The 2014 Primary Election in Texas

Unlike 2012, the date for the 2014 Primary isn’t changing – it’s March 4. Early voting is February 18 – 24, 2014.

Here’s a look at who’s on the ballot.

* Indicates incumbent

U.S. Senate (Texas)

U.S. House of Representatives (District 17)

Texas Senate (District 5)

Texas House of Representatives (District 14)

Texas Governor

NOTE: Governor Rick “Good Hair” Perry is not running for a 4th term.

Texas Lieutenant Governor

Texas Attorney General

NOTE: Greg Abbott is vacating the position to run for Governor.

Texas Supreme Court

Chief Justice

Place 6

NOTE: Jeff Brown’s term doesn’t end until December 31, 2016, but he must run in 2014 to keep his position.

Place 7

Place 8

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals

Place 3

Place 4

  • Jani Jo Wood (R)
  • Kevin Patrick Yeary (R)
  • Richard Dean Davis (R)

Place 9

  • David Newell (R)
  • W.C. “Bud” Kirkendall (R)

Texas Courts of Appeals (District 10)

Place 2

  • Rex Davis (R)*

Comptroller of Public Accounts

  • Debra Medina (R)
  • Glenn Hegar (R)
  • Harvey Hilderbran (R)
  • Raul Torres (R)
  • Mike Collier (D)

NOTE: Could not confirm if Susan Combs is stepping down.

Commissioner of the General Land Office

  • David Watts (R)
  • George P. Bush (R)
  • John Cook (D)

NOTE: Jerry Patterson is stepping down to run for Lieutenant Governor.

Commissioner of Agriculture

  • Eric Opiela (R)
  • J. Allen Carnes (R)
  • Joe Cotten (R)
  • Sid Miller (R)
  • Tommy Merritt (R)
  • Hugh Asa Fitzsimons III (D)
  • Jim Hogan (D)
  • Richard “Kinky” Friedman (D)

NOTE: Todd Staples is stepping down to run for Lieutenant Governor.

Railroad Commissioner

  • Becky Berger (R)
  • Malachi Boyuls (R)
  • Ryan Sitton (R)
  • Wayne Christian (R)
  • Dale Henry (D)
  • Steve Brown (D)

NOTE: Berry Smitherman is stepping down to run for Texas Attorney General

Texas State Board of Education Member (District 8)

  • Barbara Cargill (R) – Next election Nov. 2016

District Courts – Brazos County

85th District Court Judge

  • Kyle Hawthorne (R)

NOTE: Judge J. D. Langley is stepping down.

272nd District Court Judge

  • Travis Bryan III – Next election ?

361st District Court Judge

  • Steve Smith (R)*
  • Margaret Meece (R)
  • Michele Esparza (R)

Justice of the Peace – Brazos County (Precinct 4)

  • Rose Jones – Next election ?
  • Louis Garcia Jr (R)
  • Tommy (Shannon) Duren (D)
  • Larry J. Johnson (D)
  • Christina S. Butler (D)
  • Darrell Booker (D)
  • Manuel “Manny” Aguilar (D)

District Attorney – Brazos County

  • Jarvis Parsons – Next election Nov. 2016

Sheriff – Brazos County

  • Chris Kirk – Next election Nov. 2016

 Read More

Quick Review of 113th Congress

On October 17, 2013, we narrowly avoided defaulting on the national debt when Congress voted to fund the government for another 4 months and raise the debt ceiling for 5 months.

The agreement funds the federal government in place of an annual budget through Jan. 15, 2014 and lifts the debt limit through Feb. 7, 2014. Source: time.com

It’s a good time to record the names of those involved so that come November 2014 we won’t forget at the voting booth.

Senate

The Senate is divided into 3 classes, and each class has a 6 year
term:

This means 1/3 of the Senate is elected every 2 years. The next election for 33% of the seats is November 4, 2014.
The current Senators from Texas are Rafael “Ted” Cruz (R-TX)[Class I] and John Cornyn (R-TX)[Class II].

Leadership

The current Senate Majority Leader is Harry Reid (D-NV) [Class III]. The Minority Leader is Mitch McConnell (R-KY) [Class II].

House of Representatives

The House of Representatives has 435 members, each representing a district in their state. Each representative is elected to a two-year term. The next election for all seats is November 4, 2014.
My current Representative from Texas District 17 is Bill Flores (R-TX).

Leadership

The current Speaker of the House is John Boehner (R-OH).
The Majority Leader is Eric Cantor (R-VA). The Minority Leader is Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
This and a lot more information is available on Wikipedia: 113th United States Congress.

The day the government shutdown (again)

It’s bad enough that Congress hasn’t passed a budget in 4 years (Obama signed FY 2010 in March 2010, 5 months after it was due) – but on October 1, 2013, the money ran out, again, and 800,000 government employees were furloughed, forcing the government to shutdown.

This picture was taken a few days later.

saddest-shutdown-photo

“This photo of a boy in a monkey costume outside of Washington’s National Zoo has gone viral and helped symbolize the impact of the government shutdown.” Source: today.com.

 

The 2012 Election Results for Texas

You can refer to my earlier post about the 2012 Primary, but here are last night’s election results for Texas and Brazos County Texas. I couldn’t find results on proposed referenda.

U.S. President

U.S. Senate (Texas)

U.S. House of Representatives (District 17 Texas)

Texas Senate (District 5)

Texas House of Representatives (District 14)

District Attorney – Brazos County

Read More

The 2012 Primary and Election in Texas

Primary and Election

Remember the old saying “Truth is stranger than fiction?” Why should this election-year be any different. In a strange twist of fate the congressional district maps were argued over and redrawn and fussed-with until we past our traditional Primary date in March. So, they set the new Primary date to May 29! Most of the other “winner takes all” (electorate) states had their primaries already so ours doesn’t mean much. That being said, I think there is still plenty to vote for.

U.S. President

2012 Candidates

* It’s 99% certain that Mitt Romney will be the Republican nominee for President.

U.S. Senate (Texas)

* Hutchison is retiring at the end of this term. As of May 1, the biggest candidates to replace her are former Texas Solicitor General, Ted Cruz (R) or Lt. Governor David Dewhurst (R).

2012 Candidates

  • Ted Cruz (R)
  • David Dewhurst (R)
  • Grady Yarbrough (D)
  • Sean Hubbard (D)
  • Addie Dainell Allen (D)
  • Paul Sadler (D)

U.S. House of Representatives (District 17)

I find it interesting that Chet Edwards (D) lost to Flores in 2010 and now there is no Democrats opposing Flores, but there is one Republican from Austin opposing him – maybe.

2012 Candidates

Texas Senate (District 5)

2012 Candidates

* Ogden is retiring at the end of this term. He has already endorsed Dr. Schwertner, a current State Representative. Here is another race without a Democratic opponent. Maybe without an incumbent Bius has a chance.

Texas House of Representatives (District 14)

  • John Raney (R) Next Election: 2012

2012 Candidates

District Attorney – Brazos County

  • Bill Turner (D) Next Election: 2012*

2012 Candidates

* Turner is retiringat the end of his term. He said he will endorse Parsons. This will be the first time a Republican has presided over the DA office in 28 years.

Democratic Referenda

Ref. 1: Any graduate of a Texas high school, who has lived in the state for at least three years and lived here continuously for the last year, should be eligible for in-state tuition at state supported colleges and universities and given the opportunity to earn legal status through a higher education or military service.

Ref. 2: Because a college education is increasingly necessary for jobs that allow our citizens to achieve middle class lifestyles and become the entrepreneurs who create the jobs that our economy relies on, we call on the Texas Legislature to fund colleges and universities such that tuition and fees can be affordable to all Texans.

Ref. 3: Should the Texas Legislature allow the people of Texas to vote to legalize casino gambling with all funds generated being used only for education

Read More

UPDATE

There will be a runoff on July 31 for the following offices:

U.S. Senate (Texas)

District Attorney – Brazos County

CISPA is the latest threat to internet free speech [UPDATE]

Keep your eyes & ears open for CISPA. Beware of any bill that has “Protection” in the title, and is “for other purposes.”

Just because SOPA and PIPA, the infamous internet “kill switch” bills, are largely dead does not mean the threat to internet free speech has become any less serious. The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act CISPA, also known as H.R. 3523, is the latest mutation of these internet censorship and spying bills to hit the U.S. Congress — and unless the American people speak up now to stop it, CISPA could lead to far worse repercussions for online free speech than SOPA or PIPA ever would have. Source: SOPA mutates into much worse CISPA, the latest threat to internet free speech.

UPDATE:
The House of Representatives passed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) (H.R. 3523) with a 248-168 vote on April 26. The silver lining is that the Obama administration issued a veto threat against CISPA if kept in its current form. Now, there are two bills before the Senate that deal with cyber security, ”SECURE IT” (S. 2151) and “Cybersecurity Act of 2012″ (S. 2105). Source: CISPA passes the House, privacy battle moves to Senate, The Washington Post.

The Day the Internet Went Dark

LOS ANGELES (AP) — In a move that heightens the growing tension between Silicon Valley and Hollywood, Wikipedia and other websites went dark Wednesday in protest of two congressional proposals intended to thwart the online piracy of copyrighted movies and TV programs. Source: Protest exposes Silicon Valley-Hollywood rivalry – Yahoo! News.

SOPA Getting Makeover But Still Alive #stopSOPA

I wrote the following on the PopVOX website.

I oppose H.R. 3261: Stop Online Piracy Act because…it will punish every Internet consumer. First, everyone should know that the Internet removed barriers to both legitimate and illegitimate business around the globe. Second, America is a large part of the global economy and the Internet. If Hollywood or US pharmacies want to fight piracy and fraud they need to do that on their own terms and not punish the global economy. I can sympathize that they loose billions, but every industry looses to global competition – that is a consequence of globalization. America can no longer put up barriers to global commerce.

There is a link at the bottom of the Huffington Post article, “SOPA, PIPA Headed For Major Makeover“, that goes to PopVOX.

National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) – S.1867

Like SOPA, people are going nuts over what they think this bill means to their freedoms – or loss of freedoms. I had to react. They think S.1867 (PDF) will give the government the power to lock you away forever, without trial. I beg to differ. Read it for yourself then you can complain to your congressman. I’ve re-printed the most controversial section below, Sec. 1031, for your perusal:

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (S.1867)

Title X, Subtitle D, SEC 1031

Subtitle D – Detainee Matters

SEC. 1031. AFFIRMATION OF AUTHORITY OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES TO DETAIN COVERED PERSONS PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF MILITARY FORCE.

(a) IN GENERAL. – Congress affirms that the authority of the President to use all necessary and appropriate force pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107–40) includes the authority for the Armed Forces of the United States to detain covered persons (as defined in subsection (b)) pending disposition under the law of war.

(b) COVERED PERSONS. – A covered person under this section is any person as follows:
(1) A person who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored those responsible for those attacks.
(2) A person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.

(c) DISPOSITION UNDER LAW OF WAR. – The disposition of a person under the law of war as described in subsection (a) may include the following:
(1) Detention under the law of war without trial until the end of the hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force.     (2) Trial under chapter 47A of title 10, United States Code (as amended by the Military Commissions Act of 2009 (title XVIII of Public Law 111–84)).
(3) Transfer for trial by an alternative court or competent tribunal having lawful jurisdiction.
(4) Transfer to the custody or control of the person’s country of origin, any other foreign country, or any other foreign entity.

(d) CONSTRUCTION. – Nothing in this section is intended to limit or expand the authority of the President or the scope of the Authorization for Use of Military Force.

(e) AUTHORITIES. – Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities, relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.

(f) REQUIREMENT FOR BRIEFINGS OF CONGRESS. – The Secretary of Defense shall regularly brief Congress regarding the application of the authority described in this section, including the organizations, entities, and individuals considered to be ”covered persons” for purposes of subsection (b)(2).

One section in particular, 1031(e), has people running for the hills. To me that paragraph means this bill does not preclude other laws.

Stop SOPA and the PROTECT IP Act

Here’s a copy of the letter I sent from http://fightforthefuture.org/pipa/

To Bill Flores, Kay Hutchison, John Cornyn
NOTE: Each recipient will only see his/her own email address.
Subject Please stop S. 968 and the PROTECT IP Act!
Message Dear [Recipient],

I am writing to you as a voter in your district. I urge you to oppose the House version of S. 968, the PROTECT IP Act. The PROTECT IP Act is dangerous, ineffective, and short-sighted. The House version — introduced by Rep. Goodlatte — is far worse. Over the coming days you’ll be hearing from the many businesses, advocacy organizations, and ordinary Americans who oppose this legislation because of the myriad ways in which it will stifle free speech and innovation. We hope you’ll take our concerns to heart and oppose this legislation.

Sincerely,

This is to stop H.R.3261 – Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and S.968 – PROTECT IP Act of 2011.

The Texas Senators are Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn.

The District 17 representative is Bill Flores.

I urge you to contact your congressmen and tell them these bills are bad. They are the first step toward eliminating online freedom of speech and innovation.