Posts for Michele Samuelson

School finance lawsuit, or coal in taxpayers' stockings?

Just in time for the holidays, Texas’ largest school districts filed the fourth and largest lawsuit on school finance just yesterday.  The timing was impeccable, really.  Every political hack in the state was already on vacation, the only reason people read newspapers right now is to get a heads-up on after-Christmas sales, and news broadcasts […]

By |December 23, 2011
Familiarity breeds contempt: Thoughts on a bifurcated primary

How many times does a blogger get to use “bifurcated” in a headline, much less a sentence?  Guess I have something to thank the political punditry for. Okay.  First, let’s define what we discussing.  There is a good chance that we may be looking at two primaries, one in March on the previously designated date […]

By |December 14, 2011
Half dozen transmission lines - for $7 billion

The Texas Public Utilities Commission (PUC) wants to build half a dozen transmission lines to get wind-generated energy from the west Texas plains to the state’s power grid. They’ve been anxious to do this for awhile, and how much do they think this is going to cost? Why, just $7 billion. Yeah, I did a […]

By |December 7, 2011
The "Caucus of One" Seeks a Return

I will admit, this news this morning about former state rep. Tommy Merritt announcing his intention to run against Rep. David Simpson in HD 7 is just about the best thing St. Nicholas could have put in this aspiring pundit’s shoe. Or inbox. Whatever. Let’s take a trip down memory lane. The greatest primary victory for conservatives in Texas back in […]

By |December 6, 2011
Cost of Occupy Austin begins to take a toll

Austin has been relatively fortunate throughout the so-called Occupy Wall Street protests.  We have not witnessed the violence that some cities have, we have had no bodies found in tents.  Some arrests have taken place, but generally, the crowd at City Hall has been peaceful.  Yet, they are costing taxpayers a good chunk of change, […]

By |December 5, 2011
How is "more expensive" a competitive edge?

University administrators baffle me.  Every time they want to raise tuition, they justify it by saying they wish to be more “competitive” as a school.  That’s exactly what the Tuition Policy Advisory Committee at the University of Texas stated about their proposed increase today.  They tried cushioning the proposal by stating that a portion of the new […]

By |November 29, 2011
UPDATED: Primary filing begins, SCOTUS receives stay requests

With so many moving parts, it may seem as though nothing is yet certain for our election season in Texas.  Today marked the beginning of candidate filing for the primary, though at least a handful of candidates have stated publicly that they will wait to see what the U.S. Supreme Court does before filing paperwork.  There are […]

By |November 28, 2011
The Very Definition of Modern Judicial Activism

We hear that term, “judicial activism,” quite often.  It is meant to refer to actions by a judge or panel of judges that create law, instead of doing what the courts are meant for, interpretation of the law.  Almost from the very moment of creation, American courts have engaged in judicial activism, and our history […]

By |November 26, 2011