in Houston, Texas
Tornillo ISD should beef up financial controls, guard against more ‘reckless’ spending by superintendent Paul Vranish: TEA
Thursday, Sep 13, 2012, 08:00AM CST
By Steve Miller
money

The superintendent of the Tornillo Independent School District, Paul Vranish, benefitted by using his position to approve purchase of items that were not sanctioned by his contract, spent public money in a “reckless manner,” and submitted the same hotel invoice twice for reimbursement, according to a state audit.

The final investigative report from the Texas Education Agency notes financial lapses at the district and suggests at several points that Vranish may have violated numerous codes and laws.

 

The state agency examined $117,394 in reimbursements to Vranish and his wife, also employed by the district, in the 2011 fiscal year, finding $47,909 in questionable costs.

 

Several members of the district’s board of trustees and school system’s lawyer refute the state’s assertions.

 

"We are giving them feedback and expect everything to go away," said Jim Darnell, the attorney representing Vranish.

 

According to the state, which issued its final report Aug. 31, Vranish used travel for the district to earn frequent flier mileage points, then used those points for district travel.

 

“He then requests reimbursement for the miles used by submitting documents that show what that flight would have cost if the district had paid for a regular airline ticket, as well as the associated fees charged to use the frequent flier miles,” the report states. “Because the superintendent is charged with protecting the district’s assets and using them for the benefit of the district’s students, but instead used them in a reckless manner, he may be in violation” of several articles of the Texas Constitution.

Paul VranishPaul Vranish

 

Vranish declined to comment.

 

Among the other findings:

  • “PMV Services sold a 50’ DLP HDTV to (the Tornillo school district) for $1,200 in June 2007. The superintendent provided additional documentation regarding the self-dealing but this transaction is still questionable because it does not appear to be an arm’s length transaction.” PMV Services is a company owned by Vranish. In an interview with Texas Watchdog earlier this year, Vranish explained he operates it part-time as a certified board trainer for school districts.
  • Vranish “authorized a purchase order to purchase a cell phone for himself.” His contract provides that the district pay for his service, not his cell phone. Vranish also purchased a number of other tech items without the proper purchase authorization.
  • Vranish submitted two parking tickets for reimbursement, one at Houston’s Hobby Airport and the other at the El Paso airport. The tickets were issued in relation to a Texas Association of School Boards convention in which all travelers, including Vranish, rode together in a rental car. “Therefore, the reimbursement is questionable,” the report notes.
  • On several occasions, purchase orders were authorized after a purchase had already been made. Numerous items were shipped to Vranish’s home rather than his office, the report states.
  • Several trips were taken without an explanation of what they were for, and trips were reimbursed before they were taken.

See TEA’s analysis of expenses here.

 

TEA concludes the report by demanding new policies at the school district outside El Paso on the state’s western border. Among them, that the district implement new financial controls. The district must hire a forensic auditor to examine the district’s reimbursements to Vranish and his wife, Marla, for the years 2006 through 2011. The district must implement new measures to ensure Vranish reimburses the district for all expenses and ceases using his personal credit card for district-related expenses.

 

Records obtained by Texas Watchdog show the district has continued to defend Vranish. Several trustees in a March 9 letter claimed Vranish’s use of a personal credit card “was well known to everyone.”

 

“…Every year, auditors make a call to a trustee, private from the superintendent, to ask about board member knowledge of operations and possible fraud problems,” states the letter, which is not signed by the entire board but includes several past members.

 

Texas Watchdog reviewed a letter from Douglas Little, of the local accounting firm Little, Roberts and Company, refuting many of the TEA findings. The letter was written at the request of Darnell, Vranish’s lawyer.

 

Darnell calls the investigation and its reports “a crock of baloney.”

 

"I had a CPA go through the report, and he responds to every single one of the allegations," Darnell said. "We've got responses to every single one of the things they found. The report is sloppy to the point of incompentent."

 

In the April 23 letter, Little disputes the charges for the cell phone, saying the auditors ‘offer no argument why these items are inappropriate for Mr. Vranish’s job duties.”

 

He calls the auditor's questions about money Vranish spent to repair a snowmobile an “egregious overreach by the auditor” and says that a snowmobile – a 2007 Polaris - was damaged during a 2008 school trip to Colorado and that a repaid bill of $1,210.33 was put on Vranish’s expense report.

 

“Mr. Vranish owns two snowmobiles, a 1992 and a 1993 model which clearly do not match the description on the repair receipts,” he writes.

 

The school district’s lawyer, S. Anthony Safi, argued in an April 23 letter to the TEA that the selling of frequent flier tickets for district-related travel  “actually resulted in savings to the district.”

 

Safi also questioned the necessity of a forensic audit, calling it a “very significant, unbudgeted expense” that “should be left to the discretion of the school board.”

 

Safi did not return a call. Rachel Avila, president of the Tornillo shcool district board, did not return an email.

 

The TEA ordered the audit earlier this year after receiving complaints from several members of the school board, which is divided 3-3 in its support of Vranish.

 

Vranish resigned in January shortly after the news of the audit broke and received a $276,000 payout, which one report attributed to his contractual arrangement with the district. He’s still running the district, though, since he specified his last day would be June 28, 2013.

 

Vranish has previously left a top job with a school district amid controversy over expenses. He resigned in 1999 from the Lone Oak Independent School District in East Texas after an investigation questioning the district’s financial practices.

 

***

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


Keep up with all the latest news from Texas Watchdog. Fan our page on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Scribd, and fan us on YouTube. Join our network on de.licio.us, and put our RSS feeds in your newsreader. We're also on MySpace, Digg, FriendFeed, and tumblr.

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

Troubles swirling around Tornillo ISD superintendent echo his past
Thursday, May 31, 2012, 08:32AM CST
By Steve Miller
classroom

TORNILLO, Texas - Shortly before he left his job as superintendent of Lone Oak Independent School District in 1999, Paul Vranish and his spending habits had come under scrutiny by the state.

The Texas Education Agency had been contacted by a community member concerned about an increase in discretionary spending by the superintendant. State investigators found that because of "an oversight" Vranish had exceeded the $10,000 limit in one instance. Their report revealed that board members had been probing the daily affairs of the district, requesting credit card statements and line-item athletic expenses down to the middle school cheerleading team.

Vranish left for the top job with the Buffalo Independent School District.

Still, a pattern of rough-and-tumble politics with trustees and questions about how Vranish spent money was set. The trail of trouble, some that cannot be pinned on him or is simply allegation, has dogged the school official over the past 14 years.

In 2001, a Buffalo ISD school board member pleaded in a letter to the Texas Education Agency to step in as the relationship between the trustees and superintendent Vranish had become contentious.

The state obliged, and in early 2002, the district was placed under state oversight. 

Vranish moved on in June of that year to become superintendent of the Tornillo Independent School District, located 40 miles southeast of El Paso. He is now the target of a state investigation that alleges he spent unauthorized district money on electronics, including a cell phone and a tablet, and double billed for travel reimbursements.

Vranish declined to comment.

Employment checks are generally a given at the higher district ranks, but the very position of superintendent draws fire from someone regardless of proficiency. So a record of state involvement isn't always a sign of ineffectiveness.

Vranish’s past, though, could have informed his present. After the state investigation in Tornillo, Vranish declared in a letter he would resign in June 2013, taking with him a $276,000 payout. In an interview with Texas Watchdog in March, Vranish disputed the state’s charges.

In Lone Oak, the state inquiry in 1999 substantiated a number of allegations stemming from the citizen’s complaint. State investigators reported that while the spending limit on Vranish's expense account was $10,000, “within the past two years and due to an oversight, that limit was exceeded on one occasion."

The board responded by increasing the limit to $25,000, state investigators found. The limit was then changed to $7,500, then two months later switched back to $10,000.

The report concluded that “when a board fails to stand behind its policy decision and continues frequently to change such policies, the many changes can create a perception of inconsistency and disharmony.”

The report also noted strife between the school board and Vranish, resulting in packed board meetings that one interviewee described as "out of control."

“An administrator described the board meetings as ‘one huge filled room of tension,’" the report noted.

The state mandated that both the board and Vranish attend a team-building session and undergo training to improve “interpersonal skills," parliamentary procedure and a session that focuses on the “responsibilities of board members and superintendents."

In Buffalo, state education investigators were called in late 2001, finding again a divided school board.

A letter from school board president Eddie Harcrow to the TEA asked for help:

“At this time, our board is experiencing disagreement and conflict regarding goals for, and direction to, the superintendent,” Harcrow wrote. He asked that the state appoint a “master,” or a person with wide latitude to oversee a school district that is failing to perform.

The letter came following weeks of meetings that drew a reported 200 people from the population 1,800 town.

Paul VranishPaul Vranish

A story in the Buffalo Express newspaper on Oct. 17, 2001, reported that Vranish addressed the crowd. A teacher asked about the district’s development plan, which is to be developed in accordance with state law.

“…Supt. Vranish finally admitted that the school district had no such plan and had not had the required plan for two years,” the story said.

On Jan. 2, 2002, the Buffalo Express bannered a headline, “BISD leaders ask for help.”

A TEA report stated that investigators arrived to find two board members “determined to resign.” Vranish was hired by Buffalo to “improve the budget and ‘clean house,’" the report states, and that board members agreed that the budget is repaired but Vranish and the majority of the board also agree that there was still a need to "clean house."

“Although one might be inclined to let Buffalo take care of its own problems, instruction is being affected by the turmoil,” the report said.

Harcrow said in an interview with Texas Watchdog that Vranish did a good job during his tenure in Buffalo.

“Almost anyone who runs a business or school is going to ruffle some feathers when they make changes,” Harcrow said. “What happens is that you have some personnel issues and then get local people angry when their niece doesn’t get hired or someone’s nephew doesn’t get his contract renewed.”

In Tornillo, the district is waiting on the TEA after filing a required response to the findings of its preliminary audit, which reported possible criminal activity by Vranish.

In keeping with the controversy that follows Vranish, even the response to the TEA is in dispute. The law requires the response to be approved by the entire school board.

“We were aware that we all had to agree on the response, but three of us did not approve it,” said trustee Javier Escalante, one of three foes of Vranish on the divided Tornillo school board. “I have never even seen the response, but they submitted it anyway."

Another board member, Ofelia Bosquez, was serving when Vranish was hired. Although she gave him a low hiring score in her assessment, she was unaware of state actions in Lone Oak and Buffalo.

Bosquez said that Vranish has done a “good job. … He’s very intelligent, and he keeps records."

She, too, refused to approve the response to the state’s scathing preliminary audit, for which an outside attorney was hired.

“(Vranish has) blamed us for legal fees,” Bosquez said. “But I told him that he was the instigator for these fees."

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

Keep up with all the latest news from Texas Watchdog. Fan our page on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Scribd, and fan us on YouTube. Join our network on de.licio.us, and put our RSS feeds in your newsreader. We're also on MySpace, Digg, FriendFeed, and tumblr.

Photo from a classroom by flickr user Texas.713, used via a Creative Commons license.

Creative Commons License
Like this story? Then steal it. This report by Texas Watchdog is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License. That means bloggers, citizen-journalists, and journalists may republish the story on their sites with attribution and a link to Texas Watchdog. If you do re-use the story, e-mail news@texaswatchdog.org.

Tornillo ISD chief Paul Vranish gets more time to respond to audit of expenses; new attorney to district has ties to Vranish
Friday, Mar 30, 2012, 12:17PM CST
By Steve Miller
clock

The besieged superintendent of the Tornillo Independent School District, accused of possible criminal activity in a preliminary audit by the Texas Education Agency, said he has received an extension for his response to the investigation, according to a story by El Paso ABC affiliate KVIA.

Paul Vranish, who denied the charges in the TEA audit in an interview this week, had told Texas Watchdog that he had filed the response by the March 27 deadline. When asked for a copy of that response, Vranish refused.

It turns out that he did not have a response. His answer to the audit is now due April 30.

The TEA audit accused Vranish of double-billing the district for travel expenses, buying electronic equipment without proper authorization and a number of other infractions. Vranish's wife, Marla, a counselor in the district, was also named in the TEA audit, though she was not accused of wrongdoing and the findings largely centered on her husband. The audit found that she used a personal card instead of a district-issued card to pay for expenses and that the district reimbursed her and her husband more than $117,000 last fiscal year.

The TEA ordered the school district to hire a forensic auditor to perform an audit on the reimbursements of Vranish and his wife for the years 2006 to 2011. It also ordered the district to more closely monitor the reimbursements and expenses of Vranish.

In a meeting Thursday, the board approved the hiring of legal counsel outside that of the district's regular law firm. El Paso attorney S. Anthony Safi was formally approved and addressed the TEA audit.

Safi defended Vranish in a string of small claims cases that were dismissed in 2006, records show.

Marla Vranish is currently fighting a misdemeanor assault charge in an El Paso county court, records show. Her next hearing is April 3. Her attorney, Jim Darnell, did not return a call placed Friday morning.

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

Keep up with all the latest news from Texas Watchdog. Fan our page on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Scribd, and fan us on YouTube. Join our network on de.licio.us, and put our RSS feeds in your newsreader. We're also on MySpace, Digg, FriendFeed, and tumblr.

Photo of clock by flickr user simpologist, used via a Creative Commons license.

Creative Commons License
Like this story? Then steal it. This report by Texas Watchdog is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License. That means bloggers, citizen-journalists, and journalists may republish the story on their sites with attribution and a link to Texas Watchdog. If you do re-use the story, e-mail news@texaswatchdog.org.

Tornillo ISD superintendent defends snowmobile expense, other purchases
Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012, 12:44PM CST
By Steve Miller
HTC touch

Paul Vranish, superintendent of the Tornillo Independent School District near El Paso, said allegations that he misspent district funds were unfounded and that the Texas Education Agency was mistaken in its preliminary audit that demanded a more complete forensic audit of Vranish.

The stinging state report claimed that Vranish spent unauthorized money on an HTC Touch cellphone and a Motorola Xoom tablet, double-billed for travel reimbursements and paid for repair of a personal snowmobile with public money.

“They were off on this,” Vranish said Tuesday, referring to the audit, which was completed in February at the behest of several members of the school board, which is divided 3-3 in its support of Vranish.

Among the audit’s findings:

  • Vranish and his wife, Marla, erroneously billed the school district for reimbursements of charges put on his personal credit card, including the travel expenses of other district employees. Vranish was reimbursed by the district for the same trip on two occasions, and at one time billed for a hotel room even though his airline ticket showed him returning that same day.
  • Vranish used frequent flier points for a trip and then submitted and received a reimbursement for what the flight would have cost had he paid cash.
  • The district had a practice of rewarding students who performed well on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills with taxpayer-funded trips to a number of locations, including Honolulu, New York, Boston, and Washington D.C., a violation of a confidentiality provision in state statute that prohibits identifying those students.

The report, which looked at finances for 2010 and 2011, notes that Vranish’s contract with the district calls for cell phone services for both personal and business use but not for phones and tablets. The items billed include $682.85 for various accessories including the tablet, phone and a speaker dock.

Vranish said he bought the technology as part of his role as technology director of the four-school, 1,500-student district.

Paul VranishPaul Vranish

“I was unaware that the thinking existed that for me to buy something it had to be in my contract," he said.

The audit also questioned the billing for repair of a snowmobile, something most Texas school officials wouldn’t be putting on their expense accounts. But Vranish has for the past several years taken groups of students to Colorado in the winter for a school outing. And Cindy Criswell, co-owner of All Season Adventures in Salida, Colo., confirmed he rented snowmobiles on that day.

“He comes in here for a day, and they usually get 10 to 12 snowmobiles,” Criswell said.

Vranish noted that another incident noted in the report was the reimbursement for a flight that he had not yet taken.

“Don’t you pay before you fly?” Vranish asked. “It is ludicrous to do an audit, then have a criticism saying you got paid before the trip was taken.”

He was also criticized for a policy in which he signs off on his own expenses, although Vranish contends that is just not so.

“In our district, when someone approves a purchase, it has to go though four reviewers before it comes back to me,” said Vranish, who has headed the district since 2002. “It is absolutely true that I give final approval on any purchase. We’re a small school district. [The audit] ignores that it goes through several others before it gets to me.”

Vranish noted there has also been reference to his company PMV Services, which he said he operates part-time as a certified board trainer for school districts.

“I don’t take money for conducting the training,” he said. “I just ask them to cover my expenses.”

The TEA ordered the school district to hire a forensic auditor to perform an audit on the reimbursements for Vranish and his wife for the years 2006 to 2011. It also ordered the district to more closely monitor the reimbursements and expenses of Vranish.

The school district has responded to the TEA. In the response, which the TEA claims is not a public record until the final review of the situation is completed, the district can refute the audit’s findings.

“If they can substantiate something, why something should be changed, we will change it or else we will say no,” said DeEtta Culbertson, a TEA spokeswoman. “We incorporate the responses with our rationale for accepting or denying, then we publish our final audit.”

Culbertson declined to comment on Vranish’s statement that the TEA auditors “were off on this.”

The district's response to the audit is generally completed with the approval of the school board. But a review of the board agendas since the release of the audit last month shows nothing. The audit is scheduled to be discussed in a meeting Thursday along with consideration of a policy that requires an officer of the board to sign off on Vranish's expenses.

Vranish resigned in January and received a $276,000 payout, which one report attributed to his contractual arrangement with the district. The resignation was not effective immediately.

In addition to expense account privileges, Vranish’s contract calls for a $117,750-a-year salary with a $3,600 car allowance.

He blames a divided school board for his troubles.

“I’m not happy about the people on the board who filed this complaint,” Vranish said. “It had no basis in truth.”

In an email four days after Vranish’s resignation, school board President Rachel Avila sent out an email to her colleagues praising Vranish and attacking three other board members who voted not to extend his contract in the wake of the TEA audit findings.

Vranish has been with the district since 2002, when he came over after serving as superintendent in Buffalo, Texas.  He has testified in state legislative hearings and in 2003 served on the Education Commissioner’s Cabinet of Superintendents.

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

Keep up with all the latest news from Texas Watchdog. Fan our page on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Scribd, and fan us on YouTube. Join our network on de.licio.us, and put our RSS feeds in your newsreader. We're also on MySpace, Digg, FriendFeed, and tumblr.

Photo of cellphone by flickr user Rudy Herman, used via a Creative Commons license.

Creative Commons License
Like this story? Then steal it. This report by Texas Watchdog is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License. That means bloggers, citizen-journalists, and journalists may republish the story on their sites with attribution and a link to Texas Watchdog. If you do re-use the story, e-mail news@texaswatchdog.org.

Resignation of Tornillo ISD superintendent called into question; audit found district funds used for snowmobile repair, other personal expenses
Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012, 03:41PM CST
By Steve Miller
snowmobile

The superintendent of the Tornillo Independent School District near El Paso resigned amidst an investigation into missing money. But school board members never signed off on the resignation and are questioning the validity of his departure.

Paul Vranish submitted his resignation at a Jan. 31 board meeting to the panel’s president and secretary, according to a report from KVIA in El Paso.  The board previously declined to extend his contract. According to the resignation letter, Vranish would leave the district in June.

The station reports:

A Feb. 4 email allegedly written and sent by board president Rachel Avila said due to Vranish's resignation, "he collected $276,000, which cost the district $414,000 due to a state aid penalty."

The investigation by the Texas Education Agency was launched in September regarding travel funds. Vranish at the time welcomed the scrutiny and continues to deny any wrongdoing.

A TEA audit discovered Vranish and his wife may have used district funds to pay for cell phones, travel and repairs to his snowmobile, according to the KVIA story. The station said that TEA investigation found Vranish and his wife were reimbursed $117,394 last year for purchases they claim were district-related.

Vranish has been at the district since 2002. In December he published a paper at the Web site and in the journal of the American Association of School Administrators entitled “Making Superintendent Evaluation Fun?”

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

Keep up with all the latest news from Texas Watchdog. Fan our page on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Scribd, and fan us on YouTube. Join our network on de.licio.us, and put our RSS feeds in your newsreader. We're also on MySpace, Digg, FriendFeed, and tumblr.

Photo of snowmobiles by flickr user Digidave, used via a Creative Commons license.

  • 1
Video
KTRK: On Big Screens for Billionaires, Comptroller Susan Combs Silent
Related Blogs and Media
Houston Home Listing Photo of the Day: The Watering Hole 1114 B Potomac Dr. [HAR] … Read...
Update:2 years 5 months
Swamplot
Comment of the Day: Still Missing the Good Ol’ Days “I was born in ’91, so I never got to experience the little mom and pop stores (hardware store or otherwise). I wish I could have...
Update:2 years 5 months
Swamplot
Nothing Really Happens with This Bed Bug Shutdown Notice and Implosion Threat Posted to a Westheimer Strip Center Mattress Store “The movie finally makes a reasonable amount of sense now” after 4 years of work on it, writes producer Joseph Graham on the...
Update:2 years 5 months
Swamplot
Swamplot Sponsor: Central Bank Swamplot’s sponsor today is Houston’s own Central Bank. Thanks for the continuing support! Central Bank has 4 (central) Houston...
Update:2 years 5 months
Swamplot
The Next Food Hall Coming to Downtown Houston Will Be a Storeful of Open Kitchens If you’re just coming up to speed on the whole food hall thing, remember this: It’s not a food court, it’s a food hall....
Update:2 years 5 months
Swamplot
Amazon Will Swallow Whole Foods Whole For those who expected Whole Foods Market to shop itself to a fellow grocery store chain and not a powerful company experimenting with...
Update:2 years 5 months
Swamplot
This Century’s Rise in Home Prices; Rare Local Air Monitoring Equipment Exhibited at Museum Houston-Area Home Prices Have Increased Nearly 30% Since 2000, Finds Harvard Study [Houston Chronicle] Stream, AMD To Develop 5-Story...
Update:2 years 5 months
Swamplot
Daily Demolition Report: Feagan, and Again, and Again Swamplot’s Daily Demolition Report lists buildings that received City of Houston demolition permits the previous weekday. Demolition is...
Update:2 years 5 months
Swamplot
Blessed are the Poor: Examining opposition to debtors-prison legislation Texas State Sen. Paul Bettencourt was quoted by the Associated Press (June 11) criticizing debtors-prison legislation (SB 1913) which...
Update:2 years 5 months
Grits for Breakfast
Houston Home Listing Photo of the Day: The Vault 14759 Oak Bend Dr. [HAR] … Read...
Update:2 years 5 months
Swamplot
Bones Found in Holdout Heights House Attic Tell No Tales Fox26 has now updated its story from March on the mysterious circumstances surrounding the fate of Mary Cerruti, the former owner of the...
Update:2 years 5 months
Swamplot
Fast Indian Comes to the Strip Center End of 19th St. Just opened this week in Re:Vive Development’s new add-on strip center at 721 W. 19th St., just west of Shepherd Dr.: the first...
Update:2 years 5 months
Swamplot
A Personal Big Day at L'Auberge in Lake Charles In previous posts, including in my Lifetime of Running Cold history of my personal gambling, Iit's been mentioned that I've been...
Update:2 years 5 months
Cory Crow
Debtors-prison policies decried, DPS cuts license center hours, and other stories Here are a few odds and ends that merit Grits readers' attention while mine is focused on preparing for a much-need break next week.SCOTUS...
Update:2 years 5 months
Grits for Breakfast
Junk-science based false convictions in Houston lampooned by comedian Someone has finally grokked and managed to convey in an accessible, understandable way the unmitigated travesty of justice surrounding drug...
Update:2 years 5 months
Grits for Breakfast
Just Liberty post-session roundup podcast Here's the latest Just Liberty podcast - this time reviewing criminal-justice reform legislation from the 85th Texas Legislature -...
Update:2 years 5 months
Grits for Breakfast
Governor signs omnibus innocence bill to track informants, record interrogations Governor Greg Abbott today signed HB 34, Texas' latest omnibus innocence legislation. Grits explained in this post why the eyewitness ID...
Update:2 years 5 months
Grits for Breakfast
Houston meeting of Texas Latino GOP PAC tomorrow evening From the InBox: The Texas Latino GOP PAC are the gatekeepers to the conservative Latino Community, for far too long GOP outreach to Latino...
Update:2 years 5 months
Big Jolly Politics
Sen. Joan Huffman to recap the 85th From the InBox: Join us THIS WEDNESDAY, June 14 (Flag Day!), for our meeting with State Sen. Joan Huffman, SD 17, who will be discussing...
Update:2 years 5 months
Big Jolly Politics
Gov. Abbott mistakes incarceration smell for "freedom" Governor Greg Abbott made a speech in Bell County recently declaring that, as one drove north out of Austin, one could notice a different...
Update:2 years 5 months
Grits for Breakfast
Unanswered questions about law-of-parties beyond death penalty In our podcast the other day, Texas Defender Service Executive Director Amanda Marzullo estimated that 10 percent of death-row defendants...
Update:2 years 5 months
Grits for Breakfast
Priorities The headline from the Victoria Advocate declaring that the Texas Legislature prioritized mental health treatment over incarceration is...
Update:2 years 5 months
Grits for Breakfast
Legislative Session The 85th Legislative Session was different in many ways. Two things changed the narrative this session. First, Empower Texans successfully...
Update:2 years 5 months
Big Jolly Politics
Court trends advise tempered enthusiasm for HB 34 eyewitness ID reforms Does this sound like a suggestive photo array to put before a witness?A witness described being robbed at gunpoint by a “[b]lack male,...
Update:2 years 5 months
Grits for Breakfast
MAY 22, 2917 / Theodore Dalrymple on secularization and transcendence THE SECULARIZATION of Europe is hardly any secret. Religion's long, melancholy, withdrawing roar, as Matthew Arnold put it, is a roar no...
Update:2 years 6 months
Unca Darrell
MAY 10 / James B. Comey . . . . . . needed firing. Everything he did during the 2016 election was wrong. He was wrong . . . . . . back in July to release information...
Update:2 years 6 months
Unca Darrell
Droppin' F bombs, Beto O'Rourke style It's not often that a politician decides to start cursing repeatedly during speeches and interviews. But that hasn't stopped...
Update:2 years 7 months
Rick Perry vs The World
APRIL 5, 2017 / Weeding out the audience at the Alley is . . . . . . a feature, not a bug. Houston's Alley Theatre is running "An Act of God," a loosely dramatized collection of irreverent one-liners...
Update:2 years 7 months
Unca Darrell
Statewide primary rumors It's that stage of the election cycle where politicians are trying to figure out if they should run for something else or stay put. ...
Update:2 years 8 months
Rick Perry vs The World
Is Ted Cruz vulnerable? Is Ted Cruz vulnerable? Not really. Sure, he's not liked, Texans think Ted puts Ted first, his approval rating is upside down, etc...
Update:2 years 8 months
Rick Perry vs The World
MARCH 16, 2017 / Jim Webb on what it means to be a redneck, and . . . . . . why redneck culture matters. In 2004 Jim Webb wrote Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America. Though the 2016 presidential...
Update:2 years 8 months
Unca Darrell
MARCH 3, 2017 -- Goodbye, and thanks, to Thomas Sowell THOMAS SOWELL, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and one of America's most important public intellectuals, retired from...
Update:2 years 9 months
Unca Darrell
March 2, 2017 / The poem our teachers got wrong TWO ROADS diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. Generations of commencement...
Update:2 years 9 months
Unca Darrell
FEBRUARY 27 / Eric Hoffer on . . . . . . baby boomers and alienated intellectuals. "SCRATCH AN INTELLECTUAL, and you find a would-be aristocrat who loathes the sight, the...
Update:2 years 9 months
Unca Darrell
2017 Project: January “Progress” There are two different ways to interpret my 2017 project: that it's a way more complicated New Years Resolution, or that it is essentially...
Update:2 years 10 months
Greg's Opinion
Ted Cruz's first senate term in a nutshell The National Review's Tim Alberta switched to Politico, and one of his opening pieces put Ted Cruz's first term in a nutshell It...
Update:2 years 10 months
Rick Perry vs The World
Andrea Parquet-Taylor named KTVT CBS 11 news director Former KHOU 11 assistant news director Andrea Parquet-Taylor named Vice President, News Director for KTVT CBS 11 Andrea...
Update:2 years 10 months
Mike McGuff
VIDEO: KPRC 2 10pm newscast (1-24-99) ...
Update:2 years 10 months
Mike McGuff
Democrats actually thought Wendy Davis was a serious candidate? Hat tip to Willisms: VIDEO- Wendy Davis being Wendy Davis: https://t.co/SHq3ACGVDJ #txlege— Will Franklin (@WILLisms) January 24,...
Update:2 years 10 months
Rick Perry vs The World
Luke Bryan to sing National Anthem as part of Super Bowl LI on FOX ​ Country music superstar LUKE BRYAN will sing the National Anthem as part of Super Bowl LI pregame festivities at NRG Stadium in Houston...
Update:2 years 10 months
Mike McGuff
Tweets
Karen Townsend | 7 years 6 months
"Patrick F. Kennedy is a career foreign service officer" - http://t.co/GOrCe0IS
Peter Corbett ✈ | 7 years 6 months
I'm at McCarran International Airport (LAS) w/ @almacy http://t.co/KvmId07i
KERA Public Media | 7 years 6 months
TONIGHT at 7pm on KERA TV: Presidential Debate: Learn more at PBS NewsHour. http://t.co/Z9kYdun8
PBS MediaShift | 7 years 6 months
Tech Snafus Make Bill O'Reilly/Jon Stewart 'Rumble' More of a Stumble http://t.co/4OfeBlrG (@kegill | @pbsmediashift) #rumble2012
Will Sullivan | 7 years 6 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 | 7 years 6 months
I-35W/North Tarrant Express #constantcontact http://t.co/QDzrQumu
keyetv | 7 years 6 months
Serial shotgun robbers suspects arrested. http://t.co/ka8T4U9B
Karen Townsend | 7 years 6 months
Aren't State Dept career people suppose to be non-partisan? Not the political appointees, the career people. #Libya
San Antonio Current | 7 years 6 months
Go ahead, chalk it up http://t.co/YMWpC5wM #satx #chalkitup
Caller.com | 7 years 6 months
Scanner: Bathroom on fire in 600 block of Virginia, CC fire dept. on the way
Ballotpedia | 7 years 6 months
Does your state offer early voting? Do you qualify? Find out! #election2012 http://t.co/eodxBYVD
Dallas Morning News | 7 years 6 months
Why a Dallas-area cycling coach believed Lance Armstrong was drug-free (video) http://t.co/gURdYkj1
Caller.com | 7 years 6 months
Dozens of illegal waste dumpers sentenced in Jim Wells Co.; others on the run: http://t.co/NgerCdsQ
Karen Townsend | 7 years 6 months
Consistently impressed w/raullabrador when I listen to him in Congressional hearings. #Libya
Cory Crow | 7 years 6 months
Diigo: United raises fares by up to $10 per round trip - Business - http://t.co/kWY8gwPV http://t.co/bw25JP5R
News 4 WOAI | 7 years 6 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 | 7 years 6 months
Mining Houston Garbage for Recycling and Compost Gold http://t.co/HMMBArMX
swamplot | 7 years 6 months
Daily Demolition Report: Tulane Highway http://t.co/JXmkSx11
KFDA NewsChannel10 | 7 years 6 months
Obama and Romney: Where they stand on the issues http://t.co/y3VrPfkM
Williamson County | 7 years 6 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
© 2019 TEXAS WATCHDOG and USELABS. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use and Privacy Statement