Okalahoma Environmental Officials Will Participate In Hearing Process For Texas Coal Plants

What happens in Texas doesn't stay in Texas, especially when it comes to air quality issues.

That's why officials from the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality are planning to participate in administrative hearings relating to 11 858-megawatt coal power plants that TXU plans to build in East and Central Texas.

Texas Governor Rick Perry, who has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in political contributions from coal power plant interests, fast-tracked the administrative permitting process for 16 TXU coal power plants in 2005. Though that action has now resulted in litigation challenging Perry's authority to issue the fast-tracking order, the administrative hearings process continues.

For those wondering why folks in Oklahoma might be concerned about new coal power plants in Texas, it has to do with the same issues Texans are concerned with: air quality. To wit:

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BREAKING: Texas Orders All Girls To Get HPV Vaccine

Original post at TexasKaos.com
Wow! Texas just became the first state to order all its school-aged girls to get the controversial HPV vaccine. Human papillomavirus, or HPV, is a common cause of STDs and can lead to cervical cancer and other gynecological cancers.
Bypassing the Legislature, Republican Gov. Rick Perry signed an order Friday making Texas the first state to require that schoolgirls get vaccinated against the sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer.
But why is it controversial? It's not except that some conservative groups believe girls with the vaccine will have more sex. That's right. These groups would rather expose young girls to HPV-related cancers than give them a vaccine that could save their lives.

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June SUSA TX-Gov Poll: 3-way Tie for Second

1,200 Texas adults were interviewed 6/23/06 - 6/25/06. Of them, 1,007 were Registered Voters. Of them, 576 were judged to be "likely" voters. MoE ± 4.2%

CandidateJuneMayAprilRick Perry (R)35%(41%)(39%)Kinky Friedman (I)21%(16%)(16%)Chris Bell (D)20%(18%)(15%)Carole Strayhorn (I)19%(20%)(25%)Other2%(1%)(3%)Undecided3%(3%)(3%)Crosstabs
While this is now the 2nd tracking poll putting Kinky Friedman in 2nd place, here it is a statistical 3 way tie for 2nd place, echoing previously expressed opinions of mine. Relative to where people were a month ago the only statisticly meaningful moves that are outside of the MoE are Perry's loss of 6% and Kinky's gain of 5%. Longer term, Bell is consolidating the base as Carole flakes off voters.

In the crosstabs there are some gender lines (Carole pulling woman, Kinky pulling men). In terms of age, Kinky pulls more of the youth vote (tied at 28% with Perry), Carole is even everwhere, and Bell and Perry have a hole and hill respectively in support among 50-64 year olds.

In terms of racial groups, the high/low distribution for each group is as follows.

Whites: Perry-40% / Bell-13%
Blacks: Bell-55% / Kinky-6%
Hispanic: Perry 32% / Kinky 19%
(mostly even here, but a large problem that Perry wins the Hispanics)

On partisan lines, we see Republicans for Perry (58%) split evenly next between the indies, with few interested in Bell (6%). For Democrats, Bell now has 44%, split evenly next to the indies and 12% go to Perry. For Independents, Kinky eats up 37%, split between Strayhorn and the Perry, with little interest in Bell (10%).

Ideologically there is an interesting blip. Kinky scored 2nd behind Perry among Conservative voters while at the same time matching Bell for first among Liberal voters (34% each). While not helpful to Bell at all, I've seen this in Kinky's voters as he pulls in casual rural Republicans as well as urban liberals (though only the white ones).

Ethics reform after Tom DeLay: What's next?

Chris Bell, a Houston Democrat, was elected to Congress in 2002 after serving five years on the Houston City Council and chairing the Council's Ethics Committee.  In June 2004, Bell filed an ethics complaint against Tom DeLay in response to DeLay's repeated abuses of House Ethics rules.  The House Ethics Committee unanimously admonished DeLay as a result of Bell's complaint.  Bell is currently the Democratic nominee for Governor of Texas.

Like most of you, I was pleasantly surprised last night to hear the news of Tom DeLay's decision to resign from Congress.  I'd be less than truthful if I told you I knew this day would come when I first filed the ethics complaint against the then-Majority Leader nearly two years ago.  Back then, even members of my own party told me I was crazy to expect that DeLay would ever be held accountable for his abuses, and I had plenty of doubts myself.  The culture of corruption had become so deeply rooted in Washington that it was accepted as a given that the whole mess would just be swept under the rug.  

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TX Governor's Race Poll

DMN random telephone poll of 1,482 registered voters Feb. 9-Feb 15. It has an error margin of plus or minus 3 percentage points. Of those polled, 301 say they are likely to vote in the Democratic primary. The error margin for those voters' responses is 5.5 percentage points.

The full report on the polling for the Texas Governor's race is here.  If the 301 people who said they would vote in the Democratic primary are the only Democrats sampled, that gives the overall poll only a 20% Dem base, which even for Texas is far too low, though I'm thinking that was a self selection question.  In any case let's look at the numbers shall we?

First, Job Approval (approve/disapprove)

(R) Perry - 47%/38%
(R) Strayhorn - 53%/16%

Our job as Democrats after the primary will be to work on Carol because as her unfavorables go up, it's doubtful those voters will shift back to Perry.

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