in Houston, Texas
Texas trooper pay lags that of local police, auditor finds; $51.5 million price tag to bring salaries in line
Tuesday, Oct 09, 2012, 12:11PM CST
By Mark Lisheron
Texas state trooper

Your state Auditor has a plan to pay a competitive wage to state law enforcement officers, and all it is going to cost taxpayers is an extra $51.5 million a year.

That is, if the next Legislature likes the idea. Past experience suggests taxpayers might be less receptive.

The maximum base pay for the 4,428 officers in the Department of Public Safety, Department of Criminal Justice, the Alcoholic Beverage Commission and the Parks and Wildlife Department lags by as much as nearly 25 percent, on average, compared to the seven largest municipal law enforcement departments in Texas, according to the Auditor’s report, released today.

They are the police departments of Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio, and the Harris County Sheriff’s Department.

The average maximum base pay for officers, corporals and detectives in those departments is $74,543 or 20.6 percent more than the $61,793 average maximum for those ranks in the state Department of Public Safety.

DPS sergeants make 18.6 percent and lieutenants 20.2 percent less than their urban counterparts. The maximum base pay of $84,427 for captains is 24.3 percent less than the  $104,971 for the police and sheriff’s department captains.

The Austin Police Department offers, by far, the highest maximum base pay for each rank, followed by Fort Worth and Dallas. (Please see the chart on page 9 of the report.).

To bring those state salaries in line with the metropolitan average could be accomplished by paying out an additional $51.5 million annually, according to the Auditor’s report.

The Department of Public Safety has asked the Legislature to approve a plan that would involve a change of job classifications and pay increases at an annual cost of $41.5 million, the report says.

If the Legislature were to consider increasing state pay based on mid-range rather than maximum base pay, taxpayers would have to spend $33.7 million a year, the report says.

***
Contact Mark Lisheron at 512-299-2318 or mark@texaswatchdog.org or on Twitter at @marktxwatchdog.

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Photo of a Texas state trooper writing a ticket by flickr user rschroed, used via a Creative Commons license.

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CPS Energy awards CEO Doyle Beneby a $410k bonus equal to his annual salary
Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012, 04:07PM CST
By Curt Olson
money

CPS Energy board members must have forgotten about the bar tabs, expensive parties, lavish hotel rooms and first-class flights when they effectively doubled the compensation of public utility chief Doyle Beneby this week.

CPS trustees in San Antonio gave their chief executive officer a $410,000 bonus Monday, the San Antonio Express-News reports. He will receive $205,000 now, with the other half payable at the end of his contract a year from now.

Board Chairman Derrick Howard said Beneby improved CPS Energy’s standing with customers and brought in new energy partners, with nearly $1 billion that will be added to the economy, the Express-News reports.

However, WOAI TV reporter Brian Collister earlier this year uncovered shocking spending subsidized by CPS ratepayers. Digging into public records, Collister found a gold mine of public-employee excess.

His first report in February blew the lid off a $43,000 party for 25-year veterans of CPS Energy and a $7,000 going-away party for a CPS board member. That report forced Beneby to apologize and dip into his pocket to refund $5,000 to CPS.

Two years ago, Beneby pledged that CPS would be more transparent.

For the purpose of transparency, here’s a list of some of what Collister uncovered at CPS Energy for trustee Steve Hennigan’s going away party at Bohanan’s restaurant in February 2011:

  • $ 991 for snapper
  • $ 743 for ribeye steaks
  • $ 2,000 bar tab 
  • $ 160 for valet parking

A retirement party for a CPS Energy vice president that included five other CPS executives and their wives at Bistro Vatel in Olmos Park included steak and duck and $540 for four bottles of wine — and a final tab of $1,659.

An affair in June 2011, held annually for those who have worked at CPS 25 years, generated a tab for food, beer and wine of $43,593. The total tab over four years was $162,000.

The extravagance didn’t stop in San Antonio. Beneby takes it on the road, too. Collister reported in April that Beneby had one-night stays in hotels in Austin, Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. that ranged between $454 to $558.

Collister also found first-class flights, many for more than $1,000.

Collister’s investigation discovered the hiring of a Fleming’s steak house waitress — yes, she served at several of the parties — for $60,000 a year to prepare Beneby for meetings and schedule speaking engagements. With multiple emails from sources, Collister learned CPS never posted the new position.

The spending on meals and the assistant makes the $5,000 CPS Energy gave to the Texas Republican Party seem downright cheap. After WOAI reported on the donation, the party refunded it.

***
Contact Curt Olson at curt@texaswatchdog.org or 512-557-3800. Follow him on Twitter @olson_curt.

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Illustration of money by flickr user Tax Credits, used via a Creative Commons license.

Austin ISD approves 3 percent raises, may look to voters to make them permanent
Tuesday, Jun 19, 2012, 10:29AM CST
By Mark Lisheron
bus

A year after doomsday predictions of thousands of teacher layoffs across Texas, the Austin Independent School District is going to give its more than 5,700 teachers and district employees 3 percent pay increases.

The raises are part of a $724.2 million budget for 2012-13 that includes a new charter school and charter school and dual language programs and overcrowding reduction, the Austin American-Statesman reports today.

Among the beneficiaries of the pay increase vote are the seven employees in the new Department of Public Relations and Multicultural Outreach. The district created the department with $192,000 in federal taxpayers’ money usually used for academic improvement programs.

Like most of the largest school districts, AISD did not have to lay off teachers. The district reduced the number of teaching positions through attrition, by 6.37 percent, to 5,705 this past school year from 6,093 the year before.

The Austin School Board plan calls for spending $14.2 million from the district’s reserve to pay for the raises in the first year. The board is expected to consider calling for a tax rate election in November to ask taxpayers to decide whether to make the salary increases permanent.

***
Contact Mark Lisheron at 512-299-2318 or mark@texaswatchdog.org or on Twitter at @marktxwatchdog.

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Photo of school bus by flickr user Joffley, used via a Creative Commons license.

Raises for top officials leads to public shaming in McAllen; most give up salary increases
Tuesday, Jun 12, 2012, 01:22PM CST
By Mark Lisheron
money

Note to very important City of Keller officials from very important City of McAllen officials: shame should count for something when your raises are made public.

McAllen’s public utility manager, government affairs director and deputy and assistant city managers relinquished raises totalling $26,000 a year just days after the local newspaper, the McAllen Monitor, wrote about them.

It seems the raises didn’t go over well at City Hall, where lower-ranking municipal employees got their 1 percent pay increase in October of 2009.

City Manager Mike Perez said he gave three of the four employees, who make $150,000, $125,000  and $120,000, raises after they agreed to take on some of the duties of an assistant city manager who left the city’s employ.

The fourth, who makes $84,000, got a raise to bring his salary into line with directors of government affairs in other cities, Perez said.

Perez told the City Commission, some of whom said the raises surprised them, he hadn’t thought through how the rest of the city staff might react to the salary increases.

He might have gotten a pretty good idea talking to the city employees in Keller. Back in May, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram disclosed that the city manager there used much of the salary of a departing city manager to dole out $75,000 in raises to four top managers and hire a $55,000-a-year management assistant.

And this after the former city manager told the world he was leaving because, frankly, there wasn’t enough work to go around.

No similar self-flagellation and salary surrender has so far been reported in Keller. Which should come as a relief to Rigo Villarreal, who earns almost $115,000 as McAllen’s superintendent of bridges.

As of Monday, Villarreal was alone among managers, saying nothing about the $12,000 raise he got last September.

***
Contact Mark Lisheron at 512-299-2318 or mark@texaswatchdog.org or on Twitter at @marktxwatchdog.

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Photo of money by flickr user Unhindered by Talent, used via a Creative Commons license.

Fort Worth employees boost pay - and possibly future pension earnings - with OT
Wednesday, May 16, 2012, 10:16AM CST
By Steve Miller
time clock

Sixty-five Fort Worth city employees earned at least $20,000 in overtime last year, according to a report in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The top 10 earners of the extra pay were police department employees, including an officer who kicked his pay up 68 percent with the extra shifts.

Here’s the list of those picking up the extra public pay.

As the story wisely points out, a city employee's pension pay is based on his or her largest three years of pay. Often, employees will juice their hours as they head toward retirement and are usually at their highest pay level.

The 68 percenter is officer Howard A. Tokheim, who pulled in more than $52,000 in OT last year on top of his annual salary of  $77,292.80. Well, at least we can be sure he earned it on the mean streets of the city. What’s that? Howard actually works in the commercial vehicle unit of Fort Worth’s finest.

That’s explained by Fort Worth police Maj. Paul Henderson, who first told the S-T that paring back the overtime for cops is tough because "the majority of the officers on the top-earners list are assigned to various task forces and traffic enforcement units that utilize grant or federal funds to pay for overtime. These assignments require specialized certifications and special federal task force agent designations, which limit the pool of personnel capable to work these special enforcement details."

But for commercial vehicle enforcement?

"It is a challenging task attempting to provide safety on our roadways with limited enforcement experts while being awarded grant funding to pay for overtime to do just that, provide safe roadways," Henderson told the S-T. Actually, though, the police do a good job of keeping the city safe; it was declared among the safest in the U.S. in an annual ranking a few years back.

And it’s easy to consider Fort Worth as doing some paltry padding of the pension; according to a 2010 report in Houston, 714 police officers and fire department employees received over $20 Gs in OT.  According to records obtained by Texas Watchdog, Houston PD officers received overtime for work in some tough spots last year, including River Oaks and assignments for Halliburton and Akin Gump.

***
Contact Steve Miller at 832-303-9420 or stevemiller@texaswatchdog.org.

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Photo of time clock by flickr user Providence Public Library, used via a Creative Commons license.

More on the city manager who walked away with $750,000 severance from taxpayers of Killeen
Thursday, Jan 05, 2012, 12:52PM CST
By Steve Miller
jackpot

A former Killeen City Council member says she was blindsided by the former city manager's demand for a six-figure severance, but that she knows of no policy to prevent a repeat of such a large payout.

In March, Killeen City Manager Connie Green announced that he could no longer work with the city council and demanded accrued comp time, salary, health benefits, car allowance and retirement benefits --- equal to more than four times his reported $195,000 annual salary.

"He felt this was owed, and we said this compromise is the best way to avoid a lawsuit. He was shouting, ‘I am going to sue the city if you don’t pay me $890,000,'" former council member JoAnn Purser said in an interview with Texas Watchdog this week.

Two weeks and three executive sessions later, the council met with Green one last time, and all parties walked away with a compromise settlement of $750,000, agreed to by a 4-3 council vote.

Green told the local press that he had been fired after accusing some council members of violating the Texas Open Meetings Act.

"I got fired for bringing to their attention, the fact that I believe they had done something which could have broken the law, and also there are some personnel matters that I have discussed with them that are the prerogative of the city staff,” Green told the local CBS affiliate.

“Council members by charter are not to intervene in personnel matters. ...These things were going on, they were making it impossible for me to do my job as the Killeen city manager. I brought that with good intentions to the council, and as a result of it I lost my job. ... We had been warned repeatedly by the county attorney's office about conducting illegal walking quorums. Council members brought these to my attention and then expected me to say nothing about.”

In the months that followed the council would be disparaged and threatened by residents for handing over the lucrative settlement.

There was talk of a 2006 sexual harassment suit involving Green and more involving an outside investigation into Green’s departure. Green has said he did nothing wrong in the 2006 case.

In November, five of the seven city council were ousted in a recall vote, leaving the city without its primary form of governance.

Among those removed form office was Purser, a local real estate developer and graduate of Killeen High School who was elected to council in May 2009.

Purser remains stung by her removal from office, primarily because she isn’t sure anyone understood what actually happened in those closed sessions. She has been told that the vote taking her out was part of the "throw the bums out" movement that has become popular in the U.S.

“People keep saying that to me and telling me not to be disheartened, but my city is on hold,” Purser said. “It hasn’t been able to do anything since November. We can’t rezone property, we can’t fix roads, and who knows what kind of opportunities we are missing as a result of not having a city council.”

Purser wanted to provide her version of how the Green fiasco went down, and how a city ended up handing over three-quarters of a million dollars in severance to a city employee as the council considered a $2.6 million budget deficit.

Texas Watchdog: Did Connie Green step down or was he fired?
JoAnn Purser: We came into a closed session, and he said, ‘I can no longer work with this city council,' and we just didn’t believe it. We were completely blindsided. He had claimed that council members were meeting behind closed doors, but no proof was ever offered. We just didn’t know what to think of all this. Then he said we owed him $890,000 and he was going to sue us if we didn’t pay him. We were never aware of this buyout clause, it was done by a previous city council, in 2007. They should have had a line item in the budget for it, as to what the potential was. He told us he had 2,000 hours of comp time on top of everything.

TW: Had he documented this? What rate was he being paid at for this comp time?
Purser: Yes, because he kept his payroll log going back, he told us. And it was 2,000 hours. At one point, the council told him he could no longer accrue that kind of backlog of comp time. So he stopped in 2007. So all of this was pre-2007 comp time. Remember, he had been finance director before he was city manager. He was already our city manager for three years when they gave him this new contract. And he had six months of severance initially. Then it was increased to two years?

I was very abrasive with him about this pay, and he wanted to be paid for his comp time at the $98 an hour he was making as city manager, even though some of it had been earned at the $50 an hour he was making when he was finance director. All of this came about from that new contract he signed with the previous council, a deal we knew nothing about. And we did his evaluation in the fall before all of this, and it never came up then. He never said a word about it.

TW: So the council had to deal with this in terms of negotiation on the amount. Was he willing to budge?
Purser: [Council member] Billy Workman wanted to give him $1 million, even more than he was asking for. He said that Connie had been a hard worker and earned it.  And he mentioned that a few months earlier, we had given him a stellar review. But, I mean, even Connie only wanted $890,000, and we were happy to get him down to $750,000. And then Billy didn’t even vote to approve that. I don’t regret my vote.

TW: So there was never a question as the legal righteousness of his claim for $890,000?
Purser: I don’t think we could have fought this and won. As a business person, I could say, you know, he’s liable to win this, it’s not worth putting the city and the city employees through an issue that would divide the city. The leadership that we were tasked with is what is fair for the taxpayer, and interpreting this contract, he felt this was owed, and we said this compromise is the best way to avoid a lawsuit. He was shouting, ‘I am going to sue the city if you don’t pay me $890,000.’

TW: Is there anything in place to prevent this kind of thing from happening again?
Purser: No, this kind of policy could still be existing, depending on what human resources or the city is doing. The council is the only body that agrees on a city manager package. When they hire a new city manager, it is going to have to be a pretty attractive package because who is going to want to come to Killeen after this?

This is what’s so painful for me, this is my home. We give financial awards and philanthropically to the community, and for me to be raked over the coals for this, for a city manager I didn’t even know that well. But he was a good city employee.
 
***
Contact Steve Miller at 832-303-9420 or stevemiller@texaswatchdog.org.

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Graphic 'Jackpot' by flickr user Max Sparber, used via a Creative Commons license.
School salaries data pulled from newspaper's website
Friday, May 13, 2011, 02:48PM CST
By Steve Miller
school supplies

It's the thought that counts only sometimes.

When the Monitor newspaper in McAllen on Tuesday published the salaries of local school district employees, the outcry came loud and fast. Some threatened to cancel their subscriptions, while others claimed the public outing of taxpayer-funded expenditures threatened the safety of those named.

The newspaper, in a rather abashed mea culpa, removed the offending data from its website and on Thursday published an apology

Now it's not known whether those very public records will ever show up again on the Monitor's site. From the apology:

Once we have compiled the salary information for all districts, we will perform due diligence and report, in the best interests of all taxpayers, where there might be anomalies that call for further explanation from elected officials and, where appropriate, administrators. We plan to provide you the key information that will help you be better informed and make those decisions for yourself.

 

That does not mean we plan on “exposing” every single public school employee salary in every district in Hidalgo County.

The comments on the "I'm sorry" posting from the paper are a good place to read various views of openness. 

 

"Teachers are people too, and have every right to privacy," one person writes. Another fires off, "All educators should cancel their subscription, individual and for the classroom."

 

Another astute poster sends readers to the Rand site, where one can access overall and average school salaries, though not individuals', for a fee. Still one more directs readers to the treasure trove that is the Texas Tribune's database, where you can look up salaries, by name, of teachers in a number of districts --  but not for the districts first published by the Monitor.

 

Then there's the local CBS affiliate, which broadcast the story of an angered school district employee.

 

As a postscript, we note that it was employee salary information --- and the act of shining a light on it --- that sparked an investigation last year into misappropriation of public funds in tiny Bell, Calif., where the city manager was making almost $800,000 a year. The public information has led to the arrest of that official and others.


***

Contact Steve Miller at 832-303-9420 or stevemiller@texaswatchdog.org.

 

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Photo of school supplies by flickr user stevendepolo, used via a Creative Commons license.

UT faculty complain that data tracking their workload, salaries is not accurate
Wednesday, May 11, 2011, 03:34PM CST
By Steve Miller
UT longhorn

When the University of Texas rightly complied with the “promptly” element of the state’s Public Information Act, there was a cost: Some of the records provided to the querying party were not accurate.

 

As outlined in a story by The Chronicle of Higher Education, the university handed over a spreadsheet tracking workload and faculty salaries at the school early this month in response to a request from the Austin American-StatesmanThe data was compiled and available at the behest of a newly formed task force at the university, seeking to gauge productivity on the staffs of nine UT campuses.

 

Although the records were not complete, they were readily available and required to be released under state law.

 

From the story:

Thomas Kelley, a spokesman for the Texas attorney general's office, said in an e-mail that the state's Public Information Act "applies to records available on the date of request," even if the university system thought the records being requested were incomplete.

Professors and staffers complain now that the figures are incorrect and in many cases overstate their pay. Titles and location of employees are also mistaken in some instances.

 

One commenter at the Chronicle site complained that it was "very dangerous to release the data too quickly." Messy as it may be, it's the public's mess. A spokesman for the university explained that the data had not been fully verified, and citizens are discerning enough to understand there are sometimes inaccuracies in complex information.

 

The greater danger would be to hide or shield the information, or violate the Public Information Act's provision for prompt release, like the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association and Eanes ISD have done.

 

***

Contact Steve Miller at 832-303-9420 or stevemiller@texaswatchdog.org.


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Photo of Bevo, the UT longhorn mascot, by flickr user ilovemypit, used via a Creative Commons license.

Killeen City Council approves $750,000 buyout for City Manager Connie Green - $350,000 more than severance agreement stipulated
Friday, Apr 08, 2011, 01:24PM CST
By Steve Miller
cash

The city manager in Killeen got the boot last week but took home a nice consolation prize: $750,000 for his trouble, about $350,000 more than his severance agreement called for.
 
Connie Green was shown the door during a March 29 meeting after the city council voted 4-3 to hand over three-quarters of a million to Green, whose annual salary was $195,000.
 
According to a story in the Killeen Daily Herald, “Green's contract requires the city pay Green two years of salary and benefits, which would be at least $400,000.”

Killeen Mayor Tim Hancock said the payment “was in the best interest of the future of the organization and the community.”
 
Not all the community believes the spin. A cadre of outraged locals want to recall the City Council, an uphill effort that will require organizer Jonathan Okray to collect within a month 1,050 signatures on seven petitions, one for every member.
 
From the Daily Herald:
Okray said he called all seven council members…seeking explanation for the buyout.
 
"The resounding thing I heard was 'we were not on the council at the time Mr. Green's contract was drafted'; however, there is no responsibility or accountability to the citizens of Killeen," Okray said.
The situation surrounding the Green firing and his payment is blurry. He either resigned or was placed on leave earlier in March. The city has been secretive about the circumstances, leaving the public in the dark.
Green's buyout agreement stipulates that neither side shall seek litigation against the other, making finding the truth in allegations that much harder.

Green has accused (Councilman Larry Cole) of violating the Open Meetings Act by sending secretive e-mails, while Cole says this whole thing began because of dirt that resurfaced about Green.
Cole was talking about a recent public records request filed by city employees for documents pertaining to a 2006 sexual harassment lawsuit against the city.

“She filed charges against the city of Killeen,” Green has said of the suit. “I did absolutely nothing wrong, and the City Council reviewed it. They voted such.”

***

Contact Steve Miller at 832-303-9420 or stevemiller@texaswatchdog.org.


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Photo of money by flickr user stevelyon, used via a Creative Commons license.

UT's Francisco Cigarroa and William Powers Jr. among nation's highest-paid public college executives
Monday, Apr 04, 2011, 06:29PM CST
By Steve Miller

Two Texas university presidents are among the nation’s top paid public college execs, according to this item in the Chron. But neither University of Texas System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa or UT President William Powers Jr. can top the salary of fellow UT "educator" Mack Brown.

 

The annual Chronicle of Higher Education survey of university salaries reports that Cigarroa made $750,000 in academic year 2009-2010, while Powers was paid $746,738. They came in a distant second and third to the president of Ohio State University, who made $1.3 million.

 

With perks such as deferred compensation, Cigarroa’s total pay was $813,892.

 

But Brown last year made an estimated $5.1 million. So esteemed is the head football coach that dialing up the Longhorns Web site includes his name in the URL. As long as they have their priorities straight over at UT.

 

Referring to the Chronicle for Higher Education study, the Wall Street Journal reports that top-tier public university presidents received average raises of 1 percent last year. The article also points out:

In Austin, for instance, University of Texas Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa is asking lawmakers to limit proposed reductions in the state's funding of higher education, even as his compensation was third highest, by total cost of employment, among public-university leaders in America.

***

Contact Steve Miller at 832-303-9420 or stevemiller@texaswatchdog.org.


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Photo of UT band by flickr user ilovemypit, used via a Creative Commons license.

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Telemundo Houston & Dallas get silver at 10pm for May Sweeps 2016 Telemundo Houston / KTMD and Telemundo 39 Dallas-Fort Worth / KXTX had the second most-watched local newscasts in their respective markets...
Update:2 days 17 hours
Mike McGuff
MAY 27 / Leftists yammer on and on about how . . . . . . few cases of election fraud are ever taken to court. They're right. Election fraud is hard to prove. It's easy, perhaps, to make a...
Update:2 days 20 hours
Unca Darrell
Magnolia Home Listing Photo of the Day: Stirring Up Old Ghosts 33226 Magnolia Cir. [HAR] … Read...
Update:2 days 20 hours
Swamplot
Entire Building Now Serving as Texas Direct Auto Billboard Downtown From a largely-barren expanse of surface lot west of Toyota Center, a reader sends a few fresh images snapped during a street-level...
Update:2 days 20 hours
Swamplot
Comment of the Day: Lingering Fears of Being Grazed by a Bullet Train “The railroad needs to make 2 major cases: first, that those tinkertoy power stanchions won’t be any uglier than the high-tension...
Update:2 days 23 hours
Swamplot
Braun Marking Territory for Pet and People Food Stores on W. Gray The Panera marker previously spotted all by its lonesome in the leasing flier for Braun Enterprises’ redevelopment of 1705 W....
Update:3 days 32 min
Swamplot
Florida LLC makes contribution to super PAC after receiving Ex-Im loan Lou Sola, the owner of Evermarine LLC in Florida, supported Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. for president. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) A super PAC...
Update:3 days 45 min
Open Secrets
Swamplot Sponsor: This West U 4-Bedroom Near the Rice Village Sponsoring Swamplot for today: The house at 2629 University Blvd. in West University. Thanks for the support! Here’s a home...
Update:3 days 2 hours
Swamplot
Bellaire Asked To Pick Out Face of Police Building from Full Lineup Evidently none of these facades will appear on the Jessamine St. entrance of the new police and municipal court building planned for...
Update:3 days 3 hours
Swamplot
H-E-B Confirms Dry Zone Petition Involvement; What It Costs To Live in Houston French Restaurant Brasserie du Parc Slated To Open in Downtown’s One Park Place This Fall [Culturemap] The Barvin Group Has...
Update:3 days 5 hours
Swamplot
Reform on bail and muni fines would be big boon for H-Town indigents Two different stories out of Houston portray folks chipping away at unnecessary local jail detention from different angles.Bail litigation...
Update:3 days 5 hours
Grits for Breakfast
Daily Demolition Report: Pine Hollowed Swamplot’s Daily Demolition Report lists buildings that received City of Houston demolition permits the previous weekday. A few...
Update:3 days 6 hours
Swamplot
Bellaire Home Listing Photo of the Day: Leveling the Playing Field 4616 Verone St. [HAR] … Read...
Update:3 days 20 hours
Swamplot
Drinking Age Rises to 23 at Kirby Ice House No-longer-blue Upper Kirby Kirby Ice House announced this morning that it will no longer allow customers younger than 23 into the venue....
Update:3 days 21 hours
Swamplot
Lawsuit: No More Private Projects for TIRZ 17 Until All the Flooding Is Fixed Some Memorial-area residents (mostly under the banner of uncontroversially-named Residents Against Flooding) filed a...
Update:3 days 21 hours
Swamplot
MAY 25 / In a cage match between conventional wisdom and Donald Trump, bet on . . . . . . the man with orange hair. The old theory, to which I subscribed, was that Donald John Trump would top out at about 30 percent against...
Update:4 days 41 min
Unca Darrell
Chinese Company Preparing To Test 1400-Passenger Traffic-Straddling Tunnel Bus Meanwhile, in Changzhou: Engineer Song Youzhou tells Xinhua News that the first full-scale model of the road-straddling Transit Explore...
Update:4 days 1 hour
Swamplot
Swamplot Sponsor: This New Heights 4-Bedroom from Icon Home Today’s Swamplot Sponsor of the Day: the new-construction residence at 810 Ralfallen St. in the Heights. Thank you for supporting...
Update:4 days 2 hours
Swamplot
Wilcrest Whole Foods Now On Hold While Being Transferred to Randalls A reader reports that the Whole Foods Market at 11145 Westheimer was closed forever as of 4:15 pm on Sunday afternoon. The store’s...
Update:4 days 2 hours
Swamplot
Fmr. KTRK sports reporter Bruce Gietzen retires from TV Former KTRK abc13 sports reporter and Houston Rockets broadcaster Bruce Gietzen to leave TV news and remain in Waco After 33 years in the...
Update:4 days 2 hours
Mike McGuff
Prepping the Soil for Soccer by the Sawyer Yards Silos The new Houston Toros facility on Summer St. is getting polished up for next month’s soft kickoff, per reader Rony Canales’s...
Update:4 days 3 hours
Swamplot
Slate Wars-Harris County Party Chair Race Paul Simpson claimed that he would eliminate pay for play slates. And he would use new technology for his GOTV campaign. The Simpson...
Update:4 days 5 hours
Big Jolly Politics
Shifting the Gentrification Conversation in Third Ward; Mercer Botanic Gardens’ Post-Flood Return ABS Signs Lease for Mixed-Use Development CityPlace Under Construction in Springwoods Village [Houston Chronicle] Economist Mark Dotzour:...
Update:4 days 5 hours
Swamplot
Daily Demolition Report: A Rare Find Swamplot’s Daily Demolition Report lists buildings that received City of Houston demolition permits the previous weekday. Uncommon or...
Update:4 days 6 hours
Swamplot
Hunters Creek Home Listing Photo of the Day: Remnants 709 W. Creekside Dr. [HAR] … Read...
Update:4 days 20 hours
Swamplot
New tax forms show strong ties between pro-Rubio group and campaign Conservative Solutions Project, which backed Sen. Marco Rubio’s presidential bid, was the only dark money group supporting a single...
Update:4 days 21 hours
Open Secrets
UH Downtown To Plant STEM Building on New Acreage, Wait and See How the Freeways Grow Outlined in red is the next addition to University of Houston Downtown’s campus, per last Thursday’s meeting by the UH...
Update:4 days 21 hours
Swamplot
Tweets
Karen Townsend | 3 years 11 months
"Patrick F. Kennedy is a career foreign service officer" - http://t.co/GOrCe0IS
Peter Corbett ✈ | 3 years 11 months
I'm at McCarran International Airport (LAS) w/ @almacy http://t.co/KvmId07i
KERA Public Media | 3 years 11 months
TONIGHT at 7pm on KERA TV: Presidential Debate: Learn more at PBS NewsHour. http://t.co/Z9kYdun8
PBS MediaShift | 3 years 11 months
Tech Snafus Make Bill O'Reilly/Jon Stewart 'Rumble' More of a Stumble http://t.co/4OfeBlrG (@kegill | @pbsmediashift) #rumble2012
Will Sullivan | 3 years 11 months
Great addition, been burned too much by bad subs. "Google Play Announces Free Trials For In-App Subscription Services" http://t.co/TOLgRVak
TxDOT | 3 years 11 months
I-35W/North Tarrant Express #constantcontact http://t.co/QDzrQumu
keyetv | 3 years 11 months
Serial shotgun robbers suspects arrested. http://t.co/ka8T4U9B
Karen Townsend | 3 years 11 months
Aren't State Dept career people suppose to be non-partisan? Not the political appointees, the career people. #Libya
San Antonio Current | 3 years 11 months
Go ahead, chalk it up http://t.co/YMWpC5wM #satx #chalkitup
Caller.com | 3 years 11 months
Scanner: Bathroom on fire in 600 block of Virginia, CC fire dept. on the way
Ballotpedia | 3 years 11 months
Does your state offer early voting? Do you qualify? Find out! #election2012 http://t.co/eodxBYVD
Dallas Morning News | 3 years 11 months
Why a Dallas-area cycling coach believed Lance Armstrong was drug-free (video) http://t.co/gURdYkj1
Caller.com | 3 years 11 months
Dozens of illegal waste dumpers sentenced in Jim Wells Co.; others on the run: http://t.co/NgerCdsQ
Karen Townsend | 3 years 11 months
Consistently impressed w/raullabrador when I listen to him in Congressional hearings. #Libya
Cory Crow | 3 years 11 months
Diigo: United raises fares by up to $10 per round trip - Business - http://t.co/kWY8gwPV http://t.co/bw25JP5R
News 4 WOAI | 3 years 11 months
If you see news in or around San Antonio 'SEND IT' to @NEWS4WOAI here: http://t.co/uMqbMXQv OR email us at: NEWSDESK@WOAITV.COM
swamplot | 3 years 11 months
Mining Houston Garbage for Recycling and Compost Gold http://t.co/HMMBArMX
swamplot | 3 years 11 months
Daily Demolition Report: Tulane Highway http://t.co/JXmkSx11
KFDA NewsChannel10 | 3 years 11 months
Obama and Romney: Where they stand on the issues http://t.co/y3VrPfkM
Williamson County | 3 years 11 months
Mental Health Awareness Week FREE Webinar:"Understanding Depression-How to Help You or a Loved One" Thurs,Oct 11@1pm-https://t.co/YUWi19WY
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