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BOR Elections Weekly Round Up, September 12 - 22: Sen. Davis Sets a Date, Rep. Lewis Retires

by: Joseph Vogas

Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 10:00 AM CDT

Welcome to our first weekly round up of election news in the state of Texas! It has been a big week, with the launch of our candidate trackers. Burnt Orange Report is currently watching 223 of the partisan races that will appear on the November 2014 general election ballots throughout the state of Texas. Every Monday morning, this column will recap all the changes made to our elections charts and other significant elections news we covered in the previous week.

The big news last week: Sen. Wendy Davis announced October 3rd will be the date when we find out what office she will seek in 2014. Previously, Sen. Davis had said she had limited her options to Governor or re-election to the Texas Senate. In ten short days, we will finally know!

On Friday afternoon, State Rep. Tryon Lewis (R-Odessa) announced he would retire from the Texas House at the end of his current term. Rep. Lewis will have only served three terms in the Texas House and currently serves as the Chair of the House Committee on Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence. Before his election in 2008, Rep. Lewis was a State District Judge for over twenty years. This means, House District 81, where President Obama got 24.18% in 2014, will be open in next year's general election.

Click after the jump to see the 44 other changes made on the ratings charts this week, including the 23 lawmakers Burnt Orange Report confirmed are seeking re-election in 2014.

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Frank Corte Files Bill to Legislate Morality, Restrict Choice

by: Matt Glazer

Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 06:23 PM CST

Frank Corte continues to offend.  House Bill 36 would required consent even during medical emergencies, would define medical emergencies within the health and safety code (which would have unknown impacts), and require women to see an ultrasound of the fetus before having the right to an abortion.  

In years past, Corte has gone to extreme lengths to legislate his morality.

In 2005, Corte authored a bill that would have given pharmacists the right to override doctors and given them the right to refuse to  give out prescribed birth control to women.

Vince, at Capitol Annex gives his view of this appalling legislation.

The new "informed consent" laws would require that women be shown ultrasounds. Complete with language out of the 1800s, neither the woman seeking the abortion nor the doctor can be penalized if the woman "averts" her eyes from the ultrasound:

A pregnant woman may avert her eyes from the ultrasound images required to be provided to and reviewed with the pregnant woman under Section 171.012(a)(4).

Here is what Corte told AP about his bill:

State Rep. Frank Corte, R-San Antonio, filed the bill seeking the new "informed consent" requirements for women who seek an abortion. Corte's policy director, Kathi Seay, said the legislation "is not to encourage or discourage anything, it's just to make sure they have all the information they need."

Corte is already under investigation for refusing to live inside the district he represents.  As the Chair of the House Republican Caucus, the bills he files indicate not only his priorities, but also the priorities of his party.  This bill is shocking, unnecessary, and offensive.  Sadly, we need to be prepared to see many many more bills like House Bill 36 from Corte and his Republican allies.  

Discuss :: (5 Comments)

Rep. Martinez-Fischer's Generous Offer to Rep. Frank Corte

by: Matt Glazer

Fri Aug 22, 2008 at 11:58 AM CDT

We reported on Republican Caucus chair Frank Corte's vacant lot this past Wednesday, and now San Antonio Rep. Trey Martinez-Fischer has an offer for Rep. Corte.

After State Rep. Frank Corte, Chairman of the House Republican Caucus, admitted to the San Antonio Express News that he actually lived in Texas House District (HD) 116 instead of HD 122, as he claimed in his candidate filing forms, Democratic State Representative Trey Martinez-Fischer offered to help his newfound constituent. As reported in today's newspaper, Rep. Corte claims to live on a vacant lot. Luckily, Corte really lives in the district of a Democratic House Member who is ready, willing, and able to provide him with whatever constituent services he needs.

"I want to be the first to welcome Frank to House District 116 and let him know that my office is ready to assist my new constituent with any help he needs establishing his residency," said State Representative Trey Martinez-Fischer. "Moving is a difficult and tedious process and Frank only has a limited amount of time to legally change his address and to get a new driver's license from the Department of Public Safety."

Chad Dunn, General Counsel for the Texas Democratic Party, sent a letter to the Bexar County Republican Party Chairman requesting he abide by the Texas Election Code and formally declare Frank Corte ineligible to run as a candidate in HD 122. It is now up to the Chairman of the Bexar County Republican Party to do the right thing.

If Frank Corte needs anything during his troubled times, his Representative's doors appear to be open.

"Now that Frank is one of my constituents, I look forward to listening to his legislative concerns at my next town hall meeting, and I'll do my best to earn his vote as I continue to reach across party lines and gain bipartisan support this November," added Rep. Martinez-Fischer. "Of course, that's only possible if he has legally changed his voter registration, and my office will be more than happy to assist him so he can vote legally this fall."

Frank Corte is being challenged by Democrat Frances Carnot.

Discuss :: (5 Comments)

Frank Corte Committs Felony, "Lives" on Vacant Lot

by: Matt Glazer

Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 01:05 PM CDT

Another great find by the Lone Star Project.  It looks like House Republican Caucus chairman, Frank Corte, has claimed a vacant lot as his home.

Frank Corte is claiming a San Antonio vacant lot as his official residence. Not a vacant house, but a VACANT LOT. Corte shows the bogus address on his voter registration, his candidate filing application and on several official reports he filed with the Texas Ethics Commission.

Texas residency laws are pretty lenient. You can establish residency by simply staying overnight somewhere several times a year and receiving mail. Even if professional or personal business takes a person away from their house or apartment for an extended period of time, they can maintain the address as their residence by demonstrating the intent to return. Even under these liberal conditions of residency, Republican State Representative Frank Corte (HD 122, San Antonio) appears to have gone too far and is using a phony address to vote and hold public office. In fact, Corte has signed sworn affidavits on file with the State of Texas affirming that he lived on the vacant lot and appears to have a driver's license with the same address.

This is yet another example of Republican's trying to play by a different set of rules.  This is not just deceptive, it is illegal.

The Lone Star Project points out that this is a third degree felony.

Section 64.012. ILLEGAL VOTING. (a) A person commits an offense if the person:
(1) votes or attempts to vote in an election in which the person knows the person is not eligible to vote;...
(b) An offense under this section is a felony of the third degree unless the person is convicted of an attempt. In that case, the offense is a Class A misdemeanor.

Frank Corte should resign as the chair of the House Republican Caucus until this matter is resolved.  Attorney General Greg Abbott should immediately open an investigation.  The investigation should be required to have an October deadline so tax payers don't have to pay for another election because Frank Corte illegally put his name on the ballot.

In addition, San Antonio deserves representation going into the 81st session, if Frank Corte has broken the law, his name should be removed from the ballot for this November so a special election will not need to be held during the beginning of the legislative session. We can instead have a special election November 4, like we are across the state.  The winner of the special election can serve from November until January, and the winner of the general can represent the people of San Antonio for the upcoming legislative session.

People deserve answers immediately and Frances Carnot and the people of San Antonio don't deserve to be subjected to a political shell game because Frank Corte broke the law.

Discuss :: (7 Comments)

Open Thread

by: Karl-Thomas Musselman

Sun Mar 05, 2006 at 04:05 PM CST

So I've been dealing with a housing issue today and didn't have a chance to make it out to report on any gubernatorial nacho goodness.  Do we have any reports from the field?

Of note: Yesterday I went out to serve on the Early Vote Ballot Board for Travis County.  Getting up at 8:30 AM is a rare one for me, and sadly, they had twice as many people as needed (let me give a shoutout to the BOR reader that said hello!) so I biked back down to Central Austin and visited the David Van Os 24 Hour Filibuster for Independence.  David was still going strong and I was told they had up to 50 people at one point the night before. 

Also there was Congressional candidate John Courage who has had recent successes on the campaign trail, making some major inroads into getting on the National radar.  After 2 trips to DC, his campaign has now been put on the DCCC Watch list, and from what I'm told has raised about $100,000 the past month from commitments of many of the labor unions which are very excitedly getting on board.

Another treat was meeting candidate for HD-122 Larry Stallings and his family.  What a pleasure to talk with them about San Antonio and the challenges of running a campaign where they are located.  But that's not stopping them in the least for fighting the good fight which we need to be fighting in every corner of the state.

Or as David Van Os's new buttons say, "Fight -em 'til Hell freezes over, then fight-em on the ice!"

Update: Here's the post on the Van Os site rounding up all the events this weekend, and all the electeds that came out.  The San Antonio Express News also gave the event some print.  Awesome job to the Van Os team.

Discuss :: (2 Comments)

Rep. Corte Deployed to Iraq

by: Karl-Thomas Musselman

Thu Feb 02, 2006 at 11:59 PM CST

Matt has the big news over at Just Another Blog.  Candidate Larry Stallings in HD-122 responds on his own blog here.  Kuff reminds us of a similar situation with Rep. Noriega, and that in both cases, it may be the wife who carries on his term.

As to how this changes the election dynamic, I'm not sure.  It's hard to run against an incumbant who's serving his country, but then again, Corte won't exactly be around to run much of a campaign.  But had this been a major scandal that had broken, it's a credit to Larry Stallings being there as the Democratic nominee, ready to go.  It's why we should always Run, Everywhere.

Speaking of running everywhere, that's something we'll be seeing a lot more of, say, if we had a new state party chair...

Discuss :: (2 Comments)

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