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Nathan Hecht, the recently sworn-in Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas, is a disgrace: a judge who ignores the spirit of the law. For five years now, he has appealed a $29,000 fine assessed by the Texas Ethics Commission. The commission says that Hecht received a discount for his legal bills with the firm Jackson Walker, which, according to the commission, amounted to a campaign contribution. It is now the longest-running appeal of a state ethics fine.
Texas historian T. R. Fehrenbach, who died on Sunday at the age of 88, leaves behind an impressive legacy of work about his native state, most notably his epic history of Texas, Lone Star, which was published in 1968. It is a sweeping, mythic version of the Texas story, telling how the Texians subdued an alien land and alien peoples. Fehrenbach sees Texas history as a repeating clash of races and cultures, and he made the argument that the Anglo culture was superior to its rivals.
For the second time in this election season, I have to ask the question: Where's Wendy Davis?
Days go by without a statement being issued or any indication of what issues the campaign will address. Even as I write, Davis is missing a golden opportunity. I'm referring, of course, to the growing concern over whether Texas power plants will be able to meet peak demand in the coming months, and whether legislators will be up to the task of seeing that Texas consumers are not saddled with huge rate increases. This issue is on the front pages; it is heaven-sent for Democrats, and yet, we have heard nothing from Wendy Davis on the subject.
The Republican Civil War -- the Texas version, that is -- has come to fruition. As you might expect, the main protagonist is Michael Quinn Sullivan of Empower Texans. Here is Sullivan's take on the war:
What this is really all about is that the business community in Texas, as is true of the business community nationally, has had their fill of the tea party and is prepared to fight back and elect mainstream conservatives instead of the denizens of the far-right, who care only about their ideological battles.
The entry of Leticia Van de Putte into the race for lieutenant governor will be closely watched for its impact on Hispanic turnout. Democrats have been waiting for the Hispanic vote to start influencing Texas elections in a big way, but it just hasn't happened. Exactly why the Hispanic vote hasn't matured remains a mystery. A big Hispanic turnout was supposed to boost the Democrats' multicultural "Dream Team" ticket in 2002, but it didn't materialize, and Rick Perry easily defeated Democratic nominee Tony Sanchez to win the race for governor. The Hispanic vote has not been a factor in any subsequent election.
I have a high regard for Van de Putte as a politician, who earned a spot on this year's Ten Best legislators list. She is no ideologue. She'll work with the other side -- and did so during the regular session, when she joined forces with Rick Perry to push for more rigor in House Bill 5. She'll be an asset to Wendy Davis on the Democratic ticket, and she'll be a worthy opponent for whoever wins the Republican primary.
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