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With a Democrat back in the White House, Texas Republicans prepare to go on offense

With a Democrat back in the White House, Texas Republicans prepare to go on offense

Democrats are headed back to the White House, and Texas Republicans are gearing up to go back on offense.For eight years under President Barack Obama, Texas was a conservative counterweight to a progressive administration, with its Republican leaders campaigning against liberal policies on immigration, the environment and health care and lobbing lawsuit after federal lawsuit challenging scores of Democratic initiatives. When Republicans could not block policies in Congress, they sometimes could in the courts.Now, as Joe Biden enters the White House promising , the notorious are expected to...

January 20, 2021
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Texas laws protecting whistleblowers don't apply to Attorney General Ken Paxton, his agency argues in bid to quash lawsuit

Texas laws protecting whistleblowers don't apply to Attorney General Ken Paxton, his agency argues in bid to quash lawsuit

The Texas attorney general’s office is attempting to fight off efforts by four former aides to take depositions and issue subpoenas in their lawsuit claiming they were illegally fired after telling authorities they believed Attorney General was breaking the law.The agency is arguing that Paxton is “not a public employee,” and thus the office cannot be sued under the Texas Whistleblower Act, which aims to protect government workers from retaliation when they report superiors for breaking the law.Four former Paxton aides claim they were fired in retaliation for telling authorities they...

January 14, 2021
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Ken Paxton told Trump supporters to “keep fighting.” When they breached the Capitol, he falsely claimed it wasn’t them.

Ken Paxton told Trump supporters to “keep fighting.” When they breached the Capitol, he falsely claimed it wasn’t them.

Tags: Sign up for our NewslettersTags: , our daily newsletter that keeps readers up to speed on the most essential Texas news.On Wednesday morning, in front of a roaring crowd, reminding a sea of President Donald Trump’s supporters that the president “is a fighter” and his backers must be, too.“We’re here. We will not quit fighting,” he said, slamming Republican officials in Georgia who have stood by Joe Biden’s victory there. “We are Texans, we are Americans, and we’re not quitting.”But by the evening — after members of the crowd he had invited to Washington, D.C. and stirred up with false...

January 7, 2021
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Despite committee’s recommendation, ending Texas’ partisan judicial elections looks unlikely

Despite committee’s recommendation, ending Texas’ partisan judicial elections looks unlikely

Texas looks unlikely to change its controversial partisan election system for judges — even after a commission studying the issue recommended ending the practice.On an 8–7 vote, the 15-member group recommended that the Legislature change the longstanding method in the state, which requires judges to run with a political party, often collecting campaign checks from the very lawyers, businesses and lobbyists whose cases land before their courts. But the group did not overwhelmingly back a replacement system.For decades, critics including former judges have pointed out that the system allows...

December 31, 2020
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Attorney General Ken Paxton asked Trump administration to take back some of Harris County’s COVID-19 relief money

Attorney General Ken Paxton asked Trump administration to take back some of Harris County’s COVID-19 relief money

Texas Attorney General in May urged the Trump administration to that Harris County planned to use for mail-in ballots, as Republican state leaders and Democratic local officials were sparring over whether and how to expand voting options during the pandemic.In a May 21 letter, Paxton alerted Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin of Harris County’s “stated intent to use federal funding in violation of state law,” and asked him to “seek return of any amounts improperly spent on efforts to promote illegal mail-in voting.”“Without implementing adequate protections against unlawful abuse of mail-in...

December 22, 2020
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Texas attorney general's office paying lead lawyer $540 per hour to defend against whistleblower lawsuit

Texas attorney general's office paying lead lawyer $540 per hour to defend against whistleblower lawsuit

, our daily newsletter that keeps readers up to speed on the most essential Texas news.The Texas attorney general's office will pay outside counsel $540 an hour to defend the state agency against accusations that it was retaliating against top aides when it fired them just weeks after they reported their boss, , to authorities for possibly breaking the law.William Helfand, a Houston attorney with Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP, will make $540 per hour for his work on the case while an associate attorney and a paralegal will make $350 and $215 per hour, respectively, according to a...

December 14, 2020
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Trump, Republicans pin hopes on Texas lawsuit to overturn election results, but legal experts say it's a long shot

Trump, Republicans pin hopes on Texas lawsuit to overturn election results, but legal experts say it's a long shot

, our daily newsletter that keeps readers up to speed on the most essential Texas news.President Donald Trump on Wednesday to a long-shot Texas lawsuit seeking to overturn a presidential election that handed the White House to Joe Biden.Legal experts say Texas Attorney General ’s effort to contest election results of four key battleground states is all but certain to fail. But it has from the Republican attorneys general of 17 other states.As the president’s legal team loses case after improbable case in federal district and appellate courts, the Texas lawsuit offers a major advantage: It...

December 9, 2020
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In new lawsuit, Texas contests election results in Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania

In new lawsuit, Texas contests election results in Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania

Need to stay updated on coronavirus news in Texas? Our evening roundup will help you stay on top of the day's latest updates.Texas Attorney General is four battleground states — Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — whose election results handed the White House to President-elect Joe Biden.In the , he claims that pandemic-era changes to election procedures in those states violated federal law, and asks the U.S. Supreme Court to block the states from voting in the Electoral College.The last-minute bid, which legal experts , comes alongside dozens of similar attempts by President...

December 8, 2020
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Last whistleblower fired from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's office days after suing for retaliation

Last whistleblower fired from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's office days after suing for retaliation

, our daily newsletter that keeps readers up to speed on the most essential Texas news.The Texas attorney general’s office has fired the last remaining whistleblower who alleged broke the law in doing favors for a political donor — just days after aides had sued the agency alleging they suffered retaliation for making the report.Deputy Attorney General for Legal Counsel Ryan Vassar — who had already been placed on paid leave — was fired Nov. 17, according to internal personnel documents obtained by The Texas Tribune, making him the fifth whistleblower to be fired from the agency in less...

November 24, 2020
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Dallas County axes plan to prioritize vaccinating communities of color after state threatens to slash allocation

Dallas County axes plan to prioritize vaccinating communities of color after state threatens to slash allocation

Need to stay updated on coronavirus news in Texas? Our evening roundup will help you stay on top of the day's latest updates.Faced with the threat that the state might slash its vaccine allocation, Dallas officials on Wednesday reversed course on a plan that would have prioritized doses for people living in the county’s most vulnerable ZIP codes, primarily in communities of color.A divided Dallas County Commissioners Court had to prioritize vaccines at its Fair Park distribution center for individuals in mostly Black and Latino neighborhoods, a reflection of increased vulnerability to the...

January 21, 2021
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