Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Media: It's Not Communist Graffiti, It's 'Pro-Worker'

Austin City Hall, located several blocks south of the Texas Capitol on Cesar Chavez Boulevard, was vandalized early Tuesday morning by three males according to surveillance video. The vandals splashed red paint on the glass entrance of the municipal headquarters and left Communist messages on a nearby outdoor seating area.

"US imperialism is the virus. Socialist revolution is the cure," one message read, accompanied by a sickle-and-hammer and other marks indicative of Marxist affiliation. Watch the video of the vandalism below:

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Shelter-in-place ... unless you're one of these hundreds of exceptions

UPDATE: Gov. Abbott's orders now supercede the city's.

Travis County issued a "Stay at Home, Safe at Work" order -- read, a shelter-in-place ordinance that requires residents to stay indoors and limit gatherings to prevent the spread of coronavirus/COVID-19.

Like any law, there are exceptions. And when we looked at the ordinance itself it was eye-opening just how many "essential activities" and "critical infrastructure" goods services made the cut.

See below for Travis County's list of exceptions, some of which appear in multiple categories (so forgive the many repetitions). For any attorneys reading this, no, this does not count as legal counsel, and if you want to make absolutely certain your activity is covered see the ordinance itself.

If you're in Williamson County click here, which is quite similar in scope. For some commentary on why these ordinances are similar read here.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

2020 Primary Election results: Who made the runoff?

Primary Election Day Tuesday, March 3 (Early voting Feb. 18 through Feb. 28).

NEW: Unofficial election results are in! See below for winners (indicated by ✔️)


✔️ Donald J. Trump (i)   
     Roque De La Fuente Guerra
     Zoltan G. Istvan
     Matthew John Matern
     Bob Ely
     Joe Walsh (withdrew)
     Bill Weld

U.S. SENATE     Virgil Bierschwale
✔️ John Cornyn (i)
     Mark Yancey
     Dwayne Stovall
     John Anthony Castro
✔️ Michael McCaul (i)

     Ahmad Adnan
     Scott Bland
     George W. Hindman
     Todd Kent
     Laurie Godfrey McReynolds
     Jeff Oppenheim
     Kristen Alamo Rowin
     David Saucedo
✔️ Pete Sessions
     Trent Sutton
✔️ Renee Swann
     Elianor Vessali
✔️ Chip Roy (i)
     Keith Nuendorff
✔️ Roger Williams (i)
✔️ "Guillermo" William Hayward
     Nick Moutos
✔️ Jenny Garcia Sharon
     Ryan Sitton (i)
✔️ James "Jim" Wright
✔️ Nathan Hecht (i)
✔️ Jane Bland (i)
✔️ Jeff Boyd (i)
✔️ Brett Busby (i)
     Gina Parker
✔️ Bert Richardson (i)
✔️ Kevin Patrick Yeary (i)
✔️ David Newell (i)
✔️ Robert Morrow (TCRP recommends not voting for)
✔️ Lani Popp
TEXAS HOUSE DISTRICT 47: GOES TO RUNOFF**NOTE: Final revised count winners. Recount pending. ✔️ Justin Berry (2nd place)
 ✔️ Jennifer Fleck (1st place)
     Jenny Roan Forgey
     Aaron Reitz
     Don Zimmerman*


✔️ Bill Strieber
     Jenai Aragona-Hales
✔️ Charles Allan Meyer

✔️ Larry Delarose

✔️ Robert Reynolds
✔️ Jeff Rose (i)
JUDGE, 460th DISTRICT COURT:✔️ Geoffrey Puryear (i)
✔️ Martin Harry
✔️ Marilyn Jackson
✔️ Solomon Arcoven
✔️ Matt Mackowiak (i)

✔️ William Moorhouse (i)
     Sarah Saiz
✔️ Russell Gallahan (i)
     Douglas Scherer

* * *

Primary ballot propositions:

This is an opinion poll of Republican voters and not binding referenda. These questions will appear on all Republican ballots.
✔️ 1.) Texas should not restrict or prohibit prayer in public schools. YES/NO
✔️ 2.) Texas should reject restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms. YES/NO
✔️ 3.) Texas should ban the practice of taxpayer-funded lobbying, which allows your tax dollars to be spent on lobbyists who work against the taxpayer. YES/NO
✔️ 4.) Texas should support the construction of a physical barrier and use existing defense-grade surveillance equipment along the entire southern border of Texas. YES/NO
✔️ 5.) Texas parents or legal guardians of public school children under the age of 18 should be the sole decision makers for all their children’s healthcare decisions including, but not limited to, psychological assessment and treatment, contraception, and sex education. YES/NO
✔️ 6.) Texas should ban chemical castration, puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and genital mutilation surgery on all minor children for transition purposes, given that Texas children as young as three (3) are being transitioned from their biological sex to the opposite sex. YES/NO
✔️ 7.) Texans should protect and preserve all historical monuments, artifacts, and buildings, such as the Alamo Cenotaph and our beloved Alamo, and should oppose any reimagining of the Alamo site. YES/NO
✔️ 8.) Texas election officials should heed the directives of the Office of the Governor to purge illegal voters from the voter rolls and verify that each new registered voter is a U.S. Citizen. YES/NO
✔️ 9.) Bail in Texas should be based only on a person’s danger to society and risk of flight, not that person’s ability to pay. YES/NO
✔️ 10.) Texas should limit our state legislators’ terms to 12 years. YES/NO

* * *


Updated: 3/11/20 7:58 p.m.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

State Troopers called in to address Austin deadly crime uptick

A Wednesday morning stabbing that led to the hospitalization of a man -- and this on top of a deadly assault last Friday -- has made Austin's 18% increase in violent crime amid a city-wide homeless crisis all the more obvious.

This morning, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called for an increase in State Troopers to patrol downtown Austin, a city which has long been one of the safest urban areas in the U.S. but has recently seen an uptick in violence that has accompanied a relaxing of homeless camping bans.

"ANOTHER stabbing in downtown Austin — where both the suspect & victim are said to be homeless. How many people will be killed and injured before Austin reforms its homeless policies?" Gov. Abbott's Twitter account stated. "I will have DPS increase law enforcement around downtown & UT [University of Texas] areas."

Monday, December 9, 2019

Austin-area Republicans to challenge one-party monopoly in Travis County

Filing period closed for the 2020 primary ballot in Texas. In left-leaning Travis County, Republicans have struggled to hold on to their enclaves of support, but are confident that an improved economy under President Donald Trump as well as a carefully orchestrated and well-funded ground game will improve the chances of local candidates.

Below are the candidates who have filed by deadline (the final list is subject to many qualifying factors, so it is not final). But first, here are some takeaways at first glance:

There is a Republican incumbent on the local slate, Geoffrey Puryear, who was appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott to sit on the bench of the newly created 460th District Court. Another well-known incumbent, Chief Justice Jeff Rose of the Third Court of Appeals, is seeking re-election for the appeals court which covers the Austin area.

Becky Bray made headlines as a top fundraiser in the multi-way race for Austin City Council District 8 in 2014, and now has the blessing of outgoing Precinct 3 County Commissioner Gerald Daugherty as his successor.

Returning candidates include Martin Harry, who ran for Justice of the Peace in 2018, and Marilyn Jackson, who in 2010 ran for a Texas House seat. Harry is now in the running for District Attorney and Jackson for Tax Assessor-Collector.

Texas House District 47 will, as expected, be the prize fight as five very active and funded candidates are seeking to take back the seat former Rep. Paul Workman held for several years before being unseated by a Democrat. Each candidate has so far presented a united front, running on their own merits to unseat the freshman Democrat incumbent.

We'll have more to say on these candidates as primary season moves forward.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Flannigan hosts anti-Props A, B campaign event at city-funded field office

A Facebook Event for a Sunday afternoon caught our eye several weeks ago. Rather than drop it like its hot, we ruminated on it. But we had an election to worry about and kept our cool.

Now, a month after a neighborhood campaign event hosted at the City of Austin District 6 Field Office recommending voters reject Travis County proposition A and City of Austin propositions A and B, it's on us if we do not say something about how this whole situation stinks.

Given, we're not attorneys nor are we qualified to give legal advice to Austin City Council member Jimmy Flannigan or "Team D6," but we are wondering how a city-funded Field Office was allowed to become the base for a political campaign for and against local ballot propositions from the Nov. 5 election. Literature, customized for Travis County and Williamson County residents, featured Flannigan's campaign logo and "recommendations" (which are actually worded "vote no" or "vote yes").

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

November 2019 Constitutional Amendment and Local Election Results

Statewide propositions
With 100% of precincts reporting ...

Proposition 1: Municipal judges serving multiple cities 34-66% (No)
Proposition 2: $200M for water development loans 66-34% (Yes)
Proposition 3: Disaster-damaged property tax exemption 87-13% (Yes)
Proposition 4: State income tax ban 73-27% (Yes)
Proposition 5: Sporting goods sales tax to parks, historic sites 86-14% (Yes)
Proposition 6: $3B cancer research increase 67-33% (Yes)
Proposition 7: $300M school fund cap increase 75-25% (Yes)
Proposition 8: Flood control grants 79-21% (Yes)
Proposition 9: Gold depository property tax exemption 54-46% (Yes)
Proposition 10: Retired K-9 ownership 93-7% (Yes)

Source: Texas Secretary of State election night results

County and local

Last-minute help for those confused by the H.O.T. mess of Propositions A and B (oh, and county Prop A!)

There are a many benefits to early voting -- shorter lines on election day and picking a day and time that works best for the voter among them.

The benefit of waiting until election day to vote in a low-turnout election is that it gives time for complicated measures to be discussed -- especially amid concerns that the ballot language may have been awkwardly or even deceptively worded. In the case of Austin voters, many have waited for more clarity on city propositions A and B and county Proposition A, and how they interrelate.

For the last-minute voter, we put together this quick analysis of what it all means, as well as our recommendations.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Austin Women's Answer To Mass Violence Prevention: Go Shooting (and get good at it!)

Grassroots gun rights activists and Moms Demand Action agreed on a couple of things during a Texas Senate committee meeting on mass violence Wednesday.

It is not masks or violent video games that are to blame for the uptick in mass killings.

Moms Demand Action, of course, puts the onus on the proliferation of firearms.

Republican women who live in and around the Texas Capitol, however, had a solution of their own:
Go shooting. And get good at it.

Friday, October 18, 2019

November 2019 Election Guide is finally here!

After months of research, discussions with legislative staffers and local leaders, the Travis Tracker releases its recommendations in the 2019 November election.

Early voting begins Oct. 21 and goes through Nov. 1, with election day being Nov. 5. The Tracker's recommendations and/or that of other conservative organizations are below each endorsed proposition or candidate in red.

This article is a work in progress. If you know of any other organizations offering endorsements or wish to contest a position please weigh-in via the comments.

(Remember: When in doubt, leave it blank!)

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Mayor: Build more shelters and maybe we'll clear the sidewalks

In a previous article we reported that Mayor Steve Adler's plan all along was to build a homeless shelter in each district of the city. The recent, allowed explosion of homeless encampments over the summer was a tactic to make the problem more visual -- rather than hidden inside homeless camps in wooded areas -- and, we would assume, make the case for a major boost in public funding.

That plan is now starting to unfold and the overall picture is becoming clearer.

This morning, the Mayor and Council released a document previewing the next phase of the city's efforts to attempt to alleviate homelessness. In short: if Austinites behave (e.g. devote enough tax dollars to build new shelters and transition homes) then they can have their public spaces back.

KTBC-TV's (FOX 7) Casey Claiborne broke the story this morning of the preview document, which was this morning posted to the City Council's publicly view-able message board. Read the whole document here. We include some relevant text below, with a few edits for emphasis and due to formatting limitations:

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

City of Austin: Ask Questions About Homeless Camp Cleanups, You May Be Helping Terrorists

A lifelong Austin resident and former City Council candidate had a few questions about the infamous homeless camping ordinance.

She filed an open records request to the city, asking for the cost of cleanups for homeless camps and which dates the cleanings are scheduled.

The response from the city included an inquiry to the Texas Office of Attorney General, which cited a portion of the state government code:
"Those documents or portions of documents in the possession of governmental entity are confidential if they identify the technical details of particular vulnerabilities of critical infrastructure to an act of terrorism." (emphasis ours)

Friday, August 9, 2019

Austin Mayor Allows 'Adlervilles' To Spread To Build 10 New Homeless Shelters

The solidly liberal Austin, Texas, City Council and Mayor Steve Adler rolled the dice on its homelessness policy this summer.

Before going on vacation, the City Council lifted regulations which prevent camping in public places -- the wildly unpopular "homeless camping ordinance" which led to the rise of what are being colloquially referred to as "Adlervilles."

Since then, there has been an explosion of homeless camps at highway underpasses, in front of public buildings and businesses, on pedestrian rights-of-way, along with a sharp uptick in violence -- particularly near the city's downtown homeless resource center, but in places this activity has never been as-prevalent before.

This comes on the heels of controversy over opening a second, $8.6 million homeless shelter in largely residential South Austin. But that's not where the plans stop. At the last Council meeting (June 20), according to Community Impact News each of the city's 10 Council districts are expected to have a shelter in the near future:

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

On the ballot: 10 constitutional propositions to be decided in Nov. 5, 2019, election

In addition to several local races and ballot options, Texans will vote for or against 10 amendments being proposed to the Texas Constitution this fall.

The order the propositions will appear on the ballot -- from headline-grabbing items such as a prohibition on state income taxation to smaller ones like allowing for the transfer of police service dogs to caretakers -- was determined Tuesday via a random drawing by Deputy Secretary of State Joe Esparza for the Nov. 5, 2019, election.

The propositions are:

Friday, July 5, 2019

Allen West To Explore Bid To Lead Texas GOP; RPT Chairman James Dickey Seeks Re-election

This article originally appeared in The Hayride on July 4, 2019:

Among his many credits, Republican Party of Texas Chairman James Dickey is, without any doubt, a political survivor.

But now Dickey may face his most spirited challenge yet from a well-recognized national figure.

Lt. Col. Allen West, a former Florida Congressman and sought-after public speaker who moved to Texas to work with a conservative think-tank, announced he is exploring a run for Texas GOP party chair. West made his video announcement Wednesday evening after teasing a major announcement for several weeks and hinting that he may seek a U.S. Senate seat, a Congressional district, or the state party chairmanship.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Homeless Camps Now Protected In Austin (But Renting To Them Costs $500)

This article originally appeared in The Hayride on July 3, 2019:

It is now legal for vagrants to camp on the front of your property in the capital city of Texas.

By contrast, renting that space to a homeless person for a month in Austin requires an annual fee of $500, proper insurance, a certificate of occupancy, and payment of hotel occupancy taxes (and for some reason a license to drive a motor vehicle).

A new homeless camping policy is the latest example of an all-Democrat City Council maintaining its war on private enterprise while giving those who do not pay property taxes more rights.
The brewing political battle in Austin just took center-stage with a tweet from Gov. Greg Abbott.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

2019 Democratic Debates Bingo card to relieve pain for political addicts

Image result for democratic debateLet's face it: the "clown car" is crowded and two nights of debates can be a grueling experience for political observers of a conservative persuasion to suffer through. The buzz words will be flying as each candidate attempts to stand out from the field of would-be Trump-challengers with what little time is allotted to each candidate on the debates, to be held Wednesday, June 26, and Thursday, June 27.

Spare the Mylanta: the Tracker has the cure for the pain our fellow political junkies will be feeling. Below is a bingo card you can play with your friends while you watch.

Simply print off a copy (or save it to your smartphone) ... and try to enjoy!

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Wendy Davis to challenge Chip Roy for CD 21

Chip Roy vs Wendy Davis

UPDATE (7/22/19): Davis announced this morning she would run -- three weeks after she said she would make an announcement.

During an award ceremony this evening rewarding journalists who support liberal causes, a progressive philanthropist announced former state Senator Wendy Davis will be running in the Democratic Primary in Texas Congressional District 21 with the hopes of unseating freshman Congressman Chip Roy

Though not exactly a secret, at the current moment the announcement seems to have been premature, with Davis telling a Dallas reporter via Twitter she would be announcing her next move in about three weeks.

Roy has become a conservative favorite of late -- especially for his lone stand against a pricey disaster recovery bill that his congressional peers were not given any time to properly read and study. 

Monday, May 6, 2019

Local Elections Results: The Conservative Push-back Begins

It wasn’t just Star Wars Day (“May the Fourth Be With You” and all that) and Cinco De Mayo contributing to the extra energy in the air over the weekend in Texas.

Saturday was Local Elections Day — the results of which signal that a conservative push-back against recent liberal gains in the “urban suburbs” has begun. Nowhere was that more apparent Saturday night than in Texas’ own capital (see some examples below).

Turnout was low as expected, with well-under 10 percent of the electorate turning out in most of these school board, city council, and utility district elections. This is par for the course in municipal elections, and at least one election is hanging by ONE VOTE as of the time of writing. In many cases, local political parties had to refrain from endorsements — often, a multi-candidate race will feature candidates from the same party running against each other.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Your May 2019 Conservative Local Elections Guide [UDPATE: With Results]

UPDATE: Winners indicated by a check mark below.

Travis County results
Williamson County results
For other results see neighboring county links below.

* * *

Below are the races appearing on ballots across Travis County. Early voting is from April 22 through May 2, with Local Election Day on Saturday, May 4.

See polling places and other official information here.

This is a running list which will feature any key conservative endorsements or our own. Feel free to leave a comment with your recommendations, as always.

This year, we have woven in to this list of Travis County ballot races a few Williamson County-hosted races that cut slightly into Travis County. If a race is not on this list -- even if it's a MUD or water district election -- please let us know in the comments and we'll be sure to list it.