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Chad’s Morning Brief: Lubbock City Council, Another Bad Day for the Postal Service, & More

Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of August 10, 2012. Give us your feedback below and tune in to Lubbock’s First News with Chad Hasty for these and many more topics from 6-9 am.

Cole Shooter, KFYO.com

1. Lubbock City Council Information (link)

The Lubbock City Council met last night and a lot was discussed including the preliminary tax rate for 2012-2013. According to KFYO News:

The proposed 2012-2013 property tax rate for the City of Lubbock is 49.211 cents per $100 of home valuation, an increase of 1.811 cents from 2011’s 47.4 cent rate.

For a home valued at $100,000, the homeowner would pay around $18 more in property taxes, if this tax rate is approved for the upcoming fiscal year.

The proposed 2012-13 tax rate is higher than the 2012 effective rate of 47.341 cents, but lower than the 2012 rollback rate of 51.628 cents. If the Council wanted a rate higher than the rollback rate, it would be subject to voter approval.

The Council had to set the preliminary tax rate to publish for the public hearings, and chose the 49.211 cent rate, despite the objections of one council member.

District 1 Councilman Victor Hernandez supported setting the preliminary tax rate at the rollback rate, in hopes of putting more money toward the City of Lubbock’s $1.1 billion debt load and leave more funds available for the City for unforeseen circumstances.

The City Council also heard from citizens about fracking last night. Several people spoke both in favor and against the process. Some of those who were against the process were members of Occupy Lubbock.

It was good to see that many people attended the first evening council meeting. Hopefully citizens will continue to take advantage of the new time.

2. Another Bad Day for the USPS (link)

The Postal Service had more bad news yesterday when it announced it’s third quarter earnings.

The USPS posted a $5.2 billion loss in 2012 Q3, a week after its first ever default. USPS posted a $3.1 billion net loss during the same period last year.

House members went to recess without addressing postal reform. Leadership didn’t bring a House bill introduced by Reps. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Dennis Ross, R-Fla., onto the floor for a vote.

The House bill differs greatly from the one the Senate passed in April, which would have pumped $11 million into the agency to avoid defaults. The House bill would allow the USPS to close down post offices and renegotiate labor contracts.

When the House reconvenes in September, lawmakers could bring up postal reform. But that’s unlikely, given how politically tough such a vote could be for members from rural and union-heavy districts. And they could be hearing plenty of such talk from their constituents during recess.

AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka told the Alley he’s not losing any sleep over the prospect of the House bill. “The House bill is not going to pass,” he said confidently.

“The postal service is more than just a place for your mail to come to. And I think whoever goes after them or does that, changes the postal service in that way, takes it away from rural America, there is a political price that would be paid there,” Trumka said.

The AFL-CIO, liberals, and even some Republicans want to sit back and do nothing. Unbelievable. The USPS as we know it is dead.

3. Pros and Cons of Romney’s Top 4 VP Picks (link)

Interesting article from the National Journal that takes a look at who they believe are Romney’s top 4 VP prospects. National Journal weighed the pros and cons of Paul Ryan, Tim Pawlenty, Rob Portman, and Bobby Jindal. Take a look at the article and tell me what you think.

4. The Undecided Voter (link)

Is the undecided voter still around? According to Politico, the answer is yes but it’s a small number.

Gallup’s daily tracking poll shows the number of undecided voters hovering between 6 percent and 8 percent — compared with 11 percent at this point in 2008. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll put the percentage of undecided voters at 3 percent, down from 12 percent in late July 2008. A Pew survey found 5 percent didn’t know who they’d vote for, half of the number at this point in 2008.

One Obama campaign aide said the team uses the president’s events not as a mechanism to win new supporters but more as a way to energize the ones they already have.

“We want to make sure that our supporters know” when Obama comes to town, the adviser said of the president’s campaign appearances. “We make sure that folks who expressed interest and folks who volunteered can see the president. … We’re not doing persuasion events right now.”

Romney’s pollster, Neil Newhouse, said his research shows the smaller universe of undecided voters already has reached a conclusion on Obama but has yet to do so on Romney.

“Here’s the advantage we have: You look at the attitudes of those undecided and they are not undecided on Barack Obama,” Newhouse said. “They’ve decided on Barack Obama. They’re not voting for Barack Obama. These are not voters who are open to Barack Obama. The only candidate they’re still trying to figure out is Mitt Romney. There is opportunity for movement on those voters, getting them out to vote and defining who Mitt Romney is.”

Thoughts?

Other Top Stories:

During a Campaign, Who Gets the Cred Card Points?

Testing Vendor Hits Back After UT Professor Calls Exams Flawed

NY Times Backlash Over Lolo Jones Article

2012 Olympic Medal Count

These and many more topics coming up on today’s edition of Lubbock’s First News with Chad Hasty. Tune in mornings 6-9am 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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