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Chad’s Morning Brief: Americans Support Stand Your Ground Laws, Battleground Texas Says Texas Isn’t Really Conservative, & More

Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of August 5, 2013. Give me your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11am. Remember, you can listen online at KFYO.com or on your iPhone/Android with the radioPup App.

Ethan Miller, Getty Images

1. Stand Your Ground Laws (link)

Despite what you may hear from the national media, most Americans actually support Stand-Your-Ground Laws.

President Barack Obama, Senator John McCain, and a host of others may have doubts about stand-your-ground laws, but a majority of Americans in a new poll favor the controversial provisions.

With respondents dividing along racial and gender lines, voters back stand-your-ground provisions 53 percent to 40 percent, according to a national poll by Quinnipiac University. The laws, now on the books in about half the states, have drawn attention since the fatal shooting last year of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin. Florida passed the first stand-your-ground measure in 2005 with strong support from the National Rifle Association.

The laws generally allow individuals to use force in self defense—and without having to retreat first—so long as they reasonably believe they face a deadly threat. One of the paradoxes of the furious debate about the acquittal of Martin’s killer, George Zimmerman, is that his lawyers declined to invoke Florida’s stand-your-ground statute as part of his defense. Nevertheless, the statutes have become a flash point in a racially charged, media-fueled argument over whether the stand-your-ground ethos, combined with widespread laws permitting the concealed carrying of firearms, encourage violence or deter it.

In July, McCain joined Obama in calling for a review of stand-your-ground legislation. The Arizona Republican said he thought that his own conservative home state should consider revising its law on the topic. ”I’m confident that the members of the Arizona legislature will [rethink the statute] because it is a very controversial legislation,” he said.

The Quinnipiac poll, conducted from July 28 to July 31, revealed a number of sharp divides over stand-your-ground. Fifty-seven percent of white voters favored the laws, while the same percentage of black voters opposed them. Males and Republicans expressed strong support for them, while Democrats and women tended to disapprove.

Given these splits, Peter Brown, assistant director of the university’s polling institute, said in a press release that “it’s unlikely the movement to repeal stand-your-ground will be successful in most of the country.”

Stand-Your-Ground Laws are good because they protect innocent, law-abiding citizens. Rational people understand this.

2. Texas Not Really Conservative? (link)

Even though Battleground Texas isn’t going to be relevant in the upcoming state-wide elections, the newspapers in Texas love them. The Dallas Morning News over the weekend had a Q&A with Jenn Brown of Battleground Texas who told the DMN that Texas wasn’t really a conservative state.

Republicans have all but considered this state Fortress Texas in keeping Democrats at bay. Aren’t there states where your time and money are a better investment?

Texas is not a Republican state — it’s a nonvoting state. Battleground Texas aims to change that. And when Texas becomes competitive, it will change the electoral landscape both locally and nationally. At the presidential level, the one thing we agree with Sen. Cruz about, is that if Texas turns blue, there’s no path to the White House for the Republican Party. We think that’s a sound investment.

What do you mean Texas is a “nonvoting state”?

For far too long, the majority of local elections in Texas have been a foregone conclusion — and national politicians haven’t bothered to come here. That has translated into Texas voices and votes that don’t matter — either in Austin or in Washington, D.C.

In the 2012 election, over 7 million voting-age citizens in Texas didn’t vote. When only half the population is voting, elected representatives are only governing for half the people. And we have seen the impact of that locally in the policies of the Republicans as they have slashed funding for education and severely limited access to health care in Texas.

Turnout is significantly higher in states where campaigns are talking to voters, year after year. The thing that makes Texas exciting is that so many of the people who are not voting will vote Democratic.

Battleground Texas has a stated goal of turning Texas purple and, ultimately, even blue. What measures have you set for yourselves?

A big way we will measure our progress is in terms of the numbers of volunteers we have and how many we’ve trained. This first year we are really focused on laying the foundation and building the infrastructure to reach Texans over the long haul.

What results can you cite from states where you’ve worked and have demographics and politics like ours in Texas?

We’ve seen it work in other places already — places like Colorado, Florida, Virginia. We know that organizing in those states — registering more voters and turning those people out on Election Day — drove up voter participation to unprecedented levels in both 2008 and 2012, and we believe it will do the same in Texas.

You can see the full Q&A above.

3. Johnny Manziel in Hot Water (link)

I find it absurd that a college football player or any college athlete can’t make money off his or her own autograph. However, those are the rules and Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M is being investigated for breaking that rule.

The NCAA is investigating whether Johnny Manziel was paid for signing hundreds of autographs, according to a report by ESPN’s “Outside the Lines”.

The report sites unnamed sources who say they watched Manziel sign autographs on a number of different items for a broker named Drew Tieman and was paid a flat, five-figure fee for his work.

If the NCAA finds the allegations true Manziel is in violation of an NCCA bylaw 12.5.2.1. The bylaw states that an athlete is not eligible for participation in intercollegiate athletics if he or she: “a. Accepts any remuneration for or permits the use of his or her name or picture to advertise, recommend or promote directly the sale or use of a commercial product or service of any kind, or b. Receives remuneration for endorsing a commercial product or service through the individual’s use of such product or service.”

Texas A&M released a statement, “It is Texas A&M’s longstanding practice not to respond to such questions concerning specific student-athletes,” and declined to comment to “Outside the Lines” further. ESPN’s calls to other members involved, including Manziel, Tieman and Manziel’s father were not returned.

The report states that memorabilia dealers said they were flooded with a number of Manziel products after BCS title game. Manziel allegedly signed the items while he was in Miami for the game.

Other Top Stories:

Terror Threat Continues

Ft. Hood Suspect Still Getting Paid

Abbott Facing Questions

Midland: Anti-bullying Group Host Back to School Bash

TEA Party to Abandon Stars?

The Politically Incorrect Guide to Back to School Shopping

Record Number of Young Adults Living With Parents

77% of Jobs Created in 2013 are Part-Time

Gun Permits Surge in Newtown

Restrict Food Stamps for Junk Food

Seattle Bans Offensive Words

Memphis Area Schools Do Away With Swats

American Adults Spend More Time With Digital Devices

These and many more topics coming up on today’s edition of The Chad Hasty Show. Tune in mornings 8:30-11am on News/Talk 790 KFYO, streaming online at kfyo.com, and now on your iPhone and Android device with the radioPup App. All guest interviews can be heard online in our podcast section after the show at kfyo.com.

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