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

Archive for February 23rd, 2009

NPT Capitol: New Poll could be good news for the Tiguas

According a new poll conducted on behalf of the pro-gambling PAC Texans for Economic Reform, a majority of Texans support slot machine gambling at Indian casinos and race tracks.

More interestingly for the Tiguas:

–Support is pretty bipartisan: Support ranges from 56% of conservative Republicans to 76% of moderate/liberal Democrats.

–75% of Texans polled think slot machine gambling is ok once informed about the perceived benefits of expanding gambling. (i.e. greater self sufficiency for tribes, job creation, how much Texans already spend gambling in border states etc)

–82% of Texans polled think that the issue should be decided by voters on the ballot (via constitutional amendment) rather than by politicians fiddling with the law in Austin.

Source: Baselice and Associates

–Ben Wright

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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 23, 2009 at 11:19 am

NPT City: District 3: Say what? Vote what?

Quick note on District 3 race:

— City Rep. Emma Acosta said her challenger, the former representative Alexandro Lozano, told her that he would not run against her: “He went to my office a few months ago and he told me, ‘I don’t want you to be concerned, I’m not going to run against you, I’m going to run for mayor.’ I said ok, whatever, it’s your decision, right?”

— Lozano said he changed his mind. He said the meeting was right after she was elected, which was about a year ago: “In fact, I had to call her about three times to get an appointment. So finally I went to her office, and said you know what, I don’t think I’m going to run for City Council, don’t worry about it. But you know, things change. … the vote on legalizing drugs made me aware that something was wrong at City Council.”

Check back later here or on the NPT Home Page for more on the race.

Sito Negron

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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 23, 2009 at 10:56 am

NPT Capitol: A double shot of Haggerty

Former El Paso state Rep Pat Haggerty has been making the news lately. He features in Gardner Selby’s excavation of Joe Straus’ political philosophy and Christy Hoppe’s piece on legislators that become lobbyists.

Despite losing his seat in the Texas House, Haggerty is still a force at the Capitol. The El Paso man is busy lobbying on behalf of several interests, is seen as close to Speaker Straus and even told NPT a couple of weeks ago that he would “never say never” to running for office again.

From the Austin American Statesmen: “The candidate was Haggerty. “Twenty-six years later, this guy is a colleague of mine in the Texas House and party leaders try to knock him out and did,” Straus said. “That’s just not the (right) way. I was part of the effort to build the party, not the one to rip it apart.” [link]

From the Dallas Morning News: “Two days after Pat Haggerty relinquished the El Paso legislative seat he’d held for 20 years, he was back to work at the Capitol, this time for the tobacco firm Reynolds American. [link]

–Ben Wright

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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 23, 2009 at 10:48 am

NPT: El Paso? Poor, but not cheap, comparatively speaking.

According to the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo, El Paso ranks near the bottom of cities in the U.S. for home affordability. According to their survey, El Paso median income and home prices went from $38,600 and $117,000, respectively in 2005, to $37,200 and $131,000 in the fourth quarter of 2008. By their measure, El Paso ranks as number 213 in the nation for affordability. Here’s the news release about the list. Here’s the explanation of how they arrive at the numbers: The NAHB/Wells Fargo HOI is a measure of the percentage of homes sold in a given area that are affordable to families earning that area’s median income during a specific quarter. Prices of new and existing homes sold are collected from actual court records by First American Real Estate Solutions, a marketing company. Mortgage financing conditions incorporate interest rates on fixed- and adjustable-rate loans reported by the Federal Housing Finance Board.

For the spreadsheet with the numbers, go here and click on the third item (“The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index: Complete History by Metropolitan Area (1991-Current”).

Sito Negron

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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 23, 2009 at 10:46 am