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Wendy Davis

Oops! Greg Abbott Unveils Education Plan At School District Currently Suing The State Over Funding

by: Joe Deshotel

Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 04:30 PM CDT

Today Greg Abbott unveiled another portion of his education plan at a school in Spring Branch I.S.D. -- a district that is currently suing the state over funding cuts that Abbott is defending as Texas' Attorney General.

Awkward? It should be.

"Perhaps the problem is that Greg Abbott is having trouble locating a school district in the entire state of Texas that's not currently fighting him in a courtroom lawsuit," said Zac Petkanas the Communications Director for Wendy Davis.

Abbott has been on the defense after a weeks-long rocky rollout of his education plan, and today said he supported more "local control," yet his plan for Pre K called for more state assessment and mandates.

See what teachers' representatives are saying about Abbott's plan below the jump...

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Wendy Davis to Greg Abbott: Pre-K for 4 Year Olds, Not Standardized Tests

by: Joe Deshotel

Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 00:07 PM CDT

Image: Progress Texas
On Monday Wendy Davis held a press conference to talk about extending quality Pre-K to all Texas school children and to chastise Greg Abbott for proposing standardized testing of 4 year olds.

The Abbott campaign claims that the portion of his education plan that references "Direct Assessments, norm referenced standardized tests" for 4 year olds is "for informational purposes only." There is more on Abbott's backtracking here.

If Abbott is shying away from the standardized testing claim it is likely because a bipartisan bill (HB 5) that passed last session to reduce the number of standardized tests from 15 to 5 was incredibly popular with parents and teachers alike. However Jim Windham, a key Abbott advisor, was caught off message during an online town hall hosted on Abbott's campaign website when he confirmed that not only did he believe HB 5 was a "mistake," but referenced "normed Pre-K assessments" as a way test the "efficacy" of Pre-K that 4 year olds receive.

See how Abbott's campaign advisor responded below the jump...

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Greg Abbott Ducks Press While Adviser Charles Murray Doubles Down on Anti-Woman Rhetoric

by: Joe Deshotel

Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 09:00 AM CDT

Greg Abbott has been under fire for citing Charles Murray in his education plan. Murray is a controversial libertarian thinker who believes women's brains are smaller than men's and that "women have played a proportionally tiny part in the history of the arts and sciences."

Charles Murray came to speak at the University of Texas last night, where he was greeted by a protest by the University Democrats. During his speech he doubled down on the same racist, misogynistic rhetoric he has been criticized for in the last weeks.

Murray was there to speak about his new book "Coming Apart: The State of White America 1960-2010." He addressed a small but full room hosted by the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank for which Murray is a "scholar."

Murray began his speech with references to the controversy surrounding Greg Abbott and his "footnote." Murray said he was sorry he had caused him grief but curmudgeonly joked that he wished Abbott would have used more of his ideas, indicating he wasn't very fond of Abbott's plan overall. Murray ended his comments on the subject by saying he'd rather just stay out of it altogether, but let's just say he didn't do Abbott any favors.

Listen to the audio of Murray's comments about women below the jump.

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Texas Association Of Business Distorts Wendy Davis' Position To Push Drug Testing Some Unemployed

by: Joe Deshotel

Thu Apr 03, 2014 at 09:00 AM CDT

Texas Association of Business President Bill Hammond thinks it's "unconscionable" that the U.S. Labor Department is delaying a Texas' law that would drug test some individuals before receiving unemployment benefits -- even those who were not fired for the use of illicit drugs.

Hammond also touts "unanimous support" in the Senate, calling out Wendy Davis by name even though she spoke out against the bill on the floor and offered an amendment that was eventually accepted. The bill had zero Democrat authors, or co-authors in the Senate and zero Democrat sponsors in the House.

Senate tradition holds that many bills pass the upper chamber with unanimous consent, even some of those that are hotly debated. A bill passing the Senate chamber with 0 nay votes is no indication that the bill did not have objectors. TAB's press release also fails to mention that the House vote was 104 to 42, far from unanimous.

See what Davis said during the debate on the Senate floor below the jump...

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Abbott Proposes New "Gold Standard" Mandates, But No Universal Full Day Pre-K

by: Joe Deshotel

Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 07:06 PM CDT

Today Greg Abbott unveiled the Pre-K - 3rd grade portion of his "Educating Texans" policy proposal. Likening our education system to a house cracking from a faulty foundation, he proposed creating new state standards based on performance before expanding full day Pre-K access to more students. To do otherwise he said would be "an act of negligence and waste."

His plan centered around a "Gold Standard" that would have to be adopted by School Districts in order to qualify for an additional $1,500 per student.

Public education is something his Gubernatorial opponent Senator Wendy Davis sees as a her strong suit and a major issue for November voters, and this proposal is also one of Abbott's first major policy plans after being criticized throughout the primary campaign for being mum on many issues.

More plus Wendy Davis' reaction below the jump...

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Greg Abbott Intervenes In Suit Involving "Sociopathic Neurosurgeon"

by: Nick Hudson

Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 09:00 AM CDT

If Greg Abbott has his way, there will be no justice for victims of a Dallas neurosurgeon that killed two patients and paralyzed four in a series of botched surgeries.

As the Dallas Morning News reports, Texas' Attorney General Greg Abbott filed motions this week to intervene in three federal lawsuits brought against Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano on behalf of former patients of Dr. Christopher Duntsch. The patients allege that Baylor Plano  knew Dr. Duntsch was a dangerous surgeon and it could have prevented him from killing and maiming patients.

The suits also challenge the constitutionality of a state law that requires plaintiffs to prove that Baylor Plano intended to harm patients. That law is part of the Texas Legislature's 2003 tort reform package. The Legislature removed the term "gross negligence" from the definition of legal malice.

Read more below the jump!

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Lt. Gov. Candidate Dan Patrick: Government Shouldn't Do Anything About Equal Pay

by: Emily Cadik

Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 02:00 PM CDT

Greg Abbott spent much of this week digging himself into a hole on equal pay, and now Republican Lieutenant Governor candidate Dan Patrick has decided to join him.

On Thursday, Patrick said while he thinks men and women should be paid equally, he does not believe the government should do anything proactive to actually advance pay equity. "Women should be should be paid the same as a man," Patrick said, "but I don't believe government should enforce it." Ever trusting of the laissez faire approach to equal rights, Patrick added, "I just believe in free markets and I believe the market is the best place to do that."

In Texas, the free market has resulted in women making, on average, 79 cents to every dollar a man makes. Or in the case of Greg Abbott's office, only 74 cents to every dollar a man earns.

Patrick's statement also comes after a week of hearing that women are just bad negotiators and perhaps even "too busy" for equally pay.  

Read about the response to the recent offensive equal pay statements after the jump.  

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Annise Parker Talks 'Gay Agenda', Wendy Davis, And Reclaiming Democratic Values In Inspiring Speech

by: Omar Araiza

Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 10:00 AM CDT

Houston Mayor Annise Parker addressed the California Democratic Party convention this weekend, providing the crowd with an inspirational speech on how Democrats win in red states, even when seemingly facing all odds against them.

But first, she thanked Californians for allowing her to marry her partner of over 23 years this January.

After taking a jab at Rick Perry and Texas Republicans, Parker, the country's first openly LGBT mayor of one of the ten largest cities in the US, dove straight into personal matters regarding LGBT equality. She thanked the state of California once again for paving the way nationally in ensuring the safety of trans children in our schools.  

"I've been a lesbian activist for 40 years, and it's hard to break a habit," said Parker. "And I have been saying for 40 years, there is no such thing as the gay agenda. But I'm here to tell you that that is not true. There is a gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender agenda, and I'm going to tell you what it is."

"We want to be able to go to school in safety. We want to be able to serve our country honorably. We want to be able to work at jobs we love so that we can pay taxes to the country that sustains us," continued saying Parker. "And we want to protect the relationships and families that nurture us. That is the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender agenda."

Parker went on to describe how Democrats like herself have won major victories in red states. And, how despite facing the same obstacles, Wendy Davis can ultimately become our next governor of Texas. Parker also argued that as Democrats, we need to reclaim back from Republicans important values that are true to our party's core -- those of faith, family values, and freedom -- because we are the party that respects and upholds these values, not the Republican Party.

Her full speech in video below the jump.

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Leticia Van de Putte Spearheads Latino Community Outreach In Texas Lieutenant Governor Race

by: Omar Araiza

Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 10:00 AM CST

Senators Eddie Lucio, Jr., Leticia Van de Putte, and Wendy Davis at Charro Days in Brownsville

After months of toxic Republican rhetoric against Hispanic immigrants and portrayal of Latinos as "the bogeyman" of Texas, we'll soon shortly find out which GOP candidates clawed their way on top of the party as the primary election results roll in.

Meanwhile Republicans continue to use anti-immigrant sentiments to garner Tea Party votes, Texas Senator and Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, Leticia Van de Putte, continues to travel across Texas and Washington, D.C., recruiting Democrats and Latino voters to help turn Texas blue once again.

Kicking off her campaign's national fundraising efforts in Washington, D.C. last week, Van de Putte has also held fundraisers in Dallas, Houston and San Antonio, and made a second visit to the Rio Grande Valley with Wendy Davis during the popular Charro Days in Brownsville (at right).

Spearheading Latino community outreach efforts, Van de Putte spoke at the League of United Latin American Citizens' (LULAC) gala last week, where she demonstrated the type of exemplary leadership Latino and Latina candidates can offer Texas.

"No one ever tells the people, 'Leticia has always remembered where she came from (or) Leticia remembers who she was ... because I still live in the same neighborhood," said Van de Putte. "Latinos, they connect to their neighborhoods, connect to their schools. They connect to their famílias (families)."

Read more on what Van de Putte has to say about Latinos in Texas below the jump.

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Wendy Davis Outraises Greg Abbott In 2 of 3 Filing Periods

by: Joe Deshotel

Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 06:44 PM CST

Wendy Davis reports raising $2.85 million in the period between January 24th and February 22nd while Greg Abbott showed he raised 2.5 million in the same timeframe. That puts Davis' total current cash on hand at $11.3 million and Abbott at just under $30 million.

When Greg Abbott announced his intentions to run for Governor he already had nearly $21 million in the bank and since that time Davis has managed to out raise him again in the last filing period before each becomes their party's official nominee.

See more details below the jump...

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