profile of some Council candidates

03/10/07 | permalink | comments [0]

This time we mean it: Council special election lineup really, truly set

03/08/07 | permalink | comments [1]

GLBT Caucus endorses Noriega

03/08/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Roy Morales will be on the ballot

03/07/07 | permalink | comments [2]

The field is (maybe) set for May

03/07/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Interview with Andy Neill

03/05/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Interview with Melissa Noriega

02/26/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Want to ask the candidates a question?

02/22/07 | permalink | comments [3]

Spend a Saturday with the Noriegas in Fort Bend

02/09/07 | permalink | comments [0]

The battle is joined in District I

02/02/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Campaign kickoff event for Melissa Noriega

01/31/07 | permalink | comments [0]

GLBT Caucus view of the Council candidates

01/27/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Council filings: Morales is in

01/19/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Special election called for May 12

01/18/07 | permalink | comments [1]

O'Day wins HD29 runoff

01/17/07 | permalink | comments [0]

It's official: We will have an election to replace Shelley

01/11/07 | permalink | comments [4]

Another Cisneros in San Antonio politics

01/08/07 | permalink | comments [1]