Abbott will spend lavishly to turn Valdez into a proxy for every other Democrat up and down the ballot.
Greg Abbott got the candidate he wanted after all. In the runoff to decide who will face Governor Abbott and his obscene stack of cash in November, deeply flawed candidate Lupe Valdez squeaked by the deeply flawed Andrew White. As … Read More
Five House Democrats were either beat or forced into runoffs Tuesday.
A surprising number of incumbent House Democrats lost tonight, or are headed to runoffs. Here’s a run-down of five races where we saw upsets tonight: —Dawnna Dukes, who has long represented a rapidly gentrifying East Austin district, managed just 10 … Read More
The Observer’s Best Features of 2017 Our favorite longreads of the year. This year our writers delved deep into important topics virtually untouched by other Texas publications. From spotlighting social and environmental injustices to capturing the characters — artists, politicians … Read More
Texas has the biggest rural population in the nation, yet many journalists treat much of the state as flyover country.
Trump’s election taught the nation many painful lessons. Among them: the traditional divide between town and country has become a chasm. People in blue, urban enclaves discovered, or rediscovered, the depth of anger and resentment felt in forgotten, mostly rural, … Read More
In the name of “liberty,” Senate Republicans are hacking down local rules protecting trees — except when they’re making exceptions for themselves.
At least 90 cities and counties in Texas have ordinances protecting trees. San Antonio has an ordinance. Weatherford has an ordinance. Austin has an ordinance. So do the verdantly named North Texas burgs of Little Elm, Mesquite and Oak Point. … Read More
As if the regular session wasn’t terrible enough, Governor Greg Abbott has called lawmakers back for another 30 days of hell.
If your town suddenly seems emptied of crooks, scoundrels and liars, it’s probably because state lawmakers are trickling back into Austin for a very special legislative session that begins Tuesday. One sign that they’re back in town: political fundraisers involving … Read More
The governor is looking strong in his re-election bid but his support for Senate Bill 4 may be doing serious damage to the Texas GOP.
Greg Abbott announced his re-election campaign in San Antonio on Friday. Despite my eternal mystification as to why Abbott wants to be governor (he seems to be largely animated by fears of his base and Dan Patrick), there’s little doubt … Read More
Introducing Michael Barajas, the Observer’s new civil rights reporter
Over the last five years, federal courts have repeatedly ruled that the Texas Legislature intentionally discriminated against racial minorities. That’s a high bar. Courts are often reticent to impute motives to lawmakers, but the racial animus is evidently impossible to … Read More
Who's to blame for Senate Bill 4? For my money, there is no better place to start than Speaker Joe Straus and the so-called moderates in the Texas House.
Many believed it wouldn’t happen, but on Thursday, the Texas House passed legislation that in spirit and letter is awfully similar to SB 1070, the “show me your papers” law that properly branded Arizona an anti-Latino pariah. As Chris Hooks … Read More