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The State of Texas: March 13, 2015

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When the Daily Post’s own Hannah Smothers wrote on Twitter yesterday that “working at the Capitol sounds a lot like summer camp for nerds,” she could not have been more right. After the trolling birthday cake marking the ten-year anniversary of the anti-gay marriage law and a day after Representative Jonathan Stickland posted a sign about being a “former fetus,” Democrats struck back. Yesterday, the state Democratic Party stopped by the offices of Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, and a few others, to deliver some delicious gay cake. Someone’s getting short-sheeted in the near future:

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Daily Roundup

Goodbye, Daughters  – Another group of Texans has lost its battle at the Alamo, one that has been holding out for the past 110 years. “Citing 10 contractual breaches, the Texas General Land Office is terminating its contract with the Daughters of the Republic of Texas to run the Alamo,” according to the Houston Chronicle. Among the contract breaches, the DRT reportedly failed to “prepare and operate under an annual management plan; run the complex ‘in a good and prudent manner’; and produce a policy on ‘visitors’ rights’ and complaint resolution.” Contractual breaches aside, “in a joint statement with the DRT, [Land Commissioner George P. Bush] said the change will ensure ‘a bigger, brighter future for this Texas shrine.’” The DRT has its truly last stand on July 10 and the Land Office will conduct a national search for a new management group. The DRT had been paid $10,000 a month to manage The Alamo.

Pretty Please? – The back-and-forth over the Obama Administration’s immigration plan continues. “Attorneys with the U.S. Department of Justice filed an emergency motion asking the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to lift a temporary halt to a federal immigration program that was issued by Brownsville-based U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in February,” reports the Texas Tribune. This comes after Hanen denied the federal government its request to lift his stay of the executive action on Monday. Twenty-six states, led by Texas, are fighting the order. Hanen said he would take no action until “the administration explained why it apparently issued 100,000 work permits before the immigration program was set to begin.” In its appeal to the notoriously conservative court, the administration claims that “Hanen’s ruling was wrong because immigration enforcement falls under the purview of the federal government.”

Seat-ghazi, Part III – Jerry Jones and the rest of the NFL can finally take a seat. Regarding the stadium seating mess-up during the 2011 Super Bowl, a jury “found that the NFL breached its contracts with seven fans … and ordered the league to pay nearly $76,000 in combined damages,” writes the Dallas Morning News. The figure was “generally slightly less than the plaintiffs requested from the NFL.” The NFL is obviously pleased it was not found to be at fault but the case isn’t completely over. The “tough, all-business” judge has yet to approve the jury’s decision and “there are rumblings of a possible mistrial following a witnesses’ interview with ESPN” in which he basically admitted to being coached by the plaintiffs, according to the Dallas Business Journal. Stadium controversies are even trickling down to the college level. Texas A&M’s 12th Man Foundation has been sued by three former students “seeking to protect their ticketing and seating rights in the school’s $485 million expansion of its stadium” and accusing the foundation of “reneging on endowment agreements in an effort to get more money out of longtime donors,” according to the Austin American-Statesman.

Good Cop, Bad Cop – The Justice Department is launching a program that it hopes wlll put a nicer, friendly face on community policing. As it happens, Fort Worth is one of the six cities that will enact the pilot program, according to the Star-Telegram. Pretty much all of the local officials—the mayor, the police chiefhave praised the announcement. What probably won’t help build trust among citizens and members of the police force is a bill that was introduced in the Texas House yesterday. The bill, by Representative Jason Villalba, “would make private citizens photographing or recording the police within 25 feet of them a class B misdemeanor, and those who are armed would not be able to stand recording within 100 feet of an officer,” reports the Houston Chronicle. According to the legislation, only very traditional media would be excempt. As the story notes, ”an appeals court in Glik v. Cunniffe ruled unanimously that private citizens are allowed to videotape police in 2011, so this bill would go against the set precedent.”

Clickity Bits

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Disability Advocates Trying to Make Sure Governor Is One of Their Own

Ruh-Roh: ‘Crude Oil Prices Cause 40 Percent Drop In Texas’ Oil Taxes’

A Different Kind Of Animal Ran Amok At The Houston Zoo: High School Kids

Did we miss something? Got a hot news tip? Send it our way: [email protected]. Or tweet Texas Monthly and Jeff Winkler.

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