State government

Caleb Bryant MIller

TribBlog: Skinner Execution Postponed

The trial judge who initially decided Hank Skinner would die Feb. 24 — one week from today — has pushed the execution date back to March 24, says Skinner attorney Rob Owen, co-director of the University of Texas at Austin’s Capital Punishment Clinic.

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Jacob Villanueva

Day Care Danger

The Texas Workforce Commission spent nearly $50 million during the last two years on day care centers and in-home childcare providers with troubled track records — including sexual and physical abuse, kidnapping, and leaving infants to suffocate and die in their cribs. A Texas Tribune review found that at least 135 subsidized facilities had their licenses revoked or denied by the Department of Family and Protective Services in 2008 and 2009 and had their funding immediately suspended.

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Jacob Villanueva

The Numbers Game

More than 373,000 Texans went uncounted by the 2000 census, resulting in a loss of $1 billion in federal funds. With eight of the nation's 50 hardest-to-count counties right here in our state, the coming 2010 census is a cause for concern — and an apparent lack of attention by elected officials is making matters worse.

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Primary Color: SBOE District 5

Forget about Don McLeroy vs. Thomas Ratliff. The most interesting fight for a State Board of Education seat may be in San Antonio, where well-funded lawyer-lobbyist Tim Tuggey is challenging incumbent Ken Mercer — and the big question being asked is, 'How conservative is conservative enough?'

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Ross Ramsey

Primary Color: HD-98

State Rep. Vicki Truitt, R-Southlake, has won and won easily since wresting the district from a GOP incumbent in a 1998 runoff. But this year is different. She'll face three opponents and voters who might be in an anti-incumbent mood.

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Caleb Bryant Miller

Primary Color: Five to Watch

In honor of today's kickoff of early voting — a two-week period in which political junkies, committed activists and other go-to-the-head-of-the-class types will line up to cast ballots for their favorite candidates, unable to contain their enthusiasm or anger until March 2 — we present five different installments in our Primary Color series. Brandi Grissom reports on the GOP face-off to take on state Rep. Joe Moody, D-El Paso, in House District 78. Elise Hu tackles the four-way scrum between Republicans in HD-20 hoping to succeed retiring state Rep. Dan Gattis, R-Georgetown. Ross Ramsey asks why a perenially safe incumbent, state Rep. Vicki Truitt, R-Keller, has a fight on her hands this year in HD-98. Abby Rapoport looks at the battle for conservative cred in the race for the District 5 seat on the State Board of Education. And Morgan Smith picks apart the five-way race for the GOP nomination in Congressional District 23 — and the chance to topple U.S. Rep. Ciro Rodriguez, D-San Antonio.

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Jacob Villanueva

Survey Says...

Texans are more worried about the economy and the direction of the country than anything else, according to the new University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll. Other notable findings: Nearly two-thirds support either gay marriage or civil unions, nearly half prefer private health insurance to a government-run plan, and more than a third think the Legislature meets every year.

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Bob Daemmerich

TribBlog: NYT Mag on SBOE's "Christian Nation"

It seems the social conservatives on the State Board of Education may be on their way to getting more ink than any other politicians in modern Texas history, a cause that will be helped in this Sunday's printing of The New York Times Magazine.

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