Author Archives: s2snider

This year

At our January meeting, we discussed the current state of affairs and proposed actions that have to do with money in politics. Our group agreed there is a great deal of despair about how money is bending politics. And we … Continue reading

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Voter photo ID

Attention Voters: As of June 24, 2013, Texas requires photo ID to vote. There are seven approved types: Texas driver’s license Texas personal identification card Texas concealed handgun license Texas election identification certificate (EIC) U.S. military identification card with photograph … Continue reading

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A Trail of Two Bills

While Campaign Finance Reform was not the Legislature’s primary concern, we have some news involving campaign finance reporting and disclosure. SB 219 This bill by Senator Joan Huffman (R-Houston) relates to the campaign finance ethics of public servants and lobbyists … Continue reading

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Letters to the Statesman Editor

Here are several letters we sent to the Statesman: #1)  In his May 3 Austin American-Statesman article, Ken Herman writes about fears associated with a constitutional convention. There’s another angle to consider: such an action is about all that we … Continue reading

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Report from Americans Elect panel discussion

In late February, representatives from AMERICANS•ELECT 2012 held a presentation at the LBJ Auditorium. This organization is touting a new way to nominate the president, so we see it as a potentially important political development. In mid-February, we sent our … Continue reading

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Reform by the light of Sunset

Watchdogs or just pets? A couple of agencies that are supposed to protect average Texans may be more about protecting unaverage Texans… In this American-Statesman article, the State Commission on Judicial Conduct‘s, uh, conduct is called into question because of … Continue reading

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“We can only pray Simmons is exercising more caution in handling his nuclear waste than he is handling campaign contributions.”

When long-time governmental ethics advocate Craig McDonald (quoted above) is not presenting information to the Austin Coffee Party, he and his organization Texans for Public Justice are busy uncovering the relationship between money and political influence. This time, TPJ’s hard … Continue reading

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Texas Campaign Spending Habits Examined

On February 4, over 30 Coffee Party Austin folks heard from Craig McDonald of Texans for Public Justice. Craig has been studying money in politics for decades, and we asked him to provide some context to Brian Roberts’ presentation from … Continue reading

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Examining our assumptions about money in politics

On January 7th, we hosted Prof. Brian Roberts from the UT Dep’t of Government, who has a different take on money in politics than perhaps what most of us are used to hearing. He began by touching on the history … Continue reading

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Move to Amend

To most of us, the term “Corporate Personhood” is an awkward-sounding oxymoron. So is the language that uses this syntactical contrivance to advance the “rights” of entities that are nothing more than legal constructs. As a nation, we’ve put up … Continue reading

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