The State of Texas: June 30, 2014
Tweet of the Day
Drive the Texas highways long enough, and you’ll see some strange things, but one of the wildest in recent memory has to be the single-engine plane that made an emergency landing Friday on Highway 287 in Arlington. The full story is here and there are Tweets, naturally. Like this one, from the Arlington Police Department:
Only 1 minor injury reported. Plane attempted emergency landing and struck a black pkup and then red truck struck it pic.twitter.com/GBeA5iLdPe
— Arlington Police, TX (@ArlingtonPD) June 27, 2014
Game Back On? — State Democrats may have lost a power player after San Antonio’s mayor, Julián Castro, went to Washington to become Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, but it appears there’s another major mayor waiting in the wings: Houston mayor—or, as she puts it, “CEO of the 4th largest city in America”—Annise Parker. Parker gave one of those signifying, slam-dunk speeches at the State Democratic Convention on Friday, and the trailblazing leader didn’t beat around the bush when the San Antonio Express-News asked about her future ambitions. “‘I would absolutely consider a statewide ballot effort for the right seat,’ said Parker, who said she doesn’t have an exact plan drawn up at this time. She said she would be ’eminently qualified’ to be Comptroller of Public Accounts, Texas Land Commissioner or sit on the three-member Texas Railroad Commission.” And just for good measure, Parker added that “I could be the governor of Texas.” For those who’ve been focused solely on the top names of the party actually running the state, the Express-News piece is also a great introduction to some of the Democrats to keep an eye on.
The Never Ending Story — The Texas border disaster has turned into a full-blown national issue: the Obama Administration confirmed Saturday that it “will seek more than $2 billion in emergency funds to help stem an influx of Central American women and children entering the country illegally, as well as new measures to more quickly deport those already here,” according to the Washington Post, which describes the move as “a dramatic escalation of [the White House’s] border-control strategy.” National leaders are also coming down to Texas to have a look at the problem. Over the weekend, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi toured a border patrol facility in Brownsville, and today Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is making a similar run. In-state, officials are just doing what they can. Dallas is trying to figure out just how its going to face the reality of sheltering about 2,000 immigrant children. Said one Dallas County Commissioner, “I don’t think we have ever had something of this magnitude when it comes to children.” Cities aren’t the only ones desperately trying to keep it together. The Associated Press has a good story detailing just how slow, tedious, and costly it is to effectively direct and move Border Patrol agents, say nothing of managing the task of processing and detainment.
Party Cow Patties — Thought you had an epic party this weekend? We seriously doubt it come close to a “pasture party” in East Texas. “Local law enforcement, as well as the TABC and the Texas Comptroller’s Office” are investigating a party in an East Texas pasture earlier this month that attracted 3,000 to 5,000 people,” according to the Houston Chronicle. Part of the reason for the investigation is that the party also attracted an untold amount of booze, synthetic drugs (e.g. k2), blunt wrappers, as well a smattering of gunfire and assaults. “Teenagers organized the farm fiesta via social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #PB3, which stands for ‘Project Beall 3,’ according to flyers posted on social media. Two officers were the first to respond, and, unsurprisingly, had trouble controlling the situation.” It’s estimated that the organizers made roughly $25,000 from the $5 admission fee. For the best account—all muted chaos and trepidation at the teenage horde—be sure to read KLTV’s report, which describes the invasion as “arriving from all across Texas and even surrounding states.” It’s unclear yet whether the party’s organizers will face serious charges, although state authorities seem pretty serious in investigating “the party throwers, who had no permit, no bathrooms, no security or emergency personnel.” For all those nervous parents out there, yes, there are rumors of a #PB4. Officials said they plan to do the young, hip thing and keep an eye on Twitter.
Domestic Gun Control — Dallas County “could become the first jurisdiction in the nation to use a private gun range to store weapons confiscated from accused domestic abusers who are under protective orders barring possession of firearms,” according to Fox News. And as the Dallas Morning News reports, a “private gun range near Love Field has agreed to store the hundreds of guns authorities expect to confiscate each year if they begin enforcing laws that forbid certain domestic abusers from having firearms.” Officials are serious about the enforcement of already-on-the-books laws forbiding convicted abusers and subjects of protective orders from having guns and the private holding facility, rather than “crowded police evidence rooms, is the “most significant development yet in the county’s efforts to create a gun confiscation program, possibly paving the way for a launch within a few months.”