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We're Counting On You.

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.

Help us build a website that is as great as the content we publish on it.

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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.

Look How Close We Are To Meeting Our Fundraising Goal

by: Katherine Haenschen

Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 02:00 PM CDT

Thanks to the generosity if our readers, we're less than two weeks away from launching the new Burnt Orange Report!

We're so close to meeting our fundraising goal -- help us close the final gap and make sure we can keep our eyes on Texas politics.

We're also holding a Texas-sized Political Trivia Pub Quiz next Monday, September 8 so if you like showing off your knowledge then come join us for the fun.

Make sure Burnt Orange Report can keep our eyes on Texas politics, and support the redevelopment of the biggest and best progressive state blog in the nation!

Thanks to everyone who has donated -- our entire staff is genuinely moved that so many people consider our work worthwhile and worth supporting. The new site is going to be great, and we can't wait to share it with you!

We just have to finish paying for it first. Please contribute what you can to the redevelopment of Burnt Orange Report today!

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Texas Students Win, Greg Abbott Loses: School Finance Funding Unconstitutional

by: Katherine Haenschen

Thu Aug 28, 2014 at 06:59 PM CDT

The long-awaited ruling over the 2011 Republican Legislature's $5.4 billion cuts to public education came out today, and Texas students and teachers were victorious.

Judge John Dietz ruled the school funding scheme unconstitutional because it failed to adequately provide for students' needs and provide equal opportunity.

The ruling is a direct blow to Attorney General Greg Abbott, whose office defended the cuts in the courts. He could have ended the case at any time, and instead waited for today's decision to come down. Abbott can now appeal the decision to the Republican State Supreme Court.

Read more about the ruling below the jump.

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Republican State Senator Admits That Republican Legislature Is Failing Texas

by: Katherine Haenschen

Thu Aug 28, 2014 at 01:00 PM CDT

Republican State Senator Kevin Eltife of Tyler has publicly admitted what Democrats have been saying for years: Republicans are failing Texas.

Citing a litany of infrastructural improvements from water to roads, Eltife emphasized that Republicans are catering to the Tea Party base rather than responsibly addressing the needs of Texans.

In an interview with the Longview News-Journal editorial board, Eltife essentially gave a seminar on the way in which anti-tax Republicans are driving up state debt by outsourcing our state's basic needs.

Read more about what the Republican Senator had to say below the jump.  

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Wendy Davis Emphasizes Her Commitment to Education Funding As School Starts

by: Katherine Haenschen

Wed Aug 27, 2014 at 04:00 PM CDT

Monday in Houston, Wendy Davis marked the beginning of the public school year by emphasizing her commitment to public education.

In 2011, Wendy Davis filibustered a budget that cut $5.4 billion from public education, and in 2013 she voted against a budget that failed to restore sufficient funds.

Unlike Rick Perry, Wendy Davis would have vetoed a budget that slashed $5.4 billion from our Texas public schools. Attorney General Greg Abbott, on the other hand, continues to defend the cuts in our courts system.

Joined by education leaders, Davis gave a moving speech Monday about the value of education and how it prepares students for a better future.

Watch a video of Wendy Davis's remarks below the jump!

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Texas Pastor Calls For Removal of "Demonic" Twilight Books From Library

by: Katherine Haenschen

Tue Aug 26, 2014 at 03:00 PM CDT

There's at least one person who's not torn between Team Jacob and Team Edward.

A Cleveland, Texas pastor has called for the removal of the popular Twilight series from the local library, claiming that the "sexual element" and "creatures that aren't human" are dangerous for young readers.

Missick also thinks teens should have parental approval to check out such books. Currently, library policy requires parental consent for minors to get a library card.

Read more below the jump.

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Rep. Elliott Naishtat Hospitalized After Bike Accident But In Good Spirits - Sign His Card!

by: Katherine Haenschen

Tue Aug 26, 2014 at 10:00 AM CDT

State Rep. Elliott Naishtat was hospitalized following a bicycling accident in Minnesota, but fear not -- the progressive champion is on the mend and in good spirits.

During the annual bike ride at the National Conference of State Legislators held this year in Minnesota, Naishtat hit a guard rail hard and punctured his calf which resulted in severe swelling and internal bleeding.

Thankfully Naishtat is expected to make a full recovery and be back here in Austin shortly.

Help us welcome him home -- below the jump, sign our get well soon card for State Rep. Elliott Naishtat!

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Rick Perry's PAC Fundraising Off Felony Indictment

by: Katherine Haenschen

Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 11:00 AM CDT

I'm not surprised that Rick Perry is fundraising off of his two indictments. He's trying his damnedest to make the case sound like a farce despite the very serious nature of the charges.

I am, however, surprised to see another sitting Republican Governor actually coming to the defense of the once and future failed Presidential candidate.

To date, Perry's RickPAC has sent at least three fundraising emails to gin up funds for his "leadership PAC" that he will in turn contribute to other candidates who cannot count to three.

Read who's supporting Rick Perry's self-serving fundraising below the jump.

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Unsurprisingly, District Judge Must Warn Rick Perry Not To Threaten Grand Jury

by: Katherine Haenschen

Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 02:00 PM CDT

Of course Rick Perry's trying to throw shade on the grand jury that returned an indictment for his efforts to coerce Travis County DA Rosemary Lehmberg to resign.

This week a state district judge warned Perry not to threaten the jury or anyone else.

It's no surprise that Perry holds such little respect for the legal process that currently surrounds him that he's trying to make a farce of it all, using it to fundraise for RickPAC and malign the head of the Public Integrity Unit.

Below the jump, find out why a State Judge found it necessary to warn Perry.

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18 Candidates File for Five AISD Races

by: Katherine Haenschen

Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 11:00 AM CDT

Monday was the filing deadline for local races in Austin. In addition to the 78 candidates bellying up for the first Austin City Council elections held under the 10-1 map, there is also a significant increase in candidates for AISD, with 18 candidates signing up to run.

Unlike City Council, however, this is not the first Austin Independent School District election held in November.

2012 saw one open district-wide race between Gina Hinojosa and Mary Ellen Pietruszynski for the at-large seat vacated by Annette LoVoi. It was an expensive race that saw the Travis County Democratic Party give Hinojosa a major boost.  

However, with many retirements this year, a search for a superintendent ongoing, and the continued challenges of leading a school district in the face of the Texas legislature's refusal to restore the 2011 budget cuts, it's no surprise to see some turnover.

Below, here's who's running

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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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Burnt Orange Reporters
Editor and Publisher:
Katherine Haenschen

Senior Staff Writers:
Genevieve Cato
Joe Deshotel
Ben Sherman

Staff Writers:
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Emily Cadik
Phillip Martin
Natalie San Luis
Katie Singh
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