BG Note | News - What We're Reading (January 17, 2018)


[Austin Metro]

Sheryl Cole raises $232,000, emerges as top threat to Rep. Dukes (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY

Former Austin City Council member Sheryl Cole has emerged as the biggest Democratic primary threat to beleaguered state Rep. Dawnna Dukes’ 12-term tenure representing House District 46.

An ethics commission report filed before Tuesday’s deadline shows Cole had raised $91,483 since mid-August, according to her campaign manager, André Treiber, who said another $23,831 was unofficial as it had been pledged but not received.

Overall, Cole’s campaign says it has received $232,246 in donations and pledges, with state Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, giving $1,000...

Dispute continues over program to expand artists’ access to cultural centers (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

There appears to be little progress in a dispute between a group of Austin arts organizations who claim they’ve been mistreated and marginalized by the city’s Parks and Recreation Department in its work to expand operating hours and access at four arts and culture centers.

That means that groups that currently rehearse and perform at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center – Proyecto Teatro, Teatro Vivo, Aztlan Dance Company and Los Bohemios Perdidos – still have a deadline on Friday, Jan. 19, to sign their contracts that would grandfather them into the city’s Artists Access Program...


Abbott wants to limit local jurisdictions' ability to raise Texans' taxes (Dallas Morning News) LINK TO STORY

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott will ask the Legislature to cap the annual revenue growth of cities, school districts, counties and other local taxing jurisdictions at 2.5 percent. It's part of a 33-page property tax reform plan that Abbott unveiled Tuesday in Houston. He'll also talk about the plan Wednesday in Arlington. "With the skyrocketing rise in property taxes, more and more Texans face the risk of being forced out of the homes they have lived in for decades," Abbott said in a news release. "Young families who are just starting out are having trouble affording their first home and businesses are unable to grow and hire more workers. Enough is enough."...

His challengers have confidence — but Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has $18 million (Dallas Morning News) LINK TO STORY

The men hoping to oust Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick certainly have the confidence to win. But do they have the cash? Scott Milder, who'll face Patrick in the March 6 Republican primary, raised just shy of $40,000 over two months — including $10,000 he lent himself. Mike Collier, a Democrat who unsuccessfully ran for comptroller in 2014, bested Milder's fundraising numbers by more than a dozen-fold, raising half a million dollars last year. But they both face an uphill battle against the Republican incumbent. Patrick is very popular with primary voters — he beat his 2014 GOP opponent, incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, by 31 percentage points — and raised $2.5 million in the second half of last year...

Patterson raises $90,000 in GOP race against Land Commissioner George P. Bush (San Antonio Express-News) LINK TO STORY

Republican Jerry Patterson raised nearly $90,000 during the first month campaigning to win back his old job from Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, according to campaign finance reports filed this week. The sum pales, however, in comparison to the $1 million the Bush campaign reports pulling in over the last six months. The face-off is expected to be one of the most competitive statewide GOP primaries on March 6. Patterson was land commissioner for three terms before making an unsuccessful bid for lieutenant governor in 2014. Bush then won his first four-year term leading the Texas General Land Office, which oversees everything from the Alamo to housing relief in wake of Hurricane Harvey...

As U.S. Supreme Court takes up Texas redistricting case, it dismisses partisan gerrymandering appeal (Texas Tribune) LINK TO STORY

Texas, for now, will not join the list of states fighting in court over the limits of partisan gerrymandering. As it considers cases out of other states over whether extreme practices of partisan gerrymandering can be deemed unconstitutional, the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed the efforts of Texas Democrats and other plaintiffs to revive a related legal claim in the ongoing litigation over the state’s political boundaries. The high court’s dismissal comes just days after it agreed to hear a case over whether Texas’ congressional and House district boundaries discriminate against voters of color...


Apple wants to pump $350 billion into U.S. economy, build new corporate campus (Apple) LINK TO STORY

Apple Inc. is gearing up to build another corporate campus in a yet-to-be-announced American city and increase its workforce across the U.S. by 20,000 employees over the next five years, the iPhone maker said Wednesday.
The news was packaged with Apple’s announcement that it plans to invest $350 billion in the U.S. economy between now and the end of 2023...

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