Don’t Be Petty about Petty, DMN

Yesterday, the Dallas Morning News endorsed Nathan Hecht for anothersix years on an already all-Republican court. When compared to Michele Petty thought, Hecht’s editorial win just does not seem to add up.

The pro-Hecht justifications? His knows something about school funding, supports access for the poor, and brings “intellectual clarity.” Well, the New York Times has said that Hecht has written opinions in favor of wealthy school districts. As admirable it may be for a Republican to support legal access to the unprivileged, a Democrat can be counted on advocating for the same – and possibly more.  Intellectual clarity? Well now that just sounds like fluff, y’all. Continue reading

Bold or Bust? Mayor Leffingwell Takes Stance on Budget

City Council voted in a surprising 6-1 fashion Tuesday, leaving the mayor as the sole “nay” vote to this year’s City budget.

It seems Austin city politics has been experiencing a flurry of firsts and unprecedented actions this past year. The most recent example is last night’s City Council budget meeting in which Mayor Lee Leffingwell chose to fight a city-wide budget he believed carried too heavy a burden on tax-payers. Leffignwell was the sole “nay” vote on the City’s proposed budget.

As the Austin American Statesman’s Sarah Coppola put it “Leffingwell stunned his colleagues Monday by proposing a 2 percent, across-the-board cut to several city departments, including parks and libraries.” Leffingwell cited the burdensome effect the city’s property tax increase will have when included with the many other local tax increases from groups such as Travis County, and Austin I.S.D. (All of whom will be asking voters for increases at this November’s ballot box). Continue reading

On Bob Gammage…

I am too young to remember Robert Alton “Bob” Gammage. It would be inappropriate for me to try to comment or ‘reflect’ on his life and legacy.

I asked around for some reflections by people who knew Gammage well.

From what I gathered, Gammage was an extremely active Yellow Dog Democrat following his years in elected public service. Texas Democratic Party Executive Director Bill Brannon said,

Bob was a great Democrat, a good candidate, and an excellent judge. He never quit working for Democrats in every election cycle.

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On those SG Campaign Promises…

Last year’s Student Government election was a miserable experience for the candidates and volunteers involved. Early disqualifications, a ridiculous lawsuit, and more disqualifications left a bitter taste in the mouths of the few students who actually bothered to vote in the end. One campaigner summed the nightmare up pretty well when he confessed,

This has been the most stressful few weeks of my life. … I have three weeks of laundry piled up.”

Out of that circus came two candidates who managed to keep cool throughout the six weeks and stayed above the fray: Thor Lund and Wills Brown.

Their platform had a few planks that seemed to be far stretches to the more established insiders within Student Government. Few gave the “24 hour PCL” much credibility. I did not think we would be able to afford it. Expanding “food options” on campus sounded like it would get lost in the red tape. Their transparency initiatives simply came across as the cookie cutter fillers that every candidate throws into their agenda. Yet, after a very productive summer, Thor and Wills are delivering.

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Get Registered, Longhorns

A new school year started today.

  • Did you get your season football tickets? Check.
  • Did you get your textbooks, (second priority)? Check.
  • Did you get registered to vote? Did you really? Are you sure? Is it up-to-date?

Y’all, this is a critical election season for students. We need to elect state legislators who will fight against further cuts to our treasured university. It is our responsibility to support a President who protected us from interest rates on subsidized student loan from doubling. DREAMers are counting on us to perform a civic duty which they cannot do themselves – vote. Continue reading