The Texas Minutes News Update

On May 16, 1888, the Texas Capitol was officially dedicated. More than 20,000 people were on hand for the celebration in which State Sen. Temple Houston, the youngest son of Texas legend Sam Houston, accepted the building on behalf of the state.

May 16, 2018

  • Yesterday morning I wrote you about disgraced former congressman Blake Farenthold getting a tax-funded lobbying gig with the Calhoun Port Authority. Now we learn from ABC News he’s decided that – after promising otherwise – he is not going to reimburse taxpayers for the $84,000 of taxpayer money he used to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit.
  • No member of Congress should give Farenthold access to their office in this new lobbying job until he repays the money. We’ll be watching and reporting.
  • Democrats tell us not to worry about voter fraud or non-citizens voting in elections, with the claim it never happens. Except when it doesErin Anderson reports that a Mexican national has been indicted for illegally registering to vote and then voting in multiple Texas elections. Yeah… never happens…
  • Dude sounds like a lady? Then you can thank Texas Tech University. Brandon Waltens reports the Red Raiders recently hosted a workshop pairing biologically male students with speech language pathologists to help develop “feminine pitch and feminine qualities” in their voices. This is just the latest example of Texas’ public universities becoming a breeding ground for leftist social engineering.
  • Most known for big music festivals and other live events, the city of Austin is endangering those because of onerous regulations. Our Central Texas bureau chief, Jacob Asmussen, writes that numerous celebrations and events have stopped occurring because of the cost of government.
  • Speaking of Austin… Don’t know how I missed it last week, but Rob Hennecke and Chance Weldon at the Texas Public Policy Foundation wrote a great column about the “ridiculous regulations” being passed to ban short-term rental properties. They say a lawsuit against Austin’s ordinance has to do with the city’s lack of “authority to eliminate vested property rights” of homeowners.
  • Our own Salvador Ayala reminds us that taxpayer champion State Sen. Kelly Hancock of Fort Worth filed legislation last session that would have prevented cities from banning short-term rentals. The legislature must protect Texans’ property rights from municipal fiefdoms.
  • With the Republican Party of Texas’ biennial convention just a month away, the race for the party chairmanship is heating up. The Texas Home School Coalition has endorsed James Dickey for the post. His challenger is Cindy Asche. We haven’t endorsed in the race.
  • Happy birthday to my dad, Stephen Sullivan!

Yes, early voting for the primary runoff elections continues today! Find our endorsements on the Empower Texans website.

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Number of the Day

$79.6 Billion

The outstanding principal debt owed by Texas school districts, or $16,600 per student, at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year. Including interest? $126.3 Billion is owed by Texas school districts.

[Source: Texas Bond Review Board]


“Texas will again lift it’s head and stand among the nations. It ought to do so, for no country upon the globe can compare with it in natural advantages.”

Sam Houston

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