Columns/Opinions

Thu
18
May

Warrior priest saves Texas for Spanish crown

By Bartee Haile

Spanish authorities banished Father Juan Manuel Zambrano from provincial Texas on May 22, 1814, but the combative priest stood his ground and forced his earthly adversaries to rescind the order.

Gov. Manuel de Salcedo succeeded in sending Zambrano into exile in 1807. After three long years of isolation in the Mexican interior, the penitent priest was permitted to return to his native San Antonio over the strong objections of the governor.

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Thu
18
May

Legislature grinds toward May 29 close with much still to accomplish

By Ed Starling

AUSTIN — With a mere two weeks remaining until the end of the 85th regular session of the Texas Legislature, lawmakers have not yet finalized a state budget for fiscal years 2018 and 2019.

The Legislature’s 150 House members and 31 Senate members can work around the clock, if need be. Their only absolutely required accomplishment in the 140-daylong session is to produce that budget and put it on the governor’s desk. If they don’t, the governor will call them back for a special session.

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Thu
11
May

LBJ faces mudslinger in 1946 campaign

By Bartee Haile

Hardy Hollers began his bid for Lyndon Johnson’s congressional seat on May 13, 1946 with these fighting words: “He went on a few months’ sightseeing tour of the Pacific with a camera in one hand and leading his publicity agent by the other.”

For the past year, LBJ had thought about running for governor instead of a fifth term in the U.S. House of Representatives. However, an opinion poll persuaded him to play it safe. Even though the 37 year old politician was the first choice of prospective voters in 23 towns, his 22-percent share in the field of six made him think twice about a statewide race.

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Thu
11
May

House joins Senate in passing constitutional convention measure

By Ed Starling

AUSTIN — The Texas House of Representatives on May 4 approved Senate Joint Resolution 2, a measure calling for a convention of the states, as contemplated and enabled by Article V of the U.S. Constitution.

The state Senate on Feb. 28 originally passed SJR 2, authored by Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury. Every member of the House and Senate who signed as a co-author or co-sponsor of SJR 2 is Republican, and no Democrat voted in favor of the resolution.

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Thu
04
May

Publisher urges Texans never to surrender

By Bartee Haile

In the May 9, 1865 edition of his newspaper the Houston Telegram, publisher Edward Hopkins Cushing encouraged his readers to keep on fighting and never to knuckle under to the Yankees.

Throughout Lone Star history, the most zealous residents have often been those who were Texan by choice rather than birth. A prime example was Vermont-born and Dartmouth- educated Cushing, who became a naturalized citizen of Texas in 1850 at the age of 21.

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Thu
04
May

GOP majority pushes ‘sanctuary city’ bill to passage in Texas House

By Ed Starling

AUSTIN — During his “State of the State” address on Jan. 31, Governor Greg Abbott declared legislation banning so-called “sanctuary cities” to be one of his top priorities and an emergency item, saying: “Elected officials don’t get to pick and choose which laws they obey.”

In 2011, when Rick Perry was governor, he made the original call for such a ban. Last week, after more than a dozen hours of spirited floor debate and parliamentary maneuvers, the Texas House approved legislation banning socalled sanctuary cities.

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Thu
27
Apr

House passes legislation to reform school finance law

By Ed Starling

 

AUSTIN — The Texas House of Representatives on April 19 approved school finance legislation that would reduce the amount of local tax dollars that property-rich school districts are required to share with other school districts under the so-called “Robin Hood” process.

 

House Bill 21 by House Public Education Committee Chair Dan Huberty, R-Houston, passed on a vote of 134-16. It would increase per-student state funding for most school districts and charter schools and would adjust formulas used to calculate how much funding the state sends to school districts.

 

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Thu
27
Apr

Rookie pitches “perhaps most perfect game ever”

By Bartee Haile

 

A rookie from the Lone Star State pitched his way into the majorleague record book on Apr. 30, 1922 by retiring 27 batters in a row.

 

The rarest achievement in baseball is a perfect game. To accomplish this incredible feat, a pitcher cannot allow a single batter to reach first base. Only 21 have done it since 1900, and one of those was a nobody from North Texas.

 

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Thu
20
Apr

The charmed life of a frontier lawman

By Bartee Haile

 

A Texan for three years and a Ranger for less than one, Jeff Milton survived his baptism of gunfire on Apr. 25, 1881 just as he would many other brushes with death in the years to come. When the wife of Florida governor John Milton gave birth soon after secession, the pleased papa named the baby Jeff Davis in honor of the Confederate president. The elder Milton died in the closing days of the war, proud of the fact that his beloved Tallahassee along with Austin,

 

Thu
20
Apr

Federal judge says again, Texas voter ID law is discriminatory

By Ed Sterling

 

AUSTIN — U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos of Corpus Christi on April 10 ruled the State of Texas has failed to prove that the voter identification law was not written with discriminatory intent and purpose. The ruling came in response to a charge by the New Orleans-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit that Judge Ramos re-examine the evidence and her 2015 findings in Veasey et al., plaintiffs, v. Greg Abbott et al., defendants. Plaintiffs alleged racial discrimination in violation of the U.S. Voting Rights Act of 1965 in response to the passage of Senate Bill 14 by the Texas Legislature in 2011. The law changed the list of acceptable forms of identification voters may use at polls and enacted other restrictions.

 

The State of Texas argued that the law was passed not with a discriminatory purpose, but to combat voter fraud at the polls.

 

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