The Primaries Are Coming
Super Tuesday is nearly here and early voting ends Friday.
This year's a big one. While all eyes are on the presidential race, particularly the Republican primary, there's more than just that on the ballot, from local to state races as well.
Visit home.bexar.org/elections/ or call 210-335-VOTE for more info.
Murder, He Wrote
San Antonio Tea Party-activist Jeff Judson, who spearheaded efforts to stop the city's plans to spend millions to bring a streetcar system to Downtown in 2000 and 2014, is challenging House Speaker and State Representative Joe Straus to represent House District 121.
And to say he's flinging mud doesn't do his campaign justice. He's accusing Straus of murder. Seriously.
Here's the subject line of an email blast he sent out February 18: "Is Straus to blame for murder? Judson says yes!"
The pandering comes on the heels of a video published by the Young Conservatives of Texas PAC that shows the father of Spencer Golvach, a Houston man murdered by an undocumented immigrant named Victor Rodriguez Reyes, who had been deported multiple times, blaming Straus for his son's death because the Texas Legislature did not pass a bill attempting to outlaw so-called sanctuary cities. "His duplicity has been revealed, claiming on the one hand that he's tough on border security, while proactively killing the ban on Sanctuary Cities," Judson says. "But now the truth is out and the voters in this election will know that Straus' active sabotage of this legislation had deadly consequences, just as was predicted."
That same day, Straus sent out a press release touting support from law-enforcement representatives from all across the Lone Star State, including Bexar County Sheriff Susan Pamerleau.
"Using a grieving father to accuse Joe Straus of a horrific murder committed by a career criminal is deplorable and irresponsible," she says.
Early voting is between February 16 and 26, leading up to the March 1 primaries.
The Wrong Kind of Leader
Texas just gained another dubious distinction, the state topped the nation in number of hate groups for 2015.
But, hey, everything's bigger in Texas, right?
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which released its massive Intelligence Report last week, notes that larger states, like Texas, California and Florida regularly top the list, which is still an unfortunate reflection on the Lone Star State.
"The number of extremist groups operating in the United States grew in 2015 — a year awash in deadly extremist violence and hateful rhetoric from mainstream political figures, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center's annual census of hate groups and other extremist organizations," the Intelligence Report states.
And, as the nation knows, Texas' politicians have been at the forefront of condemning Central American asylum seekers, attempting to turn away war-torn Syrian refugees, initiating caustic attempts to defy the Supreme Court's same-sex marriage ruling and perpetuated Islamophobia, to name a few.
Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa singled out presidential candidate Ted Cruz and Governor Greg Abbott for their roles in stoking the flames of hate.
"The Jim Crow days should be in the past. George Wallace should be no more. No elected official, candidate or political party should ever profit from hate speech," Hinojosa says in a statement.