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Burnt Orange Report is redeveloping our website for the first time in almost a decade.

We're counting on your support to continue providing you free and frequent coverage of progressive issues that matter to Texans.

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Username: Katherine Haenschen
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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.

Setting The Record Straight: It's The Veto Threat That Matters in Rick Perry's Indictment

by: Katherine Haenschen

Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 00:00 PM CDT

The national press has largely failed to understand the nuance in the indictments of Rick Perry.

The crime is not that Rick Perry vetoed the Public Integrity Unit funding -- it's that he used the threat of a veto to try and force the Travis County District Attorney to step down.

That's coercion of a public official and it's against the law.

Over the last four days, Texas Democratic Party Executive Director Will Hailer has been making the rounds on TV, speaking to almost a dozen media outlets about why it's the veto threat that matters.

Watch the TDP's Will Hailer set the record straight on indicted governor Rick Perry on MSNBC below the jump!

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Congressman Pete Gallego Recognizes Back-to-School Month, Congratulates Presidio Rocket Team

by: Katherine Haenschen

Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 10:00 AM CDT

August is National Back-to-School month. Congressman Pete Gallego marked the occasion with a video about his commitment to public education and making learning available for all Texans.

He also gave a shout-out to the Presidio Rocket Club, a high school group in the 23rd District that teaches kids about science and how to succeed.

They're currently the fourth best rocketry team in the nation -- and proof positive that no matter your circumstance, a strong education and dedicated teachers can make all the difference.

Below the jump, watch the video!

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Will Texas Taxpayers Pick Up Rick Perry's Legal Tab? What Does Greg Abbott Think?

by: Katherine Haenschen

Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 04:00 PM CDT

So here's a question for all of you fiscal conservatives out there: should Texas taxpayers foot the bill for Rick Perry's increasingly costly legal defense?

When Texas can't afford to keep our roads paved and must grind them into gravel, and when the $5 billion in cuts to public education in 2011 still have not been restored, can taxpayers really afford Rick Perry's criminal defense?

In the meantime, Greg Abbott has been asked for an official Attorney General opinion on whether or not taxpayers are required to foot the bill -- and he hasn't answered yet.

Catch up on the timeline and how much YOU'RE paying for Rick Perry's criminal defense below the jump.

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Republican Greg Abbott Has A History of Siding Against Rape Victims

by: Katherine Haenschen

Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 10:15 AM CDT

Last week, the Wendy Davis campaign released their first TV spot, in which Greg Abbott was taken to task for siding with a company that employed a rapist rather than his victim.

Today, the Dallas Morning News reported that Greg Abbott has an even bigger history of siding against victims of sexual assault.

The story, reported by Christy Hoppe, details five cases in which rape victims sued either their assailant or a company for negligence in the attacks. Abbott decided against four of the victims during his time on the court between 1995 to 2001.

That means Greg Abbott ruled against rape victims 80% of the time, and his opinions have made it more difficult for other victims to gain justice in our legal system.

Now, I'm no pollster, but I can't imagine that defending rapists is really high up there on the average Texas voter's top priority list.

Learn about two of the cases below the jump (trigger warning for sexual assault).  

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Want A Sneak Peek At Our New Logo?

by: Katherine Haenschen

Tue Aug 12, 2014 at 04:00 PM CDT

Great news -- thanks to your generosity, Burnt Orange Report's redevelopment is already under way!

For the first time in almost a decade, Burnt Orange Report is overhauling our website to make it more user-friendly. Last week, we received design concepts for the new site, and also some great new logo concepts.

Our team is so excited by the new Burnt Orange Report, and we can't wait to share it with you!

While we're well on our way to meeting our fundraising goal, we still your help to build a site that can handle our growing traffic.

This week we're sweetening the deal.

Donate through our Rally page by next Monday, August 18th, and get a sneak peak at our new logo, plus some awesome limited-edition BOR gear:

$15 gets you a sneak peek at our new logo and a koozie
$25 gets you sneak peek, a BOR koozie, and a BOR mug!
$50 gets you a peek, a koozie, a mug, and a limited edition BOR tee shirt!

Click here to contribute to an even bigger, better Burnt Orange Report!

All funds raised to go the redevelopment of the site. If you value Burnt Orange Report, then we need your help to build a site that will last the next eleven years and preserve over 15,000 archived blog posts.

We can't wait to share the new site with you.

This special offer only runs through next Monday the 19th, and only on our Rally page. Donate today!

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Closing The Gap: New Poll Shows Wendy Davis Gaining Ground on Greg Abbott

by: Katherine Haenschen

Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 10:00 AM CDT

A poll from a traditionally Republican-leaning pollster shows Wendy Davis down only 8 points to Greg Abbott.

The poll, by Rasmussen, shows Davis eating in to Abbott's lead.

The last Rasmussen poll had Abbott up 12%, and a poll released last month (with terrible methodology) had Abbott up 17%.

The results caused Rasmussen to upgrade the race to "Lean Republican" from "Safe Republican."

More about the varied poll results below the jump.

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Guest Post: Texas Must Prioritize A School Finance Solution

by: Katherine Haenschen

Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 04:30 PM CDT

With "Back To School" time just around the corner, Senator Jose Rodriguez wants everyone to remember that Texas still needs a solution for how we fund our public schools.

Education is a priority for Senator Rodriguez. That's why he is keeping a close eye on the coming school finance lawsuit ruling, and has written a guest post on the subject.  

He writes, in part:

    Education is the single most important factor in building a prosperous, sustainable economy. It provides opportunity for everyone to be productive members of society. It is how I was able to leave the fields where I grew up as a migrant farm worker to become a lawyer and public servant.

Read his full op-ed below the jump.

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Wendy Davis and Battleground Texas Blow Past Another Ambitious Goal

by: Katherine Haenschen

Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 02:30 PM CDT

Over this past weekend, the Wendy Davis campaign and Battleground Texas had a really ambitious goal: 50,001 door knocks.

By Sunday night it was clear that they'd blown the doors off those goals: supporters knocked on 75,966 doors and made 91,589 calls to voters in Texas. Yowza.

Surpassing these huge voter contact goals so early in the campaign -- and during the blistering heat of August -- further emphasizes the enthusiasm and energy behind Wendy's campaign for governor.

While traditional media outlets are wringing their hands over whether a Democrat is competitive in Texas, Wendy and her team are consistently doing the hard work it takes to turn Texas from a non-voting state into a competitive battleground.

See photos from the Day of Action below the jump!

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Congressman Joaquin Castro Takes A Prominent Role in Congress on Immigration, Refugee Crisis

by: Katherine Haenschen

Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 02:00 PM CDT

Congressman Joaquin Castro is becoming an increasingly prominent Democratic voice on issues pertaining to immigration and the ongoing humanitarian crisis at our nation's southern border.

Friday, Castro released a strong statement against Republicans' votes for a sham border bill. Sunday, Castro spoke on This Week about border security and Congress.

Castro is well-positioned to address these issues from a Democratic and Texan perspective. He speaks to both the human concerns faced by immigrants and refugees, and the pragmatics of governing at the state and federal level.

Read his statement and watch video of his remarks below the jump.

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July Was A Big Month For Us

by: Katherine Haenschen

Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 07:00 PM CDT

July was a big month for us at Burnt Orange Report -- we had our second highest monthly traffic this year, trailing only January.

Traffic isn't the only thing that matters, but it is an important measure of our relevance to our readers. We're thankful that so many of you choose to read us and share our work on Facebook and Twitter.

Overall since the filibuster last summer we've seen our traffic increase by over 100%. This is due in part to a bigger audience that found us during the 2013 special session, and to a growing Facebook fan community.

However, that's not the only reason -- our growth is directly related to a huge increase in energy and enthusiasm among Democrats and progressives in Texas.

We're glad to be here for you as the top progressive blog in Texas and top state-level blog in the nation. And we want to maintain our high-quality coverage of news and issues that matter to you, our readers.

However, the long-term viability of Burnt Orange Report depends on our having a website that can handle our readership. Read more below.

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Burnt Orange Reporters
Editor and Publisher:
Katherine Haenschen

Senior Staff Writers:
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