Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas At The Port Of Corpus Christi

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Friday, December 10, 2010

Mayor Says Harbor Bridge Lights To Be Turned On For Christmas!

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However the city will have to lay off some workers to save the money to pay for it! Merry Christmas!
Carlos Valdez Threatens To Sue Friends Of The Coliseum
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So much for freedom of speech, assembly and the right to protest in Corpus Christi! City Attorney Carlos Valdez has threatened to sue the Friends of the Coliseum group that led the fight to preserve the Memorial Coliseum.
Valdez claimed they are responsible for "delays" which he says cost the city over $30,000. Of Course the building was demolished and the ruins and debris still grace the bayfront.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Medical Examiner Requests HUGE Raise!

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Medical examiner asks
commissioners for a 46 percent pay hike
By Jessica Savage
Corpus Christi Caller Times
Posted November 29, 2010 at 7:50 p.m., updated November 29, 2010 at 7:50 p.m.

Fernandez is asking commissioners for a $75,000 raise.CORPUS CHRISTI — The
county’s highest paid employee is asking for a 46 percent raise so he can earn a
salary competitive with others in his field.
Nueces County Chief Medical Examiner Ray Fernandez makes $163,634 a year
performing autopsies. He also receives a $1,400 car allowance and 40 percent in commission from autopsies requested by other counties.
Fernandez is asking for a $75,000 raise this year, or a 46 percent raise, and a
$20,000 pay boost over the next three years to bring his pay on par with other
“It’s not going to be an overnight process,” he said. “It will probably take
Even if he receives the proposed raise, Fernandez won’t be making what other
counties pay their chief medical examiners. Lubbock County, which is smaller
than Nueces County, pays $450,000 a year. The average pay for Harris, Travis and
Bexar counties, which are larger than Nueces County, is $257,711.
With the raise this year, Fernandez would make $238,634 and receive a $5,000 car
Nationwide the shortage of pathologists has caught the attention of those who
rely on their skills to solve crimes. The demand puts Fernandez in a good
position for a raise, which County Judge Loyd Neal said he supports.
“He’s been a very good medical examiner and has a great reputation, so I have no
problem bringing this to court,” Neal said. “We don’t want to lose him. He is
well respected in the courts and it would affect the outcome of so many cases
where he is rendering the opinion.”
Fernandez said he has completed about 16 years of school and training after high
“It’s very comparable to the time a heart surgeon might put in,” he said.
Earlier this year, commissioners approved a $115.2 million budget, which called
for $1.4 million in cuts to keep the tax rate at 35.5 cents per $100 valuation,
the same as last year. At the time, Neal instructed commissioners to watch their
spending as next year could require additional cuts.
Neal said money to pay for Fernandez’s salary increase could come from $144,000
that was set aside to pay for county jail doctor William Flores. Flores canceled
that contract early in the fiscal year, so the item was still included in this
year’s budget, Neal said.
Fernandez has worked for the county since 2003. He and a part-time physician,
who works one week a month, perform an average of 500 autopsies a year. About
100 of those are requested by nearby counties that don’t employee a medical
examiner. Fernandez charges those counties from $1,500 to $3,000 per autopsy,
depending upon the type of autopsy or lab tests.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Texas Supreme Court Overturns Open Beaches Act!

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Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Perry's New Book: F 'ed Up!

From the Austin American Statesman:

Perry's book, the power of an apostrophe, and a slip with the f-word (freedom)

Here at the Newspaper-by-the-Lake, routine is important. Each day, of course, begins with the Socialist Workers of America meeting during which we swear our allegiance to Marx (for me and Kelso, it's Groucho, not Karl).
Then we put out a newspaper. Sometimes during that process, some of us wander around and tell little newspapery jokes. Don't worry, it is always with the utmost of respect for the people we cover and the readers we serve.
It was during one of these little chats the other day that two of my favorite colleagues noted that with the mere insertion of a punctuation mark, Gov. Rick Perry's new book "Fed Up!" could have a funnier — yet still appropriate — title.
Let's see if I can navigate you to that title without running afoul of our standards about foul language.
The punctuation mark in question is an apostrophe. Insert it between the first two letters of "Fed" and we kind of wind up being something else'd up. You with me here? And the new title would remain appropriate for a book that begins with these words: "Something is terribly wrong."
Please be assured that I scolded the people who pointed this out to me and told them their behavior was immature.
Anyway, our recently re-coronated governor for life is on the road hawking "Fed Up!" (no apostrophe).
"Back now with one of the Republicans who could be a prime contender in the race for the White House in 2012," Meredith Vieira said Thursday in introducing Perry on "Today." (I think Hugh Downs was on vacation.)
"It's about freedom. It's about giving Americans their freedom back," Perry said of his book, noting that freedom has been compromised by the feds and the U.S. Supreme Court "in direct conflict with the Constitution, from my perspective."
He pitched his book as "a good primer" about the Constitution and the federal government's relationship with the states.
Vieira, noting that George W. Bush and Barack Obama wrote books as part of their presidential bids, asked Perry if he is running for president. He said no. Perry cited the book — with its attacks on Washington — as the best evidence of a guy who doesn't want to move there.
"Anyone running for the presidency is not going to go take on these issues with the power that I do," he said.
Vieira asked Perry if he might change his mind about running for president if Republicans said, "We need you in 2012."
"I don't see that scenario at all," he said, dismissing the possibility that his party might find itself in dire need of a self-styled constitutional expert with an animal science degree from Texas A&M.
Despite the ongoing denials of presidential intent, Perry clearly and cleverly is following a game plan successfully employed by a previous Texas governor who became president. There's the book. There's the national spotlight. There's the botched phrases, including this one on "Today."
"George W. Bush did an incredible job in the presidency, defending us from freedom," Perry said.
Defending us from freedom?
A couple of minutes later it was time for "Today" to move on. "Up next," said Vieira, "Laurie David on her new campaign to resurrect the family dinner."
I missed that because I had to leave the house and hurry in for the Socialist Workers meeting. But I did see a previous segment that had me waxing Perrylike about government and what it should do and what it shouldn't do. The story involved San Francisco's proposed ban on toys in kids' meals that don't meet the city's nutritional standards.
Yes, I'm aware that the toys sometimes have higher nutritional value than the food in kids meals. But how far down the in-loco-parentis road do we want government to go?
Your governor, in his book, on some of the things some of us are fed up about:
"We are tired of being told how much salt we can put on our food, what windows we can buy for our house, what kind of cars we can drive, what kind of prayers we are allowed to say and where we can say them, what political speech we are allowed to use to elect candidates, what kind of energy we can use, what kind of food we can grow, what doctor we can see, and countless other restrictions on our right to live as we see fit."
Some of that indeed may be fed up (with the apostrophe).

Editor's note, (That's me!)
I haven't seen Perry's book yet, I made a mock up on Photoshop of what I thought would make an appropriate cover.
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Monday, November 08, 2010

Mark Skurka; One Of The Last Dems Standing!

Mark Skurka was a notable exception in the recent election. All across the area Democrats were losing their races in a Republican red tide!
In the biggest shocker Solomon Ortiz, long time incumbent in the 27th Congressional district, was defeated by Republican rookie Blake Farenthold. His son, Solomon Ortiz Jr, lost his seat in the state legislature.
But Skurka stood against the tide as he defeated Republican Anna Jimenez who had been appointed by Governor Rick Perry to fill the un-expired term of former District Attorney Carlos Valdez.

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Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Perry Wins! Bummer!

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Rick Perry easily took yesterday's election and won his third elected term which makes him the longest serving Governor in Texas history. Political junkies may recall he ascended to the Governor's office in 2000 when G.W. bush won the election to the Presidency. When Bush ran for governor in 1998 he assured all that he was not going to run for the Presidency but absolutely no one believed that!
Now Perry is poised for another term and he is echoing G.W.'s old line but probably few believe him either.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Blake Farenthold Demonstrates His Qualifications For Congress!

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Early Voting Began Today!

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I Just returned from the polling place and the liquour store. I voted for Bill White and against Rick Perry, among other votes cast. I also went to the liquor store where I bought a half gallon of cheap whiskey, Benchmark, strictly for medicinal purposes you understand. I was sober when I cast my vote.
Anna's Rival Back To Haunt Her!

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Anna Jimenez,political appointee For District Attorney for Nueces county, fired Mark Skurka when he made it known he was to run for her office. Skurka is now poised to make a strong run against her.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Mark Skurka Is The Best Choice For District Attorney

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Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Out Source The City Council!

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Angel's Golden Parachute !!

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Corpus Christi City Manager Angel Escobar has announced his retirement. He will be taking with him a huge severance pay package. Of course this means the city council will now spend an exorbitant sum in a search for a replacement. In addition they are conducting a study to see how large the salary for the new city manager should be. Count on it being enough to place the lucky winner in the top percentiles of the wealthiest Americans!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Mayor Adame Tells Council Members "No More Texting During Meetings!"

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Mayor Joe Adame has resembled a junior high principal lately as he has had to admonish the kids to stop texting during city council and other official meetings. He is right. They should be paying attention during these meetings and this texting could possibly be in violation of the provisions of the state open meetings statutes.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Surveillance Drones Now Flying Out Of NAS Corpus Christi

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Joe and His Wreckin' Crew!

I'm Mayor Rappin' Joe with my wreckin' crew
You know there aint nothin' we wont do.
To make more money for "The Man"
We work real hard doin' all we can!
We tore down the coliseum with my wreckin' ball
Though not everyone wanted to see it fall.
For high priced salaries we have lots of dough
But when it comes to streets we have to say no!
If you don't like my budget selections
You'll just have to wait for the next elections!

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Saturday, July 17, 2010

RTA Hires New Interim Manager For Big Bucks!

Recently the Corpus Christi Regional Transit Authority, in a move seemingly very typical of local government these days, announced that they were going to fire the current interim director, Jorge Cruz-Aedo, and hire a replacement interim director. That’s a replacement interim director!
Michael Setzer will be the man in charge for the next six months until a new and “permanent” director takes over. Setzer heads a management company, Veolia Transportation, which will be paid $126,000 during that six month period.
In addition Setzer will get reimbursement for his travel expenses, he lives in Ohio and will fly home on weekends.

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Monday, July 05, 2010

Perry, Texas Gop, Funnel Money To Texas Green Party

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Rick Perry and the Texas GOP are engaging in some political sleight of hand to deceive Texas voters in the upcoming Gubernatorial election this November.
They are cynically making moves to split the ticket by helping funnel money to the Green Party and assisting them to get a spot on the ballot. They feel the Green Party will siphon off unsuspecting assorted left wing types and tree huggers and so on who might otherwise have voted for Bill White. Thus those voters will help the party most antithetical to their values.

At the moment their efforts appear to be succeeding but it aint over yet. State Dems vow further legal challenges but it will be difficult going forward. The state Supreme Court is full of Republicans, many Perry appointees.
Texas politics...sigh.

Below are press releases from the state Democratic Party.


Judge Rules that Green Party Can be Kept Off Ballot;
Source of Secret Corporate Money Tied to Former Perry Chief of Staff
(Corpus Christi, TX) – Texas Democratic Party Chairman Boyd Richie called on Rick Perry to come clean with Texas voters about what role Perry’s campaign played in funneling over $500,000 in secret corporate funds to fund a Green Party petition drive to help Perry’s floundering campaign.
During testimony today, a witness testified that he was paid approximately $12,000 by Rick Perry’s close friend and former Chief of Staff, lobbyist Mike Toomey, to create a plan to gather signatures to get the Green Party of Texas on the ballot. Today, Travis County District Judge John Dietz blocked the Green Party from a spot on the November ballot for accepting illegal corporate contributions to collect the signatures.
“It is time for Rick Perry to come clean with Texas voters,” Texas Democratic Party Chairman Boyd Richie said. “Some of Rick Perry’s closest and most trusted political advisors played a role the effort to funnel corporate money into the illegal Green Party petition drive and Texas voters deserve to know the truth about the extent of their involvement in this illegal ballot scam.”
The involvement of Perry’s associates in this illegal scheme was revealed in sworn testimony in a Travis County District Court today.
“The involvement of Perry’s associates in this illegal scheme to tamper with Texas elections is another sign that career politician Rick Perry will do anything to save his floundering campaign and extend his corrupt political career,” Richie concluded.

· Today, Travis County District Judge John Dietz blocked the Green Party from a spot on the November ballot due to the use of illegal corporate contributions used to collect the signatures necessary.
During testimony, it was discovered that Mike Toomey, a close friend to Rick Perry and his former Chief of Staff, paid Garrett Mize, a University of Texas student, approximately $12,000 to convince Green Party of Texas leaders to participate in the ballot petition scam.
· Perry’s family friend, Stewart Moss, a former employee of longtime Perry speechwriter Eric Bearse, first approached Mize about collecting signatures to get the Green Party on the ballot.
Mike Toomey and Rick Perry have been described as “close friends” (Source: Texas Monthly, February 2005).
· Mike Toomey was previously implicated in the TRMPAC scandal in 2002, when secret corporate donations were used to illegally elect Republicans in Texas. According to reports from the Austin American-Statesman, the “indictments…noted that TAB board members Mike Toomey and Eric Glenn, both lobbyists, played prominent roles in soliciting money. (Source: Austin American-Statesman, September 8, 2005).

July 02, 2010
Supreme Court allows Green Party to certify ballot UPDATED
The Texas Supreme Court today stayed a district judge's order blocking the Green Party of Texas from certifying its candidates for the general election ballot.
The effect of the order was to allow the Green Party to legally establish a list of candidates for the general election. But the court also set a series of deadlines for lawyers for the Texas Democratic Party and the Green Party to argue whether a ballot petition drive illegally used corporate money.
"We get to put our candidates on the ballot today. We don't know if we get to keep them there," said Green Party lawyer David Rogers.
Rogers said the order signaled that the court wants to take its time to decide whether corporate money can be legally used by a political party for ballot initiatives. He said the court signaled that there is a real legal issue "that needs to be considered carefully and thoughtfully and not in 15 minutes."
Democratic Party lawyer Chad Dunn said he does not believe the fight is over.
"The effect of the order is to give the Supreme Court time before they open up an enormous loophole for potential election fraud," Dunn said.
UPDATE: The Texas Secretary of State reports receiving a Green Party certification for the following statewide candidates:
Deb Shafto of Houston for governor
Herb Gonzales Jr. of San Antonio for lieutenant governor
Art Browning of Cypress for railroad commissioner
Edward Lindsay of Fort Worth for state comptroller

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

First rain bands from Tropical Storm Alex, 10:40 am, Tuesday, June 29, 2010.

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More rain bands and more wind on Wednesday

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Rick Perry: EPA Regs Don't Apply To Texas!

Texas Governor Rick Perry Seeks New Battle With Feds; EPA Standards Don't Apply To Texas Says Perry.

The Evironmental Protection Agency recently denied an operating permit from a Corpus Christi refinery saying it was in violation of the Clean Air Act.
EPA director Al Almendariz has threatened to pull permits from 39 other Texas facilities because state regulators are not enforcing strict air quality standards. For some years Texas has had the dubious distinction of having the most polluted air in the nation.
Texas Governor Rick Perry, seizing another opportunity to continue his attack on the federal governnment, has said he will defy these regulations in order to protect jobs.
“Washington just isn’t happy unless they have total control of everything,” he said.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has been underfire for being too cozy with industry and not sufficiently protective of the environment. This battle has been prominent in another local Corpus Christi controversy concerning the proposal to build a large petroleum coke fired power generation plant, Las Brisas. Local opponents of the project fear the TCEQ regs will still allow unacceptable levels of polluting air emissions.

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Sunday, June 06, 2010

Mark Skurka Thrown Overboard!

Cap'n Ana throws Mark Skurka off "her" ship!
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Wednesday Night Storm Smashes Through Corpus Christi Area
Click on pics for larger image Pics are from my house and my neighbors.

Wednesday night, June 2, a strong pair of storm fronts converged right over Corpus Christi bringing winds in excess of hurricane force, up to 90 mph in some areas, and driving rains. It was something of a mini hurricane which lasted for around 4 hours.
At Corpus Christi Naval air Station, near my home, RV's were blown over and six people were injured. A boat barn which had been newly completed was blown out into the Laguna Madre.
Damage was caused all over the area including roofs blown away, trees down and power was knocked out for over 67,000 people. 
As of this morning some still are waiting for power to be restored.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Perry Turns Down Chance For $700 Million In  Federal School Funds

Texas Governor Rick Perry has said that Texas will not compete in the $2 billion Race For The Top federal grants for state education. Texas schools could receive $700 million under this program. Perry says there are too many restrictions and could possibly lead to national standards for education.
That would be a setback for Perry who is more interested in setting school standards which race to the 19th century and as he swings to the right in order to ingratiate himself with Tea Party types as he eyes a run at the Presidency.

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Rick Perry: Fed Up!

Texas Governor Rick Perry has just announced plans for a new book entitled Fed Up!
The book is scheduled to be released in time for the fall election (what a coincidence!)when Perry will face Democrat Bill White. Perry has a substantial lead in the polls at present.
The book will be published by Little, Brown and Company.
Perry's plans for the future may include a run for the nomination for the Presidency of the federal government he says he hates so.
Perry's book title describes how Texans should feel about him!

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( P.S.:Pic is not a copy of book's actual cover but is, rather, my own invention.)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

New Social Studies Standards Adopted For Texas School Books

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Monday, May 17, 2010

It's A Good Thing Joe Adame Isn't Mayor Of Rome!

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Joe Gets His Way!

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Carlos Valdez Says City Can Ignore Court

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Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Perry Says Oil Spill May Be "Act Of God!"

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From Politico:
Perry warned against a 'a knee-jerk reaction' to the spill and said the government doesn’t know what caused the leak.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry Monday offered a stern warning against halting oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico in the wake of a massive oil leak, and he raised the question of whether the explosion was an “act of God.”
The Republican governor, speaking at the Chamber of Commerce in Washington, warned against a “a knee-jerk reaction” to the spill and said the government doesn’t know what caused the leak, which took 11 lives and threatens the Gulf coast’s vast fishing industry.
“We don’t know what the event that has allowed for this massive oil to be released,” Perry said alongside several other governors on a panel Monday. “And until we know that, I hope we don’t see a knee-jerk reaction across this country that says we’re going to shut down drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, because the
cost to this country will be staggering.”
Perry questioned whether the spill was “just an act of God that occurred” and said that any “politically driven” decisions could put the U.S. in further economic peril.
“From time to time there are going to be things that occur that are acts of God
that cannot be prevented,” Perry said.
His line of thinking offers a foil to liberal groups and lawmakers who are calling for an immediate halting in off-shore drilling, something that the Obama administration has championed. MoveOn called for President Barack Obama to reinstate the ban on off-shore drilling Monday.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Perry Plugs Pesky Coyote!
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Texas Governor Rick Perry recently reported that he shot and killed, with one shot he claimed, a coyote who threatened his pet dog as he was jogging in his gated community Austin neighborhood.
It is illegal to fire a gun within the city limits but Gov. Perry, who has a concealed carry permit, claimed he fired in defense of his pet which is legally permissible.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Two Guys Named Joe Make A Deal!

So these two guys named Joe can speak for everyone in the community? Really?
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Friday, April 16, 2010

Tea Bagger Blake Farenthold To Be Next Challenger To Solomom Ortiz

Saturday, April 10, 2010

As Corpus Christi Turns! ...And The Wheel Goes 'Round And 'Round...
Carlos Valdez
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Anna Jimenez

Well, where do we start? Carlos Valdez, longtime County DA retires and is immediately hired by Corpus Chrsit City Manager Angel Escobar. with no preliimnary searches or other candidates even considered, to be the new city attorney. This is approved by a vote on the city council and is done in record time.
Then Governor Rick Perry appoints Republican Anna Jimenez to fill Valdez' former position on an interim basis until the next elections when the position will be voted on by the public.
Jimenez immediately shakes up the DA's office, demoting some longtime staff attorneys, like Mark Skurka, who has worked in the department for 23 years, thus causing them to take large salary cuts. She also hired a private attorney to become her assistant and promoted other staff members within the department. Two former prosecutors resigned rather than take the pay cuts or the reassignment.
Jimenez has worked there for 4 years.
County Judge Loyd Neal allowed Jimenez to do this without advertising the jobs for seven days, which the county requires, under an exemption rule which allows the County Judge to give verbal approval for such changes.
The question is, does an interim appointment, with much less tenure or experience, have the authority and know how to so drastically overturn this department?.

Mark Skurka

Friday, April 02, 2010

Corpus Christi Church Celebrates Easter With $2 MIllion Giveaway!
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A local church plans to give away cars, including a BMW, and other items totalling $2 million. Must be sweeps week for local churches.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Battle For Ingleside Naval Station!
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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Texas Health Insurance Nazis!
Texas Governor Rick Perry and State Attorney General Gregg Abott have declared they would challenge the just  passed national health care reform in Texas courts.
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Friday, March 19, 2010

Corpus Christi Mayor Mired In Conflicts Of Interest

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Go Away Kid! You Bother Me!
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Mayor Adame Always has tax breaks for big companies such as Las Brisas, refineries, developers and others but doesn't mind if this shuts out money for school districts.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Little Nell Goes To School In Texas
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Friday, March 05, 2010

County Needs To Change Election Method
Change Needed In County Elections

The current system for the elections of county officials is flawed. Currently we have a partisan primary election with the winners facing off in a November election.
In the recent primary election many ran unopposed in their primary and some offices had primary races for one party but none in any other. Therefore if a candidate wins his primary and there was no primary in other parties then that person has won the seat.
This is basically unfair. This means that all voters who are independents or belong to opposing parties get no say in the election for that position.
Partisan politics should have no place in the election of County Commissioners or in judicial races.
Just as the City Council elections do not indulge in party politics, the County should follow suit.
In the past primary the Commissioner for Precinct 4 had a primary opponent and he lost. Since there was no Democrat running the winner of the Republican primary will be the next commissioner for that seat.
It is a certainty that there are many people in Nueces County who are not Republicans would vote for the incumbent but will not get that chance, they will have no one to cast their vote for.
This is wrong and should be changed.
Ideally a number of candidates for an office should be able to file and have themselves presented to the voters. If none of that group obtains 50% or more of the vote then the two top vote getters would have a runoff.
This way all of the voters would get their say, that’s the fair way to do it.
To change this would require an amemmndement to the State Constitution. That is a tall order but every general election in Texas finds amendments on the ballot. This is one that should be proposed.