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Chad’s Morning Brief: DOJ Takes On Texas’ Voter ID Law, Lubbock City Council Meeting, & More

Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of August 23, 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.

Tim Boyles, Getty Images

1. DOJ vs. Texas (link)

The Department of Justice will attempt to dismantle Voter ID in Texas. Another sign that those on the left don’t want to protect the integrity of our elections. Instead the left would rather point to Voter ID as a racist, bigoted, Jim Crow Era law. Which it’s not.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced on Thursday that it will again seek to dismantle Texas’ voter ID law, this time with a lawsuit alleging the measure violatesSection 2 of the Voting Rights Act. The department also said on Thursday that it will seek to have Texas’ redistricting maps declared unconstitutional.

Section 2 of the 1965 act prohibits voting laws that discriminate based on race, color or membership in a minority group. Thursday’s decision by the U.S. Department of Justice comes after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June that allowed implementation of the state law that requires voters to furnish a valid photo ID before casting a ballot. Prior to that ruling, the department and, separately, a three-judge panel of federal judges in Washington, had struck down the 2011 state law after denying Texas’ request for preclearance. The high court’s ruling eliminated the preclearance requirement.

“Today’s action marks another step forward in the Justice Department’s continuing effort to protect the voting rights of all eligible Americans,” U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement about the voter ID provision. “We will not allow the Supreme Court’s recent decision to be interpreted as open season for states to pursue measures that suppress voting rights.”

The DOJ also said that it will seek “declaration that Texas’s 2011 redistricting plans for the U.S. Congress and the Texas State House of Representatives were adopted with the purpose of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race, color, or membership in a language minority group.” That, too, is in violation of Section 2 and the 14th and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, the department alleges.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott admonished the allegations of racism.

“Just days after the U.S. Department of Justice arrested a Texas woman for illegally voting five times in the same election, the Obama administration is suing to stop Texas’ commonsense voter ID law,” Abbott said in a statement, referring to the arrest on Tuesday of a Brownsville woman for her alleged actions during a 2012 runoff. “The U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled that voter ID laws do not suppress legal votes, but do help prevent illegal votes. Voter IDs have nothing to do with race and they are free to anyone who needs one.”

He also accused the department of teaming with state Democrats on the redistricting controversy.

“By intervening in the redistricting case, the Obama DOJ is predictably joining with Democrat state legislators and Members of Congress and the Texas Democratic Party, who are already suing the State. Also, by challenging the 2011 redistricting plans, Eric Holder is trying to resurrect a law that was never implemented and no longer exists — and then sue it.”

During a conference call with reporters Thursday afternoon Abbott said he was confident the state’s March primary elections would not be delayed and that at the very minimum, the maps used during the last election would be upheld.

Abbott also said the fact that so few have applied for and received a free voter identification certificate, which voters can obtain from DPS, proves the majority of potential voters already have a photo ID. As of July 26, the DPS had only issued six of the documents.

Meanwhile state Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, the chairman of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, or MALC, boasted the same level of optimism.

“Federal courts have ruled time and again that government officials in Texas are systematically making it harder for minorities to vote. As we begin the next phase in defending voting rights following the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder, I am confident that the overwhelming evidence demonstrating intentional discrimination in Texas, when presented in court, will compel state officials to remove barriers to voting that disenfranchise too many of our citizens.

Texas Democratic Party Executive Director Will Hailer said Thursday’s actions mean the department is on the “right side of history.”

“I applaud the Justice Department for fighting Greg Abbott’s discriminatory Voter ID law, and for Attorney General Holder’s aggressive defense of our sacred right to vote,” he said in a statement. “This is an important step in the ongoing fight to preserve voters’ rights in Texas, as our democracy is only as strong as our right to vote is protected.”

But Gov. Rick Perry said Texans shouldn’t be surprised by the move.

“The filing of endless litigation in an effort to obstruct the will of the people of Texas is what we have come to expect from Attorney General Eric Holder and President Obama,” Perry said in a statement. “We will continue to defend the integrity of our elections against this administration’s blatant disregard for the 10th Amendment.”

The department said it would file suit against the state of Texas, the Texas secretary of state and the Texas Department of Public Safety. The Texas DPS is the agency charged with issuing state-issued IDs or driver’s licenses.

The secretary of state’s office has not received a copy of the lawsuit and will review it when it is received, said Alicia Pierce, the agency’s spokeswoman.

The Texas DPS did not immediately respond to requests for comment. U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, did not hesitate, however, in his rebuke of the DOJ’s latest actions.

“Facts mean little to a politicized Justice Department bent on inserting itself into the sovereign affairs of Texas and a lame-duck Administration trying to turn our state blue,” Cornyn, a member of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and a former Texas attorney general, said in a statement. “As Texans we reject the notion that the federal government knows what’s best for us. We deserve the freedom to make our own laws and we deserve not to be insulted by a Justice Department committed to scoring cheap political points.”

In its statement, the DOJ added that it would ask the court to subject the state to new preclearance requirements under Section 3 of the act.

Texans should be outraged by the actions taken by the Department of Justice and Eric Holder. There is nothing racist about showing an ID to vote. Is it racist to show an ID to get welfare? Is it racist to have to show an ID to board a plane? As I’ve been saying this week, it’s time we take a stand and give these people hell. I am sick and tired of the left and this DOJ playing the false race card.

2. Lubbock City Council Meeting (link)

The Lubbock City Council met last night and one of the major issues of the evening was the budget. According to KFYO News, 25 citizens showed up to speak out on the issue.

Twenty-five citizens turned out to voice their opinion on issues such as the Lubbock Power and Light electric rate, Market Lubbock and the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance, the City of Lubbock’s debt load, and annexation.

Mike McDougal, Chairman of the Board of Lubbock Economic Development Alliance and Market Lubbock, Inc. spoke out against a half-cent tax cut proposed by Lubbock Mayor Glen Robertson, which would have cut the group’s funding by around $612,000.

McDougal said that cutting the funding for the organizations would increase their debt substantially.

“For two years, we’ve been hearing Council’s concern about the more than $1 billion in City debt. We share that concern,” said McDougal. “Economic development grant funding to MLI is used to build public infrastructure primarily in the Lubbock Business Park. Without this funding, LEDA would be forced to borrow a projected $37 million for capital improvements within the next six years.”

McDougal continued, saying that Market Lubbock, Inc. and LEDA have helped create more than 12,000 jobs in the area since 1996.

Citizen Doug Carr disagreed with McDougal’s assessment of LEDA and Market Lubbock, Inc.

“Implement not only the half-cent tax rate decrease used to finance Market Lubbock, go a step further…and cut the full three cents. The voters have spoken loud and clear on that,” said Carr.

The Council also held the first public hearing regarding the fiscal year 2013-14 proposed tax rate. The FY 2013-14 proposed tax rate is $0.50441 per $100 of home valuation.

The proposed tax rate is 1.23 cents higher than last year’s rate, meaning that if the rate is ultimately approved, a Lubbock homeowner with a $100,000 home would pay another $12.30 in property taxes.

Nine citizens spoke during the public hearing for the tax rate, most suggesting that they do not favor a tax increase.

The second public hearing regarding the proposed tax rate is scheduled for Thursday, August 29th at 6:15 p.m. The first public hearing over the City’s proposed budget is also scheduled for Thursday, August 29th at 6:15 p.m.

If the proposed tax rate is approved by the Council, the amount of taxes imposed on the average home by the City would be $584.73, up from the current fiscal year’s $568.81.

The Council will consider final approval to the tax rate and budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year on September 10th.

The Council also chose the City of Lubbock’s Human Resources department to do the search for the City’s next city manager.

Choosing to do the search in-house is also projected to be a cheaper alternative, with a base fee from an outside firm costing about $25,000. Overall, Human Resources estimated that having an outside firm conduct the search would cost about $60,000. The City’s HR department anticipates that their cost to do the search would be $36,775.

They anticipate that a new city manager could start in early October of 2014.

3. Don’t Ignore Race (link)

This is a pretty good article about race, crime and the black community.

Australian Christopher Lane was killed on Monday in Oklahoma by three teens, one of whom has said they were just “bored.” The right is complaining that the media is making nothing of the fact that two of the teens were black whereas Lane was white, as opposed to the massive alarm sounded in cases such as white (or white-ish) George Zimmerman killing black Trayvon Martin. And again the cry was heard that there is more “black-on-black” or “black-on-white” crime than “white-on-black,” and that young black men are in fact more of a problem than people like Zimmerman.

The numbers don’t lie: young black men do commit about 50% of the murders in the U.S. We don’t yet know whether the attack on Lane was racially motivated, nor can we know whether the three black boys who attacked a white boy on a Florida school bus recently would not have done the same to a black kid. (Critics took Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson to task for not condemning the violence.) But hardly uncommon are cases such as the two black guys who doused a white 13-year-old with gasoline and lit him on fire, saying “You get what you deserve, white boy” (Kansas City, Mo.) or 20 black kids who beat up white Matthew Owens on his porch “for Trayvon” (Mobile, Ala.).

So, it’s just fake to pretend that the association of young black men with violence comes out of thin air. Young black men murder 14 times more than young white men. If the kinds of things I just mentioned were regularly done by whites, it’d be trumpeted as justification for being scared to death of them.

It’s not that black communities are in complete denial about these statistics — Stop the Violence events are a staple of high-crime areas. But let’s face it: black America isn’t nearly as indignant about black boys killing one another or whites as about the occasional white cop killing one black boy, even though the former wreaks much more havoc in black communities. There is no coordinated nationwide movement equivalent to the one Martin galvanized. There are no thoughtful films “exploring” black-on-black crime the way Fruitvale Station treats the death of Oscar Grant, a young black man who was killed by transit police in Oakland, Calif.

And recent example illustrates how many blacks feel about who is murdering whom. Two weeks ago, an NYPD cop killed 14-year-old Shaaliver Douse. Douse was in the process of shooting other people, and had been charged with shooting someone else in May — and yet his aunt compared him to Martin. In her mind, the main sin was the white cop’s.

Granted, it seems a lot easier to do something about the Zimmermans than the black thugs. Protest profiling and police departments institute new programs. But black thugs aren’t moved by protests, so it can seem like we’re just stuck with them.

But who’s to say what would happen if black America exerted even half of the emotional fervor and brainpower it does over cases like Martin’s to thinking about how to keep black boys from going wrong? Annette John-Hall had some wise words on this last year. What kind of self-image do we have to assume we can only change others, but not ourselves?

For the time being, though, it’s time for the media to stop proudly emblazoning the race of white cops who kill black boys while cagily describing black teens as, say, “from the grittier part of town,” as has been the case regarding Lane’s killers. The media needs to be as honest with black people as we need to be with ourselves. No group gets ahead by turning away from its real problems.

Thoughts?

Other Top Stories:

Cruz Won’t Say Whether He Would Support A Perry Presidential Run

Texas Tribune: Abortion and the 2014 Election

Chris Lane Shooting a Gang Initiation? 

Fast Food Workers Urged to Strike

Obama’s College Plan

Vote Early, Vote Often, Go To Jail

Coburn Calls for Constitutional Convention

Colin Powell Hates Voter ID

Ted Cruz, Traitor to His Class

Christmas Deals Start

Asian Airline Has Child-Free Zones

Oregon to Rehab Anti-Gay Marriage Businesses

Sleep Texting Now a Problem

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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