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Username: Katherine Haenschen
PersonId: 4576
Created: Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 01:22 PM CST
Katherine Haenschen's RSS Feed
Web Page: http://www.twitter.com/KathTX
Email: katherine@burntorangereport.com

Katherine Haenschen is a PhD candidate at UT focusing on digital media. She has previously managed successful candidate, issue, voter registration, and GOTV campaigns. She is active with Austin Young Democrats and is UCONN's #1 fan in Texas.

President Barack Obama Visits With Texas Families Helped By The Affordable Care Act

by: Katherine Haenschen

Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 03:30 PM CDT

When President Obama was in Austin recently for the Civil Rights Summit, he spent time speaking with Texas families who had received health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. These families had previously written the President about how the ACA had helped their lives.

"You saved our son's life," stated a clearly emotional man whose son was able to stay on his policy through age 26 thanks to the Affordable Care Act.

A video of the gathering was posted on the White House YouTube channel as part of their "Letters to the President" series.

The video is a poignant reminder of how much President Obama actually cares about providing regular American folks with health insurance, and the tangible benefits people have received from quality, affordable coverage.

Watch it below the jump and hear what President Obama had to say about the Texas legislature.

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Mystery Fliers Calling For UT Regent Wallace Hall's Resignation Distributed To Legislative Offices

by: Katherine Haenschen

Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 10:30 AM CDT

Legislative staffers found a surprise waiting under their office doors yesterday.

Fliers calling on embattled UT Regent Wallace Hall to resign were slid under all 181 House and Senate office doors at some point in the last 48 hours.

The fliers urge Longhorns to unite in calling for Hall to resign. The fliers have no disclaimer or attribution.

Hall is in hot water for his open-records witch hunt against UT President Bill Powers, as well as the perception that he does Rick Perry's bidding on the UT Board of Regents, which oversees the state's flagship university system. Last week, a special report prepared for the House Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations found that Hall had committed impeachable offenses.

Click below the jump to see the fliers calling for UT Regent Wallace Hall's removal from office.  

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Congressman Joaquin Castro Introduces Cut Taxes for the Middle Class Act

by: Katherine Haenschen

Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 02:04 PM CDT

Today is Tax Day.

As Americans file their taxes it's worth remembering that the tax code promotes inequality in part by allowing the wealthiest Americans to take advantage of loopholes, and pay a lower rate on capital gains and interest income.

Thankfully Congressman Joaquin Castro has introduced the "Cut Taxes for the Middle Class Act" which would restore eight tax cuts that expired in 2013. These cuts directly benefit working families, as well as promote goals such as achieving higher education and helping veterans.

Find out what the act does below the jump!

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A Test By Any Other Name: Greg Abbott Wants Standardized Testing For Pre-Schoolers

by: Katherine Haenschen

Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 09:25 AM CDT

Is Greg Abbott smarter than a 4-year old? Apparently he wants to test them to find out.

Abbott is under fire for yet another aspect of his education plan: now, he wants to require pre-K students to take biannual standardized tests.

Abbott's spokesperson initially claimed that the tests referenced in the education plan were "for informational purposes only" and "not part of Greg Abbott's policy recommendations."

However, Jim Windham, Chairman of the Texas Institute for Education Reform and a known high-stakes standardized testing enthusiast, makes clear on Abbott's "Town Hall" website feature he means standardized testing, whether Abbott likes it or not.

Read more about Abbott's back-tracking on his Pre-K plan and check out a round-up of media criticism over Abbott's policy ideas.

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An Ode to Battleground Texas and Wendy Davis Knocking 55,559 Doors in One Weekend

by: Katherine Haenschen

Mon Apr 14, 2014 at 09:45 AM CDT

What a weekend.

Battleground Texas and the Wendy Davis campaign set a genuinely ridiculous goal of knocking 48,000 doors this weekend to elect the 48th governor of Texas. For a random weekend almost 7 months from Election Day, that would be a tall feat. (I thought they were kind of a little bit nuts when they told me.)

Tall feat or not, they surpassed it.

Volunteers amassed in what seems like every major city and suburban county and knocked 55,559 doors to spread the message about Wendy and this November's election.

The results were simply astounding, and the volunteers and staffers recorded the highlights on Twitter throughout the weekend.

Below the jump, read a poem (yes, a poem) about this weekend's canvass using some marvelous tweets as illustration.

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Op-Ed: Civil Rights Remain a Struggle in Texas

by: Katherine Haenschen

Sun Apr 13, 2014 at 07:00 PM CDT

Last week's Civil Rights Summit at the LBJ Library emphasized the tremendous advancements we've made in America, and the way in which President Johnson helped usher in a new era of opportunity for all.

However, here in Texas our civil right still face significant challenges from Republicans, who continue to erode the capacity of the state to give all Texans the opportunity to succeed on a level playing field.

The Texas Senate Democratic Caucus penned an op-ed addressing the broad range of issues on which our Legislature must still make progress. They write in part,

    "For these millions and millions of Texans, the fight for freedom and fairness is as much about the present and future as it is about the past."

Read the full op-ed below the jump.

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Op-Ed: Miles and Miles of Texas on the Leticia Van de Putte Bus Tour

by: Katherine Haenschen

Sun Apr 13, 2014 at 00:00 PM CDT

 Last week, Senator Leticia Van de Putte wrapped up her statewide bus tour that traveled across Texas to engage voters in advance of this November's election.

From Pharr to Lubbock, San Antonio to Houston, Van de Putte visited with voters and made clear that Democrats will fight hard to win this November.

Now that Senator Van de Putte is back home in San Antonio, she has penned an op-ed about what she learned on her trip.

Read it below the jump.

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DNC Hires Sondra Haltom to Head Voter Expansion Project in Texas

by: Katherine Haenschen

Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 00:00 PM CDT

Big news this week in terms of protecting voting rights here in Texas: the Democratic National Committee has hired Sondra Haltom to head up the Voter Expansion Project here in Texas.

Haltom is the first staff hire for the project, and a long-time advocate for voting rights here in Texas. She served as the political director for the Texas Democratic Party and also founded Empower the Vote Texas, an organization dedicated to protecting voting rights.  

The Voter Expansion Project is designed to ensure that the Democratic Party not only protects the right to vote and works proactively with states across the country to expand access to the ballot box.

Read the full press release below the jump.

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VIDEO: President Barack Obama Speaks at the Civil Rights Summit at LBJ Presidential Library

by: Katherine Haenschen

Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 07:54 PM CDT

Today, President Barack Obama spoke at the Civil Rights Summit at the LBJ Presidential Library here in Austin. His speech addressed voting rights and the work we still must do to anchor change in the law.

Here's an excerpt:

    I reject such thinking, not just because Medicare and Medicaid have lifted millions from suffering, not just because the poverty rate in this nation would be far worse without food stamps and Head Start and all the Great Society programs that survive to this day.

    I reject such cynicism because I have lived out the promise of LBJ's efforts, because Michelle has lived out the legacy of those efforts, because my daughters have lived out the legacy of those efforts, because I and millions of my generation were in a position to take the baton that he handed to us.

Watch the video of President Obama and read the speech below the jump.

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Embattled UT Regent and Rick Perry Crony Wallace Hall Abused His Office, Report Finds

by: Katherine Haenschen

Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 09:30 AM CDT

UT Regent Wallace Hall has been found to have committed impeachable offenses, according to a draft  report commissioned by the House Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations.

Hall was found to have abused the powers of his office and may have broken the law in his campaign to force the UT Regents to vote to fire UT President Bill Powers.

Hall is Rick Perry's go-to guy on the UT Board of Regents. Hall and Jeff Sandefer, another major Perry donor and controversial higher ed "reformer", are key influencers in Rick Perry's higher education policy, particularly his call for a $10,000 college degree.

Read the key parts of the report and brush up on Hall's misdeeds below the jump.

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