Vol 29, Issue 1 Print Issue

Politicus Interruptus

The bet here is that the U.S. Supreme Court wouldn't have taken the Texas redistricting case if they thought it was a good idea to hold elections using the San Antonio court's plan. If it was, why issue a stay, set arguments, and risk delaying the primaries?

The Week in the Rearview Mirror

The Make America Great Party filed papers with the Texas Secretary of State to form in Texas, setting the first pavestone for a third-party effort by New York celebrity businessman Donald Trump. They'd have to gather more than 49,000 signatures to get him on the ballot — all from registered voters who don't vote in either the primary or runoff elections — and submit those by May 28.

Movement conservatives looking for a "consensus" Republican candidate will meet at Paul and Nancy Pressler's Brenham ranch this weekend, according to Politico. Some apparently want an alternative to Mitt Romney coming out of the Republican primary; some just want a candidate who doesn't get so cut up that it weakens the GOP's chances in November. The Presslers, from Houston, have been supporters of Gov. Rick Perry.

Texas' new voter ID law, with an enactment date of January 1, didn't take effect. It's stuck at the U.S. Department of Justice, which hasn't pre-cleared the new law under the federal Voting Rights Act. The DOJ said the state didn't use the proper measure of the law's impact and has asked state officials to produce more information on the race and ethnicity of registered voters who, according to the state's records, don't have driver licenses or state photo IDs.

Boeing will move 300 to 400 jobs to San Antonio as it relocates maintenance facilities for Air Force One and similar planes from Wichita, Kansas. The company already has 2,800 workers in San Antonio.

On the last weekday of 2011, a federal court in Washington, DC, stayed the Environmental Protection Agency's controversial cross-state air pollution rule. That's a win for state officials, who call the rule a job-killer. Environmentalists hope to prevail in court hearings later this year; they favor the EPA rule.

Political People and their Moves

Texas Railroad Commissioner Elizabeth Ames Jones is constitutionally required to live in Austin to hold that office, but swore her residence is in San Antonio when she filed last month to run against State Sen. Jeff Wentworth in the Republican primary. He says she needs to quit the RRC or the race to get right with the law. “Our home is in San Antonio, where I was born and raised,” she told the San Antonio Express-News. “We live in the same district that I represented in the Texas House. We also have a house in Austin, but our home is in San Antonio.”

Former Harris County Commissioner Jerry Eversole won't do jail time for his conviction for filing false tax statements. He instead resigned last year and is now on probation for three years after federal investigators accused him of taking bribes from a developer. Most of the charges were dropped; Eversole, a commissioner for two decades, has been replaced by Jack Cagle.

Jennifer Hall, a longtime Ron Paul backer, is the new chairwoman of the Tarrant County Republican Party. She was elected to finish the term of Stephanie Klick, who gave up the job to run for the Texas House. Now that she's got the GOP job, Hall says she'll remain neutral in primary races. And she'll be on the primary ballot, trying for a full term in the post.