March 20, 2013

Ted Cruz continues to embarrass Texas and symbolize everything wrong with today's GOP. His latest act: lecturing a colleague on the Second Amendment as if she were an 11-year-old. Last week Cruz gave an incredibly condescending and insulting presentation constitutional "lesson" to Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) in response to a bill she filed banning assault weapons and high capacity magazine clips.

March 20, 2013

The Texas Senate is going to vote Today to consider the first draft of the Texas budget. In it's current draft, the bill currently fails to invest in the future of Texas. This budget fails to restore the devastating cuts made to education in 2011, it fails to provide any funding for expanding Medicaid, and it needlessly leaves billions in unspent revenue on the table instead of investing in future generations of Texans.

We don't have time for a flashy petition or for an email they might not see in time - we need you to make phone calls right now!

March 20, 2013

Earlier today, we called on Progress Texas members to contact their State Senators and urge them to vote against the first draft of the state budget. The response was tremendous. While our voices were heard, the bill passed. The final vote was 29 to 2.

March 18, 2013

This Friday the Executive Director of the Houston Area Pastor Council and the Texas Pastor Council, Dave Welch, will award Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott a special award at the organization’s fundraiser. In recent years, Welch has consistently issued controversial statements about faith and religion, insisting that Muslims should not be elected to office and that President Obama is an “enemy” to America.

March 14, 2013

Earlier this month, Judge Kenneth Hoyt took senior status from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, leaving only two active African American judges on Texas federal courts. Texas is a diverse state: 12 percent of the population is African American and 38 percent is Hispanic. Of the 46 active federal district court judges in Texas, only two are African American, 14 are Hispanic and 14 are female.

March 12, 2013

This blog was orginally posted on

The powers that be at CPRIT, the cancer research fund that Gov. Rick Perry is using as his slush fund to reward contributors, would like us to forget that it remains under criminal investigation. Texans, though, are outraged that tax money intended to find cures for cancer has been turned into just another crony capitalist wasteland.

March 11, 2013

UPDATE 3/15: We are up to 116 sustaining donors and are now only 9 away from our goal of 125!

March 8, 2013

Our partners at Texas Well and Healthy are asking folks to call members of the Texas legislature and tell them you support Medicaid expansion today! Support for expanding Medicaid in Texas and across the country is gaining momentum. Already 8 GOP governors in New Jersey, Nevada, New Mexico, Michigan, Ohio, Florida, North Dakota, Arizona have ended their partisan opposition and accepted expansion. With your help, we can make Texas the 9th state on that list.


March 7, 2013

Governor Rick Perry's still got game. A poll released by the University of Texas and Texas Tribune shows that Texans support Perry over Attorney General Greg Abbott for governor in 2014.

March 7, 2013

A recent Texas State Teachers Association poll of Texas shows overwhelming support for increasing public school funding, using the Rainy day Fund for education, and reducing standardized testing. Here is our infographic on the poll:



March 6, 2013

Well, it finally happened. We all knew it would, but here it actually is in written, legislative form. On March 5, Reps. Jodie Laubenberg (R-Parker) and Jeff Leach (R-Plano) drafted HB 2374 which would legally prohibit abortions after 20 weeks.

March 6, 2013

Over the past week, you have called, messaged, and made your voice heard. We asked you to urge Senators Cornyn and Cruz to support Caitlin Halligan. Sadly, our Senators put party politics ahead of the people of Texas. The U.S. Senate failed to reach enough votes to achieve cloture for Caitlin Halligan, a nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit – widely considered the second most important court in the country, after the Supreme Court.

March 4, 2013

A recent survey conducted by the Texas Hospital Association (THA) shows that 59% of Texans are in favor of the Medicaid expansion once they know all of the benefits that come along with accepting these federal funds. 

From a press release from the THA:

March 1, 2013

State. Rep. Dan Flynn (R - Van) has filled House Bill 47 which would reduce the number of training hour required for a concealed handgun license (CHL) by more than half from 10 hours to just 4 hours. In Rep.

March 1, 2013

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard the first oral arguments of Shelby County v. Holder.  Some believe signs point to the court gutting Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Section 5 requires nine states, mainly located in the South, to get preclearance from the federal government before changing anything that affects voting. Those against Section 5 argue that the requirements infringe on states' rights and that systematic racial discrimination is no longer prevalent. Of those apparently joining this side is Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia (read: white, male, Republican). He argued that despite the unanimous vote to renew the VRA by the Senate that the VRA was not legitimate and has never been legitimate (since it's introduction in 1965, the VRA has been renewed by Congress 5 times). 

During the oral arguments, Scalia said, "I think [the passage of the act] is attributable... to a phenomenon that is called perpetuation of racial entitlement. It's been written about. Whenever a society adopts racial entitlements, it is very difficult to get out of them through the normal political processes." (Read the full text of the arguments here.)

Responses to Scalia's controversial statement were overwhelmingly disapproving. 

Rep. John Lewis said to Politico:

"It is an affront to all of what the civil rights movement stood for, what people died for, what people bled for, and those of us who marched across that bridge 48 years ago, we didn't march for some racial entitlement. We wanted to open up the political process and let all of the people come in, and it didn't matter whether they were black or white, Latino, Asian-American or Native American."

League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) also responded:

"It's outrageous to minority voters to suggest that the [Voting Rights Act] is outdated in light of recent attempts by states to disenfranchise voters. The progress we've made has been solely because of the protections offered by the VRA, and any distinctions made are attempts to manipulate the law for political advantage."

From the NAACP:

"At this point we will either turn back the clock and reignite the first of the past, or we will continue to move in a direction that recognizes that every citizens basic and fundamental rights, such as the right to vote."

Before I join Michael Moore and compare Scalia to a member of the KKK, let's back up.

February 28, 2013

We need you to take action and support the nomination of very qualified judge - Caitlin Halligan - to the D.C. Circuit Court. Find out how below.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit is considered the second most important court in the land, after the Supreme Court. The D.C. Circuit has sole responsibility for deciding cases having to do with the balance of powers of the branches of government and decisions made by government agencies affecting issues like health care, national security, environmental rules, and consumer protections and workplace safety. More U.S. Supreme Court justices have come from the D.C. Circuit than any other circuit court, including four current Justices.

D.C. Court Court nominee Caitlin Halligan should receive a crucial cloture vote as early as Tuesday March 5, but today in a Roll Call story, Senator Chuck Grassley indicated that Senate Republicans plan to block her confirmation - again. Halligan was originally nominated in 2010, then renominated in 2011, 2012 and again in 2013. She was recently approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on February 14, 2013 on a straight party-line vote - which means Texas Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz each voted against her. 
There is no reason to keep these judicial seats vacant for 3 years - especially for such a highly qualified nominee.
Can a Qualified Judge Overcome Severe Diversity Gap in Courts?
Halligan was first nominated in 2010 and brings a wealth of experience to a court that is facing a troubling number of vacancies. She has devoted her career to public service, currently serving as General Counsel of the Manhattan District Attorney. Halligan would be only the sixth woman to serve on the D.C. Circuit in 119 years. The court impacts ALL Americans because it hears cases on the balance of powers of the branches of government, as well as decisions made by government agencies affecting issues like health care, national security, environmental rules, consumer protections, and workplace safety.

Today, four of the D.C. Circuit court’s eleven seats remain vacant; the seat for which Halligan has been nominated to fill has been empty since 2005. These vacancies have a crippling effect on the court’s ability to decide on critically key cases that impact the lives of Americans across the country.

It is important we get this amazingly qualified judge on the bench. Her perspective will be invaluable to the future of our country. 

We need you to call Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, who voted against Halligan in the Senate Judiciary Committee, and tell them both:

"Do not filibuster Caitlin Halligan. We all need her on the D.C. Courts and we need more qualified judges like her in Texas and the rest of the country."

You can call our Senators' offices at the numbers below:

February 28, 2013

With a 286 to 138 vote, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was passed in the US House of Representatives. The bill is now on its way to President Obama's desk. The VAWA includes provisions that would protect Native American women living on reservations, LGBTQIA, and undocumented women who are victims of domestic and intimate partner abuse.


February 27, 2013

Matt Krause (R-Fort Worth) filed House Bill 360 on January 7 that would "cut off state money to any university that bars campus clubs that select members by 'beliefs or status, including race, gender and sexual orientation.'" Basically, a hypothetical student organization can reject prospective members because of their race, gender, sexual identity, etc. if they are doing it for religious reasons.


Over at the fantastic blog, Legislative Queery, they point out the true meaning of this absolutely asinine and ludicrous bill. They write:

[This bills] means that any person can form a club around whatever stupid or hateful idea they want, and they can claim that their club is based on their religious beliefs, but what Krause is suggesting in this bill is a radical expansion of those rights. Under Krause’s bill not only would these clubs have a right to exist (which they do) they would have a right to financial and material support from the people of Texas.

In response to thunderous criticism about his bill, Rep. Krause has come out and said his bill is somehow meant to not only protect the First Amendment, but also uphold and respect the progress made from the Civil Rights Movement. He also promises to narrow the language in a later draft. 

This colossal blunder is almost comical. The paradoxical language and flubbed reasoning is a joke, yet Rep. Krause romantically states "this bill is near and dear to my heart."

February 23, 2013

Sign our petition to invest in our kids today! - and once you have, see all 55 signs on our Facebook page!

Thousands of parents, students, teachers and activists gathered at the Texas Capitol on Saturday to demand a greater investment in public schools, an end to high-stakes testing, and a full rejection of school vouchers. One of the most fun parts of going to the rallies is checking out the creative home-made signs.

Here are some of our favorites - and check out all the others on our Facebook page.

"Flunk Perry" - See all 55 signs on our Facebook page!

Subscribe for the latest

Blog Tags

Search the blog