Pay No Attention to the Hatemonger Behind the Curtain

You’ve probably been thinking, hey, what’s Steve Hotze up to these days? The prominent anti-LGBT zealot from Houston has, as the Houston Chronicle noted, been awfully quiet leading up to next week’s referendum to decide the fate of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance. The silence is unusual for the outspoken Hotze, who last made headlines in August when he went on anti-gay tirade that included a sword — yes, an actual sword — and compared of gay people to Nazis (and demanded that LGBT people be driven from Houston).

Hotze, instead, is letting his money do the talking. Campaign reports examined by the Houston Chronicle show that the group opposing the ordinance has spent about $140,000 more than it has raised. Hotze has made up the deficit by, no joke, putting it on his credit card and extending a $50,000 loan, according to the Chronicle.

But why is Hotze otherwise so quiet? Here’s a possible answer:

Hotze’s less public role in the campaign is a smart strategy, said University of Houston political scientist Brandon Rottinghaus.

Hotze’s long public battle against gay rights could be a liability for the campaign when it comes to attracting more moderate voters, Rottinghaus… Read More

Fact-Checking Barbara Cargill

Barbara Cargill, the creationist former chair of the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE), sent supporters an email today announcing her 2016 bid for re-election to the 15-member body. The Republican from The Woodlands near Houston has been one of the leading right-wing culture warriors on the board, helping to politicize the state’s curriculum standards and trying to censor textbook content that doesn’t pass her ideological litmus test. So we thought it would be good to fact-check Cargill’s email announcement. Following are some of what Cargill calls highlights of her 11 years on the SBOE:

“Served on the Governor-appointed Commission for College Ready Texas to improve students’ college readiness”

Well, she might have served on the commission, but she has actually helped undermine college readiness for Texas students. She played a leading role in the disastrous and deeply divisive political battle over new social studies curriculum standards the state board approved in 2010. Cargill and her colleagues were so focused on making sure that the standards reflected their personal and political biases that they paid scant attention to whether the standards aligned with the state’s college readiness standards. In fact, even her creationist ally and predecessor as board chair, Gail Lowe, has admitted as much.… Read More

TFN STUDENT ACTIVISTS JOIN OCT. 29 VOTER TURNOUT EVENT

UH-Downtown Event Seeks to Boost Turnout Among Students

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 27, 2015

Members of the Texas Freedom Network chapter at the University of Houston-Downtown will join student government and other groups at the school on Oct. 29 in a joint effort to get young people to the polls for the November 3 election.

 “Walk 2 Vote” is an annual event sponsored by UHD’s Student Government Association and designed to boost voter turnout among students. Voters this year will be deciding city government races as well as whether to approve the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) and other ballot propositions.

HERO protects all Houstonians from discrimination based on race, age, gender, orientation, pregnancy, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, military status and other characteristics.

“Young people as a group are among the least likely to vote in Texas,” said Ali Gorczynski, TFN’s outreach and field coordinator in Houston. “But our votes could be critical in deciding whether Houston remains the only major city in Texas without a comprehensive civil rights ordinance that protects everyone from discrimination.”

“Walk 2 Vote” is set for… Read More

Texas Freedom Network student activists are hard at work getting young voters to the polls for the November 3 election, particularly in support of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance. We just sent out the following press release:

Members of the Texas Freedom Network chapter at the University of Houston-Downtown will join student government and other groups at the school on Oct. 29 in a joint effort to get young people to the polls for the November 3 election.

 “Walk 2 Vote” is an annual event sponsored by UHD’s Student Government Association and designed to boost voter turnout among students. Voters this year will be deciding city government races as well as whether to approve the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) and other ballot propositions.

HERO protects all Houstonians from discrimination based on race, age, gender, orientation, pregnancy, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, military status and other characteristics.

“Young people as a group are among the least likely to vote in Texas,” said Ali Gorczynski, TFN’s outreach and field coordinator in Houston. “But our votes could be critical in deciding whether Houston remains the only major city in Texas without a comprehensive civil rights ordinance that… Read More

Here are some of the week’s most notable quotes culled from news reports from across Texas, and beyond. Read More

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