Tribpedia: John Smithee

House Passes $4.9 Billion Tax Cut

State Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, celebrates passage of his tax cut measures during the House session April 28, 2015.
State Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, celebrates passage of his tax cut measures during the House session April 28, 2015.

The Texas House tentatively approved a $4.9 billion tax relief plan Tuesday that includes a cut to the state’s sales tax, marking a clear line in the sand against the Senate, which favors property tax cuts.

 

Dawn Carlton is pushing for a series of bills this legislative session to change the way court-appointed guardians are used in Texas.
Dawn Carlton is pushing for a series of bills this legislative session to change the way court-appointed guardians are used in Texas.

Guardianship Reform Could Offer New Freedoms

Dawn Carlton is intellectually disabled, but she says she manages fine on her own. She is pushing changes in the way court-appointed guardians are used in Texas. Tens of thousands of Texas adults with disabilities have legal guardians who make decisions about how their money is spent and where they live.

Students arrive in caps & gowns to Texas Capitol on April 6th, 2015. The Senate sub-committee on border security will listen to testimony on SB #1819 relating to determination of resident status of students by public institutions of higher education
Students arrive in caps & gowns to Texas Capitol on April 6th, 2015. The Senate sub-committee on border security will listen to testimony on SB #1819 relating to determination of resident status of students by public institutions of higher education

The Brief: 2 Percent of Texas Higher Ed Students Are Undocumented

For all the talk about undocumented immigrants qualifying for in-state tuition at Texas colleges and universities, it turns out that these students make up a very small portion of the college-going population.

Candidate for Lt. Governor, Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, makes a point to Evan Smith at TribLive on September 19, 2013.
Candidate for Lt. Governor, Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, makes a point to Evan Smith at TribLive on September 19, 2013.

The Brief: Massey Villarreal is No Fan of Dan Patrick

The rise of anti-immigrant rhetoric in the GOP lieutenant governor's race — and personified by state Sen. Dan Patrick — is angering several Hispanic party leaders to the point where one of them is considering voting for a Democrat in the general election.

Greg Abbott, then a candidate for governor and now the governor-elect, spoke at a NE Tarrant Tea Party meeting at Concordia Lutheran Church in Bedford on Nov. 12, 2013. State Sen. Wendy Davis, who was also running for governor, spoke to veterans at Luby's in Forest Hill the day before.
Greg Abbott, then a candidate for governor and now the governor-elect, spoke at a NE Tarrant Tea Party meeting at Concordia Lutheran Church in Bedford on Nov. 12, 2013. State Sen. Wendy Davis, who was also running for governor, spoke to veterans at Luby's in Forest Hill the day before.

The Brief: Abbott Reasserts Fundraising Strength

Greg Abbott has reversed the campaign fundraising storyline of a month ago, raising more than three times the cash as the combined efforts of Wendy Davis and Battleground Texas.

The Rally for Immigration Reform on Congress Avenue near the Texas Capitol on Feb. 22, 2013.
The Rally for Immigration Reform on Congress Avenue near the Texas Capitol on Feb. 22, 2013.

The Brief: House GOP Faces Divide on Immigration

The House Republican leadership on Thursday released a one-page blueprint for immigration reform. But with its call to legalize 11 million undocumented workers, the immediate question was whether the plan would fly within the party.

State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, a Democratic candidate for Governor, speaking at the Travis County Democratic Fundraiser on Jan. 28, 2014.
State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, a Democratic candidate for Governor, speaking at the Travis County Democratic Fundraiser on Jan. 28, 2014.

The Brief: Davis Tries to Turn Page on Bio Controversy

Time magazine on Tuesday posted an article talking about Wendy Davis' "moment of truth." Davis then spent the rest of the day making the most concerted effort of the past week to push aside critics who have seized on details of her life story to say she isn't fit for office.

Travis County Democratic Party volunteers make calls to voters on Election Day from the coordinated campaign headquarters in Austin, Texas.
Travis County Democratic Party volunteers make calls to voters on Election Day from the coordinated campaign headquarters in Austin, Texas.

The Brief: Inside the O'Keefe-Battleground Texas War

The Austin American-Statesman's Jonathan Tilove had a must-read in the Sunday paper, reporting some fascinating details in what he described as a "cat-and-mouse game" between Battleground Texas and James O'Keefe's Project Veritas.

U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Friendswood, holds a QR code linked to a Bitcoin account at an event at the NYC Bitcoin Center in New York on Dec. 31, 2013.
U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Friendswood, holds a QR code linked to a Bitcoin account at an event at the NYC Bitcoin Center in New York on Dec. 31, 2013.

The Brief: Where in the World is Steve Stockman?

The story of Steve Stockman is rapidly turning from that of a Tea Party-fueled challenge to the GOP establishment to a headline ripped from a milk carton — as in, no one seems to know where the Clear Lake congressman is.

At separate events, Republican Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, filed for governor in Austin, Texas on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013.
At separate events, Republican Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, filed for governor in Austin, Texas on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013.

The Brief: Why It Matters Whether Davis Raised $12.2M

The campaigns of Wendy Davis and Greg Abbott don't agree on much, so it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that even the announcement of campaign contributions has become a source of disagreement.

State Sen. Wendy Davis announces her campaign for governor in front of a crowd of supporters in Haltom City on Oct. 3, 2013.
State Sen. Wendy Davis announces her campaign for governor in front of a crowd of supporters in Haltom City on Oct. 3, 2013.

The Brief: Paying for Improved Schools

Wendy Davis has now laid out the first major policy initiative of her gubernatorial campaign. The policy area — education — was not surprising, but the extensive press coverage focused on a big unanswered question: How to pay for it?

Thousands of abortion opponents attended the Texas Rally for Life at the Capitol on Jan. 26, 2013, where speakers included Gov. Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Houston Sen. Dan Patrick.
Thousands of abortion opponents attended the Texas Rally for Life at the Capitol on Jan. 26, 2013, where speakers included Gov. Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Houston Sen. Dan Patrick.

The Brief: Challenge to Abortion Law Stops in NOLA on Way to SCOTUS

The challenge to Texas' law placing further restrictions on abortion facilities took another step toward a widely expected hearing by the U.S. Supreme Court with oral arguments before a three-judge panel from the 5th Circuit in New Orleans.