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The State of Texas: May 10, 2016

Dan Patrick anoints himself as the Lone Star State’s Bathroom Czar, Dallas has a loose dog problem, and Crystal City cleans itself up.

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Dan Patrick wants to make sure the sanctity of every bathroom in the state is kept pure.
Deborah Cannon/Austin American-Statesman via AP

Quote of the Day

“I say he’ll escape by June, and he’ll be so hungry he’ll stop by here to eat burritos de machaca, before he makes a run,”

—Maria del Rosario “Chayo” Jaime, owner of Restaurant Dunes in Samalayuca, Mexico, to the Dallas Morning News. Jaime and others in the Mexican city along the Texas border are understandably worried that El Chapo, the notorious cartel boss known to be a bit of a slippery fish, could escape custody once again. El Chapo was moved to a prison closer to the border this weekend, likely to speed up the extradition process. 

Daily Roundup

Lieutoilet Governor—Our state’s second-in-command has apparently anointed himself the Czar of Porcelain. Dan Patrick is meddling in restroom affairs more often than someone who ate particularly spicy Tex-Mex. Patrick’s latest trip to the powder room takes him to the Fort Worth Independent School District, where he hopes to put Superintendent Kent Scribner on the hot seat. After the district announced new guidelines proposing trans friendly restrooms, Patrick released a statement calling for Scribner to resign, claiming the superintendent put his personal “political agenda” over the “safety” of students, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. It’s unclear why Patrick is zeroing in on Fort Worth, but at this point it seems inevitable that the state legislature will hear some sort of bathroom related bill next session. The state’s political leadership is certainly not afraid of the backlash such a bill might bring. When North Carolina recently sued the federal government over its decision that the state’s bathroom bill violated the Civil Rights Act, Attorney General Ken Paxton immediately expressed his support for North Carolina (no one likes a lawsuit against the federal government more than Texas).

Dog Days—A Dallas woman died late Monday after she was mauled by a pack of loose dogs a week earlier, according to the Dallas Morning News. The details of the attack are horrifying. The 52-year-old woman screamed for help while she was bitten more than 100 times, peeling “off skin, exposing muscles and tendons” in what the Morning News called “one of the most gruesome dog attacks that Dallas has seen.” Her mother told the newspaper that the dogs were eating the woman “like steak.” As we wrote in January, the city’s stray dog problem is rampant; shortly after the mauling, Mayor Mike Rawlings said the city was in “crisis” and is working with the city manager to put together a plan to deal with the dogs. The problem certainly isn’t new—the Morning News has been writing about stray dogs extensively since August of last year. It’s about time Dallas does something about this, though it appears that these dogs in particular may have had an owner. According to the Morning News, the owners of the dogs that killed the woman could face unspecified criminal charges.

Mop Up—Months after pretty much every top public official in town, including the mayor and city manager, was arrested in a federal corruption probe, Crystal City residents took to the polls to “clean house,” according to the San Antonio Express-News. Three indicted council members were kicked out of office in a recall vote, and two new ones were elected. Crystal City’s next city council meeting is in a week, but there’s still a long way to go before things are functioning normally. There are still two vacancies on the council that will likely require a special election, and the council then has to fill the spot vacated by the indicted city manager. After that, the newly elected officials face a daunting task fixing the city’s financial problems caused by years of corrupt practices and, after the indictments, months of political paralysis. They’ll also have to regain the city’s trust, which is easier said than done since Crystal City has been dubbed “The Most Corrupt Little Town in America” by national media.

Clickety Bits

Texas’s HBCUs are losing African-American students. (Texas Standard)

Police caught the alleged perp who stole $65,000 worth of Magic cards in January. (Austin American-Statesman)

An adopted son reconnected with his birth mother after 30 years. (KMBT)

The City of Houston accidentally auctioned off a filing cabinet filled with employees’s private personal information. (KHOU)

A Texan created a dating app to match Canadians with Americans who want to leave the country if Trump is elected. (Canadian Press)

 

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  • José

    Serious question. By what authority is Dan Patrick running around and making a fuss about things like this? From what I can tell his office is almost totally limited to the TexLege and its activities. This is not his responsibility. He’s not on the SBOE, and he’s not with the FWISD. This kind of of government overreach and interference is exactly the kind of thing that conservatives warn about. Any principled conservative should smack him down.

  • dormand

    In a state whose upward mobility performance in such key areas as literacy, teen pregnancy, lack of health insurance, school drop-outs, labor shortages in highly educated fields make traditional sluggards of Alabama and Mississippi appear to be garden spots, our Lt. Governor has picked an unusual priority on which to focus scarce State resources.

    If Mr. Patrick could not continue with the nomenclature that was on his birth certificate, why should he make an issue about those who can no longer continue living as the gender that was specified on their birth certificate?

    This is the sort of poor judgement issue that comes about when a person is elected to high office whose organizational background is primarily that of a bar owner. We have far more capable individuals with meaningful governance track records that could deliver far more effective public policy direction for our state.