Chad’s Morning Brief: Property Tax Increase Looming For Lubbock, Voter ID in the Courts, & More
Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of July 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.
1. Lubbock's Mayor Wants a Tax Increase (link)
The headline from the Lubbock AJ was about breaking down your LP&L bill which is fine, except that the bigger news story and potentially the only story out of the article, was this line:
Robertson said he advocates lowering the storm water fee by shifting street expenses from the storm water fee and covering the difference with an increase in property tax.
Emphasis added by me. The AJ failed to expand on this huge piece of news. The Mayor basically announced in a story that he would be seeking a property tax increase on the citizens of Lubbock. What did the AJ do? They buried the line deep in the story. Enough bagging on the AJ though.
Is Lubbock ready for a tax increase? What happened to finding the money elsewhere? This City Council looks poised to raise taxes at a time that makes no sense to do so. The national economy is still in the dumps, folks aren't getting raises, and the potential is still alive and well that the Feds will be coming for our wallets more in the future.
I understand that Mayor Robertson wants to get rid of what he calls hidden fees and taxes, but it doesn't make it right to throw at tax increase on top of the tax payers right now. The City Council hasn't even gone through the budget process and already we are hearing about taxes going up.
During the election, Mayor Tom Martin warned that doing away with the fees from LP&L would result in dramatic tax increases. His warning might be coming true.
We will see how this plays out, but I don't see how how a tax increase can be avoided with the current council unless the citizens of Lubbock speak up. My guess is, this won't be a small tax increase either.
What are your thoughts?
2. Texas Voter ID Law in Court (link)
It's Texas vs. the DOJ and on Monday a federal court took up the Texas Voter ID Law. The law requires anyone who votes to show a photo ID in order to cast a ballot. Democrats and other opponents claim the law is racist and the DOJ claims over a million people in Texas could be prevented from voting. According to FOX News:
The law, projected to impact hundreds of thousands of voters, was approved by the Republican-controlled state legislature to prevent voter fraud, then signed into law by Gov. Rick Perry.
However, the Justice Department blocked the law this spring, saying it violates the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and unfairly impacts Hispanic and other minority voters -- who tend to vote Democratic.
The federal law in part says states with a history of discriminatory laws need Justice Department approval before changing voter laws.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has said the law does not apply to the state’s anti-fraud effort and that the Texas law is similar to those in Georgia and Indiana that have withstood legal scrutiny. Texas filed the suit with the expectation the Obama administration would attempt to have the law repealed.
The Justice Department’s evidence in the case is also being questioned.
A data-collection agency Catalist, used by an expert witness for the administration, lists among its clients some of the country’s most influential liberal groups including the Democratic House and Senate campaign committees, Planned Parenthood and the 2008 Obama campaign.
House Judiciary Committee Chariman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, last week asked Attorney General Eric Holder why such a firm is providing the data.
The panel’s ruling will likely impact at least 15 other states – including Mississippi and South Carolina -- with similar legislation either having passed or pending.
However, the final decision is expected to end up in the Supreme Court.
Still haven't heard a good argument against Voter ID. It's not racist and you have to have a photo ID for so many things these days. Not sure what the problem is from Democrats on this.
3. Gov. Rick Perry Says No (link)
Governor Rick Perry and the State of Texas isn't finished fighting Obamacare.
Gov. Rick Perry said Monday that Texas won't establish an online marketplace for patients to shop for insurance or expand Medicaid, two key elements of the federal health care overhaul.
In a letter sent to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Perry said both elements "represent brazen intrusions into the sovereignty of our state."
"I will not be party to socializing health care and bankrupting my state in direct contradiction to our Constitution and our founding principles of limited government," Perry said in a statement.
The Supreme Court upheld most of the federal health care law last month, although it said the federal government can't withhold states' entire Medicaid allotment if they don't expand Medicaid, the health insurance program for the poor and disabled. If states choose not to set up a health care exchange, an online service for people to comparison shop for insurance, the federal government will establish one for them.
About 6.2 million Texans - a quarter of the state's population - are uninsured.
Expanding Medicaid would add millions of people "into the already unsustainable Medicaid program, at a potential cost of billions to Texas taxpayers," said Perry, a Republican. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission has estimated the Medicaid expansion would cost the state $27 billion in the first 10 years, a number many Democrats dispute.
We will see how this plays out.
4. Paul Beane Said What? (link)
So while I was out, former Lubbock City Councilman Paul Beane decided to go off on some folks. According to KFYO News:
On Lubbock’s First News on KFYO, former councilman Paul Beane, serving as guest host, was asked about other officials he served with.
Regarding former councilwoman Linda DeLeon: “She could not be trusted to vote the way that she would indicate.”
Regarding Victor Hernandez: “He’s a world class phony, and it was not a pleasure serving with him.”
Regarding Floyd Price: It was a pleasure serving with Floyd Price. I’ve known Floyd Price for 45 years.
Beane said Todd Klein is a good guy but:
“He doesn’t know whether he is a Democrat or Libertarian or conservative or Republican."
Come on Beane! Why do you have to say this stuff while I'm out of town? Judging by the comments left on the KFYO's website, I guess Beane's comments didn't sit well with the liberals in Lubbock. Oh well. You libs keep defending Hernandez all day if you want. Remember, he is the one on the council who is always wanting to raise YOUR taxes.
5. Dumb Story of the Morning (link)
Woman goes crazy at Chuck E. Cheese's.
Police took one woman into custody tonight after they said she walked into the Monroeville Chuck E. Cheese's with a brick and a knife and started a fight.
Sources said a man was having a birthday party for his son inside the restaurant on Route 22 when his ex-girlfriend walked into the building about 7:30 p.m. and attacked his new girlfriend.
The new girlfriend was taken to UPMC Mercy to be treated for a non-life-threatening wound to the back of her head, officials said.
Another woman who tried to intervene in the fight was bitten in the chest. Her wound was cleaned at the scene.
Other Top Stories:
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.