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Chad’s Morning Brief: LIVE From Culligan Water, Lubbock City Council Meeting, Rand Paul Talks Voting Rights, and Other Top Stories

Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of July 25, 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.

The Chad Hasty Show is broadcasting LIVE today from 8:30-11am at Culligan Water located at 6024 43rd Street, west of Loop 289. Come say hello!

Cole Shooter, KFYO.com

Lubbock City Council Meeting

The Lubbock City Council met Thursday night and citizens comments was dominated by talk of a proposed smoking ban.

Four members of the West Texas Smoke Free Coalition, a liberal group that was formed to increase government regulation, spoke to the City Council and continued to press them to pass a new smoking ordinance. Twelve speakers spoke out against a proposed smoking ban including numerous business owners.

The real fireworks of the day seemed to have happened earlier in the day when the council was presented with a proposal for a $134 million dollar bond election in the future. The bond election would include $67 million dollars for a new Police Station and $65 million dollars for street maintenance.

It was recommended to the council not to put the Police Station to a vote, but everything else should be put to a vote.

I’ll talk more about this on the show today.

Rand Paul Talks Voting Rights Act

According to the Wall Street Journal, Senator Rand Paul is talking voting rights and other issues where he is going against what most Republicans are saying.

But Mr. Paul is also challenging his own party by increasingly embracing issues dear to the African-American voters who have overwhelmingly rejected the GOP for decades.

Mr. Paul is championing the restoration of voting rights to felons, wants to ease sentencing of nonviolent drug offenders and says he disagrees with Republican-led efforts in several states to curtail early voting and require voters to show photo ID at the polls.

On Friday, Mr. Paul is scheduled to speak to the National Urban League conference in Cincinnati, a mostly African American audience that’s often bypassed by potential Republican presidential candidates.

“I want to be known as a Republican who got more people to vote, not less,” Mr. Paul said in an interview.

Mr. Paul is sponsoring a bill that would allow non-violent felons to regain their voting rights after serving time. Mr. Paul also wants to downgrade some non-violent drug crimes from felonies to misdemeanors to make it easier for those offenders to get jobs when they get out of jail. Minorities, he said, are disproportionately charged with drug crimes.

“The biggest impediment to both voting and getting a job is having a criminal record,” Mr. Paul said. “I’ve always felt like the war on drugs had gotten out of control, and as I’ve met different people in our cities I’ve become more aware there’s a racial element to the war on drugs.”

At a Senate hearing earlier this week on his bill, Mr. Paul said some drug offenders “are people who just made youthful mistakes.”

Some African American leaders say they welcome Mr. Paul’s outreach and ideas. But they also point to significant hurdles faced by a Republican, particularly a leader in the tea party movement, which has vigorously opposed President Barack Obama.

“It’s fascinating that on some issues like felon re-enfranchisement and criminal justice reform that his libertarian philosophy has brought him to some policies in common with the thinking of civil rights organizations,” said Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League. “Certainly some of the rhetoric associated with the tea party is anathema to many of us in the civil rights community, but I don’t like to paint with a broad brush.”

Mr. Paul’s plans to headline an Aug. 4 fundraiser for Rep. Steve King, an Iowa congressman backed by the tea party, illustrate the challenges.

Mr. King recently said of Mr. Obama: “His vision of America isn’t like our version of America. That we know. Now I don’t assert where he was born, I will just tell you that we are all certain that he was not raised with an American experience. So these things that beat in our hearts when we hear the National Anthem and when we say the Pledge of Allegiance doesn’t beat the same for him.”

Mr. Paul declined to say whether he disagreed with Mr. King. “I’d like to be judged on what I do and say and not what everybody else does,” he said. “I don’t think that’s a fair standard.”

A policy issue that could also divide Mr. Paul from black voters is the reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act, aimed at protecting minorities from discrimination. The Supreme Court struck down parts of the law last year.

“I’m a supporter of the Voting Rights Act and trying to figure out a way it can be done that is constitutional and in a fashion that only goes after perpetrators of discrimination, but not so much that the federal government is always involved in state elections,” Mr. Paul said.

Even if Mr. Paul is unsuccessful in garnering much support in the African American community, he may win over other Republican voters and even Democrats who approve of his outreach at a time when the electorate is become increasingly diverse.

Other Top Stories:

Alamo Draft House Slams Greg Abbott

58% Say Administration is Incompetent 

Gay Marriage Economic Impact for Texas

Texas Delays Teacher Evaluations 

Obama Sends Team to Texas to See Need for National Guard 

Perry Responds to Castro 

Family Asked to Leave Southwest Flight After Tweet

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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