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Federal Court Orders IRS to Repay Texas for ACA Tax on State Medicaid Programs

A U.S. District Court decision has ordered the Internal Revenue Service to repay Texas and five other states more than $839 million because of an unlawful Affordable Care Act (ACA) tax on state Medicaid programs, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said Tuesday.

news release from Paxton’s office detailed that Texas stands to be repaid $304 million.

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Travis Clardy: Too moderate to be House speaker or just moderate enough?

Some of the qualities that appear to disqualify him might actually be assets for state Rep. Travis Clardy, who is running for speaker of the Texas House.

Clardy has served in the House for just three terms. He has not served as a committee chairman. He cannot point to a major piece of legislation that he has sponsored. And Clardy’s District 11 in East Texas has no major metropolitan area to give him clout.

“I can’t see him being chosen speaker,” Mark Jones, a Rice University political science professor, said. “At most, he’s a bit player.”

Depending upon how much the conservative wing of the party has to say about who will replace outgoing Speaker Joe Straus, Clardy could also be viewed as hopelessly moderate, Jones said.

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STRAUS CANCELS CHRISTMAS?

by 

UPDATE: Since publication, numerous other House offices have contacted Texas Scorecard saying they had also been notified Speaker Straus was canceling the party. State Rep. Charlie Geren tweeted “a Christmas party for #txlege members, children & grandchildren has already been planned for Saturday, December 1.” The Speaker’s office has not commented on their involvement. 

Capitol sources are reporting that disgraced, soon-to-be-former Texas House Speaker Joe Straus has cancelled the Texas House Christmas party, an annual event in which legislators and their families are invited to Austin to hang ornaments, take pictures with Santa, and celebrate the Christmas season.

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Taxpayers called to bail out corruption-plagued Dallas County Schools

What you may not know is that Dallas County Schools (DCS) collected property taxes, and county taxpayers are on the hook for paying off its debt for years to come.

Author: Tanya Eiserer, Jason Trahan

You may have heard of Dallas County Schools. That’s the busing agency shut down this past November amid a massive corruption scandal that took down former Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway.

What you may not know is that Dallas County Schools (DCS) collected property taxes, and county taxpayers are on the hook for paying off its debt for years to come.

DCS owes a debt of about $106 million to 33 creditors, and officials expect to pay off the debt — with interest — in six or seven years. “It just depends on how much the property values grow, and we can collect,” said DISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa, who sits on the committee to dissolve DCS.

The committee is scheduled to meet Tuesday morning to adopt a 10 cents-per-$100 valuation property tax rate. There are 816,929 residential and property owners who will get a tax bill for DCS this fall. On it, there will still be a line item – called “school equalization” — representing Dallas County Schools.

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Lopez wins firefighter backing, Fallon says they’ll still vote for him

Trish Choate, For the Times Record News

State Rep. Pat Fallon said most Wichita Falls firefighters will vote for him at the ballot box Nov. 6 even though their association endorsed his Democratic opponent who is one of their own, Kevin Lopez of Bridgeport, in the state Senate District 30 race.

The Wichita Falls Professional Firefighters Association has “a few liberals, obviously,” and “endorsed a liberal Democrat that’s for open borders and for sanctuary cities,” Fallon, R-Prosper, said Wednesday in Wichita Falls.

Lopez, a member of the Arlington Fire Department, disagreed with Fallon’s take.

“As usual, Pat is trying to stir the pot and divide Texans,” Lopez said in a statement. “And he’s not even telling the truth.”

Lopez said he is “strongly in favor of secure borders for Texas to discourage illegal immigration.”

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‘Time we took our party back’: Some Republicans want Muslim Tarrant County leader ousted

Forrest Milburn, Politics Reporter

A group of Tarrant County conservatives is calling on local Republican leadership to oust one of their top officials because he is a “practicing, Mosque-attending muslim.”

Sara Legvold, a Republican who describes herself as a “pissed off conservative patriot,” shared a post on Protect Texas, an “anti-amnesty” Facebook page that she manages, on Sunday afternoon. The social media posts, first reported by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and a letter sent directly to Tarrant County GOP Chairman Darl Easton, urge leadership to remove Dr. Shahid Shafi from his post as vice chairman of the local party.

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Just a shot away? Ciudad Juárez residents fear new cartel war may be coming

For residents of this gritty border city who survived the drug cartel war that raged here just seven years ago, headlines about an upswing in violence are getting harder to ignore.

BY JULIÁN AGUILAR

CIUDAD JUÁREZ, Mexico — Teresa Rodriguez might have found comfort inside this border city’s famous downtown cathedral Tuesday afternoon when she stopped in for a midday mass after running errands. But after leaving Our Lady of Guadalupe church, she was back on guard.

“That’s close enough,” she told a reporter just a dozen or so paces from the church’s main entrance. She shielded her eyes from the sun with one hand and raised the other in a “halt” gesture before adding. “You know, because of everything that’s been going on.”

Rodriguez survived the war between rival drug cartels that raged in this industrial border city from 2008 to 2011 — and with violence on the upswing again, she’s taking extra precautions.

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Border agents in Texas find 4 bodies in 5 days, including 2 who drowned in canal

Hannah Ortega, Breaking News Reporter

Border Patrol agents in Texas have found four bodies along the border with Mexico since Friday.

The first body was found Friday in a water basin outside the town of Mercedes. The corpse was removed from the water by the Mercedes Fire Department, pronounced dead by a justice of the peace and given to a forensics pathologist.

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RERfirst — TEXAS LM ACTIVIST DALE HULS SUFFERS HEART ATTACK. PRAYERS NEEDED

A friend of RagingElephantsRadio.com, Dale Huls of Friendswood, Texas, suffered a heart attack on Thursday, August 17.

Huls, and his wife Mary, are former broadcast activists for RER.  They are better known for their founding work with the highly-respected Clear Lake Tea Party.  Dale and Mary are also dedicated volunteers for the Texas Border Volunteers that assist U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers apprehend illegal invaders that traverse the Rio Grande.

RER learned of the tragedy from liberty movement influencer JoAnn Fleming of Grassroots America – We the People.  Fleming distributed the news through mass email:

Friends,

One of our own needs prayer.  A much-loved friend of the Texas Conservative Grassroots movement – Dale Huls – had a massive heart attack on Thursday.  His dear wife Mary says she nearly lost him. We thank God Dale is still here with us.

Today, he and Mary are waiting in the ICU on more medical procedures. Mary told me this morning that as much as 30% of Dale’s heart is damaged and that his doctor says his goal is to get Dale to the place where he can walk without being out of breath.

Dale and Mary are naturally frightened. As an active, on-the-go couple, they feel as if a wall just fell on them. At a time like this, we can feel as if we are being bombarded with physical, emotional, mental and spiritual challenges – challenges that come on strong and make us feel vulnerable.  This is where praying friends and great faith must kick in!

We know this – Dale and Mary are fighters.  They are people of great faith.  They love Jesus. They love each other. They love this country, and do they ever love their Texas!  The Huls exemplify what I call “the pioneer spirit” – the “put it all on the line” grit and determination that settled this country, tamed its frontiers, built its transcontinental railroad, and made this country great. They’ve been on the frontlines of the Texas conservative grassroots movement since 2009, relentless, determined, dedicated. They won’t leave you in the lurch. They won’t fade in the heat of battle, and their word is their bond. Most people will never know what Dale and Mary have done to advance freedom, but their Maker does, and so do we.

Mary says they need prayer more than anything else. Thoughts of fellow patriots across Texas praying for them would bring such comfort.  Please put Dale and Mary Huls at the top of your prayer list. Please pray that Dale’s health care team would be led by the Great Physician.  Please pray for God’s peace, strength and healing power to cloak Dale and Mary as they wait.  May God deliver Dale and Mary out of this trouble stronger than ever and back with the “Family.”

I look forward to writing more white papers with Dale (he’s such a great writer and deep thinker – a NASA Engineer, you know).  In the meantime, Dale cannot have any plants or flowers in ICU, but they would love cards.

RERteam
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Toll roads could be removed from Loop 1604 improvement plan

by Joseph Galli, SBG San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO – Will improvements on Loop 1604 include toll roads?

MPO voted last year to approve toll roads to pay for the highway expansion.

“Most people would rather travel on a non-toll road than a tolled one,” Wolff said.

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