El Paso-centric info and commentary from the Center of North America

Archive for February 9th, 2009

NPT Capitol: What role for the Dems in Perry vs Hutch?

From the Fort-Worth Star-telegram: Texas Democrats wasted no time in blasting Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison for missing votes on amendments to the stimulus package, saying she “went AWOL” instead of “fulfilling her responsibilities to work for Texans in the Senate.”

This is an interesting move by the Democrats. Earlier on the same day that Rick Perry criticized Hutchison for exactly the same thing. (Does that count as bipartisanship?) Also today, Hutchison barged in on the UTIMCO drama, saying that Richard Rowling had been “set up” by Perry because he supports her bid for Governor.

It all begs the question; in this increasingly ugly scrap between the two GOP heavyweights for their party’s nomination, what role will the Democrats play…?

Please leave your comments below:

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 9, 2009 at 5:55 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT Capitol: A map of Texas’ uninsured

uninsured Statistical map showing county by county the plight of the uninsured in Texas.

It also highlights vast disparities across the State – east to west, border to interior.

Earlier today, State Senator Eliot Shapleigh, D-El Paso, held a press conference on the issue of Texas’ floundering health-care system. Texas has the nation’s highest percentage of uninsured people, said Shapleigh, adding that El Paso is the most uninsured big city in America. Shapleigh also said that El Paso would need around 700 new doctors and 2000 new nurses to keep pace with the expansion of Fort Bliss. But the El Paso Senator remains optimistic about Texas’ health-care system…providing the state Legislature act now.

“Certainly among lawmakers I talk to there is hope,” said Shapleigh who has filed several health-care related bills including ones that would expand CHIP to 300% of the national poverty level, pull down more federal matching funds and make it easier for Texas to hire health professionals.

You can watch Shapleigh’s press release here

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 9, 2009 at 2:18 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT Capitol: Radio Moody

joe-moodyState Rep, Joe Moody, D-El Paso will begin producing a weekly audio address to his constituents, beginning this week. The audio spot, called, “Minute from the Capitol” (I think he should have gone with “Mood-cast”) aims to “keep El Pasoans up to date” on what’s going on in Austin, said Moody’s office. The first will involve “a short recap” of the session so far with a note about Moody’s legislative priorities. Next week’s will address committee assignments, due out at the end of the week.

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 9, 2009 at 1:13 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT City: They’re filing like mad; Olivo, Acosta, Jackson and more

Click here for the City Clerk page of candidates. Many people filed a treasurer form, the first step to be able to run for office. Today, people are official filing papers to run for office. Here’s who has filed to run for office as of 10:30 a.m.:

Mayoral candidate Fred Jackson

City Rep. Emma Acosta

Rick Olivo for Municipal Court 4, Daniel Robledo for 5, and Maria Ramirez for 1

Filing a treasurer report for District 7 is Trinidad Munoz, who could be the serious challenger fight fans have been waiting to see take on incumbent city Rep. Steve Ortega.

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 9, 2009 at 11:44 am

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT City: The disappearing District 2 candidate

James Ratcliff, who filed his papers to run against District 2 incumbent city Rep. Susie Byrd, sent the city clerk’s office an e-mail last week saying he was withdrawing from the race. His information is still posted up as a matter of public record. Ratcliff, reached by telephone this morning, said he wasn’t likely to change his mind, “but I’m trying to find other people interested in the position. There has to be an opponent for Susie Byrd.”

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 9, 2009 at 11:40 am

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT Capitol: Shapleigh on the brink

shapleigh1State Sen. Eliot Shapleigh today had a news conference in Austin to discuss “Texas on the Brink,” the fourth in his series of reports on Texas indicators. Here is the blurb from his news release, and we’ll come back with links to the report later on:

“Here is the reality behind the rhetoric. 5.83 million Texans do not have health insurance—one in four—making Texas the least insured state in the nation. Not a single Texas city even reaches the national average in citizens with health insurance. From 2000 to 2007, Texas families saw their health insurance premiums soar 86.8 percent—nearly six times more than their median earnings increased. 29 cents of every private pay health dollar now goes for denial management and administration—in other words, Texans are paying more for less health care. That’s the reality. Now, what are lawmakers going to do about it?”

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 9, 2009 at 11:15 am

Posted in Uncategorized