Vince Leibowitz is former County Chairman of the Democratic Party of Van Zandt County. An award-winning former journalist, he has been a contributor to BOR since 2004. He also writes for PolState.com and maintains his own weblog, www.capitolannex.com
On Monday, the House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee will hold a public hearing on a bill which will give Texas bloggers and citizen journalists some much-needed protections under Texas law.
The committee will take public testimony on House Bill 4237 by State Rep. Aaron Pena (D-Edinburg).
This bill gives bloggers and citizen journalists the same protections that the mainstream media has when it comes to covering matters of "public concern," such as legislative proceedings, school board meetings, and the actions of state officials.
Yesterday, during the marathon 24-hour debate on Senate Bill 362, State Sen. Troy Fraser (R-Horseshoe Bay), the bill's author, committed a little gaffe that, when examined closely, has the added virtue of being true.
Update: Here's the video:
From the Texas Democratic Party:
"I have trouble hearing women’s voices." Texas Republican State Sen. Troy Fraser uttered that gaffe in response to Sen. Wendy Davis, who asked Fraser a question during Senate floor debate about SB 362, the photo Voter ID bill he filed. At the time, Sen. Fraser was likely unaware of the profound truth behind his blunder.
Indeed, Fraser was likely unaware that he uttered a statement that is very true about himself. Kirsten Gray, the TDP's Spokeswoman, had this to say about Fraser's comment:
Yesterday, when laying out House Bill 126, which would makesalvia divinorum a controlled substance, State Rep. Charles "Doc" Anderson (R-Waco) and witnesses testifying for the bill duped the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence by showing committee members a YouTube video of someone preparing to give driving lessons after smoking the substance; the video, it turns out, was from a humor site and not actually something from real life.
Today, Texas lost a luminary and a fighter. Texas lost Jim Mattox.
Former Texas Attorney General James Albon "Jim" Mattox passed away last night in his sleep. He was 65.
He will be remembered as a man who fought many fights for average, working Texans, and who left an indelible mark on Texas government in politics in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Mattox will likely be remembered as one of the state's greatest attorney generals in history, along with Jim Hogg and James Allred.
A new statewide survey conducted by the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund shows that science faculty at both public and private universities in Texas reject anti-evolution arguments.
In a conference call with Texas bloggers Monday afternoon, Dr. Raymond Eve, a professor of sociology at the University of Texas at Arlington, who conducted the survey for TFN, outlined its results and highlighted five key findings contained in a report released today outlining the results of the study:
Pictures of an Hispanic man flashing a gang symbol, another Hispanic man in the custody of immigration officials, and an Hispanic male in a kitchen with a rifle adorn the lastest race-bating mailer sent out by ex-state representative Bill Keffer (R-Dallas) in his grudge match against State Rep. Allen Vaught (D-Dallas).
The mailer, which was paid for by Keffer's campaign, alleges that Vaught says the illegal immigration issue is a "political gimmick," but cites no source to illustrate that Vaught ever made any such statement.
Wednesday night, a tent put up by Richard and the Fort Bend Democratic Club was mowed over by an unknown vehicle on at the Houston Community College Sienna campus--one of the busiest early voting sites in Fort Bend County. Check out this photo below the fold:
From Sherman to El Paso and all points in between, voters withstood long lines, a handful of voting machine issues, and--in some cases--were lined up waiting for the polls to open yesterday for the first day of Early Voting by Personal Appearance in Texas.
While the major urban counties like Dallas, Harris, Travis and Bexar got the majority of the media's attention today when it came to early voting, I ran across a story from a Sherman television station that shows that the long lines were everywhere--even in Grayson County. Check out the video:
What was particularly interesting to me is that the lines were snaking up stairs and basically winding their way through the entire courthouse.