Monday, October 27, 2014

Gallego and Hurd talk off air | Texas Week EXTRA

Congressional District 23 is the eight largest in the nation, stretching 500 miles from San Antonio to El Paso. Incumbent Democratic Congressman Pete Gallego and Republican challenger Will Hurd talked to Rick Casey about issues for 16 minutes. But a district as big as 23 needs more time for discussion. So here is a video presenting an additional 16 minutes of what they said off the air.

Hurd takes on Gallego | Oct. 24, 2014

Texas has 36 congressional districts, but the Legislature has drawn them so efficiently that only one is considered competitive in this election. As a result, that race has drawn millions in outside advertising. Republican challenger Will Hurd, a former CIA agent, is taking on freshman Democratic U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego to represent District 23, which runs from San Antonio to El Paso.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Payday lender finds himself in court | Last Word

The Houston Chronicle reported this week that Gary Elkins has been charged with violating the city’s ordinance covering payday lenders.

Houston officials aren’t taking it personally.

They’re aware that Elkins has already been charged with the same offense in Dallas and San Antonio.

It’s not what you call a major crime.

Punishment doesn’t include prison or even jail. It maxes out at $500 a day per violation.

Two things make the story newsworthy.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Wolff and Soules square off | Oct. 17, 2014

When Carlton Soules quit his seat on the San Antonio City Council to run against County Judge Nelson Wolff, the election was expected to be a referendum on VIA's controversial street car project, which Judge Wolff strongly supported. Since then, in the wake of a massive petition drive, Judge Wolff agreed to pull the plug. Soules has always said there are other issues. We meet with both candidates.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Time to shut down Texas Lotto | Last Word

Last week a legislative committee took up the question of whether Texas should abolish the state lottery.

If you haven’t been paying attention, the suggestion sounds outrageous.

Doesn’t the Lottery bring in billions of dollars and isn’t it a major source of funding for our public schools?

The answer is yes and no.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Bexar district attorney rematch | Oct. 10, 2014

Four years ago, Bexar County District Attorney Susan Reed defeated Democrat Nico LaHood in a very contentious race. While Reed pointed out LaHood’s drug arrest from 20 years ago, LaHood argued that Reed’s job performance had been sub-standard. Now it's a rematch and both candidates, in what could be their only joint appearance in the campaign, join Rick Casey to discuss the issues.

Friday, October 10, 2014

We don't really "elect" judges | Last Word

Some years ago I endorsed a young lawyer running for a Bexar County bench based on just one factor.

Getting her a regular paycheck was likely the only way taxpayers would recover the money we had lent her for law school.

The voters didn’t buy my argument.

Now comes, via Express-News Columnist Gilbert Garcia, news of another judicial candidate who had defaulted on his student loans.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Separating Ebola facts from myths | Oct. 3, 2014

This week, the first case of Ebola was diagnosed in the United States, and it's close to home ... specifically in Dallas. While many citizens worry about the virus spreading, we talk with two experts to separate fact from fiction so you can better understand the issues involved.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Police medical benefits under fire | Last Word

I’d like to begin this piece by once again thanking Ronnie Parker, an excellent copy editor at the Houston Chronicle.

Some years ago I wrote a column about how the Houston police union was in serious, if tough, negotiations with the city while the firefighters’ union was posturing and making outrageous demands.

My lead began, “There’s an old Texas saying that pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered.”

Ronnie called me over to his desk and said, “Rick, you’re writing about the police union. Do you really want to use a metaphor about pigs?”

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Learn about "Telling: San Antonio" | Sept. 26, 2014

Over the past few decades, thousands of veterans have returned from wars to live in San Antonio. They all have stories, but few of us get to hear them. Playwright Jonathan Wei has come up with an innovative way to help us. He turns veterans into actors, and their stories into theater. We talk to Wei and one of his veterans/actors to learn about "Telling: San Antonio" and its impact.