The State of Texas: August 4, 2015
Paxton receives lukewarm support, and Houston starts up another HERO fight.
Video of the Day
Ted Cruz may not be number one in the polls, but after this video from IJ Review, he should be number one in our Texas hearts. Here is Ted Cruz, presidential candidate, cooking bacon with a, duh, machine gun. God Bless America:
Welcome to Odessa, where police “were called after three people apparently performed an exorcism next to a park duckpond.” Fortunately, “no one was arrested because exorcisms are not against the law and no one was injured,” according to the New York Daily News.
Paxton, Part Deux – Well, it took a little time, but Attorney General Ken Paxton finally got what Texas Tribune called “measured support” from his GOP brethren. The delayed responses to the unsealing of his indictment included one-time Paxton supporter Ted Cruz, who said, “I trust that our nation’s legal system will proceed fairly and appropriately” with the legal process. Governor Greg Abbott was equally lukewarm: “Everyone is entitled to due process under the law.” Paxton said through his lawyer yesterday that he is “looking forward to the opportunity to tell his side of the story,” according to the Dallas Morning News, though his lawyer did warn that the judge doesn’t really want anyone talking about the issue. As the Morning News notes in another piece, Paxton’s got plenty of company when it comes to indicted politicians. The list, a nice historical roundup, includes eighteen other officials, and Paxton’s certainly not the worst of the bunch (lookin’ at you, Don Yarbrough).
Another Minor Border Invasion – Another summer, another uptick in border crossings. A recent increase in the number of unaccompanied minors crossing the border “prompted U.S. Border Patrol to meet behind closed doors Monday to address the situation,” reports the McAllen Monitor. “About 20 local, state and federal law enforcement representatives and city officials met for about an hour Monday afternoon at the Border Patrol station in McAllen.” According to an agency spokesman, the “small uptick” in the past few weeks has meant about “200 to 350 [new arrivals] per day,” although that’s “still about 48 percent less than what we experienced last year.” Another good barometer is the number of people passing through the city’s Sacred Heart shelter, which became ground zero for migrant assistance during last year’s dramatic surge. The number of migrants at the facility “has trended up since the winter months. In June, about 1,700 people visited — an increase of about 400 from May, according to the latest figures available. Through the first 12 days of July, nearly 800 had visited.”
(Class) Action Hero – Following the Texas Supreme Court Decision to suspend Houston’s anti-gay discrimination ordinance in late July, the Houston Chronicle reported that city council members will likely vote to affirm the HERO ordinance Tuesday, meaning it will be on the ballot in November. Opponents of the ordinance originally petitioned for a repeal referendum last year, but the city denied it, saying “it was riddled with errors and did not contain the needed 17,269 valid signatures.” Now they’re hitting back. A posse of pastors has filed a lawsuit claiming Mayor Annise Parker “tried to deny voters’ rights and intimidate clergymen opposing her,” according to KHOU. The attorney representing the pastors said the lawsuit is meant as a warning to future mayors. “When a future Mayor Parker out there decides, ‘Let’s go after those in the clergy,’ hopefully he or she will remember this lawsuit and say, ‘Not so quick,’” the attorney said. In unrelated allegations of straight people being discriminated against, former Southern Methodist University and New England Patriots footballer Craig James is suing Fox Sports for religious discrimination. James quit a commentary gig at ESPN to run for senator in 2012, bashing gays along the way. He then held a job with Fox Sports for a few days before they let him go. “Last year, James filed a complaint with the Texas Workforce Commission over his firing,” writes the Associated Press. Fox later issued a statement saying James was hired by regional executives and was not “properly vetted.” Fox also said “the decision not to use him in our college football coverage was based on the perception that he abused a previous on-air position to further a personal agenda.” James is seeking about $100,000 in damages.
Backfire – Some people are not too keen on gun owners bringing their weapons into certain businesses. Including probation officers. “Probation department directors across the state are asking for the attorney general’s opinion to prohibit weapons in their offices, the Nueces County Community Supervision and Corrections Department interim director recently told state district judges,” reports the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. “The Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 273 earlier this year restricting state agencies that prohibit handgun license holders from bringing their firearms on the property. Judicial offices still can prohibit weapons. Probation officials aren’t sure whether their offices are allowed to prevent guns.” You might think a probation office would be the obvious place a gun isn’t allowed, partly because people on probation usually aren’t allowed to carry. But apparently, “sometimes [the probationers] have family with them. And it isn’t uncommon to have opposing gang members in the waiting room at the same time.” It shouldn’t be too surprising that Texans take their guns everywhere, including national memorials! We made national news after a Texan “was arrested over the weekend on charges she was packing two loaded handguns at the Sept. 11 memorial in New York City,” reports the Associated Press. To the woman’s credit, she had done the civil thing and informed security of her mini-arsenal. Mistakenly believing her permit was good in New York, “she ended up spending a night in jail after asking where she could store the pistols – 9mm and .380-caliber semi-automatics – while there.”