Columns/Opinions

Wed
17
Sep

Our privacy not for sale in Texas

by Greg Abbott

The Texas Attorney General’s Office works constantly to protect Texans’ privacy. Two bankruptcy cases we recently intervened in are illustrative of that effort. Most Texans are unaware that the personal information they provide during their interactions with a business may one day have potential value in a bankruptcy asset sale. Fortunately, the skilled lawyers at the Attorney General’s Office are familiar with this reality – and know how to spot a potential problem before it’s too late.
 
Wed
10
Sep

This is the summer of our discontent

By Lee Hamilton.
 
There is great unease in the land — concern about economic inequality, disgust with scorched-earth politics in Washington. But the long reach of our history teaches that when an aroused public forces political leaders to focus on finding solutions to problems, we can overcome differences and make progress.
Despite these last few months of hot and lazy days, it’s been hard not to notice a cold political wind blowing through the country. The magazine Foreign Affairs captured it with its latest cover, a mockup of a travel poster featuring a crumbling U.S. Capitol with the tagline, “See America: Land of Decay and Dysfunction.”

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Wed
10
Sep

Judge rules revisions to abortion law unconstitutional

By Ed Sterling.
 
U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel on Aug. 29 struck down two provisions in House Bill 2, legislation passed by the Texas Legislature in the second special session of 2013, amending the state Health and Safety Code to restrict access to abortion services.

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Wed
03
Sep

Preventing bullying, cyber bullying

By Greg Abbott.

Parents, educators and law enforcement officials are increasingly recognizing that bullying is a serious problem that can pose a real threat to a child’s well-being. Young victims of bullying can suffer long-term consequences that haunt them long into adulthood. A research study published in 2013 showed that 19 to 26-year-olds who were affected by bullying as children are four times as likely to have been charged with a felony as adults. For the perpetrators, bullying can cross the line and become a criminal violation with lifelong consequences.
 
Wed
03
Sep

Court rules school finance system unconstitutional

By Ed Sterling.

AUSTIN — When the Texas Legislature convenes on Jan. 13, 2015, lawmakers will have the job of revising the state’s school finance system, again. This task was made necessary on Aug. 28, when state District Judge John Dietz ruled the current finance system violates these four state constitutional standards: the state property tax prohibition and the education clause requirements of adequacy, suitability, and financial efficiency.
 
Wed
27
Aug

Why government openness matters

By Lee Hamilton.
 
Failing to share information makes us weaker. It enfeebles congressional oversight, which is a cornerstone of representative democracy and which, when aggressively carried out by fully informed legislators, can strengthen policy-making.
One of the fundamental lessons of the 9/11 tragedy was that our government carried a share of blame for the failure to stop the attacks. Not because it was asleep at the switch or ignorant of the dangers that Al Qaeda posed, but because the agencies charged with our safety did not share what they knew, either up and down the chain of command or with each other.
 
Wed
27
Aug

County processes governor after felony indictment

By Ed Sterling.
 
AUSTIN — Gov. Rick Perry on Aug. 20 walked the block and a half from the Governor’s Mansion to the Travis County Courthouse, presented himself for arraignment by a state district judge and routine booking procedures, spoke at a five-minute press conference and left. Perry was indicted on Aug. 15 by a Travis County grand jury on felony charges of abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant. Perry entered a plea of not guilty to either charge.

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Wed
20
Aug

Seeking a reliable home improvement contractor

By Greg Abbott.

For most Texans, a home isn’t just a place to live and raise a family – it’s their most valuable financial asset. Adding improvements, repairing damage, and keeping up with routine maintenance are all part of a smart homeowner’s plan to protect and increase the value of an important asset. Unfortunately, scam artists posing as home repair contractors know residents will part with hard-earned money to improve their homes. So to protect their pocketbooks, homeowners should know how to protect themselves and avoid falling victim to these scams.
 
Wed
20
Aug

Grand jury indicts governor on two abuse of power counts

By Ed Sterling.
 
A Travis County grand jury on Aug. 15 indicted Gov. Rick Perry on two felony counts: abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant. Count I alleges Perry, on or about June 14, 2013, intended to harm Rosemary Lehmberg, Travis County district attorney and chief of the state’s Public Integrity Unit, by intentionally or knowingly misusing public property in withholding funding approved by the Texas Legislature for the operation of the Public Integrity Unit.

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Wed
13
Aug

Why government fails, what we can do about it

By Lee Hamilton.

Whatever our political stripe, we all want government to fail less often. Citizens and the media need to pressure elected officials to spend more time digging into the nitty-gritty of fixing bureaucracies.
As election season approaches, I’ve been pondering a crucial issue about the role of government in our society. It’s that our government often fails — and that we need to address this. What’s odd is that while the frequent failures in government’s performance are very much on ordinary people’s minds, politicians don’t talk much about fixing them.
 

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