The State of Texas: Julian Castro Makes Clinton’s Veep Shortlist
Plus: Dallas throws shade at Cleveland, a Texas-based company allegedly swindled top athletes, and Willie Nelson’s weed company is now hiring.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“This is God’s country please don’t drive through it like hell.”
—A highway sign welcoming (and warning) motorists heading into the South Texas town of Hondo. According to the Dallas Morning News, the sign has caused quite the uproar in the city of 9,000. A national secularist advocacy group is pushing the city to take down the signs. But the mayor seems unmoved by the group’s request, saying earlier this week that “there’s no way in hell we’re going to take those signs down.”
Castro Makes the Cut
Former San Antonio mayor and current Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro is officially in the hunt to join Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s ticket. According to the Associated Press, Clinton’s team has significantly reduced the pool of potential veeps and is beginning to vet the remaining candidates. The 41-year-old Texan is joined on Clinton’s shortlist by some pretty stiff competition, led by Senator Elizabeth Warren, a progressive icon from Massachusetts who’s made news lately for treating Donald Trump like her own personal punching bag. Also on the list is Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, the more moderate choice of the bunch. It’s hard to say where Castro stands at the moment. Writes the Associated Press: “Some advisers believe Clinton should pick a running-mate that would energize Democrats: a woman, a staunch liberal, or a minority. Others argue that Trump’s deep unpopularity gives Clinton an opportunity to win over a share of independents and Republican-leaning voters with a more centrist pick, such as Kaine.” According to the San Antonio Express-News, we probably won’t find out Clinton’s choice until or just before the Democratic National Convention, which starts July 25. If Castro gets the veep nod and Clinton pulls through in November, he’d become the first Texan vice president since George H. W. Bush served as Ronald Reagan’s second-in-command.
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
Dallas Throws Shade
Dallas is apparently still upset about losing its bid to host the Republican National Convention to, of all places, Cleveland (Cleveland!). Now, Dallas is doing its best to remind convention-goers in Cleveland of what they missed out on. According to the Dallas Morning News, the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau is installing an aggressively troll-like ad campaign in Cleveland’s airport showing some of Dallas’s best sites—the swanky pool at the W hotel, five-star eatery Stampede 66, and the Winspear Opera House—along with the tagline “Join us for a Grand Old After Party.” Cleveland has reportedly been struggling to prepare for the convention (much to Dallas’s delight), and a lack of hotel rooms is one of the biggest problems. One of the ads included a not-so-subtle dig, offering Dallas visitors the chance to “unwind in one of our 77,000 plush hotel rooms.” Clevelanders expressed their displeasure with the ads in a typically polite Midwestern way, with Cleveland’s alt-weekly calling out the campaign as “sour grapes” and the Cleveland Plain-Dealer observing that “everything, including grudges, is bigger in Texas.”
The Securities and Exchange Commission charged the former managing director of a Dallas-based investment firm with defrauding a whole bunch of professional athletes. While he was with RGT Capital Management, Ash Narayan allegedly snaked top athletes—including ex-New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, current San Francisco Giants pitcher Jake Peavy, and former Houston Astros ace Roy Oswalt—out of around $30 million. According to Oswalt’s testimony, Narayan allegedly groomed him for the scam by playing up his own Christian faith and charitable giving. Oswalt said Narayan even told him he helped build churches overseas. All three athletes were looking for low-risk, conservative investments, but Narayan allegedly funneled their money into an unsuccessful online ticket-selling company that also happened to be paying Narayan a couple million bucks in finder’s fees, which he didn’t disclose. According to Bloomberg, Oswalt lost about $7 million between 2008 and 2012, and at one time around 80 percent of his baseball salary was directed into the investment account.
Willie Nelson’s new Colorado weed company, Willie’s Reserve, has a bunch of openings. According to the job descriptions, “the Willie’s Reserve cannabis brand is founded on, and driven by, the core values of our legendary namesake Willie Nelson,” so we can only assume it’s a super chill place to work. Want to legally sell pot for a Texas music monarch? Maybe the Sales Director position can interest you. Or, if you have a green thumb, there’s an “Extractor” job that will put you in charge of Willie’s grow house. There’s a Compliance Officer opening for the more legal-minded, a Bookkeeper for fans of numbers, and a Production Manager with a starting salary of $65,000. As with any weed story, the media can’t resist puns and jokes, some of which, to be blunt, are pretty lame. KHOU says they heard one job perk is that “there are daily breaks at 4:20 p.m.” Sure you did, KHOU. Here’s a puntastic headline courtesy of the Austin American-Statesman‘s entertainment blog: “Looking to puff up your bank account? Then pass your resume over to Willie Nelson.” Groan. More from the Statesman‘s story: “We imagine these jobs are going to go pretty fast, so better grab those papers and submit your applications. Working for Willie’s Reserve sounds pretty lit.” Ugh.
WHAT WE’RE READING
A Texas mom apparently has a neurological disorder that gives her a British accent. KHOU
Quite a few Texas lawmakers currently have deeper political war chests than Donald Trump. Texas Tribune
Texas’s VA hospitals definintely aren’t great. San Antonio Current
The Texas Tribune is crowdfunding a pretty important database on police shootings in Texas. Texas Tribune
Border Patrol says migrant rescues are up nearly 50 percent since last year in the Rio Grande Valley. McAllen Monitor