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
Texas Governor Greg Abbott laid out a vision of government that is basically a libertarian state with lots of cops in his State of the State address. Read More
A border wall from the Pacific to the Gulf is unviable, but Trump and his people will settle for less.
A border wall from the Pacific to the Gulf is unviable, but Trump and his people will settle for less. Read More
Under attack from Texas politicians, trans kids and their parents talk back.
Editor’s Note: If there was a collective “Person of the Year” for the Texas LGBT community in 2016, it was undoubtedly the parents of transgender children. Faced with a seemingly endless barrage of hateful, anti-trans “bathroom” rhetoric from Republican state … Read More
Pamela Elliott was the new sheriff in town. But instead of law and order, she brought chaos.
Editor’s Note: Rural America is too often forgotten or ignored by the media. Journalists and major media outlets are in the big cities. Reporters usually come from urban backgrounds. Small-town newspapers are, I regret to inform, often reluctant to rock … Read More
How big business turned a Gulf Coast beach town into an industrial zone.
Editor’s Note: Many environmental stories rely on familiar tropes, the scrappy locals standing up to the big, bad polluter. The unlikely bedfellows of environmentalists and, say, ranchers. The technical, scientific debate about how harmful a pollutant is to human health. … Read More