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The long awaited return of Eye On Williamson to it’s old location is upon us.  Temporary posting at this site has come to an end.  Please refer back to eyeonwilliamson.org for all future postings.

TPA Blog Round Up (February 10, 2014)

The Texas Progressive Alliance is still learning the rules of team figure skating as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff published interviews with US Senate candidates Mike Fjetland and Maxey Scherr.

Horwitz at Texpatriate expresses shock and anger over Wendy Davis’ new positions on guns.

This week, House Republican leadership finally announced that the chances for Comprehensive Immigration Reform are “in serious jeopardy.” But thanks to the great people at Houston Matters, Texas Leftist was able to discover that there was never a real chance to pass it in the first place. The only way it’s going to happen is if Democrats take control the House and the Senate.

The news of the week was Wendy Davis coming out in favor of open carry, and PDiddie at Brains and Eggs fears that might be a fatal error.

Eye On Williamson on the group Texas Left Me Out (TLMO). Texans and their families that are purposefully being left without health care because of a cruel right wing ideology, Perry and the Texas GOP Left Me Out.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wants everyone to know that Greg Abbott insulted the entire Rio Grande Valley. Way to reach out, Bucko!+

Neil at All People Have Value said Wendy Davis announcing support for open carry of guns like back in Wyatt Earp times recalls for us all yet again that the work of freedom is up to each of us and not politicians. All People Have Value is part of NeilAquino.com.

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And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

The Feminist Justice League does the math on the declining abortion rate nationally and in Texas.

The TSTA blog laments that self-styled education reformers are often part of the problem.

BOR highlights another example of the Texas Medical Association endorsing candidates that work against their own stated interests.

Texas Redistricting examines the components of Texas’ population growth.

Grits for Breakfast cheers a report showing that Texas led the nation in exonerations in 2013.

Molly Cox details how the Affordable Care Act would have saved her a lot of trouble and worry if it had been the law when she first got sick.

Texas Vox notes the House interim charges to watch.

PTA Mom Kim Burkett informs teachers they’ve received a wake up call.

Cody Pogue gives his perspective on Wendy Davis and open carry.

Another unforced error

Cruel conservatives, that’s what we have in Texas. When they show you who they are, believe them. Via Daniel Lucio at BGTX, It’s not a game.

Disgusting.

That’s the only word I can think of to describe the actions of a former Abbott staffer and his friends at the University of Texas who coordinated a mock sting on students wearing “illegal immigrant” labels. This flagrantly disrespectful event illustrates Republicans’ disconnect from the reality faced by Texas families who face real immigration challenges everyday day.

Right now, families in South Texas live in fear of being randomly stopped and checked for no reason. These families worry every day that one of their family members might be detained or deported for no other reason than not having their paperwork on hand. These are families who have been in Texas for generations. Others came more recently, but legally. Texas families should never have to live in this kind of fear. But that’s apparently not what Greg Abbott and Republicans want for Texas.

Instead of getting students engaged in the democratic process, this Abbott supporter sought to create an environment of hatred and exclusion on a campus known for acceptance. Their actions throw mud in the face of Texas DREAMers: undocumented students seeking the opportunity to obtain an education in Texas so that they can contribute to the economic and intellectual success that makes this state so great.

An event like this would never occur at my alma mater, the University of Texas Brownsville, or at our sister campus, the University of Texas Pan-American, because in South Texas we understand that immigration policy is no game. It’s a serious matter and it needs a serious advocate.

That’s why I’m organizing for Wendy Davis—she understands these issues and is committed to fighting for Texas DREAMers. While Abbott supporters are busy with shameful campus games, we’re getting students involved on campuses all across the state, and registering them to vote. These new young voters are watching the actions of Abbott and his team, and they’ll vote accordingly.

If you’re with me, add your name to say you’ll combat these offensive Republican efforts.

Apparently Abbot’s tone-deaf response was to blame Wendy Davis!?  Brains and Eggs has more, Eeeny, meeny, miney, mo.

Corporate toll road a bust in Texas

Via the SAEN, Moody’s downgrades toll road credit rating again.

Texas 130 is the first public-private toll road in the state, designed to alleviate traffic on I-35. The Texas Department of Transportation owns the road, but the concession company has a 50-year lease to operate and maintain it.

The company’s credit rating previously had been downgraded in April. At the time, Moody’s said traffic counts were about half of initial projections, forcing the company to tap its financial reserves to make loan payments. That month, the Texas Transportation Commission authorized discounts for truckers who used the road.

“Since then,” Moody’s latest report said, “the additional six months of traffic and revenue show monthly growth but not at rates necessary to generate sufficient revenue to meet operating and debt obligations through the June 30, 2014, debt service payment.”

Toll revenue has missed initial forecasts by 55 percent since Texas 130 opened last October, the Associated Press reported.

TxDOT and the concession company recently installed almost 400 signs along I-35 and some on Loop 410 in San Antonio to direct drivers to Texas 130.

Guess who gets to bail out the corporation if they go bankrupt? That’s right, Texas taxpayers. If only someone had seen this coming.

Education, infrastructure, and inequality

You have to love the so-called “librul” media in Texas. Already trying to make the governor’s race about pro-GOP wedge issues and not issues that matter to most Texans, like education, infrastructure, and inequality. From the DMN, Guns, gay rights could be factors in Wendy Davis run for Texas governor.

Enter Wendy Davis. As a member of the Fort Worth City Council, she was responsible for adding sexual orientation to the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance. And she promoted a ban on the gun show loophole, which allows sale of firearms without a background check.

Democrats have seized on missteps by Republican front-runner Greg Abbott as evidence of a GOP “war on women.” Abbott thanked a supporter for a Twitter message that called her “retard Barbie,” and his top political adviser sent out a link asserting that Davis is “too stupid to be governor.”

That pretty much does it: guns, gays and girls.

Still, some things have changed. There are five women governors, four of them Republicans. As for gay rights, polls suggest growing support among Texans — especially young Texans. Guns, however, could be a problem.

There’s a sense that if the GOP tries to run on the same tired themes of hating the federal government and making absolutely no effort to help poor, working, and middle class Texans – all the while continuing to coddle the wealthy, big business, and corporations with their cronyism – that it might not work out well for them this time.

Sooner or later the people of Texas will demand change. Let’s hope it’s sooner rather then later. Hopefully the Democrats in Texas will run a campaign to fix what the GOP has been neglecting for two decades now – education, infrastructure, and inequality.

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