Texas Lunch Links: Tax Cheats, Calls to Bomb North Korea, and Julian Castro

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We do our best, but we can't cover everything. To fill in the gaps, please enjoy Texas Lunch Links: a lunchtime buffet of links to Texas-related news and views.

TAX CHEATS: Tax cheats are concentrated in the five metropolitan areas of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Atlanta and the District of Columbia, according to a new study by the National Taxpayer Advocate.

BOB PERRY: Republican super-donor Bob Perry, who bankrolled the despicable Swift Boat Veterans television ad campaign against John Kerry in the 2004 presidential election, died this weekend.

DRUNK DRIVING: Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg was arrested for drunk-driving with an open bottle of vodka in her car's passenger side this weekend after traveling in a bike lane and swerving into oncoming traffic. In a brief statement released by an aide, Lehmberg said, “I am truly sorry to have let the citizens of Travis County down… I deeply regret my actions and take full responsibility. As I continue to carry out my responsibilities as district attorney, I hope that the community will forgive my mistake.”

JULIAN CASTRO: Newsweek has an enjoyable profile of San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro which poses the question, “Can Mayor Julian Castro Turn Texas Blue?”

“RAINY DAY” FUND: MyWestTexas.com posted an excellent piece exploring the shifting role Texas' economic stabilization fund, better known as the rainy day fund, has had in the eyes of Texas lawmakers.

NORTH KOREA: Jeremi Suri, a professor of history and public affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, says in an opinion published in last week's New York Times, “The Korean crisis has now become a strategic threat to America's core national interests. The best option is to destroy the North Korean missile on the ground before it is launched.”

TEXAS TRIBUNE ROCKIN' IT: Congratulations are in order for The Texas Tribune! The four-year-old nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization will receive a $1.5 million grant from The Knight Foundation to support its work.

SCHOOL-TO-PRISON PIPELINE REFORM: The Dallas Morning News Editorial Board indicated its support for a bill by Dallas Democratic Senator Royce West that would reform school discipline policies by requiring schools to treat minor misbehavior and dangerous conduct differently.

AUSTIN ENERGY The Austin American Statesman Editorial Board suggests Austin's City Council, “should step cautiously and deliberately” as it ponders questions about Austin Energy's future governance.

TEXTING BAN:The Texas House will discuss legislation banning texting while driving this week. Governor Perry vetoed a similar proposal two years ago.

GUNS: The second-largest “gun rights” organization in the country, Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, has broken ranks with the National Rifle Association (NRA) by announcing its support for expanded background checks.


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