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Username: Katie Singh
PersonId: 8162
Created: Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 11:12 AM CDT
Katie Singh's RSS Feed
Web Page: https://twitter.com/kasingh19
Email: katie@burntorangereport.com

Bio:
Katie Singh grew up in Austin and has been involved in Texas politics since 2004. She worked at OFA in Chicago in 2012, but her first love has always been Texas progressive politics. She's passionate about public policy, public health, and Tex-Mex.

Texas Petroleum Industry Giving Major Cash to Greg Abbott, Other Tea Party Candidates


by: Katie Singh

Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 10:00 AM CDT

The oil and gas industry is one of the biggest in the world, raking in $93 billion in profits last year alone. At the center of the industry is Texas, which is home to many of the nation's major oil companies. These oil companies are deeply involved in state politics, using their considerable funds to support many state and local candidates.

It should come as no surprise that most of the candidates oil and gas companies choose to support are Republicans.

Over the past year, several major Texas gas companies have given hundreds of thousands of dollars to Republicans running for office, including many Tea Partiers running for the Texas Legislature. These companies want to ensure Texas is controlled by right-wing politicians, and are using the vast resources at their disposal to make that a reality.

See which candidates are receiving support from Texas oil companies after the jump.

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Robert McNair, Houston Texans CEO, Has Given Nearly Half a Million Dollars to Elect Greg Abbott


by: Katie Singh

Mon Apr 14, 2014 at 03:00 PM CDT

As the Texas gubernatorial race heats up, one thing is for certain--Greg Abbott is loaded. He reported having over $29 million cash on hand heading into the March 4 primary, and that number is likely to continue to grow.

One of Abbott's biggest funders is billionaire and Houston Texans CEO Robert McNair. McNair, whose net worth is estimated at $1.8 billion. Over the past year, he's given $350,000 to Greg Abbott's gubernatorial campaign and another $100,000 to the Republican Governors Association.

McNair is using his vast personal wealth to ensure people like Greg Abbott are elected in states around the country.

See Bob McNair's detailed donation history after the jump.

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Texas is One of the Toughest Places in America to Get Tax Help


by: Katie Singh

Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 03:30 PM CDT

It's almost April 15, and that means tax day is fast approaching. As people scramble to get their taxes done in time, many will be looking for an accountant to make the onerous task of filing income taxes a little bit easier.

For people filing taxes in Texas, that search for an accountant is tougher than most other places in the United States. Texas is the second-worst state in the nation for tax help. This news comes from a new report by the financial social network Wallet Hub.

The rankings in the report are based on a variety of statistics relating the state's tax returns and the availability of accountants. Texas ranked near the bottom in many of these measurements.

See Texas' detailed tax rankings below the jump.

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Children of Color Falling Even Further Behind in Texas


by: Katie Singh

Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 02:00 PM CDT

Texas is home to nearly 7 million children, and the majority of those are children of color. A new report released this week by the Annie E. Casey foundation suggests that many of these children are still lacking opportunities to thrive.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation used a series of 12 indicators, such as school enrollment and graduation rates, "to compare how children are progressing across racial and ethnic groups at the national and state level". The report found that the more than 3 million Latino children and the over 800,000 African-American children who live in Texas are falling even further behind.

Disparities that begin in childhood often persist into adulthood, leading to a cycle of poverty. This new report is a reminder of the millions of children of color who are facing a difficult future unless the people of Texas come together to provide better opportunities for these children to have an equal chance in life.

Read about how bad the disparity has become after the jump.

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Kesha Rogers is Still Not a Democrat


by: Katie Singh

Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 00:00 PM CDT

Ever since Lyndon LaRouche-supporter Kesha Rogers (who has advocated for President Obama's impeachment) received just enough votes to make it to the Democratic Senate run-off, the Texas Democratic Party has been working hard to inform Texans that she is not a true Democrat.

In a statement, Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa publicly spoke out against Rogers, calling her candidacy "an insult to our Party, our President, our state, our Democratic values, and to all the work you are doing to move our state forward." These strong words prompted the Austin American-Statesman's Politifact to weigh in on Rogers' candidacy. And despite all the evidence to the contrary, Politifact made the strange decision to rule that Rogers was a Democrat.

In its ruling, Politifact cited the fact that Rogers has voted in past Democratic primaries, and that she's chosen to call herself a Democrat when she has previously run for office.

In the most technical sense, these alone might suggest she's a Democrat. Rogers certainly has the right ot identify herself as she wishes. But there is more to being a Democrat than primary history. One must also be ideologically consistent with the Democratic Party platform, and this is something Rogers clearly is not.

By focusing only on the technicalities,  Politifact bizarrely fails to take into consideration that someone who proudly campaigns with photos of President Barack Obama sporting a Hitler mustache is absolutely not a Democrat.

Despite what Politifact says, Kesha Rogers is still a LaRouche supporter who is not a Democrat, and Texas Democrats should not lend her their support.

Read more about Kesha Rogers after the jump.

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City Council Redesign: Candidate Rush Prompts Austin to Replace Traditional Ballots with Combat


by: Katie Singh

Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 04:00 PM CDT

In a stunning announcement this afternoon, the City of Austin revealed that the races for the new 10-1 City Council will no longer be decided by traditional voting, but instead by hand-to-hand combat between candidates.

"The decision came about because we just had too many candidates to feasibly organize an election," said a city spokesperson. "This way, the process of elimination will be much easier."

City officials were reportedly inspired by the "Hunger Games" novels, a series in which individuals from different districts are forced to fight to the death for supremacy in the near-dystopian future.

"They've got districts with candidates who fight, and so do we. It just seemed like the logical next step," the city spokesperson said.

City Council candidates' reactions have been mixed, with some excited about the change and others worried about the effect it will have on representation.

Read the reactions from candidates and council watchers after the jump.

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BREAKING: Ted Cruz Loses Texas Residency Due to Time Spent in Iowa, Must Renounce Senate Seat


by: Katie Singh

Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 02:00 PM CDT

Ed. Note: Check the date on the post...

Freshman Senator Ted Cruz lost his Texas residency today due to the inordinate amount of time he has spent in Iowa in recent months. As a result, Cruz will have to renounce his senate seat by the end of the week.

Cruz's frequent visits to Iowa during Congressional recesses have come to outnumber the amount of time Cruz spends in Texas, leading the Texas Secretary of State to rule that Cruz is no longer eligible to represent Texas in the Senate.

In a press conference, Cruz appeared to be unfazed by the ruling. "I don't need to be a Senator to spread my message of freedom and liberty to the American public. I think I can be more effective as an outsider." said Cruz. "In fact, I was beginning to have doubts about the constitutionality of the U.S. Senate anyway. Why would the Founders design an institution that just makes more Washington insiders instead of promoting liberty? It seems to me like this is another failed policy forced on the American people by Barack Obama and I am happy to be leaving it."

"Besides," added Cruz, "It's not like I was accomplishing anything in the Senate anyway."

Read about Cruz's back-up plan below the jump.

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Galveston Bay Oil Spill Continues to Threaten Marine Wildlife, Fishing Industry


by: Katie Singh

Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 09:00 AM CDT

Up to 168,000 gallons of fuel oil are still sitting in Galveston Bay after last weekend's massive oil spill. Though the cleanup progressed far enough that the Houston Ship Channel could be reopened on Tuesday, the long-term effects of the spill are still unfolding.

As little as two days after the spill, the Houston Audubon Society had already begun to find oiled birds in the surrounding area. Scientists had predicted that the effects of the spill on the local ecosystem could last for decades to come.

Now, over a week after the spill, the situation continues to escalate in Galveston Bay. The oil spill's impact on wildlife is growing, and experts are predicting major effects on the local fishing industry. The spill even has the potential to affect human health.

Read more about the harmful effects of the Galveston Bay oil spill after the jump.

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Moderates vs. Conservatives: Which Republican PACs Came Out On Top in the 2014 Primary?


by: Katie Singh

Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 01:00 PM CDT

After John Cornyn's and Greg Abbott's victories in the Texas Republican primary on March 4, the New York Times proclaimed that here in Texas, the Republican establishment had soundly beat back the Tea Party.

While that may have been true in Cornyn's and Abbott's specific races, the reality of the election was much more complex. Social conservatives prevailed over moderates in many legislative primary races. Several moderate Republican legislative incumbents lost, as extreme social conservatives took the lead in most races for statewide offices.

The Texas Legislature was the main battleground for social conservatives battling moderate Republicans. Several large Republican PACs, both moderate and conservative, had stakes in legislative races. BOR examined the endorsement records of four of them--the moderate, education-focused Texas Parent PAC, the more conservative Texans for Lawsuit Reform, and two extremely conservative PACS, the Young Conservatives of Texas and Michael Quinn Sullivan's Empower Texans PAC.

We looked at which candidates each PAC endorsed and how those candidates fared in the primary.

See which Republican PACs were winners and losers after the jump.

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Texas Republican Congressman Pete Olson Wants to Drill for Oil in National Parks


by: Katie Singh

Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 02:30 PM CDT


Rep. Pete Olson (R-Sugar Land)

Yesterday the U.S. House of Representatives passed HR 1459, a bill that severely limits the federal government's ability to establish new national parks.

Though the bill is unlikely to pass the Senate or be signed into law by President Obama, it's indicative of House Republicans' attitude toward national parks. House GOP are increasingly disregarding conservation in favor of profit, hoping to drill for oil on more public land.

In 2012, the Center for American Progress found that 12 national parks had oil and gas operations occurring, and up to 30 more could see drilling in the future.

One Texas Congressman, Rep. Pete Olson (R-Sugar Land), thinks that more drilling can't come soon enough. At an event in Fort Worth on Tuesday, Olson expressed his support for increasing drilling on federal land.

Olson said he wants less regulation of national parks so that more oil and gas operations can take place there.

Read Pete Olson's remarks after the jump.

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