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SURVEY USA: PERRY LEADS, BELL LAST, RACE WIDE OPEN
by Scott Bennett    Fri, Apr 28, 2006, 08:32 AM

In a poll of 1200 Texans the Survey USA poll found that if the election were held today Gov. Rick Perry would win with 39% while his nearest competitor, Independent/Republican Comptroller Carol Strayhorn, would garner 25%.  Democrat Chris Bell is dead last with 15% but independent Kinky Friedman leads him by a statistically insignificant 16%.  The poll was sponsored by KEYE-TV in Austin adn WOAI-TV in San Antonio.  Of the 1200 respondents 985 were registered voters while 579 were "likely voters."  Survey USA noted that Perry led among whites, Hispanics and Republicans while Strayhorn led among moderates.  Bell led among Democrats, liberals and blacks.  Friedman actually led among self-styled independents.

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SIESTA FOR CITY'S PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE
by Trey Garrison    Thu, Apr 27, 2006, 07:40 PM

Sure, Dallas has the highest crime rate for a city over 1 million people, but don't expect the Dallas City Council's public safety committee to meet on Monday, May 1 to address it or anything else.

The chair of that committee, Councilman Steve Salazar, famously noted for voting on controversial issues by fleeing the room, has canceled Monday's scheduled meeting.

The reason? To show solidarity with the May 1 national Latino boycott being called to support amnesty for illegal aliens.

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TAX RELIEF MAY NOT BE THE 1/3 PROMISED
by Brian Bodine    Thu, Apr 27, 2006, 05:20 PM

There are conflicting signs coming out of Austin regarding how much tax relief property owners can expect to see after the special session. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that legislation being worked through the Texas Legislature may only reduce property taxes to $1.33 per $100 for the first year, instead of the one-third property tax reduction that Perry has repeatedly promised. The Star-Telegram also reports that Lt. Governor David Dewhurst has estimated that House legislation contains enough funding to lower property taxes to around $1.15 per $100.

Some experts are saying that the Texas Tax Reform Commission may have underestimated the cost of lowering property taxes when they created their recommendations.

Click here to read story 

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HOUSE VOTES TO HIKE CIGARETTE TAX $1 PER PACK
by Scott Bennett    Thu, Apr 27, 2006, 03:17 PM

The Texas House has voted 82 to 57 to increase taxes on a pack of cigarettes by $1.  Rep. Warren Chisum (R-Pampa) attempted to hold the tax to 65-cents but was voted down 104 to 37.

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GAS PRICE MAP BY COUNTY
by Scott Bennett    Thu, Apr 27, 2006, 03:09 PM

Still thinking of going on a driving vacation this summer?  You might want to check the map at gasbuddy.com.  It will keep you up to date on nationwide costs. 

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BILL WOULD LIMIT CONTRIBUTIONS IN STATE RACES.
by Scott Bennett    Thu, Apr 27, 2006, 02:51 PM

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Rep. Mike Villarreal
Rep. Mike Villarreal (D-San Antonio) has introduced legislation that would limit individuals from contributing more than $100,000 in total dollars to state races in a two year election cycle. The bill appears to have bi-partisan support especially from Republicans who were the target of Dr. James Leininger of San Antonio who finances an attempted purge of several GOP lawmakers who refused to support public school vouchers. The governor has not opened the special session to such legislation and is not expected to. The intent of the bill appears to be to create an issue in the fall election in hopes contributions limits might have a chance in the regular ession.

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COUNTY JUDGE CALLS FOR GAS BOYCOTT
by Brian Bodine    Thu, Apr 27, 2006, 11:30 AM

A county judge in south Texas has decided to take a stand against high gas prices and is saying that he has had enough with the gas “crisis”. San Antonio’s WOAI.com reports that Bee County judge Jimmy Martinez pushed through a county resolution calling on county residents to boycott Exxon-Mobil in an effort to bring the price of gas down to $1.30 a gallon.

WOAI.com reports that Martinez is contacting other counties in the state and is sending them the Bee County resolution.

Click here to read story

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GIANT SUCKING SOUND UPDATE
by Scott Bennett    Thu, Apr 27, 2006, 11:21 AM

Here is some good news for Democrats:  According to the latest Rasmussen generic poll for President in 2008 Democrats would today command 44% of the vote with the GOP drawing only 32%.  Of course when real live contenders are substituted GOP candidates like McCain and Giuliani are often in the lead.  But here is bad news for both parties:  Rasmussen asked voters what they would do if a third party candidate were added to the mix who "promised to build a barrier along the US/Mexico border and make immigration their top issue."  The result:  Democrats 31%, Republicans 21%, third party 30%.  Ross Perot's "giant sucking sound" may turn out to be the sound of votes being siphoned out of the two-party system?

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STUDY ON LOVE FIELD HAS MAY 20 DEADLINE
by Trey Garrison    Thu, Apr 27, 2006, 10:28 AM

The tentative deadline for Dallas Mayor Laura Miller to offer Fort Worth a proposed solution to the decades of squabbles over the Wright Amendment is May 20.

It's unknown when the two cities will reconvene for a second meeting of their negotiating teams, which consist of the two mayors, three council members from Dallas and two from Fort Worth.

One thing they'll likely consider is a proposal by one of Dallas' negotiating team, Councilmember Ed Oakley, who wants to see commercial passenger limits placed on all airports in North Texas, not just Love Field. It's an idea Miller is on board with.

Startlegram has the full story here.

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PEW: INTERNET NOW REACHES 73% OF ADULT AMERICANS
by Scott Bennett    Thu, Apr 27, 2006, 10:13 AM

The Pew Foundation's Pew Internet and American Life announced today that fully 73% of all adult Americans, 147 million people, are active Internet users.  That is up from 66% in January of 2005.  Pew also found that of these 42%, or 84 million, have broadband connections at home.  That is up from 29% in January 2005.  A substantial percentage of Americans with broadband now claim that the Internet has improved their ability to shop, do their jobs, andn pursue hobbies or other interests. 

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