The State of Texas: Clinton Gains Ground On Trump In Texas
Plus: Texas fights to keep its voter ID law, a Texas woman terrorized two Mexican women she kept as slaves, and Art Briles says he’s never done anything illegal, immoral or unethical.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Mr. Khan is the one that went out and struck the first blow, and in a campaign, if you’re going to go out and think that you can take a shot at somebody and not have incoming coming back at you, shame on you.”
—Former Texas governor and two-time failed presidential candidate Rick Perry to CNN. Perry was finger-wagging at Khizr Khan, the Gold Star father of an American soldier who was killed while serving in Iraq in 2004. Khan has been engaged in a war of words with Donald Trump ever since he spoke out against the Republican presidential candidate’s anti-Muslim rhetoric.
A new poll shows Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s lead over Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in Texas is dwindling, with Clinton now just six points behind Trump, according to the Texas Tribune. In the poll, 44 percent of respondents said they’d cast their ballot for Trump in November, with 38 percent polling for Clinton. Could this be the election that turns Texas purplish? “Republicans could have a big Texas problem in the decades ahead,” Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling, said in the poll’s press release. “The groups Democrats are strongest with are rapidly growing in their share of the electorate, while the voters Republicans rely on the most may not be there in 20 years.” The elderly and white people love Trump in Texas, where he claims 63 percent of voters above 65 (compared to 33 percent for Clinton), and 69 percent of white voters (compared to 25 percent). But the next wave is pretty pro-Clinton: she leads among voters under 65-years-old, 49 to 45 percent, and holds a dominating 73 to 21 percent edge among non-white voters. Perhaps the most troubling number for both Texas Democrats and Republicans shows that neither candidate is particularly popular here. Clinton’s favorability rating sits in the cellar at 36 percent, while Trump’s is a similarly low 40 percent. Sad! Another interesting item from the poll: 25 percent of respondents supported Texas seceding from the U.S., while that number rose to 40 percent when asked if they’d support secession if Clinton was elected president. Meanwhile, the Trump campaign is stacking its farm team with Texans, tapping six Lone Star Staters to join his 64-man agriculture advisor squad, including Ag Commissioner Sid “Jesus Shot” Miller and Rick Perry, according to the Tribune.
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
It looks like it may be a while before the court-ordered reforms meant to weaken Texas’s controversial voter ID law will actually be put in place. Initially it seemed that Texas was going to just take the hit and work with reformers to change the law, but Attorney General Ken Paxton now says he will soon file an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court in an attempt to keep the law as-is, after a federal court recently ruled that the ID law discriminated against minority voters who often couldn’t afford the required identification documents, forcing Texas to change the law to accept more forms of identification at the polls in time for November’s election. Last week, the court approved a plan to move these changes forward. However, according to the Dallas Morning News, if Paxton follows the usual appeals process, it would likely stall those changes until after the election. He could, of course, expedite the process by filing an emergency appeal, but it’s unclear if he will do so.
A Texas woman apparently kept two Mexican women as her own personal slaves for fourteen years, according to the Washington Post. Olga Murray, 64, was recently convicted in federal court of bringing two undocumented Mexican women to Texas and forcing them to work without pay in her house-cleaning business in El Paso and Fort Worth. According to an U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement press release, Murray made the women’s lives pretty miserable: she told them she was the voice of God; made them listen to recordings of her reciting and discussing Bible verses while they cleaned; made the women believe they’d go to hell if they ever disobeyed her; and told at least one of the women that if they didn’t follow her orders Murray would call immigration, and the woman would end up buried in a field with other undocumented workers. The women had to ask permission to use the restroom, slept on a bedroom floor, and, when punished, were kicked out into the garage or backyard and given only bread and water to eat. Murray will be sentenced in November. She faces up to twenty years in prison each for two counts of forced labor and a maximum ten years each for two counts of harboring an “illegal alien.”
Didn’t Do Nothin’
Ex-Baylor football coach Art Briles is in full-on denial mode, telling reporters at the Houston Texans’ training camp that he has never done anything wrong, ever. “I’ve been in it (coaching) 38 years and I’ve lived the right way 60 years of my life, and I’ve never done anything illegal, immoral or unethical,” Briles said, according to the Waco Tribune-Herald. Of course, an independent report conducted by law firm Pepper Hamilton found that Baylor football coaches and staff (without naming names) created a culture that football was “above the rules,” and improperly intervened when football players were accused of sexual assault, effectively resulting in some of these allegations being mishandled or ignored entirely. Briles was canned after a summary of this report was released in May. Briles said he expects to land another coaching gig by December. In addition to discussing his spotless record at the training camp, he also made a really weird dog metaphor: “If you lose your dog all of a sudden you’re looking around hollering for him,” Briles said. “You’re staying up late looking for him. I’ve lost my dog, and my dog’s football and I’m ready to go find it again.” Alright!
WHAT WE’RE READING
This ex-CIA dude is suing Texas to get on the presidential race ballot Dallas Morning News
After 43 years, the body in a Texas City cold case was finally identified as a Mississippi teen Biloxi Sun Herald
The Washington Post profiles Texan and Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards Washington Post
There will no longer be in-person visits with inmates at the Bexar County Jail San Antonio Current
The mayor of League City is facing accusations of harassing women Galveston Daily News