Quote of the Day
“Thank God for Rick Perry. Thank God for Rick Perry. Thank God for Rick Perry… It would be selfish for me to ask the Lord to give us another Rick Perry, because I don’t think there’s another Rick Perry.”
—Longtime Rick Perry benefactor Red McCombs to spectators gathered at the state Capitol on Friday morning for the unveiling of the former governor’s official portrait, according to the Texas Tribune. One somewhat surreal image from the ceremony shows a bespectacled Perry looking on as a black curtain is lifted from the front of the portrait to reveal his likeness in paint, sans-glasses.
Uber and Out—Prop 1 is dead. On Saturday, Austinites voted down the Lyft/Uber-backed legislation that would have prevented the city from conducting its own more stringent background checks on ridesharing drivers. The two companies said they’d vacate the city if the proposition was voted down, and they tried really, really hard to make sure that wouldn’t happen, conducting an aggressive advertising campaign, annoying Austinites via text message, and funneling more than $8 million into the pro-Prop 1 campaign (whoops). But that still wasn’t enough to sway Austin voters. According to the Austin American-Statesman‘s Prop 1 post-mortem, the main reason for the proposition’s failure was that the companies looked too much like bullies by forcing the city to vote and threatening to bolt if they didn’t get their way. The Prop 1 defeat is seen as a victory for the state’s pro-regulatory, anti-corporate crowd, but it may be short-lived. As expected, Texas’s top elected officials were not pleased with the Prop 1 outcome. According to the Texas Tribune, the state legislature is expected to consider passing statewide legislation that would make cities friendlier to corporations like Uber and Lyft.
NY State of Mind—The New York Times is notorious for getting Texas wrong, or at least for being among the last ones to notice things we Texans have known forever. Remember that time in January when they discovered that waiting in line for barbecue was a thing, and totally freaked over the wait at Austin’s Franklin Barbecue? That’s who we’re dealing with here. So when you see a Times story headlined “What Makes Texas Texas” (which actually popped up on the Times‘s website this weekend), you’re totally right to assume the worst. Times reporter Manny Fernandez, the same perp who committed the barbecue crime a few months ago, took a crack at capturing the current Texas zeitgeist. A heavy hint of the “anthropological study” perspective we felt during the barbecue incident remained: “Who are these people, these Texans? What do they tell us about America? What to make of a state that is so focused on itself? I wrestle with these questions all the time.” But overall, the piece was pretty flattering to the Texan way, praising Lone Star-staters for, you know, caring about Texas and stuff. “It declares, to itself and the nation: Place matters,” Fernandez writes. It’s worth a read.
Deport Our Troops—The Austin American-Statesman has a deep dive into a troubling aspect of the immigration crisis: among the deportations of undocumented immigrants, there are many veterans of the U.S. military. Writes the Statesman: “Nearly all the deported veterans in Mexico were legal residents of the United States who, for a variety of reasons, failed to finish the naturalization process and then were convicted of crimes after they got out of the service.” The deported vets are struggling to make it in crime-ridden, poverty-stricken Mexico. One man, a 61-year-old Vietnam vet, earns 80 cents an hour working at an industrial park. Recently, lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced a bill that would carve out a path for deported veterans to return to the country, but, according to the Statesman, it’s highly unlikely to pass. Writes the Statesman: “The GovTrack website gives it a 1 percent chance of passage, and future legislation appears blocked by the overall impasse on immigration reform.”