THE STATE OF TEXAS Expenditures on Coal CALIFORNIA $163.9 MILLION NEW YORK $635 MILLION of the Dallas LGBT activist group Queer LiberAction. “To me it seems as though we’re almost too eager to forget the treatment that the police department has given us.” Wilkinson’s caution is not unfounded. The city attorney’s office still intends to prosecute two Rainbow Lounge patrons arrested for public intoxication in the infamous raidincluding Chad Gibson, the man whose skull was fractured. The police say the case is out of their hands. “We’re trying to be in a position to not be on one side or the other,” chief of staff Lt. Paul Henderson said. Fairness Fort Worth President Thomas Anable says that if the trials go forward, it could destroy much of the goodwill the city has built up. “You want trials? Go ahead,” Anable says. “We’ll bring out 2,000 protesters for each trial. The only thing you could do to re-energize the LGBT community is to have those trials.” ANN ELISE TAYLOR BP. Porter, inexperienced and untarnished, has tried to take advantage of such associations. Weems views it differently. “Quite frankly I don’t think you can be a good regulator unless you’ve been out there, unless you’ve been involved with the oil and gas industry,” he says, a not-so-subtle nod to Porter’s lack of experience. Despite Weems’ energetic speaking styleand a campaign that’s already taken him, he says, to 143 countieshe faces an uphill battle along with other Democrats running statewide. In the May UT/Texas Tribune Poll, Porter led Weems 39 percent to 27, with 29 percent of voters undecided. As he works to close the gap, Weems plans to unveil a “Republicans for Weems” site. He’s hoping some people will switch over to vote for him. “The Railroad Commission is nowhere near as sexy as the governor’s race,” Weems says. This year, it may be just as competitive. ABBY RAPOPORT ENCE CAMPAIGN TRAIL Weems The Watchdog? WHEN JEFF WEEMS TOOK THE STAGE IN CORPUS CHRISTI at the Democratic Convention in June, the applause quickly turned thunderous. “I know the business, I know the industry,” boomed the brawny, mustachioed candidate for Railroad Commission. “But I’m not running for the business or the industry. I’m running for my family. I’m running for your families!” As in every speech, the oil and gas lawyer paused to explain that the Railroad Commissiondespite its ily regulates the oil and gas industries in the state. “We have to keep it strong,” Weems said. “It’s our biggest employer. It’s one of our biggest sources of revenue. But you gotta watch what they’re doing!” Weems says his knowledge of the industry makes him the best watchdog in the race. Weems’ secret weapon is his Republican opponent. Weems looked like a sure loser against Victor Carrillo, the well-liked Republican incumbent and close ally of Gov. Rick Perry. But in March, Carrillo lost the GOP primary to David Porter, a relatively unknown certified public accountant. Carrillo did not go quietly, arguing publicly that his non-Anglo last name was to blame for the loss and pointing to Porter’s lack of experience. Carrillo’s loss could be Weems’ gain. He says he is a proponent of increased regulation. “You will not find a more vociferous fan of good, smart, responsible regulation,” he recently told the Observer. Weems has deep roots in the industries he’d be regulating. He’s had some unpopular clientsnone more so than DEPT. OF MENTAL HEALTH Otty Sanchez Is Spared IT SEEMED CLEAR FROM THE START THAT OTTY SANCHEZ-a 33-year-old mother in San Antoniowas temporarily insane when she murdered her three-week-old son and consumed parts of his body in the early morning hours of July 26, 2009. Sanchez is a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic who was suffering from postpartum psychosis, a severe form of postpartum depression that often prods new mothers to violence. When police arrived, Sanchez was screaming that the devil had made her do it. Yet prosecutors in San Antonio charged Sanchez with murder and announced they would seek the death penalty. In late June, after three psychologists evaluated her, Sanchez was ruled not guilty by reason of insanity. The charges against Sanchez were dropped, and she will remain in a maximum-security mental health facility, though a judge will review her case yearly. Texas has one of the stingiest mental health systems in the nation. It took a horrifically violent act for Sanchez to receive the treatment she needed. As the Observer reported in January, Sanchez had been receiving free services from a public mental health clinic in San Antonio, but stopped attending when the clinic told her it could no longer afford to treat her. Six days before the killing, Sanchez sought help, but was turned away from Metropolitan Methodist Hospital’s psychiatric unit. She was among hundreds of thousands of Texans with severe mental illness who go untreated every year. DAVE MANN FLORIDA $1,856 MILLION TEXAS $2,662 MILLION Source: U.S. Energy Infornation LISTEN to Jeff Weems’ convention speech at txlo.com/weems READ the Observer’s story about Otty Sanchez at txlo.com/ottysanchez JULY 23, 2010 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 1 3
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