Polls continued to show Republican candidates ahead in top-ofballot races as Texas moved closer to the Oct. 31 early voting deadline before Election Day, Nov. 4. Political campaigns continued to work feverishly across Texas, knocking on doors, holding rallies, robo-calling, planting signs, flooding mailboxes and barraging email accounts.
We are writing to clear up some misconceptions about the law regarding hunting on or near Lake Buchanan (“Banner Year in Hunting Predicted,” Oct. 1, 2014, Burnet Bulletin). Long-standing state law forbids hunting or possessing firearms and other weapons on LCRA lands. This ban in the Parks and Wildlife Code Sec. 62.081 has been in place since 1975 and is not a recent change.
With early voting in Texas only days away, the U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 18 let stand a U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals order, thereby allowing Texas’ 2011 voter identification law to remain in force for the time being. Civil rights plaintiffs in Veasey et al. v. Perry et al. sought to have portions of the law declared unenforceable on constitutional grounds. In a Corpus Christi federal courtroom, U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos struck down the law and ordered the state to return to election law practices in place before the Legislature passed the law in 2011.
We had great town hall meetings in Lamesa and Garden City. These “town halls” are an integral part of representing my constituents. I have to know what citizens are thinking and what their unvarnished opinions are. Democracy is not a spectator sport. This past week, we focused mostly on the crisis in Syria and the need to export United States oil.
Nelva Gonzalez Ramos of Corpus Christi prevents the state from enforcing the voter identification law passed by the Texas Legislature in 2011 as Senate Bill 14. In the case, Marc Veasey et al. v. Rick Perry et al., Ramos ruled the law was enacted with a discriminatory purpose and an impermissible discriminatory effect against Hispanics and African-Americans. Ramos said the law places an unconstitutional burden on the right to vote that is, in effect, a poll tax. “Plaintiffs,” she wrote, “have thus demonstrated that every form of SB 14-qualified ID available to the general public is issued at a cost.”
Texans interested in who their next governor and lieutenant governor witnessed major party candidates for those offices engage in live, onehour broadcast debates last week. Fellow state Sens. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, and Dan Patrick, R-Houston, opponents in the race for lieutenant governor, faced off in Austin on Sept. 29. Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, and Republican Texas Attorney GeneralGreg Abbott competed on stage in Dallas on Sept. 30, each striving to succeed longtime Gov. Rick Perry as the state’s chief executive.
A debate scheduled Sept. 29 pits Leticia Van de Putte (D-San Antonio) against Dan Patrick (R-Houston,) two state senators who are vying to succeed David Dewhurst as lieutenant governor in 2015. Van de Putte, a pharmacist in private life, has served in the Senate since 1999. Patrick, a radio talk show host, was first elected to the Senate in 2009. Whoever wins will preside over the Senate.