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Archive for April 22nd, 2009

NPT Capitol: Shapleigh roasts creationist over the coals

State Sen. Eliot Shapleigh, D-El Paso gave Don McLeroy, Chairman of the State Board of Education a run for his money during his appearance before the Senate Committee On Nominations Wednesday. Shapleigh pushed McLeroy over issues like the earth’s age and global warming. (Read excerpts here) After the hearing Shapleigh’s office announced the following statement:

“Don McLeroy is not qualified to serve as chairman of such an important board as the State Board of Education (SBOE). His views on creationism do not square with science; his views on reading do not square with evidence; his views on the future of education in Texas do not square with a diverse state seeking education excellence.”

Shapleigh plans to bring the issue of McLeroy’s views up when his re-nomination hits the Senate floor later this month. Read the full press release after the jump.

–Ben Wright
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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

April 22, 2009 at 8:43 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT Capitol: Marquez passes first bill, gets a good razzing

marquezState Rep Marisa Marquez, D-El Paso today passed her first bill, HB 2835, which allows a County Judge to delegate certain duties to a County Commissioner under certain circumstances. The bill was uncontested, but being the freshman’s first, she endured somewhat of a hazing by senior members.

First up was state Rep. David Leibowitz, D-San Antonio, who like Marquez is a Notre Dame Alumni. He informed her he was the only member of the house Notre Dame caucus. “Not anymore,” replied Marquez before failing to correctly answer a series of Notre Dame related trivia questions.

“The chair rules that the Notre Dame caucus still stands at one member,” said Speaker Pro-Tem Craig Eiland, D-Galveston. But not before Leibowitz revealed he had stolen Marquez’s bill packet and state Rep. Aaron Pena, D-Edinburg tried to get her to sing. Luckily for Marquez, Eiland mercifully cut proceedings short.

You can watch the clip here about two hours and ten minutes.

–Ben Wright

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

April 22, 2009 at 8:26 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT Capitol: The county has concerns about its own ethics bill?

The following was sent to NPT by the office of state Rep. Norma Chavez, who wanted to clarify the record as to whether and what concerns she had expressed to the county about its ethics bill, sponsored by state Rep. Marisa Marquez and now working through the system in the legislature. As background, Chavez told us we had incorrectly reported that she had told the county she had concerns about the age restriction. The assertion was made during discussion by County Judge Anthony Cobos, but in the initial version of the story was not attributed to him. We added the attribution to the story. These communications followed. As you can see from the note (below, with emphasis added) from the county judge’s chief of staff, the county has concerns about its own bill. The question is, who or what is this county referred to as having concerns?

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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

April 22, 2009 at 5:48 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT City: Quintana targets media conflicts

Interesting item from city Rep. Rachel Quintana. DavidK over at Refuse the Juice seems to think it’s aimed at him. Raises an interesting question: Who is a member of the media? I can’t see how this one can be worked out, but it’s sure to create debate.

Representative Quintana authorizes the following to be posted as an “Introduction” on the 4/28/2009 City Council Agenda and authorizes the “Public Hearing/Regular” Agenda posting on the 5/5/2009 Regular City Council Agenda:

backup forthcoming

AN ORDINANCE AMENDING TITLE 3 (REVENUE AND FINANCE), BY ADDING CHAPTER 3.48 (CITY CONTRACTING REQUIREMENTS); AND SECTIONS THEREUNDER; TO ESTABLISH A PROCESS BY WHICH POTENTIAL CITY CONTRACTORS MUST DISCLOSE FAMILIAL RELATIONSHIPS WITH MEMBERS OF THE NEWS MEDIA.

Sito Negron

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

April 22, 2009 at 3:13 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

NPT County: Vacation time saves money? Nice spin!

News release from El Paso County. Good for them. Anyone getting a good deal in these times deserves recognition.

Yearly Holiday Schedule Helps County to Save Money, Boosts Morale and Is In Line with Other Agencies

(El Paso, TX) Tuesday, April 21, 2009 — The current holiday schedule adopted by the members of commissioners court helps the county of El Paso to save up to $52,000 in utilities costs a year.

On Monday, September 29, 2008, the members of Commissioners Court adopted the 15-day holiday scheduled in an effort to improve employee’s morale, efficiency and productivity.

Compared to their colleagues in other branches of government, -including the federal-, county employees have fewer employment benefits. Therefore, the observance of the holidays translates to employees as an added compensation and a direct saving to the tax payers.

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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

April 22, 2009 at 12:55 pm

Posted in Uncategorized