BG Note | News - What We're Reading (March 9, 2018)


[Austin Metro]

From #metoo to racial divide, SXSW 2018 set to take on social issues (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY

When South by Southwest 2018 officially puts its big arms around downtown Austin on Friday morning for the city’s annual bear hug of live music, new films and tech talk, it will provide no shortage of things to talk about.
Looking at that list of keynotes, featured speakers and talks each year, it starts to become evident what topics SXSW organizers believe attendees most want to hear about...

Gov. Abbott confirms Amazon visit to Austin, in addition to Dallas (Dallas Morning News) LINK TO STORY

Governor Greg Abbott confirmed on Thursday that Amazon HQ2 scouts have been to Austin and Dallas as he accepted an annual award that recognizes the top performing states for business and job creation.
The Dallas Morning News this week had already confirmed that Amazon had been to North Texas and that the e-commerce giant has narrowed its local preference to downtown Dallas. "Amazon officials have been in the state of Texas talking with my office as well as talking with leaders in Austin and in Dallas as they continue the process going nationwide to figure out which locations would be the best match for them," Abbott said after accepting Site Selection Magazine's 2017 Governor's Cup award...

Precourt shines spotlight on McKalla; city to help explore it (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY

Precourt Sports Ventures announced Thursday that city-owned McKalla Place is now the focus of its stadium search, and Austin officials plan to work with the Major League Soccer owner to examine the site.
The North Austin property, located near the Domain, was one of five potential stadium locations city staff identified in December for Anthony Precourt, who aims to move Columbus Crew SC to Austin...

Council torn on height of east side project (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

Poor-quality concrete. No tunnel liner. Missing rebar. A “patchwork of repairs.”
After more than $161 million spent, the new Waller Creek Tunnel has severe structural problems that will reduce its ability to control flooding in downtown Austin and lessen the tunnel’s lifespan, an attorney representing the city said in a letter to a contractor last month.
“This impacts the entire purpose of the tunnel,” the Feb. 23 letter said...


Tan Parker is third Republican to file for Texas House Speaker (Texas Tribune) LINK TO STORY

State Rep. Tan Parker, R-Flower Mound, filed Thursday for speaker of the Texas House, becoming the third Republican to enter the race to succeed retiring Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio.

Parker, the chairman of the House Republican Caucus, joins state Reps. Phil King of Weatherford and John Zerwas of Richmond in vying for the gavel. King declared his candidacy before Straus announced in October that he was retiring, while Zerwas got in quickly after Straus' announcement...

Republican lawmakers who survived Abbott’s opposition fight back (San Antonio Express-News) LINK TO STORY

Two Republicans targeted by Gov. Greg Abbott came roaring out of their primary victories saying that rather than curbing dissent, he has hurt his own reputation and endangered the party they share.
While the move may not impair Abbott’s own reelection, it “creates a lot of vulnerabilities” as energized Democrats focus on congressional and legislative opportunities, said Rep. Lyle Larson, R-San Antonio, who beat Abbott-backed Hollywood Park Mayor Chris Fails “A number of my colleagues have expressed their frustration that the governor would go out and start attacking members of his own party using resources that we need to be focusing on the (Democratic) folks in the fall election,” Larson said. “Our general turned around and start shooting at us… People really resented the governor trying to handpick patsies that would do exactly what he wants to do. At least in my district, his credibility was damaged pretty significantly.” ...

3 Austinites are among the wealthiest members of Congress (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY

The congressional money list is in and Texas can once again claim some high rollers, or at least high earners, with the wealthiest members of Congress from the Lone Star State topped by three Austin members: Michael McCaul, Roger Williams and Lloyd Doggett.
McCaul, a Republican and a perennial on the “rich list,” has a net worth of $113 million, making him the fifth-wealthiest lawmaker of the 530 members of the U.S. House and U.S. Senate (there are a few vacancies) and the richest among Texas lawmakers. Williams, also a Republican, ranks 22nd overall and second among the Texas lawmakers with a net worth of $27.7 million and Doggett, a Democrat, is 36th overall and the third-wealthiest Texas member of Congress with an estimated net worth of $13.1 million...

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders defends Laura Moser against national Democrats ahead of Texas trip (Texas Tribunes) LINK TO STORY

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders came to the defense of Texas congressional candidate Laura Moser and denouncing national Democrats after they took the extraordinary step of trying to damage her chances days before the Tuesday primary.
In an interview Thursday, the Vermont independent and 2016 presidential candidate said he thought it was "outrageous" that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee had come out against Moser before the 7th Congressional District primary, posting negative research about her in an apparent effort to keep her from advancing. The American people, Sanders added, "want to see serious debate about serious issues, not efforts to tear down candidates."...

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