Month: September 2013

Exclusive Interview with US Senator Richard Lugar

In this Baines Report exclusive, Kaitlin Sharkey interviews Sen. Lugar on the UN’s potential reaction to noncompliance in Syria, the impact of partisanship on US foreign policy, and his advice for future policymakers. Sen. Lugar gave a public lecture at the LBJ School on September 26. Photo credited to Sasha Haagensen [soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/113255456″ params=”” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true”...

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Justice For Sale: How Judicial Elections Are Corrupting Our Court System

When Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson steps down on October 1, Texas will not only be losing a judicial leader, it will also be losing a champion for judicial reform. As chief justice, Jefferson spoke out forcefully for reforming the way Texas chooses its judges. Texas, like many other states, elects its judges.[1] This means that Texas’ judges, like its legislators and governors, must run for office as a member of a political party. It also means that these judicial candidates must fundraise in order to run a competitive campaign. Texans expect judges to remain neutral referees...

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Texas Immigration Panel at Tribune Fest

Two Texas public officials put the ‘fight’ in the Texas Tribune Festival’s “Fight Over Immigration Reform” panel Saturday morning. Rep. Rafael Anchia (D-Dallas) and Jose Aliseda, a former Republican state representative and current Bee County district attorney, engaged in a lively exchange over immigration policy. The pair sat on a four-person panel that also included Rep. Ana Hernandez Luna (D-Houston) and Brad Bailey, a Nassau Bay city councilman and CEO of the conservative non-profit, The Texas Immigration Solution. Aliseda called the immigration reform bill that the U.S. Senate passed in June a “monstrosity, almost as bad as Obamacare.” The bill would...

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Senator Ted Cruz Opens Tx Tribune Fest

The AT&T Conference Center on the UT Campus was packed to the gills Friday evening for the first keynote speaker of the 2013 Texas Tribune Festival: US Senator Ted Cruz. There was a line of more than 50 pissed-off donors, patrons, students, and at least one journalist waiting to get into the conference room in which Cruz was speaking to Tribune CEO/Editor-in-Chief, Evan Smith. In fact, Cruz couldn’t even make it into the room – he was stuck in Washington to, in his words, help the public acknowledge, “all of the Americans who are suffering because of Obamacare” and...

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Austinites Call for City Hall to Abandon King Coal

“Coal is dead.  Fund the future.”  This was the message from the Sierra’s Club’s Dave Cortez at Austin City Hall this Saturday.   On a blue bell Saturday afternoon, around 75 Austinites gathered on the steps of City Hall for a rally with nationally organized roots. A national campaign organized under the umbrella of the environmental group 350.org brought together a diverse set of organizations on Saturday.  Members of the Sierra Club, 350.org, local churches, and even local political organizations came together with common ground:  Opposing the Keystone XL pipeline and demanding the city of Austin make use of clean...

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