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Texas Politics

At first it seemed the global pandemic could be a unifying moment; a universal experience to bring us all together. But with each passing week, the virus is less of a common enemy and more of a magnifying glass for existing inequalities and partisan divides.


For weeks Texas has been locked down due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The efforts to implement social distancing and slow the spread of the deadly virus forced schools and many businesses to close. This also drove political campaigns to freeze just as Texas was gearing up for one of the toughest general elections in decades. But now that Governor Greg Abbott is allowing more businesses to open their doors, what is happening with political campaigns and their efforts to persuade potential voters.  Are the candidates ready to get back on the stump, shake hands and kiss babies?


Tricia Schwennesen / Texas Public Radio

Citing the state’s stay-at-home order, the Texas secretary of state is instructing municipalities to delay their May 2 elections.


Authorities on Thursday issued a warrant for the arrest of state Rep. Poncho Nevárez, an Eagle Pass Democrat, on felony drug possession charges. A state special investigator claims in the warrant, which was obtained by The Texas Tribune, that Nevárez was caught on surveillance footage in September dropping an envelope with cocaine as he was leaving the Austin airport.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera | The Texas Tribune

During a June conversation at the Texas Capitol, Republican House Speaker Dennis Bonnen urged hardline conservative activist Michael Quinn Sullivan to target members of their own party in the 2020 primaries and suggested he could get Sullivan’s group media access to the House floor, according to a secret recording of the conversation released Tuesday.

Today, it's almost hard to remember just how different the Texas government was back in the 1970s. That's when Molly Ivins scorched a trail through good-ol'-boy politics like a flamethrower through a cactus patch.

"The legislature was fairly corrupt in those days," she said to NPR in 2006. "And the fact that it was, and that everybody knew it, and that people laughed about it, struck me as worth reporting. And I thought: Why not put it in the way it is?"

Pixabay CC0: http://bit.ly/2khy139

Lawmakers get to redraw state and federal legislative district boundaries after every 10-year census count. A Texas redistricting committee is holding field hearings across the state ahead of 2021 mapmaking, including in San Antonio on Thursday.


From Texas Standard:

Political dynamics in Texas are shifting. That’s, in part, because of a growing Asian population, as well as a massive wave of young people migrating here from other parts of the country. Some argue all that could shift the state from red to blue. But these demographic changes are also happening at the same time as city populations are surging – something some Texas researchers say is an overlooked factor.

H. Michael Karshis CC By 2.0 : http://bit.ly/2Y4mHJH

Latinos will make up the largest minority voting group in 2020. What can the history and rise of the Latino vote tell us about the changing U.S. political landscape?

  

Ryan Poppe | Texas Public Radio

With less than two weeks left in the 86th legislative session, lawmakers are racing to have their bills considered, passed and sent to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk. The fate of much of the proposed legislation will be decided in these final days.

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