The Contrarian

Bradley Puts On a Show in Senate Committee

Updated below John Bradley doesn’t take crap from anyone. When he’s lording over meetings of the Forensic Science Commission, the man is prickly even during his lighter moments (at other times he can be downright rude.) At legislative hearings, Bradley talks back to state senators like no one I’ve ever seen. If he wasn’t district […]

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John Bradley to Face Senators on Monday

On Monday, the state’s most controversial prosecutor will stand trial himself. John Bradley—Williamson County DA and chair of the Texas Forensic Science Commission—will have his state Senate confirmation hearing on Monday morning before the Nominations Committee. (The committee hearing notice was just posted today.) The Senate must approve the governor’s appointments, and Bradley is no […]

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The Budget Cuts Get a Human Face

They had three minutes to share their life stories. Just 180 seconds to describe all that had befallen them. The details were different. Some were parents of the mentally disabled, some ran group homes and treatment centers, others were dealing with severe mental illness or recovering from traumatic brain injuries. But they all came before […]

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In This Budget, No Good Options

If you want to understand the consequences of balancing Texas’ budget without raising taxes, just listen to Anne Heiligenstein. She provided the best description I’ve heard yet of the twisted math at work in the Capitol. Heiligenstein heads the Department of Family and Protective Services, which runs the state’s foster care system and Adult Protective […]

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Williams Jumps In for Senate

You can officially count Michael Williams in. The Texas Railroad Commissioner—known for his fiery speeches and ever-present bow tie—announced this morning that he’s joining the fast-growing Republican primary field to replace Kay Bailey Hutchison in the U.S. Senate. Looking resplendent in a polka-dotted bow tie, Williams made his candidacy official during a sit-down with the […]

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David Dewhurst vs. Reality

David Dewhurst sounded like a bleeding-heart liberal at times during his inaugural speech today on the south steps of the Capitol. In his speech, Dewhurst promised that Texans would have a “world-class education.” He vowed to “help those who have no one else to help them, to ensure that the promise of opportunity is available […]

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The Budget Deficit from Hell

For months the estimates of Texas’ budget deficit kept rising—$11 billion, $18 billion, $20 billion, $24 billion. Each seemed more unfathomable than the one before. The high-end estimates were in the $22 billion to $24 billion range. Surely, it couldn’t be worse than that. Well, yesterday, it officially got worse. The Comptroller’s office released its […]

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On Friday, Willingham Inquiry Finally Goes to the Experts

The Texas Forensic Science Commission has been studying the validity of the arson evidence in the Cameron Todd Willingham case since 2008. On Friday—more than two years into its investigation—the commission will finally hear from actual fire investigators. The commission will devote its entire meeting tomorrow at an office building in downtown Austin to the […]

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Top 5 Contrarian Moments of 2010

It’s New Year’s Eve, which means it’s time for customary best-of-2010 lists. In my case, I’ve compiled the most surprising, ridiculous, hilarious and mendacious utterances in Texas politics—the top contrarian stories of 2010. No. 5: Gov. Rick Perry says the Anthony Graves case shows the system is working. Anthony Graves, you’ll recall, spent 18 years […]

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