December 2008

More Speakers, More Scores

There are now 12 House members who have stepped forward as declared candidates against incumbent Speaker Tom Craddick (R-Midland). That’s seven Republicans and five Democrats. We’ve put together an updated list of how they scored voting with Texas’...

A Billion Here…

With state agencies leaving nearly $1 billion in fees and fines uncollected, taxpayers are potentially on the hook for picking up those operating costs. TFR’s Michael Quinn Sullivan told the Associated Press it’s "incumbent on our state agencies to...

Counting The (Illegal) Costs

For years the debate over illegal immigration and its costs has been waged in the realm of anecdote and assumption; hardly the stuff of good public policy. State Rep. John Zerwas (R-Houston) is proposing a radical step: start collecting reliable data. Zerwas’...

Speaker Math

Of the 74 Democrats in the Texas House, 64 of them have been asked by 11 Republicans to pick the next Speaker of the Texas House. (That means 10 Democrats are joining with 65 Republicans in keeping Republican House Speaker Tom Craddick.) A liberal political gossip...

Cleburne’s Alligator Problem

Cleburne ISD (mis)spent $367,000 of federal funds to, among other things, build a waterslide and rent an inflatable alligator. What, precisely, an inflatable alligator has to do with reading instruction is left unanswered. According to U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK),...

Tanking The Economy

You have to admit it, Rick Perry is right about at least one thing: new taxes would “sour the Texas economy.” With the national economy in the tank, and Texas still comparatively well-off, legislators will have to work hard to keep the state out of...

Changing Lanes

Legislators yesterday called the Texas Department of Transportation “a mess” and “out of control.” The Sunset Advisory Commission, composed primarily of House and Senate members, have been reviewing TxDOT’s performance, or lack thereof....

2nd Amendment: markets vs. restrictions

In honor of Bill of Rights day, I feel that it is important to evaluate the effectiveness of market restrictions on our right to keep and bear arms. A recent study from professors at the University of Michigan and University of Maryland researched whether...

Bad Fellas

Even ideas are known by the company they keep. Disgraced and indicted Illinois Gov. Rod “Show Me The Money” Blagojevich is hard at work today signing subsidies for the movie industry. While facing legal action for soliciting bribes in exchange for filling...

Celebrating the Bill of Rights

It was 217 years ago today that our nation’s Bill of Rights went into effect, having been ratified by three-fourths of the states. These first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution, authored primarily by James Madison, were designed to accomplish two ends:...