Oh, we all should have known! Congressman Steve Stockman, who is the only person who currently holds office that could make Sen. Ted Cruz blush, changed his mind late Monday evening.
Before the 6:00 pm deadline, Congressman Stockman un-filed from running for re-election to US Congress and re-filed to run for US Senate.
Congressman Stockman sat down with WND where he called Sen. John Cornyn a "back-stabbing" Senator. Stockman went on to state:
"We are extremely disappointed in the way he treated his fellow congressmen and broke the 11th commandment and undermined (Sen.) Ted Cruz's fight to stop Obamacare."
It does not look like Congressman Stockman is going to hold back against Sen. Cornyn. Congressman Stockman has called for impeachment of President Obama for just promising gun reform and regulation and compared the President to Suddam Hussain. More recently, Congressman Stockman's campaign offices were found to be a death trap for his campaign workers. In his first stint in congress, Congressman Stockman suggest the Clinton administration raided the Branch Davidian compound in Waco to justify an assault weapons ban and brought Ted Nugent as his guest to President Obama's 2013 State of the Union address.
Sen. John Cornyn's life just became a lot harder. And it is going to be fun to watch him squirm.
Read more on what Texas' Loose Cannon, Congressman Stockman had to say about running for US Senate after the break.
Judge Lawrence Meyers, first elected to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals as a Republican in 1992, has had enough. As of today, Judge Meyers is a Democrat. Judge Meyers will be running as a Democrat in the special election for Texas Supreme Court, Place 6 against Justice Jeff Brown (R) this fall.
While Judge Meyers, who has spent 21 years as a statewide elected Texas Republican, did not give a reason for why he was switching, Democrats are pleased that he has joined our party.
Judge Meyers does not have to resign from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to run for the Texas Supreme Court. His term on the Court of Criminal Appeals will end in January 2017. This means Democrats have their first incumbent, statewide officeholder since 1998.
According to Greg Abbott's spokesman Matt Hirsch, "Education is a major issue for this campaign," yet there is still a complete absence of the word "education" (let alone "public education") in the "Issues" section of his website. Now as campaign season gears up concerned Texans are forced to deduce his positions via his advisors and donors.
Today Abbott held an online "Discussion With Merrill Matthews" an author of "A Capitalist Manifesto" who in his free-market version of the Communist Manifesto called for the, "Abolition of direct funding for school systems."
Senator Wendy Davis, who last week blasted Abbott for defending the public education cuts that she filibustered in 2011, is now calling for Abbott to, "immediately reject his policy advisor's position" because it puts our state's future at risk.
The link between education and income is well researched, so it is all the more head-slapping that a candidate for Governor in the state with the highest uninsured population and most minimum wage jobs would do anything but soundly reject such an idea.
Today is the last day for a candidate to file for office in the state of Texas for the 2014 general election! There are 36 congressional districts, 15 Texas Senate districts, 150 Texas House districts, and 7 State Board of Education Districts that will be up for a vote in 2014 along with 15 statewide offices. Many candidates have already turned in their paperwork to file, but many more are expected to show up at Democratic and Republican party headquarters today so they can be placed on the ballot!
For those looking to file today: If the seat you are running for is entirely within one county, you are to file with your county party. However, if the district includes more than one county, you must file with the state party in Austin.
Burnt Orange Report will be live at the Texas Democratic Party Headquarters in Austin until the close of filing today, reporting on every major filing as they occur! Take a moment and review our candidate trackers to see who has filed for office in the last month:
We are excited about our strong Democratic slate which will be complete at 6:00 pm today!
Most Recent Update
Update 6:30 pm: Breaking across Twitter: Congressman Steve Stockman (R-36) has filed a primary challenge to Senator John Cornyn (R).
Update 6:00 pm: It is 6:00 in Austin, meaning filing for any office that crosses a county line is done at the Texas Democratic Party. State Board of Education Member Mavis Knight (D) did not file, meaning the 13th seat is now to be considered open. I'll be working to get a list of regional House and Congressional filings to ya'll later tonight. Congratulations on a job well done and thank you for reading our blog throughout the day!
Read all of the previous updates that have rolled in so far today after the jump!
Between 2009 and 2010, the Cleburne area of North Texas experienced more than 50 earthquakes. They occurred in the Fort Worth Basin, which had never experienced an earthquake before. And not only do they appear to be here to stay, but they're increasing in frequency. Last month alone, North Texas was hit with 20 earthquakes.
A report from SMU geology researchers in October offers a possible explanation, and it sounds a lot like "cracking". "Because there were no known previous earthquakes, and the located events were close to the two injection wells and near the injection depth, the possibility exists that earthquakes may be related to fluid injection," the report states.
That fluid injection is fracking, a practice that has boomed across the country in the last eight years. It is the act of injecting high-speeds of water into the earth to split up the rock and release low-quality oil. It has been increasingly necessary in an oil-based energy system on a post-peak-oil planet. The wastewater injections that go along with fracking operations have been confirmed as possible earthquake triggers by the U.S. Geological Survey. SMU held a press conference about the report two months after its release because of the 20 November earthquakes North Texas experienced.
After losing races for Governor and Attorney General, the Virginia GOP has decided to bring in an expert on not blowing it in high-profile elections: our own Rick Perry.
Unfortunately, this weekend's bad weather kept Rick Perry from attending, which is probably the first lucky break the Virginia GOP has gotten all year.
The Republican Party's loss in the Virginia Governor's race is the first time in over four decades that the party not in control of the White House failed to win the year after a Presidential election. It's also the first time since the 19th century that any political party failed to win two consecutive terms in the Governor's mansion. (The VA Governor is limited to one term.)
Most pundits argue that it was the VA GOP candidates' extremist views on women's health, voting rights, and other issues that drove voters to elect Democrats instead.
So it's no wonder that the brain trust at the VA GOP has decided to bring in someone known for his astute political analysis and impressive intellectual feats: Rick "I Can't Remember Three Things" Perry.
Below the jump, read more about how Rick Perry is the exact kind of Republican that Virginia voters just rejected.
It has been a busy final week of filing for office for the 2014 general election. Over 130 candidates have filed in the last week. Today is the filing deadline and the last chance for new candidates to emerge for the 2014 general election. Democrats have filed in 24 congressional districts with at least 3 more expected to file later today while the Republicans have filed in 27 congressional districts with at least one more expected today. For Texas Senate, the Democrats have filed in 7 districts with at least one more expected, while the Republicans have filed in 14 of the 15 districts up in 2014. In the race for Texas House, Democrats have filed in 75 districts with at least 7 more districts expected to be contested by the end of today, while the Republicans have filed in 101 districts. Democrats have filed in 6 of the 7 State Board of Education races and the Republicans have filed in 4.
Three incumbents have yet to file for re-election: State Rep. Harold Dutton (D-Houston), State Rep. Greg Bonnen (R-Friendswood), and State Board of Education Member Mavis Knight (D-Dallas). It is possible any of these incumbents may decide today not to file and a hand picked replacement may be waiting to file in their stead.
Democrats are hoping today for candidates to emerge in a few key races. Republican Congressmen Mike McCaul (District 10, Austin), Lamar Smith (District 21, San Antonio), Blake Farenthold (District 27, Corpus Christi), and Pete Sessions (District 32, Dallas) do not have announced Democratic challengers to date. In Collin County's Senate District 8, State Rep. Van Taylor (R) currently lacks any opposition and in North Dallas' Senate District 16, no Democrat is yet to file should Sen. John Carona lose to TEA Party primary challenger Don Huffines. In the Texas House, Democrats are still looking for a challenger to file in Bell County against Republican incumbent Jimmie Don Aycock (District 54, Killeen). Democrats are also still looking for candidates to run against Reps. Angie Chen Button (District 112, Dallas), Jason Villalba (District 114, Dallas), Jason Isaac (District 45, San Marcos), Todd Hunter (District 32, Corpus Christi), and Paul Workman (District 47, Austin).
Today is going to be a busy day! Click after the jump to see who filed in the last week!
A new study by the Commonwealth Fund, "How States Stand to Gain or Lose Federal Funds by Opting In or Out of the Medicaid Expansion," shows that Texas clearly stands to lose the most of any state. Because of Rick Perry's refusal to expand Medicaid, Texas will forego over $9 billion in federal funds while Perry holds out for a Medicaid block grant that he'll never get.
We've known all along that Texas was walking away from billions of dollars - not to mention the thousands of residents who could have been insured. But this report synthesizes data from a variety of sources to provide new estimates of what exactly the impact on each state would be.
The Affordable Care Act is already making it possible for millions of uninsured Americans to access quality, affordable healthcare. This law will specifically benefit those of us in Texas, where we have the highest rate of uninsured residents in the nation. That's why it's so important that we spread the word and help folks sign up.
It will also greatly benefit individuals under 35 years of age, who often have tenuous insurance situations -- insured through school or work for awhile, or perhaps on our parents' plans, but often changing circumstances enough that it can be tough to stay covered consistently.
The Affordable Care Act helps change all of that, and the previsions in the bill -- no more denials for pre-existing conditions or gaps in coverage, free preventative and contraceptive care, and no more caps on lifetime coverage.
There's a lot in the Affordable Care Act, but you don't have to take my word for it. Last week, I was lucky enough to watch the President address the White House Youth Summit about what the ACA does for young people. Watch:
With days remaining until the December 9 filing deadline, there have been several significant developments in the race for Texas' Class 2 US Senate Seat, currently held by incumbent Republican John Cornyn.
For Democrats, there are now five candidates running for the party's nomination. Joining the previously announced candidates of attorney Maxey Scherr and perennial candidate Michael "Fjet" Fjetland are millionaire dentist David Alameel, physician HyeTae "Harry" Kim, and LaRouche acolyte Kesha Rodgers.
David Alameel was last seen in 2012 running for the Democratic nomination in the Texas' newly created 33rd congressional district. He finished in 4th place behind then-State Rep. and now Congressman Marc Veasey, former State Rep. Domingo Garcia, and Fort Worth Councilwoman Kathleen Hicks. In 2012, Alameel spent $4.5 million to finish in fourth place. Most of Alameel's self-funding was poorly appropriated; his image was plastered around the metroplex on billboards, giant, expensive yard signs, where voters never heard his message. Further showing his skills at misappropriating funds, Alameel's 2012 campaign website for congress is still active, as is his 2012 Facebook page. Before running, Alameel had generously shared his millions with both parties. Sen. Wendy Davis (D) has received $30,000 in contributions from Mr. Alameel, but that is a shadow of the $165,000 Alameel has previously given to Greg Abbott (R), $250,000 to David Dewhurst (R), or $75,000 to Rick Perry (R).
Kesha Rodgers, who has filed for the Democratic nomination, should not be given any consideration of the vote by any Texas Democrat. Her primary policy platform is the impeachment of President Obama. She has also compared the President to Adolf Hitler, complete with a picture of Hitler's mustache photoshopped on President Obama's face.
Also running against Sen. Cornyn in the Republican primary are Ken Cope, conservative activist Christopher Mapp, Retired USAF officer Reid Reasor, former oil refinery employee Dwayne Stovall, and conservative radio host Linda Vega. John Myers and Jon Roland are also running as Libertarians.
Meanwhile, Maxey Scherr has released an introductory video of herself and her campaign. You can get to know Ms. Scherr through her video after the jump.
Reported by KHOU 11 News, students said their school principal, Amy Lacey, informed them over the intercom that they were prohibited from speaking Spanish during class. Several teachers also issued their own policy, threatening Hispanic students they would be written up or expelled from the classroom if they were caught speaking Spanish.
The controversy is finally being made known to parents and the public.
Breaking news in the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) case - former executive Jerry Cobb was indicted earlier this morning by a grand jury. The Austin American-Statesman was the first to report:
A Travis County grand jury has indicted Jerald “Jerry” Cobbs, an executive at the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas who was involved in the awarding of an $11 million grant to a Dallas company without the required scientific and business reviews.
The first-degree felony indictment charges Cobbs with securing execution of a document by deception. According to the penal code, a person commits an offense if, with the intent to defraud, he causes another to sign or execute any document affecting the financial interest of any person.
CPRIT came under scandal when it became clear the agency, which was created to fund cancer research in Texas, was redirecting millions to GOP donors. The Dallas Morning News was the first to uncover Abbott's negligence:
Abbott’s absence from CPRIT’s crucial deliberations was hardly unusual. Though state law grants a seat to the attorney general or one of his staff members, Abbott never has attended any of CPRIT’s 23 meetings. Even as the agency was barreling toward near-death, he sent an aide to fill the chair.
In the more than four years he served on the state cancer agency's governing board, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott exercised no oversight as the agency made misstep after misstep in awarding tens of millions of dollars to commercial interests.
The state's top lawyer and watchdog instead appointed one of his deputies, who missed about a third of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas Oversight Committee meetings, and, by all accounts, was not much of a presence in the agency's questionable decision-making.
We will have more on this story as it develops. Watch our full video on CPRIT below the jump.
Tom Pauken announced Thursday that he would not file to run for Governor in the Texas GOP primary. Pauken served as Texas Republican Party Chairman in the 1990's and more recently as Chairman of the Texas Workforce Commission. Pauken was thought to be Greg Abbott's chief opponent with the highest name ID, but said he could see "no realistic path to victory." The once-fiery tone he used to lob attacks on Abbott's conservative credentials has cooled in his realization that his campaign was "nowhere near" where they needed to be financially or organizationally.
Pauken's attacks on Abbott were not unlike those coming from the Democrats warning of more of the same, Rick Perry-style cronyism and an allegiance to big monied special interest over everyday Texans. The other common attack revolves around a campaign tactic Abbott continues to employ - silence on important but controversial issues. Ideally Abbott would like to leave his primary without committing himself to some very unpopular positions that are held by his base.
See what else Pauken has said about Abbott and Wendy below the jump.
Yesterday, fast food workers from across the United States took part in the largest fast food strike to date. Workers staged a one-day strike to protest for a raise in the minimum wage. They were pushing to raise the minimum wage from the current $7.25 an hour to a living wage of $15 an hour, as well as for the right to form unions.
The strikes began a year ago in New York City and have gained traction as more workers in more cities have begun to participate in the campaign to receive a living wage. Yesterday's protests took place in over 100 cities nationwide, including here in Texas.
See where Texans protested for higher wages, and why a living wage is important, after the jump.