Harris County Treasurer Candidate Brings His Moms Into Politics

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YouTube
Rick Perry does it; Ted Cruz does it; Harris County treasurer nominee David Rosen doesn't see why he can't run on a family values platform too just because he has two moms.

In a bid to redefine the tired jargon of political ads, Rosen released a video starring his mothers, retired HISD teachers who have been married for only two years out of a decades-long relationship. Despite having that certificate, Rosen's moms are still unable to share health insurance because the state doesn't recognize their marriage. One of Rosen's top priorities is to extend equal rights to gay county employees if he is elected.

Rosen's other dreams include creating an online portal for anyone with an internet connection to see money going in and out of government coffers in real time, and to partner with local nonprofits to teach basic personal finance to at-risk kids. His third goal, to give health benefits to gay employees, is personal.


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Ted Cruz: The Heckler of the Senate Gets Heckled Over Israel

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The champion heckler of the U.S. Senate was finally heckled right off stage.

Yes, shocking as it is, it's finally happened. Houston's own Sen. Ted Cruz has proved impervious to censure, to disapproval and even to heckling since his big leap onto the national political stage back in 2012. This is the dude who read Green Eggs and Ham on the Senate floor during a fake filibuster over Obamacare, ignoring the fact that Republican party leaders looked like they were trying to make him burst into flames with the sheer force of their collective minds. Talking is what he does. Heck, he helped talk the federal government right into a shutdown.

The leaders of his own party can't quiet him down, and run-of-the-mill hecklers are generally, like flies buzzing around his ears during a speech, more irritants than things that will actually make him stop speaking. When people don't like what he is saying or when they question the often questionable logic that Cruz so often twists and bends to suit his own political purposes, Cruz just keeps talking. And talking. And talking.


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Rick Perry: King of the Awkward Twitter Pic

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via Rick Perry's Twitter
Does he ever look comfortable in a photo-op?

The other day while combing through Gov. Rick Perry's Twitter feed (we make our own fun, don't judge) we were jolted by a shocking revelation. Perry, the man with the best head of hair in professional politics, the guy who will burble every advantage in a debate but still manage to pose for a great mug shot, is terrible at the fine art known as the political photo-op.

Perry has been in the political arena for many moons now, so we've always just assumed he had already acquired all of the ridiculous-but-necessary skills required to make it in professional politics. Politicians wishing to appeal to enough of the populous to actually obtain office are more often than not skilled at kissing babies (among other things), shaking hands and smiling with absolute plastic sincerity while posing for photos that are studies at the art of insincere sincerity.

But, judging by his own Twitter feed, Perry seems to have lost the knack. Whether he is throwing his arm around a fellow politician, posing with supporters or just standing against a wall, he almost always looks like he's about to have to take a math test. Don't just take our word for it though. The proof is in the tweets.


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Does the Wendy Davis Book Tour Count As Campaigning? Does it Matter?

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Photo by Allison Hess
She'll be doing less of this while she promotes that book.

State Sen. Wendy Davis stopped campaigning for governor this week. You'd think that her Republican opponent, Attorney Gen. Greg Abbott, would be thrilled, but Abbott is thoroughly unenthusiastic about the move. Why? Well, Davis is taking a break from her campaign to promote her new book, Forgetting to be Afraid.

And since she called a timeout and everything, she has been utterly focused on making sure people want to buy her book. Totally. She definitely was not trying to persuade Texas voters to consider her when she popped up on Good Morning America on Monday. She is not reminding the general population of the Lone Star State about her stance on abortion - and those famous neon pink running shoes - when she talks openly and honestly about the two abortions she chose to have (for medical reasons).

The fact that this book has made Davis' campaign front-page news, and given her some of the best coverage she's had since the filibuster that rocketed her to political stardom last year, is just a big old coincidence, not a clever bit of political maneuvering. Nope, she's just promoting her book, y'all. Nothing to see here.


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The Police Department Race Gap in Houston's Suburbs

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This includes cops.
In the wake of the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, growing scrutiny has been placed on police departments across the country with a particular focus on department demographics. Given the fact that Ferguson's citizenry is predominantly black, but minorities representing only a small percentage of the police force, it makes sense that departments across the U.S. being looked at through a similar lens.

The New York Times did exactly that, looking at "The Race Gap in America's Police Departments," complete with maps and graphs to illustrate the point that many police forces in major metropolitan areas do not represent, from a racial standpoint, the communities they serve.

There are a couple of exceptions, however, and Houston is one of them.

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The Tea Party Does Not Love Rick Perry

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Gov. Rick Perry has been a bit of a conservative darling of late. Yep, the Republicans have rallied round the man after he was indicted for corruption charges a few weeks back. It was a touching moment of unity in a party that has been remarkably divided in recent years.

Well, that's all over or now. It turns out the guy with the most presidential hair in politics still - unsurprisingly, in a bit of stunning optimism - wants to be president. He's gunning for a 2016 White House run and he is duly putting together a team to turn those Commander-in-chief dreams into reality (with fewer "oops" moments this time, we assume.)

To do so he has hired three, shall we say, controversial figures. It doesn't seem to take much to anger ye olde Tea Party people these days, but Perry couldn't have done a better job if he'd tried. He hired former President Bill Clinton aide Mark Fabiani for his legal team. He also hired former McCain-Palin campaign consultant Steve Schmidt (who has sounded off his thoughts on Sarah Palin, and said thoughts aren't exactly positive.) And then, for the piece de resistance (or coup de grace depending on your viewpoint) he hired Henry Barbour.


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Sarah Palin Rambles, Charms At Veteran Fundraiser

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Photo by Susan Du
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin flew into Texas to deliver the keynote address at the Mighty Warrior Foundation's annual gala.

For the 200 guests of the Mighty Oaks Warrior Foundation's annual gala, headliner Sarah Palin was a sparkly distraction from the stark statistics of soaring depression, suicide and homelessness among veterans -- problems the charity aims to defeat.

The former Alaska governor and 2008 vice presidential candidate was her usual charming self, speaking as an American mom rather than a politician at the Mighty Oaks' fundraiser in a Spring church on Friday. Organizers invited Palin to "shoot from the heart," and she rose to the challenge with a speech replete with references to the exemplary patriotism of Duck Dynasty's Uncle Si and the "bullshit" that is global warming.

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"Reeferendum": This Election Season's Most Confusing Political Ad Yet

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Juha Ristolainen
We - and, judging by the email, nearly every other newspaper in the state - got a very perplexing message in our inbox yesterday from a brand new political action group calling itself the "Medical and Personal Freedom PAC."

The message starts by pointing out how Texas feels mighty far behind on the marijuana-reform game. While recent polls say a majority of Texans want pot legalized in some way, there's questionable support for pot reform at the Legislature. A Washington- or Colorado-like referendum greeting Texas voters at the ballot box in the near future feels like a long shot.

BUT, according to the newly-formed pro-pot PAC: "...We could do it ourselves...We don't need no legislature ...We can roll our own reeferendum."

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Local PETA Ad Features Death Row Pigs Over "Death Penalty Capital"

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PETA
Deathrow Pigs

In a fresh taunt to local drivers, animal rights group PETA is set to aim a two-pronged blow by billboard at Texan meat-eaters.

Capitalizing on the state's reputation as the "Death Penalty Capital of the World," PETA's newest billboard overlooking Interstate 45 near Hutchins Street and St. Joseph Parkway features a pair of pitiful pigs trapped behind bars in a slaughter pen, along with the slogan, "Not Everybody on Death Row Has Committed a Crime. Go Vegan."

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Conservative PAC Calls Out Whitmire on Khator Texts (But Not Really)

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Who you callin' coercive?!
In a tongue-in-cheek letter to Travis County's Public Integrity Unit, a Houston lawyer for a conservative PAC has called for an investigation into Senator John Whitmire's "coercive" texts to UH President Renu Khator.

Jerad Wayne Najvar told the Press that the August 29 letter to Travis County DA Rosemary Lehmberg is meant to point out what he calls the unconstitutionality of the state statute used to indict Governor Rick Perry.

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