Archive for November, 2012

Cruz names Chip Roy Chief of Staff

In one of his first major staffing decisions, Sen.-elect Ted Cruz has named Chip Roy as his chief of staff.

Roy is an attorney. He worked as a senior advisor on Gov. Rick Perry’s presidential campaign. Before that, Perry appointed him as director of State-Federal Relations.

In an email statement today, Cruz said:

“Chip brings an incredible range of talents to the table. His experience in the U.S. Senate combined with his years of service as a federal prosecutor and work in state government, campaigns and the private sector make him uniquely qualified to serve Texas in this role. Moreover, he is a proud Texan and a principled movement conservative who was an early supporter of my campaign. I have known him for years and I am grateful to him and his family for agreeing to join me in this important job.”

Gov. Perry also weighed in on Cruz’s choice. He issued a statements saying:

“Senator-elect Cruz’s selection of Chip is great news for Texas. While I will miss his trusted counsel and consistent voice for liberty, he will take that much needed voice to Washington and serve Ted and our great state well.”

Senate comm. considers tighter open records law

Witnesses told a Senate Committee Monday that Texas’ open records law should be tightened and clarified to reduce lawsuits.

Freedom of information advocates said the Legislature could improve on one of the best public information acts in the country, but should make sure to provide more information, not less.

One source of recent litigation is whether a public official must share e-mails sent from a private account talking about government business. The attorney general’s office said they must, but the city of Lubbock and a Bexar County commissioner are fighting that decision in court.

Contractors are also fighting to keep information about their government work private, representing more than a third of the lawsuits over the public information act in Texas.

Senators said they would consider new laws next year.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press, All rights reserved.
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Perry taps chief of staff for Texas Supreme Court

Gov. Rick Perry has appointed his chief of staff to the Texas Supreme Court.

Jeffrey Boyd will join the state’s highest civil court Dec. 3 and finish a term that expires at the end of 2014.

He replaces Dale Wainwright, who resigned Sept. 30 to join Bracewell & Giuliani LLP in Austin.

Boyd became Perry’s chief of staff last year and was previously the governor’s general counsel.

In 2004, Perry named his then general counsel, David Medina, to the Supreme Court. Medina lost a re-election bid during the Republican primary in July.

The general counsel helps the governor review death-penalty cases.

Perry has overseen 253 executions and commuted one sentence–granting life in prison to a death row inmate who drove the getaway car during a robbery and murder.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press, All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Secretary of State Hope Andrade Resigns

Secretary of State Hope Andrade resigned Tuesday, after four years as the state’s chief elections official. Her last day in office will be Friday.

Andrade’s office told the Associated Press she felt it was the "right time" to move on. She was the first Hispanic woman to hold the office, something Gov. Perry says will cement her place in Texas history.

"As the first Latina Secretary of State, Hope has a permanent place in our state’s history books and her personal commitment to making Texas a place of unlimited opportunity will leave a lasting impression on our state’s future. Her leadership was fundamental during five successful statewide elections, and we will all be blessed by her work to promote the Texas success story around the country and around the world. I’m thankful for her service and I’m proud to call her a friend. I wish her all the best as she continues to make our state a better place."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Texas secession petition racks up enough signatures to warrant White House response

Less than one week after President Obama won a second term in the White House, some Texans want out.

More than 101,000 people have signed a petition on the "We the People" section of the Obama Administration’s website for Texas to "peacefully grant the state of Texas to withdraw" from the United States and create its own new government. 25,000 signatures are needed on any petition to warrant an official response from the White House.


"The US continues to suffer economic difficulties stemming from the federal government’s neglect to reform domestic and foreign spending. The citizens of the US suffer from blatant abuses of their rights such as the NDAA, the TSA, etc. Given that the state of Texas maintains a balanced budget and is the 15th largest economy in the world, it is practically feasible for Texas to withdraw from the union, and to do so would protect it’s citizens’ standard of living and re-secure their rights and liberties in accordance with the original ideas and beliefs of our founding fathers which are no longer being reflected by the federal government."

The petition, filed by Micah H from Arlington, TX on Friday, is not the only one of its kind filed since Election Day. POLITICO reports there are close to two dozen filed, including ones from New York, New Jersey, Kentucky, Oregon and the Carolinas. Gov. Perry’s office sent a statement about the petition to the Dallas Morning News, stating the the governor "believes in the greatness of our Union," but also "shares the frustrations many Americans have with our federal government."

George P. Bush running for Land Commissioner?

There has long been speculation that George P. Bush was eyeing public office in Texas. Now, it appears the republican has his sights set on Land Commissioner. The Tampa Bay Times obtained a copy of a letter from Jeb Bush, asking for support for his son.

November 13th, 2012
Dear Jeb Alumni member:

Last week, George P. opened a campaign account to explore the opportunity to run for statewide office in Texas. I am writing to ask that you consider making a personal contribution as he begins his quest for public service.

While the election is in 2014, it is important to show early financial support, particularly in a state as big as Texas. The office that George is considering running for is Land Commissioner which overseas the mineral rights, commercial real estate owned and sovereign submerged lands of the State of Texas as well as veterans affairs and historic archives.

George’s experience and skills match the job. In business, he has helped build a successful real estate fund business, and practiced law. In addition, he currently serves as an Intelligence Officer in the Navy Reserves. In that capacity, he served in Afghanistan for nine months last year.

Politically, George has earned the right to run by being Chairman of MAVPac, which is now a national organization, Chairman of Hispanic
Republicans of Texas, an active surrogate of the Romney/Ryan ticket and Deputy Finance Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas.
Ok, what can I say? I am proud of my son. I hope you will write a personal check to George P. Bush Campaign, 604 E. 4th St., Suite 201, Ft. Worth, TX 76102.

Respectfully,
Jeb

Last week, George P. Bush filed the necessary paperwork with the Texas Ethics Commission to run for public office. Bush has not confirmed which seat he is seeking.

Meanwhile, current Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson has made it widely known that he intends to challenge David Dewhurst for the Lieutenant Governor post.

Ted Cruz selected to serve as NRSC Vice Chair

Updated to add Ted Cruz statement

Sen.-elect Ted Cruz will serve as the Vice Chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. His selection was announced today; the same day his fellow Senator John Cornyn was elected Minority Whip.

As Vice Chair, Cruz will work to help get republicans elected to the Senate during the 2014 elections. He will serve alongside Ohio Sen. Rob Portman. Portman was widely considered to seek the chairman spot. He instead opted for a lesser role in the committee. Both will serve under Chairman Sen. Jerry Moran.

Cruz issued this statement, following today’s announcement.

"I’m honored by this selection," Cruz said. "Our country faces grave fiscal and economic challenges, and I’m very glad to have the opportunity to do everything I can to help retire Harry Reid as Majority Leader. It’s critical that Constitutional conservatives have a strong voice within the NRSC so that together we may build upon lessons learned from this election cycle and elect strong candidates who are committed to pro-growth economics and restraining the job-killing growth of the federal government."

Sen. John Cornyn, who served as the NRSC chairman this election cycle, issued this statement congratulating Cruz:

“A strong conservative and gifted campaigner, Ted has quickly proven himself to be among the next generation of leaders of the Republican party and I know our candidates will be in good hands under his leadership.”

Judge grants Planned Parenthood injunction



Our Sebastian Robertson has more in the video above.

Planned Parenthood will continue to receive state funding, at least until its lawsuit is settled or a possible appeal is granted. District Judge Stephen Yelenosky issued an injunction today, banning the state from excluding Planned Parenthood from the Women’s Health Program.

Under new rules, the state was set to exclude Planned Parenthood from the program, which provides services to low-income women.

Gov. Rick Perry and Health and Human Services Commissioner Kyle Janek have cited state law that bans public money from funding clinics affiliated with abortion providers — even if the clinics don’t actually perform abortions. Planned Parenthood sued, claiming the new rule violates state and federal law and discriminates against health care providers.

The state’s decision to implement the new rules prompted the federal government to cut off funding to the program. The money was set to stop flowing on Dec. 31. The state, meanwhile, says it is prepared to move forward with its own 100 percent, state-funded Texas Women’s Health Program. That program was scheduled to launch on Nov. 1, but was postponed due to the temporary restraining order.

It’s still not clear how Gov. Rick Perry will respond to today’s injunction. He said he would shut down the program altogether if the state was forced to include clinics affiliated with abortion providers.

The state will almost certainly appeal.

Judge hearing Planned Parenthood injunction request

Planned Parenthood is hoping a judge will extend a temporary restraining order banning the state from excluding its clinics from the Women’s Health Program.

The organization argues federal law prohibits such discrimination against health care providers. District Judge Amy Clark Meachum initially issued a temporary restraining order two weeks ago. Attorneys are back in court Thursday to ask for an extension, ensuring their clinics are funded throughout the court proceedings.

At the heart of the issue is a move by the Texas Legislature in 2011 to further clarify the law governing the Medicaid Women’s Health Program. The Republican-led legislature moved to exclude organizations affiliated with abortion providers from receiving state subsidies, even if those clinics do not actually perform abortions. By excluding those providers, the state stands to lose $40 million in federal funding on Dec. 31.

The state, meanwhile, says it is prepared to move forward with its own 100 percent, state-funded Texas Women’s Health Program. That program was scheduled to launch on Nov. 1, but was postponed due to the temporary restraining order.

Gov. Perry has said the result of Thursday’s hearing will give the state a better idea how to move forward. He has promised the state will shut down the health care program altogether, if the court rules the state must include Planned Parenthood.

Thursday’s hearing was initially expected to be over by about noon. Instead, the judge called for a recess until 1:15 p.m.

We are expecting to hear from Gov. Perry this afternoon. He already released this statement, calling on Planned Parenthood to abandon its case:

“Planned Parenthood has finally acknowledged what we have known from the very beginning – their constitutional challenge is flawed on its face. Venue shopping and courtroom sleight-of-hand in no way helps the women of Texas. We see their stalling tactic for what it is – yet another attempt to unashamedly defy the will of Texas voters and taxpayers.”

Obama re-elected to 2nd term

Barack Obama has won re-election to a second term as president, beating back a fierce challenge from Republican Mitt Romney.

Obama prevailed despite a weak economy and high unemployment.

A subdued Romney conceded to his supporters in Boston. He said he "left everything on the field.” Romney offered thanks to running mate Paul Ryan, who he called the best choice he ever made beside his wife Ann.

Romney asked for unity. He said the nation is at a critical point and can’t risk "partisan bickering and political posturing.” He urged supporters and Republicans to reach across the aisle.

The former Massachusetts governor, who lost nearly all the battleground states, called on all Americans to work to rebuild the nation.

Romney called on job creators to invest and to hire workers. He said Democrats should put the "people above politics.”

Copyright 2012 Associated Press, All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.