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Friday Wrap: Ted Cruz vs. Vampires, Weird Al's Successful Week, and More...

by: Burnt Orange Report

Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 05:00 PM CDT

It's Friday! Time for BOR to close some browser tabs and touch on the issues of the week.

First up this week, Wendy Davis cemented her place in our collective hearts after posting this picture of herself enjoying Texas' favorite fast food chain. (Special props for wearing a white dress while eating a meal that we can only assume included spicy ketchup!)

Below the jump, see which very conservative man Congressman Joaquin Castro ran into, good news for Ted Cruz, Austinites who don't understand heterosexuality, and more...

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Taking the Race for Comptroller on the Road: Mike Collier is Coming to a City Near You

by: Genevieve Cato

Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 03:30 PM CDT

Mike Collier is running to be your next Comptroller, and he is coming to your city to talk about why he is the best choice in November.

Collier, also known as The Watchdog, is facing off against State Senator Glenn Hegar, who you may remember as the Senate author of House Bill 2. Hegar isn't just awful on women's health. He has a shady history when it comes to taxes, which takes center stage in Collier's new spot: The Tax Man.  

More on the importance of Mike Collier's tour and his new spot featuring Hegar in full below the jump.


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Greg Abbott Encourages Texans To Talk and Text During Movies. Wendy Davis Gets The Last Laugh.

by: Katherine Haenschen

Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 01:30 PM CDT

If you're an avid filmgoer in Texas, you're probably aware of Alamo Drafthouse founder and owner Tim League's all-out crusade against people who talk and text during films.

So when Greg Abbott released a pre-film ad encouraging people to text in the theater, it's no surprise that the Drafthouse folks fired back.

Proving that she too has a sense of humor, Wendy Davis even chimed in, and got the last laugh.

It's no surprise that Davis and Abbott are on opposite sides of this issue. Texans deserve a governor who doesn't text in movies -- and doesn't encourage others to do so, either!

Catch up on the textroversy below the jump.

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NCLR President Warns GOP On Child Refugees: Latino Voters Will Judge You Too Come Election Day

by: Omar Araiza

Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 11:30 AM CDT

National Council of La Raza (NCLR) President Janet Murguía ripped the Republican Party apart this week with harsh criticism over their unchristian and un-American attacks towards child refugees seeking shelter in our country. While in Los Angeles during the NCLR's annual conference, Murguía publicly shamed numerous politicians for their outrages remarks concerning these kids -- warning they carried third world diseases and plagues.

Murguía did not forget to mention Gov. Rick Perry, criticizing his recent theatrical attempt of sending troops to the border in order to garnish points for a future 2016 presidential run.

"Soldiers with guns confronting children seeking refuge," said Murguía. "What is wrong with these people? How can they talk about children like this? Who treats children this way? Every one of the elected officials I just quoted consider themselves people of faith, but there is nothing godly in their words. It is disgraceful."

Murguía sent a very clear message to Republicans: Latino voters are watching how you treat these small, defenseless members of our community at large. And we won't forget come election time.

More below the jump.

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When Well-Meaning Activism Goes Horribly Wrong: Stop Patriarchy and the Texans Who Oppose Them

by: Genevieve Cato

Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 09:00 AM CDT

If you follow Texas reproductive justice activists online, chances are you've heard of Stop Patriarchy and their Abortion Freedom Ride.

Stop Patriarchy appears to have similar goals to those of the grassroots reproductive justice movement in Texas: to bring attention to the devastating cuts to abortion access resulting from the omnibus abortion bill that passed last summer.

So, why are vocal advocates for reproductive justice in Texas and across the country speaking out against them, and asking them to just stay home?

More on the criticisms of Stop Patriarchy below the jump.  

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Conservative Estimate: Gay Marriage Would Add $182 Million to Texas Economy

by: Katherine Haenschen

Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 02:00 PM CDT

The Williams Institute released a report that gay marriages in Texas would add $181.6 million dollars to the Texas economy.  Up to 1,500 jobs would be created.

So I guess that's what they mean by the gay agenda!

If marriage equality was legalized, 23,000 Texas couples would marry, and spend an average of more than $6,000 per wedding.

Meanwhile, recent polling has found record levels of support for marriage equality. 48% of Texans support marriage equality, which breaks down along traditional party lines: 72% of Democrats and 57% of independents support it, while only 28% of Republicans agree with it.

Read more about the study and what one State Senator has to say about it below the jump.

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Mo' Money Mo' Councilmembers: July 15th Reports A Helpful Proxy For Legitimacy, Competitiveness

by: Katherine Haenschen

Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 11:30 AM CDT

* Again, Will Wynn is still not on the ballot, which would
have been the best name this year, am I right?

In my last City Council posts on the mayor's race and 10 district races, I promised another update after the July 15th fundraising reports, and suggested that these early numbers would indicate how many of these races are shaping up.

In this early stage, the ability to raise money is a useful proxy for other signs of candidate viability: do people like you and want to help you end up on our City Council, and can you get your act together to file a report in time?

Together, they answer the question of whether a campaign has any infrastructure, in the form of human labor capacity -- the importance of which is hard to overstate. Campaigns take energy -- for example, those ethics reports are tedious to prepare. And on that front, the reports also provide a useful glimpse into who is being paid to do what on whose campaign.

All in all, raising money is only important if you want to be able to talk with voters.

More below the jump, including a list of who raised what, owes what, and spent how much?!

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Texas Young Dems Have Already Raised Over $45,000 In Direct Assistance for Refugee Children

by: John Canales Gorczynski

Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 03:56 PM CDT

(Kudos to the Texas Young Dems for showing what real Texas values look like. - promoted by Katherine Haenschen)

I'm truly amazed. Since Texas Young Democrats started our Amazon Wish List of supplies for the refugee children, over $28,000 in gifts have been ordered. Wow! Thank you.

We're in contact with our Rio Grande Valley partners on the ground and have updated the list to reflect their most current requests.

Please click here and order today to keep the #LoveFromTexas coming. These items will be directly distributed to the children in need.

Y'all have been outstanding! We've earned the support of national progressive leaders, YDs across Texas, and countless others who have personally stepped up to help in this crisis.

By young people, for young people, we will make a difference.

UPDATE: The total is now over $45,000! Thank you!

Please send what you can and help refugee children in need currently sheltering in Texas.

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VICE: Rick Perry's Current Defense Attorney Previously Wanted Him Investigated By The FBI

by: Joe Deshotel

Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 04:00 PM CDT

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer, but if someone tries to sic the FBI after you -- put them on the payroll.

A new in depth report by VICE investigative reporter Murray Waas reveals that the attorney now defending Governor Rick Perry during a grand jury investigation over possible coercion and bribery of a public official, also once tried to prompt an FBI investigation against him.

He may have worked against the governor in the past, but Perry recognized that David Botsford, at $450 an hour, just happens to be one of the best criminal defense attorneys in Travis County, according to his peers.

See what brought these strange bedfellows together and how much it's costing the taxpayers below the jump...

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Texas Among the States that Would Gain the Most from a Minimum Wage Increase

by: Emily Cadik

Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 02:30 PM CDT

It's no surprise that, as one of the largest states in the nation, Texas has a high population of low-wage workers. But it turns out that Texas has a very high concentration of low-wage workers relative to the rest of the country too. These factors combined mean that Texas would gain tremendously from a minimum wage increase.

Oxfam America has mapped where low-wage workers are concentrated around the U.S. Based on that, they figured out how many workers would benefit by raising the minimum wage to $10.10.  The interactive map is broken out into congressional district to show members of Congress who could potentially make a difference in the lives of millions of low-wage workers just how much their districts would benefit.

Nationwide, more than 25 million workers would benefit from an increase in the minimum wage to $10.10. In Texas, it would benefit almost 3 million workers - more than in any other state.  

Read about what Texas stands to gain from a minimum wage increase - and why Republican opposition to an increase is wearing thin - after the jump.

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What Miracle? New Study Finds 1 in 4 Texas Children Live in Poverty

by: Katie Singh

Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 01:00 PM CDT

A new report released yesterday found that Texas is still one of the worst states in the U.S. to be a kid. The KIDS COUNT Data Book, a collection of data on child well-being put together by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, has ranked Texas within the bottom 10 states for overall child well-being.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation ranked Texas 43rd in the nation for overall child well-being. That's essentially the same spot Texas has been for the past two years (in 2012, it was 44th, and in 2013 it was 42nd). This means child welfare in Texas has only seen minimal improvement over the past two years, and still has a long way to go.

The report did find some slight short-term improvements in some areas of child welfare in Texas, "including more high school students graduating on time, lower teen birth rates, and greater access to health insurance." Nonetheless, Texas is still struggling to provide the resources to meet children's needs.

Most troublingly, the report found that over 1.7 million, or 26%, of Texan children are living in poverty. That is more than 1 in 4 children in Texas who are growing up impoverished.

Read a breakdown of how Texas ranks on child well-being after the jump.

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On Border Crisis, Rick Perry Decisively Leads Texas - and Troops - in the Wrong Direction

by: Genevieve Cato

Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 09:00 AM CDT

On Monday, Governor Perry announced his plan to address the humanitarian crisis at the border: send 1,000 National Guard troops as a "force multiplier" for the overwhelmed DPS.

Perry assured those listening that undocumented children and their families made up only a small percentage of those currently coming across the border, and that the vast majority were criminals taking advantage of our overwhelmed border security agents.

Despite the fact that local sheriffs and law enforcement officers from the border region do not support this move, Perry assured the state that he was acting in their best interest. He also spent little to no time discussing the plight of the tens of thousands of refugees who have crossed into Texas fleeing violence in their home countries. Perhaps sensing that sending armed troops to the border to face off against children could be seen as unpopular, each of the men who spoke at the press conference were quick to touch on their concern for these children before moving on to explain how sending National Guard troops to the border had nothing to do with them, and everything to do with crime.

Head below the jump to find out why folks are calling Perry's decision wrong.

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26 Consecutive Victories For Marriage Equality. It's Time For Texas To Drop The Appeal.

by: Chuck Smith

Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 11:14 AM CDT

( - promoted by Katherine Haenschen)

Sign the petition26 consecutive victories. It's time to drop the appeal.

Subsequent to the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Windsor,  26 consecutive court rulings have affirmed the freedom to marry,  including last week's ruling in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in an  Oklahoma case.

These rulings continue to affirm that state-level prohibitions on the  freedom to marry violate the equal protection clause of the United  States Constitution.

Here in Texas, U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia ruled in our favor this past February in the DeLeon v Perry  case. However, Attorney General Greg Abbott and Governor Rick Perry  continue to appeal this decision in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in  New Orleans.

Abbott  and Perry are standing in the way of freedom for all Texans, and every  day that the appeal continues is a day in which Texas couples and their  families are harmed.  We must show Abbott & Perry that thousands of  people across Texas want them to drop their harmful appeal.

Find out what you can do below the jump.

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We're In This Together: Reflections On My Seventh Netroots Nation | #nn14

by: Katherine Haenschen

Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 04:30 PM CDT

A lot has changed for Texas -- and for Burnt Orange Report -- since last year's Netroots Nation.

As you may recall, last year's event took place in San Jose, and wrapped up a few days before Wendy Davis would begin her 13-hour stand that has already changed the electoral trajectory of Texas.

This was actually my seventh Netroots Nation. I missed the first one because I wasn't yet reading DailyKos -- but I saw Joan McCarter on CSPAN's televised portion late one night, checked out the website, and soon started commenting, posting diaries, and eventually blogging about the 2008 primary in Texas, all of which would eventually lead to my joining the Burnt Orange Report staff.

It was this spirit of bringing in new people while strengthening bonds within the existing progressive online community that I was most struck by this weekend.

More below the jump.

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Planned Parenthood Texas Votes PAC Will Spend $3 Million on Statewide Elections

by: Natalie San Luis

Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 02:30 PM CDT

Planned Parenthood Texas Voters, a PAC created four months ago, has announced plans to spend $3 million on efforts to get women voters to the polls in November.

The PAC, which recently received a $1 million contribution from Planned Parenthood Chair Cecilia Boone, will use the money to target 300,000 women, both known Democrats and moderate Republicans.

According to a statement released by Planned Parenthood Texas Votes, "This new organization builds upon the historic grassroots support for women's health care that was shown last summer" and intends to play a major role in the November elections.

Read more about Planned Parenthood Texas Votes after the jump.

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Burnt Orange Reporters
Editor and Publisher:
Katherine Haenschen

Senior Staff Writers:
Genevieve Cato
Joe Deshotel
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