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El Paso

Two Debates Between Greg Abbott And Wendy Davis Now Scheduled


by: Omar Araiza

Thu May 29, 2014 at 11:00 AM CDT

State Senator Wendy Davis and Attorney General Greg Abbott have agreed to debate in Dallas and McAllen as part of their gubernatorial race.

Their first debate, which is scheduled in Dallas on September 30, will be hosted by WFAA-TV's Victory Park Studio and The Texas Tribune.

Aside from these two locations, Wendy Davis has accepted various other invitations for debates in major cities across Texas. Meanwhile, Greg Abbott continues to decline these same proposals and refuses to defend his record in front of voters throughout the state.

More below the jump.  

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Joe Moody is Keeping El Paso on the Right Track


by: Shelby Alexander

Tue Oct 15, 2013 at 00:00 PM CDT


Within the past several election cycles, there are few legislators in Texas whose hard work can compare to Representative Joe Moody's. As someone who has shown he will fight again and again (and again) for El Paso County, he's never let a single barrier get in his way of serving his community.

In this gerrymandered swing district in El Paso County, Joe Moody's record and initiative has brought people together and served the needs of his district which includes parts West and Northeast El Paso, Fort Bliss, Anthony, Canutillo, and Vinton. After winning his first race for State Representative in 2008, Joe Moody narrowly lost in 2010 during the Republican upset. Moody's service was then interrupted by the hiccup of inaction that was Dee Margo in the 82nd legislature, who rode the Republican wave only to file two bills the entire session. Moody then faced off Margo for a 3rd round for HD-78 in 2012. After being drawn out of his home, Joe Moody moved a couple of blocks, campaigned hard on a record with real results, and triumphed over Dee Margo with 54% of the vote.

Before the legislature, Moody served as an Assistant District Attorney with the El Paso District Attorney's Office. When he first hit the legislature in the 81st legislative session, Moody was recognized quickly as a criminal jurisprudence expert, filing several pieces of legislation, including a sweeping anti-gang measure to better combat tranational gangs, and increased funding to domestic violence shelters.

After a long summer, Joe Moody returned to El Paso with even more positive results for El Paso County: he sponsored a bill to close the three year wait period that had prevented El Paso from hiring a medical examiner for this large metropolitan area desperately in need of one. He also sponsored a bill to help the village of Vinton hold their local electeds accountable. In addition, Moody helped strengthen current stalking laws, continuing his work to protect against domestic violence, and made several other significant contributions to large pieces of criminal justice legislation, which he was recognized for by the Texas District and County Attorneys Association.

In between opening a new district office and kicking off his re-election campaign, Representative Moody talked to BOR about his accomplishments from his second legislative session, the differences and similarities he saw in the 81st and 83rd sessions, and what he's been doing to continue serving El Paso.

Read the interview below the jump.

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#GivetoWendy: Because El Pasoans Know Better Than to Trust Greg Abbott


by: Shelby Alexander

Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 01:30 PM CDT

Attorney General Greg Abbott made a campaign pit stop in my hometown of El Paso earlier this week on Tuesday. At the home of a businesswoman in an intimate gathering, Abbott acknowledged that women will have a huge impact in the 2014 gubernatorial election. This is something that polls have revealed, stories have covered, and Abbott discovered early on thanks to his own misogynistic blunders in the months leading up to Wendy Davis announcing for Governor.

But now that the respective campaigns have launched, it was time for Abbott to make his first of what will be many attempts to appeal to the female voting block.

At this small fundraiser in a strongly Democratic city in one his most broad statements yet, Abbott said "I'm proud to say there is nobody in the state of Texas who has done more to fight to help women than I have in the past decade." He cited efforts to fight domestic violence, human trafficking, and collecting child support as evidence.

Apparently, based on this comment, we are supposed to believe that Abbott is a woman-supporting warrior. Fortunately, El Pasoans (and Texans) know better. We know that Abbott is one of the people who has hurt female-identified people the most in Texas over the past decade because of his adamant opposition to comprehensive reproductive health care, his support of closing much-needed clinics, and efforts to assist reducing their funding around the state. But that is scratching the surface. There is even more to reveal in the case against Greg Abbott, and why we need Wendy Davis for all of Texas.


Read more on how Greg Abbott doesn't understand women, El Paso, and what people are doing in that West Texas town to elect Wendy Davis.

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Texas' First Openly LGBT Female Rep., Mary Gonzalez, Continues to Break Barriers Her First Session


by: Omar Araiza

Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 03:00 PM CDT

At age 29, State Representative Mary E. Gonzalez (D-Clint) is one of the youngest members currently serving in the Texas House of Representatives. Her age and freshman status, however, have not prevented her from setting out and creating big accomplishments for her district in El Paso County -- emerging from this 83rd Legislative Session having successfully passed four of her bills and selected as the Mexican American Legislative Caucus freshman of the year.

Gonzalez has dedicated her life to promoting social change through community engagement, professional experiences and a strong academic background. She was selected to serve House District 75 already as a Capitol Veteran, having worked at the Texas State Capitol for three previous sessions in 2003, 2005 and 2007.

If you're in Austin, you can meet Mary and help her become re-elected by attending her fundraiser with Annie's List today at the Headliners Club.

Read more about Mary's work and projects below the jump.

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Texas' First Openly LGBT Female Rep., Mary Gonzalez, Continues to Break Barriers Her First Session


by: Omar Araiza

Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 03:00 PM CDT

At age 29, State Representative Mary E. Gonzalez (D-Clint) is one of the youngest members currently serving in the Texas House of Representatives. Her age and freshman status, however, have not prevented her from setting out and creating big accomplishments for her district in El Paso County -- emerging from this 83rd Legislative Session having successfully passed four of her bills and selected as the Mexican American Legislative Caucus freshman of the year.

Gonzalez has dedicated her life to promoting social change through community engagement, professional experiences and a strong academic background. She was selected to serve House District 75 already as a Capitol Veteran, having worked at the Texas State Capitol for three previous sessions in 2003, 2005 and 2007.

If you're in Austin, you can meet Mary and help her become re-elected by attending her fundraiser with Annie's List today at the Headliners Club.

Read more about Mary's work and projects below the jump.

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Dallas DA Craig Watkins Backs Marriage Equality


by: Edward Garris

Thu May 23, 2013 at 10:00 PM CDT

The Dallas Voice is reporting today that Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins has  endorsed marriage equality.

According to the article, Watkins supports a domestic partner registry. In an interview with the Voice, Watkins made this argument for equality:


"This is America, and we shouldn't discriminate against anyone for whatever reason, and so I think it's a disservice for us as Americans to say that just because you are a certain lifestyle, that you can't have the same rights as someone else," Watkins told the Voice. "I think it goes towards, you know, when we were going through the civil rights movement, issues that we dealt with back then, which, basically, I can understand very clearly because of who I am. ..."

"It goes back to quality of life issues, and as a DA, I'm responsible for improving the quality of the lives of all of the citizens I represent," Watkins said. "I'm the lawyer for everybody in Dallas County, and so I can't be against something that will make your life better. So I'm for whatever we need to do in Dallas County to make the quality of life better, and in my opinion to have that - marriage equality and the registry - it makes lives better for citizens of Dallas County."

While gay marriage is as yet not recognized in Texas, currently, several jurisdictions in Texas recognize domestic partnership benefits.  They include Austin, San Antonio, El Paso, Dallas, and Fort Worth, as well as El Paso County, Travis County, and the Pflugerville ISD.  The issue was brought to the fore nearly a month ago when Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott issued a non-binding, advisory opinion that political subdivisions in Texas could not recognize domestic partnerships and notably, Austin City Manager Marc Ott volleyed with a perfunctory: "[W]e do not intend to change domestic partner eligibility for our benefits program at this time."

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José Rodríguez: A Win for El Paso


by: Michael Hurta

Sun May 05, 2013 at 00:00 PM CDT

The Paul L. Foster School of Medicine has been a successful enterprise in El Paso for years, but it there has always been another step to be taken. Senator José Rodríguez worked to make this happen with Senate Bill 120.

With his bill now passed by both the Texas Senate and the Texas House, Senator Rodríguez is declaring a victory for El Paso and its entire legislative delegation at the capitol.

Find out why below the fold.  

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Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott Denies Benefits for Same Sex Couples in Austin


by: Edward Garris

Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 04:54 PM CDT

April can be the cruelest month.  In a defeat for civil rights and home rule in Texas, Texas Attorney Greg Abbott scaled back rights for same-sex couples in cities such as Austin, Pflugerville, El Paso, Fort Worth, and others.

In November, State Senator Dan Patrick sent a request  for an official opinion to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, asking this question:

"Does Art. 1, §32 of the Texas Constitution that defines marriage as one man and one woman and prohibits government recognition of any legal status identical or similar to marriage preclude political subdivisions of Texas from providing so-called domestic partnership benefits to their employees?"

Today, in a six-page opinion , Greg Abbott struck down advances in civil liberties for same sex couples in Texas, and answered Patrick's letter stating that it does.

Patrick had been upset that insurance benefits were offered to members of same-sex couples in Travis County, the City of Austin, Pflugerville ISD, El Paso, Fort Worth, the City of San Antonio, and El Paso County.  

Abbott's letter first argues that Section 32 - the section in question - applies to Texas cities, counties, and school districts (no word yet on municipal utility districts or MUDs).  It then asks whether these political subdivisions have created or recognized a legal status, and, if so, whether that legal status is identical or similar to marriage.

Abbott's letter answers  "yes" to both questions, at the end stating that Section 32 "prohibits political subdivisions from creating a legal status of domestic partnership and recognizing that status by offering public benefits based upon it," but not before cautioning that the U.S. Supreme Court's upcoming rulings on DOMA and Prop 8 might make this very letter unenforceable.  

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Did Dee Margo Pay Off Naomi Gonzalez and Marisa Marquez to Support Him Over Joe Moody?


by: Katherine Haenschen

Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 09:30 AM CST

Something's rotten in the legislative districts of El Paso.

Back in the fall, in the battle for HD-78, Democratic state representatives Naomi Gonzalez (HD-76) and Marisa Marquez (HD-77) endorsed Republican incumbent Dee Margo over Democratic challenger and previous officeholder Joe Moody.

That wasn't smart politics and it wasn't responsive to the needs of their constituents -- any Democrat is going to be more responsive to the needs of El Paso residents than a Republican, and Joe Moody is an exemplary public servant dedicated to making life better for all Texans.

As part of the endorsement, Gonzalez and Marquez appeared in at least three direct mailers supporting Margo. One is seen at right (click to open in new window). Turns out their opinion evidently didn't sway a lot of voters, as Moody was returned to office with 53.82% of the vote, ousting Margo.

Now, thanks to their January 15th semiannual reports, it is clear that Gonzalez and Marquez each took a $2500 donation from Margo's personal account, just days before the mailer went to print.

They also received another $2500 each from Margo's personal account after he lost. That's a total of $10,000 from Margo's personal bank account to the two Democrats.

Did Dee Margo give Naomi Gonzalez and Marisa Marquez $5,000 each to endorse him? Or are they actually just bought and paid for by Republican mega-donors?

See the details below the jump and decide for yourself.  

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15,000 El Paso Students Can Now Apply For Deferred Deportation


by: Ben Sherman

Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 00:28 PM CDT

Starting Wednesday, the offices of the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services, or USCIS, will begin receiving applications from young undocumented immigrants. In June, President Obama announced that undocumented immigrants brought to the United States before the age of 16, currently under 30, who have been living in the United States continuously for five years and have never committed a crime, can apply for the program.

The Washington D.C.-based Immigration Policy Center estimates 1.3 million immediate and future potential beneficiaries in the country. In IPC's estimate, 226,700 live in Texas. That makes Texas the state with the second most beneficiaries, behind California.

Fifteen thousand of the qualified applicants living in the El Paso area will be able to apply for the deferred deportation program this week.

In June, President Obama said this of his decision:

Now, these are young people who study in our schools, they play in our neighborhoods, they're friends with our kids, they pledge allegiance to our flag. They are Americans in their heart, in their minds, in every single way but one: on paper. They were brought to this country by their parents, sometimes even as infants, and often have no idea that they're undocumented until they apply for a job or a driver's license or a college scholarship.

Put yourself in their shoes. Imagine you've done everything right your entire life, studied hard, worked hard, maybe even graduated at the top of your class, only to suddenly face the threat of deportation to a country that you know nothing about, with a language that you may not even speak.

Iliana Holguin, executive director of the Catholic Church's El Paso Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Services, said the program was an important step but also an incomplete one.

I think it's definitely a step in the right direction and will provide tremendous benefits for young people who can't pursue a job right now, but unfortunately it's not a solution to the root of the problem. We need to have a way for these people to have lawful permanent resident status.
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