Critics say bill designed to aid GOP reelection bids

first_imgBy Elizabeth ByrneThe Texas Tribunetexastribune.org “This is a major deal of cynical Republicans trying to once again put their thumb on the scale when they can’t win an election fair and square,” Maxey said. “They want to stack it with third-party candidates, so that unsuspecting voters that may think, ‘Neither major party speaks for me, so I’m just going to go do a protest vote by voting for this Green Party candidate.’”An earlier version of the bill only had the filing fee provision. When the bill reached the House floor earlier this month, Springer proposed an amendment that added the new ballot threshold language. The amendment passed after less than a minute of discussion, catching some House Democrats off guard amid an intense evening session of the House in which dozens of bills were heard.Springer told The Texas Tribune that he added the floor amendment because the current threshold for parties to gain ballot access “protects the two-party system too much.” It isn’t specifically targeting the Green Party, he said.“Republicans are not afraid to give Texans more choice,” he added.Pat Dixon, former state chair of the Texas Libertarian Party, testified against the bill last week at a Senate State Affairs Committee hearing. Dixon said the bill wouldunfairly force Libertarians to pay filing fees in addition to the cost of their nominating convention.When Democratic and Republican candidates pay filing fees to run for an office, the money helps pay for the election. Under HB 2504, third-party candidates would pay the same filing fees, but the money would go toward state or local funds, but not funds specifically devoted to running elections.Kellis Ruiz, co-chair of the Tarrant County Green Party, testified in favor of HB 2504 last week, saying the filing fee is “less than 1% of the cost” compared to hiring petitioners to get the minimum number of signatures to put a candidate on the ballot. No Green Party candidates were listed on Texas ballots in 2018 because none of the party’s statewide candidates drew 5% of the vote two years earlier. The party attempted to secure a spot on the general election ballot by meeting another threshold — collecting nearly 50,000 signatures. They failed miserably, collecting only 500 signatures.On Sunday, when HB 2504 reached the Senate floor, Democrats raised concerns about how it would affect future elections. State Sen. José Menéndez D-San Antonio, said he was worried that making it easier for third parties to gain access to the ballot would be used to manipulate voters.“My concern is that by lowering the threshold, we’re opening up the possibilities of people starting to play games with adding candidates to ballots with no intention of having them win, but actually disrupt what’s going to happen at the top of the ballot,” Menéndez said.The bill’s senate sponsor, Bryan Hughes, said the bill would impact both major political parties by putting the threshold for ballot access at a “more inclusive level.” The Mineola Republican did not say which party he thought would be more affected by the legislation but instead suggested there was “a lot of overlap.”If the bill reaches Abbott’s desk, he can choose to sign it, veto it or let it become law without his signature.The Texas Tribune is a nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them – about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues. Currently in Texas, Democrats and Republicans have to either pay a filing fee or secure a certain number of signatures to get on their party’s primary ballot. Texas filing fees for a candidate range from $75 for county surveyor to $5,000 for U.S. senator.The Libertarian Party, meanwhile, has avoided those requirements while routinely gaining a spot on the general election ballot by meeting a different threshold: at least one of its candidates has managed to win more than 5% of the vote in a statewide race during the previous election cycle.Springer’s bill would lower that ballot-access threshold for third parties to 2% of the vote in one of the last five general elections — a bar that the Green Party could also clear. In 2010, the Green Party candidate for comptroller drew 6% of the vote.Glen Maxey, legislative affairs director for the Texas Democratic Party, suggested that the bill is an attempt to topple the efforts of Democrats to turn Texas purplenext year. He highlighted in particular Democrats’ efforts to flip the Texas House, which is currently made up of 83 Republicans and 67 Democrats. Libertarian candidates are widely viewed as pulling votes from Republicans, while Green Party candidates are more likely to pull votes from Democratic candidates, Maxey said. He predicted Green Party candidates would receive money from Republican donors to cover the filing fees. A bill on track to reach Gov. Greg Abbott‘s desk appears designed to make it easier for Green Party candidates and harder for Libertarian candidates to get on the Texas ballot in 2020. Democrats say House Bill 2504 is a ploy by Republicans to boost their reelection bids while siphoning off votes from Democrats.The bill from state Rep. Drew Springer, R-Muenster, would make two major changes to how candidates with non-major parties run for office in Texas. The bill would require those candidates to either pay filing fees or secure a certain number of signatures to get on a November ballot. It also changes the threshold for guaranteeing a party a place on the ballot. The former provision could lead to fewer Libertarians running in 2020. The latter would mean the Green Party would likely earn a spot on the November ballot that year.The bill tentatively passed the Senate on Sunday on a party-line 19-12 vote. If the chamber gives it final approval, it will head to the governor’s desk. See also: Texas fights ‘drastic’ push to require voting map approvallast_img read more

New Orleans hits high

first_imgPort president and ceo Gary LaGrange made the announcement during the 29th Annual State of the Port Address, hosted by the International Freight Forwarders and Customs House Brokers Association of New Orleans.”It’s another milestone that comes on the heels of four record years in a row,” LaGrange said. “We anticipate continued growth in our container market, along with a robust breakbulk and project cargo market.”In addition, the latest breakbulk cargo data from May 2015 illustrates a growth of more than 15 percent in breakbulk tonnes, led by an 18.7 percent increase in imported steel.Chemical and petrochemical companies have also announced more than $81 billion in investments in new and expansion projects in Louisiana, and consequently industry experts predict that chemical exports could triple as these projects are completed and come online in the coming years.LaGrange unveiled two new marketing videos focused on the port’s container and breakbulk cargo capabilities, which can be found here and will be made available to port customers and shippers for marketing purposes. LaGrange addresses delegates at the State of the Port Address in New Orleans. www.portno.comlast_img read more

Mona Shores girls cross country team takes second place at Mason County event

first_imgShares Not relevant (1445) Inappropriate / Offensive LocalSportsJournal.comThe Mona Shores girls’ cross country team took second behind Ludington at the Mason County Central Invitational on Saturday.Top runners for the Sailors in the meet were Adele Cory, Madeline Eckerman, Mieke Hart, and Marissa VanderMolen.Fruitport finishes fourth in FremontThe Fruitport girls’ cross country team finished fourth in a field of eight teams on Saturday at the Fremont Hill and Bale Invitational.Leading Fruitport was Faith Clark, who finished seventh overall with a time of 21:47. Other top Trojan runners were Kendra Johnson (23:15), Taylor Burke (24:52), Abby Sykes (25:08) and Kallie Fehler (26:14). DEAL OF THE DAY $22.99 Displayed poorly Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. DEAL OF THE DAY Inappropriate / Offensive Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. Mail Fox Sports Go (8133) FOX Sports: Stream live NFL, College Footbal… Not relevant Bestseller DEAL OF THE DAY Ads by Amazon DEAL OF THE DAY × $19.29 Report a problem This item is… Shop Now DEAL OF THE DAY Displayed poorly Add Comments (Max 320 characters) Add Comments (Max 320 characters) Not relevant Displayed poorly Bestseller $0.00 × ENDS IN Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. Report a problem This item is… $14.99 Other Inappropriate / Offensive Add Comments (Max 320 characters) ENDS IN (32825) Bestseller Report a problem This item is… Report a problem This item is… × $0.00 ENDS IN ENDS IN Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. Displayed poorly (832) Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. Bestseller × Report a problem This item is… (3879) Inappropriate / Offensive Add Comments (Max 320 characters) DEAL OF THE DAYcenter_img Bestseller Twelve Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Special… Other Add Comments (Max 320 characters) Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. Add Comments (Max 320 characters) Displayed poorly Other Displayed poorly Share ENDS IN Ads by Amazon Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. × Not relevant Displayed poorly Other Report a problem This item is… Share Nuun Sport: Electrolyte Drink Tablets, Citru… Not relevant (35309) ENDS IN Sports Illustrated Report a problem This item is… × Inappropriate / Offensive Inappropriate / Offensive Displayed poorly DEAL OF THE DAY ENDS IN Other (5153) Not relevant Other × Not relevant Lemedy Women Padded Sports Bra Fitness Wo… Inappropriate / Offensive $20.00$233.61 Inappropriate / Offensive $0.00 Bestseller Other × Report a problem This item is… Add Comments (Max 320 characters) Not relevant DEAL OF THE DAY NBC Sports Add Comments (Max 320 characters) ENDS IN (975) Bestseller Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. Other $9.99 Bestsellerlast_img read more

Wayne Rooney becomes maths buff to help his kids with their homework

first_imgWAYNE Rooney has become a maths buff — and an addition to the family is not out of the equation.The footie star, 34, loves helping with his sons’ homework and Coleen believes their marriage is “stronger than ever”.Wayne Rooney loves helping with his sons’ homework and has become a maths buffCredit: Social Media – Refer to SourceColeen believes their marriage is stronger than ever, according to a sourceCredit: Rex FeaturesThings turned round since he left Washington’s DC United and came home with Coleen, Kai, ten, Klay, six, Kit, three, and Cass, 23 months.A source close to the star — now a player-coach with Derby — said: “Coleen never settled in America.“The switch has turned out to be a really positive one for the whole family.“Coleen now thinks the marriage is stronger than ever.“Wayne was drinking and gambling a lot, but he’s knocked those things on the head. He’ll have the odd glass of wine but is determined to live the right way so he can carry on playing for as long as possible.“Wayne has always been a great dad but he helps out more than ever now with things like the homework. And he is particularly good at maths, apparently.“They aren’t ruling out having another child. Coleen has never made any secret of the fact she’d love a little girl.”Last month, Rooney was seen talking about gambling, which once saw him lose £500,000 in two hours.Our source added: “As a coach at Derby he’s spoken to the younger players about it and has been a good mentor.”The player-coach at Derby talked about gambling last month,  admitting he once lost £500,000 in two hoursCredit: InstagramThe Manchester United legend is determined to live the right way and carry on playing for as long as possibleCredit: Rex FeaturesWayne Rooney reveals gambling affected performances after blowing huge amount of cash What’s This “Trick” Called? Comment Down Below!! Travel Diary // Vietnam 2017 Rebekah Vardy scores an impressive penalty in six-inch heels Top 5 Best Budget Hotels In Dubai under AED 400 a night. People Slammed By Massive Waves 4center_img 10 INCREDIBLE Space Launch Failures! Source: Soccer – thesun.co.uk Real or Fake? Shark Attacks Helicopter 8 MOST DANGEROUS RAINS of All Time | TOP 10 INTERESTINGlast_img read more

STARTERS ORDERS Wednesday

first_imgBET WITH STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321 HORSE RACING12.40 SouthwellTynecastle Park 5/1 > 3/12.00 MusselburghNendrum 5/1 > 11/42.50 LudlowDaisy De Sivola 10/1 > 9/23.10 SouthwellEssential 16/1 > 5/1PREMIER LEAGUEPremier League19:45 Sky Sports Premier League / Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Ultra HD2/1 Arsenal 6/4 Chelsea 12/5 DRAW [dropcap]W[/dropcap]elcome to Starters Orders. Our daily midday update from the trading room at Star Sports with our key market movers for the day across all sports.Wednesday 3 Januarylast_img