Chad’s Morning Brief: Dan Branch Picking Up Endorsements and Momentum, Lubbock City Council Meeting, and Other Top Stories
Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of May 9, 2014. 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.
Important Election Dates:
Election Day for City and School Board: May 10
**KFYO Election Night Show: May 10th 7-10pm**
Early Voting for GOP and Dem. Primary Runoff: May 19 – May 23
Election Day for GOP and Dem. Primary Runoff: May 27
Trouble for Paxton?
When the runoff election for Texas Attorney General first got off the ground it appeared as though Ken Paxton would sail to victory over Dan Branch. The waters though for Paxton seem to be getting choppier. Paxton has been under fire in the last few weeks about ethics and disclosure violations. Paxton was fined last week $1,000 for work he did without registering with the State Securities Board.
This has caused endorsements from many statewide names to turn to Dan Branch. CapitalRoundUp published Barry Smitherman's endorsement of Branch this week:
While experience, leadership, and legal skills are important, perhaps the most important of all qualities needed to be Attorney General, the chief law enforcement officer in the State of Texas, is an unwavering commitment to compliance with both the letter and the spirit of the law. The Attorney General must have integrity, honesty, and high moral character.
Sen. Paxton’s recent admission that he broke the law when he failed to register with the State Securities Board, during a period of time when he was actively soliciting investments on behalf of “Fritz” Mowery, is very troubling. He also failed to disclose his employment as an investment advisor to his legal clients, a possible violation of the State Bar’s rules for professional responsibility. As a result of his admission of guilt, Sen. Paxton was recently fined and reprimanded by the Securities Board for multiple violations of the Texas Securities Act.
Remaining open is the question of whether he committed any violations of United States’ securities laws, which would be prosecuted by Eric Holder’s Dept. of Justice, during the years (2008 to 2012) when Mowery Capital Management was under federal rather than state jurisdiction.
For these and other reasons, I am supporting Dan Branch for Attorney General.
TexasInsider points to 13 other endorsements that Branch has picked up just in the last few weeks. This combined with losing the endorsement of the Allen Police Association has made it a bad week for Team Paxton.
It hasn't been all bad news for Paxton this week though. He was able to pick up two major endorsements. Former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft and the NRA both backed Paxton this week. Ashcroft had this to say of Paxton:
“Ken and I share a common belief in the wisdom of our Founding Fathers and the need for leaders who are willing to fight to preserve conservative values and the constitutional principles of liberty and freedom,” Ashcroft said in a statement Tuesday. “I have every confidence that Ken Paxton will be such a leader as the next Attorney General of Texas and I am pleased with the opportunity to endorse him.
While the waters may be choppy and momentum is building for Branch, I haven't seen anything that shows me Paxton will lose the runoff election. Unless another big story comes out about Paxton, I don't see the voters paying much attention to the fines and endorsements. That could all change though in the next week or two.
City Council Meeting
The Lubbock City Council met Thursday night and as always, it was a busy night. KFYO's Cole Shooter wraps up the action.
At their meeting this week, the Lubbock City Council chose to hold off on taking major action regarding opening the street near a downtown building that has posed a risk to passersby.
On Thursday evening, the Lubbock City Council chose to hold off on reopening 14th Street and Avenue K near the Omni building.
The building has posed a safety risk to those near the building due to marble tiles falling off of the building’s sides.
A number of people donning “Free My Street” Shirts featuring a picture of the road closure signs near the Omni building, voiced their opinion that the street should be reopened immediately.
The City of Lubbock is currently involved in legal action in City of Lubbock v. Lubbock Omni Office, Inc., which means that public discussion by the Council regarding the handling of the building must be heavily reined in.
Engineers with the City said that the hazardous materials had been removed from the sides of the building, but it was impossible to know when more tiles would fall off.
District One Lubbock City Councilman Victor Hernandez offered a motion to engage a contractor to remove the marble tiles and any other materials from the side of the building, but City Manager James Loomis said that prices would need to be submitted by contractors before the Council took that action.
District Six Councilwoman Latrelle Joy offered a motion to open one lane of the street opposite the building, and have the City close the area completely during periods of high winds. District Four Councilman Jim Gerlt suggested quantifying high winds at 30 miles per hour or higher. The motion failed 3-3, with District 5 Councilwoman Karen Gibson absent.
Joy did make a successful motion to have City crews clean up trash and weeds in the area and along the fence line of the building “to make it look a little less like Baghdad.” The Council unanimously approved the clean-up measure.
The Council will consider the issue at their next meeting in two weeks.
The City of Lubbock also has a new city attorney.
Chad Weaver has been officially named as city attorney following a unanimous vote by the Council.
The Council approved Weaver’s appointment and a severance agreement, which was sent to the media following Thursday evening’s meeting.
Weaver’s salary will be around $196,000 per year.
Under the severance agreement, Weaver agrees not to sue the City of Lubbock except to enforce the terms of the severance agreement.
If Weaver is terminated for cause, which includes recurring acts of willful, grossly negligent, and habitual neglect of any significant duty; a plea of guilty or no contest to a conviction of a felony or crime involving moral turpitude; inability to perform duties as a result of a disability; serious misconduct; or death, the City is free of any severance compensation responsibility.
However, if Weaver is terminated by the City without cause, he is entitled to six months base salary and benefits.
Also, if Weaver’s salary is reduced by a greater percentage than that of any universal salary reduction for all City employees, it is considered as termination without cause, and he will be entitled to compensation under the severance agreement.
Weaver replaces embattled former City Attorney Sam Medina, who took leave from the City after his soon-to-be ex-daughter-in-law made allegations that Medina had sexually assaulted her over a period of several years. Medina has denied the allegations and no criminal charges have been filed, but he chose to resign last March.
Assistant City Attorney Mitch Satterwhite has served as interim city attorney since Medina went on leave.
The Council also approved an order declaring Lubbock Mayor Glen Robertson as elected to the office of Mayor, since he is running unopposed in the May 10th, 2014 municipal election.
District Three Councilman Todd Klein, who may have attended his last meeting as a councilman depending on Saturday’s election results, also faced a final defeat regarding a proposed task force.
Klein proposed a resolution establishing a Citizens Task Force to study payday lending, and also making recommendations to State of Texas officials to mitigate predatory lending in the state.
The measure failed 5-1, with only Klein voting for the measure.
Other Top Stories:
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.