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

Archive for March 2nd, 2009

NPT Capitol: Chairman Joe Moody

moodyState Rep. Joe Moody may only have been at the Capitol for a few weeks, but he’s obviously got in somebody’s good books. Not only did he get the committee assignments he asked Speaker Straus for, he just landed his own mini-gavel.

“I am humbled that Chairman Gallego has given me the honor of chairing the Criminal Jurisprudence Subcommittee on Criminal Procedure,” said Moody in a press release. “We have more bills referred to our subcommittee than any other and I am anxious to get to work.”

Read the full press release after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

March 2, 2009 at 5:15 pm

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NPT Capitol: Shapleigh: Dispute your property taxes online

shapleigh1State senator Eliot Shapleigh, D-El Paso wants Texans to be able to E-dispute how much property tax they pay by 2010. Shapleigh was speaking on behalf of Senate Bill 258 at a hearing of the Senate Finance Committee.

“So many El Pasoans have come to me to say appraisals are not accurate. Senate Bill 258 gives every El Pasoan the ability to appeal an appraisal from home or office. The bill will save time and money, and make the process work for homeowners,” said Shapleigh in a press release after the hearing. The El Paso Senator also claimed that an online system would save both the government some money and the public countless hours at the appraisal district HQ.

–Ben Wright

Read the press release after the Jump Read the rest of this entry »

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

March 2, 2009 at 4:53 pm

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NPT Capitol: Dem candidate for Gov, a good friend of W

Tom Schieffer declared his intention to become the Democratic candidate for Governor today at the Capitol.

Schieffer is a former US ambassador to Japan and Australia. He was appointed by President George W. Bush. The two men are close friends, who in the past have been business partners, Schieffer told reporters today.

“The President asked me to serve my country…he did not ask me to serve the Republican party,” said Schieffer. When pressed he told reporters he had voted for Bush when he ran for Texas Governor and U.S. President. When asked what he thought of Bush’s time in office, Schieffer said, “He’s my friend. I tried to serve his presidency as best I could because I thought it was in the interests of the country.” Schieffer was keen to stress his Democratic credentials, pointing out he also voted for Obama in the primary and general elections of 2008 because, he possesses the, “intellectual capacities to change America.”

“I’m not new to the Democratic party,” said Schieffer describing how he remembered campaigning with his mother who was a part of “Ladies for Lydon” in 1960. Schieffer portrayed himself as a moderate business friendly Democrat.

“Just having a good business climate is not the only thing you do… I’m convinced that after being abroad that if we don’t recognize that education is the foundation of a good business climate, then we’re going to fall behind,” said Schieffer, adding that the jobs of the future were based in the “knowledge a based economy.”

–Ben Wright

You can watch video of Schieffer’s press conference (courtesy of Burnt Orange Report) after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

March 2, 2009 at 4:34 pm

NPT County: Much discussion, same ethics result

El Paso County Commissioners Court today reconsidered and left along a proposal approved unanimously last week to ask the Texas Legislature to give the county the authority to establish an ethics commission that would have the power to punish elected officials and employees for ethics violations.

If the legislation is approved, the county and existing ethics board could establish a process for drafting a new and stronger ethics code than the county has now.

Under the current code, the ethics board has the power to censure public officials who may suffer public embarrassment but no fine or other penalty. County employees, however, can be dismissed for ethics violations under the code.

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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

March 2, 2009 at 2:46 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT County: Ethics rules? Let’s talk a bit more.

Last week, the County Commissioners’ Court approved a legislative proposal that would allow El Paso County to implement an Ethics Commission with strong powers. Such a proposal would have to be approved by the state Legislature, which is in session. [link]

County Commissioner Dan Haggerty, who had some concerns about the item last week — although he did vote for it — put the item back on the agenda for reconsideration late on Friday. He told the El Paso Times in this morning’s edition that “employees are concerned about whether they will have enough information to comply with the new standards. ‘We just need to sit around the table and talk about this some more,’ he said.”

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

March 2, 2009 at 9:21 am

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NPT City: PSB reaching out, but they haven’t quite reached everyone yet

psb-el-pasoThe El Paso Water Utilities released a list of community meetings last week. Some already have taken place, but most are scheduled for this month and next. There’s one on Tuesday. Follow the jump to see the entire list, and who is and isn’t on it (to be fair, a spokesperson said last week they still are working on setting up meetings wherever they can):

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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

March 2, 2009 at 9:10 am

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NPT Drug War: LA Times: The war we gave Mexico

An op-ed piece from the LA Times:

Mexico is a complex country with a resourceful and creative people. It also is — like other Latin American nations ravaged by the drug trade — burdened with a stunted civil society, chronic maldistribution of wealth, ingrained corruption and endemic political violence. These pathologies have made it painfully susceptible to the social and economic distortions created by America’s seemingly insatiable desire for drugs.

For a country as proud of its cultural autonomy as Mexico traditionally has been, one of the bitter ironies must be the way in which the pseudo-romantic culture of drug trafficking has commandeered so much of the nation’s popular imagination. In the cities of Mexico’s northern and western states, traffickers and wannabe narcos mimic the dress and tattoos of Los Angeles’ street gangs.

If Americans really are concerned about the horrific toll inflicted by Mexico’s narco-gangsters, we need to ask some tough questions about our own cultural and political delusions.

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

March 2, 2009 at 8:56 am

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