Archive for the ‘Austin’ Category

“No One Is Allowed To Take Pictures of The Great and Powerful Wendy Davis!”

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Wendy Davis is signing at Austin book store Bookpeople tomorrow (September 11, 2014) at 12:30 PM. (Bookpeople, if you haven’t been there, is a nice independent bookstore that has all kinds of authors in for signings, not just liberal politicians, and Rick Perry signed there in 2008.)

The signing itself is not odd, it’s the conditions for the signing that are odd:

EVENT GUIDELINES

  • This event is a SIGNING only. Senator Davis will not give a public talk.
  • Tickets are required to join the signing line.
  • Tickets are available to purchase in-store and via bookpeople.com
  • Tickets cost as much as the price of one copy of Forgetting to Be Afraid plus tax.
  • Each ticket grants access to the signing line for ONE person and will be exchanged for ONE signed copy of Forgetting to Be Afraid at the signing table the day of the event.
  • There is a limit of one ticket/book per person.
  • The line for the signing will form first come, first served the day of the event.
  • Books will not be personalized.
  • Photos will not be allowed at the signing table.
  • No memorabilia will be signed at this event.
  • No talk, no photos, no personalization. It’s like it’s a privilege to be in the same room as her. And if I know Bookpeople, plenty of autographed copies will be available the next day for purchase, sans ticket.

    I know for a fact that such rules were not in place for signings there by Neil Gaiman or Neal Stephenson (both of whom, I’d estimate, are considerably more famous that Wendy Davis). Indeed, the “no personalization/no photo” rules were not even in place for Hillary Clinton’s signing there.

    Why does a failing gubernatorial candidate merit more high-and-mighty treatment than a former Secretary of State, First Lady and losing Presidential candidate?

    If I had to guess, it would be that her handlers are scared to death she’ll make a gaffe…

    “Wallace Hall Was Right About UT All Along”

    Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

    That’s the headline on this Dallas Observer story by Jim Schutze (who you may remember from my piece on Tom Leppert’s term as Dallas Mayor).

    The Hall piece details what members of the conservative Texas blogsphere (myself included) have been saying for over a year: Hall was right, his critics were wrong:

    When Hall began to criticize the way UT-Austin was run on strictly administrative grounds, he was roundly denounced as a sort of fifth-columnist for Perry’s assault on tenure. Later when he accused the university of corruption, he was hunted like a witch.

    A campaign launched against Hall included impeachment proceedings in the Legislature and a criminal complaint brought to the Travis County district attorney. Even the establishment press turned on Hall, whose greatest sin was doing what the press is supposed to do — ask questions that make powerful people uncomfortable. An unbroken chorus of editorial page shrieking from Texas’ biggest newspapers denounced Hall and called for his resignation.

    The dramatic denouement is threefold: Hall has been vindicated of charges he abused his role as a regent. The charges of mismanagement and corruption he brought against UT are all being re-investigated because now people are admitting he was on to something. And finally, Hall’s biggest accusers are starting to look like the biggest rats, the ones who had the most to hide.

    In fact it’s hard to recall a case in Texas history where a person so roundly denounced has been so completely vindicated.

    More:

    Williamson, the reporter at The National Review, said in an email: “The Texas dailies have fallen down on the job covering this story, mainly because reporters perceive this as a confrontation between Rick Perry and the University of Texas, and they are reflexively hostile to Rick Perry.

    “I’ve spent most of my life in the newspaper business, and I know bias when I see it: If there were a suggestion that Rick Perry were twisting arms to get family members into A&M, it would be on the front page of The Austin American-Statesman. But when the malefactors are UT administrators and the whistle-blowers are Perry appointees, reporters in Austin, Houston, Dallas and San Antonio become strangely incurious.”

    While there isn’t a whole lot new to Schutze’s piece if you’ve been following the story on this and other blogs, the fact that even lefty alternative weeklies now have the same take on the scandal as Michael Quinn Sullivan is a big step forward for justice and transparency, and I commend the entirety of the piece to your attention.

    (Hat tip: Push Junction.)

    John Bucy III Campaign Claims Lien Was Filed Against John Bucy II

    Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

    The John Bucy III campaign has issued another denial stating that the tax lien issued against 8609 Camelia Ln, Austin, Texas, 78759, was not, in fact, against candidate John H. Bucy III, despite his name being on the lien. But the press release does not go any farther.

    However, I have finally received answers from Brent Grady of the John H. Bucy III campaign to questions I sent in yesterday, and he confirms that the lien was against John H. Bucy II, the candidate’s father.

    My questions are in italics, and Grady’s answers are in bold:

    1. Is it true that John Bucy III is the son of John Bucy II, and works at the latter’s law firm?
    John Bucy III is the son of John Bucy II and offices out of 6633 E. Hwy. 290, but John III owns his own company and is not employed by his father.

    2. Did John Bucy II live at 8609 Camelia Ln, Austin, Texas, 78759, and was the actual tax lien filed against him?
    – Yes.

    3. Travis County records show that 8609 Camelia Ln, Austin, Texas, 78759 was sold to John Bucy II on May 30 of this year, and then the lease assigned the same day to “The Jarrett-Simmons Irrevocable Trust,” whose address is the same building that both John Bucy II and John Bucy III show as their respective business offices (6633 Hwy 290
    East, Austin, Texas, 78723). Is that correct?

    – Unknown. This house does not (and never did) belong to John Bucy III, nor did he ever live there.

    4. Does John Bucy II still live at 8609 Camelia Ln?
    – Yes.

    5. Did the IRS accidentally put the lien as applying to John Bucy III when they meant to apply it to John Bucy II?
    The lien was properly applied to John Bucy II. There was just a typo on the form, which put “III” on it, instead of “II,” and we notified the Dale campaign a week ago that it was a typo and not John Bucy III, the candidate.

    Thanks to Brent Grady of the John H. Bucy III campaign for helping clear things up. The answers have the virtues of fitting all the facts, and government agencies committing typos are hardly unknown.

    Absent any additional information from the Tony Dale campaign that the tax lien is indeed against John H. Bucy III rather than John H. Bucy II, I would consider the matter closed.

    Update: Response from the Tony Dale campaign:

    “Mr. Bucy’s ‘shocked and appalled’ response to the revelation that the IRS filed a $163,000 tax lien against him for unpaid taxes is misdirected. Mr. Bucy is running for public office and is subject to public scrutiny. The federal government believes he has not paid his taxes. If the IRS is in error, he needs to produce proof in the form of the removal of the lien in his name, not ask the citizens of Williamson County to simply take the word of the Democratic Party Chairman or his dad.” -Corbin Casteel

    Update 2: Attached find an IRS document sent by the Bucy campaign, but I hardly find it conclusive…

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    Untangling the John Bucy Property Lien Issue

    Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

    Given the John H. Bucy III’s campaigns strenuous denials that the $160,000 IRS tax lien was filed against their candidate, I thought I would further research the issue. It may be a case of a son being mistaken for his father, but I can’t say for sure without Bucy or his campaign answering some questions.

    Let’s look at the deed history of 8609 Camelia Ln, Austin, Texas, 78759 via the Travis County Central Appraisal District web interface:

    # Deed Date Type Description Grantor Grantee Deed Number
    1 5/30/2014 WD WARRANTY DEED BUCY JOHN H II JARRETT-SIMMONS IRREVOCABLE TRUST 2014093500TR
    2 5/30/2014 WD WARRANTY DEED REES BURKE BUCY JOHN H II 2014093499TR
    3 8/29/2008 WD WARRANTY DEED WEST GEORGE MARC REES BURKE 2008165059TR

    CameliaDee

    Some clarifications, given my modest research into the issue:

    1. Burke Rees was (is?) a real estate agent (also here, with a different company), but he shows up as the owner of the property.

    2. I confirmed over the telephone with Ress he did indeed lease the property to a John Bucy, but he didn’t know whether it was John Bucy II or John Bucy III.
    3. The house is sold to John H. Bucy II (not III) in 2014.
    4. John H. Bucy II is evidently a lawyer who “specializes in business law including formations, acquisitions, securities, employment and other contract issues.” Also: “Besides business practice, attorney John H. Bucy, II also represents clients in real estate matters, including the purchase and sale of undeveloped and commercial properties, finances related to real estate projects, and the negotiation of commercial leases.” His law office address is 6633 Hwy 290 East, Suite 208, Austin, Texas, 78723.
    5. There is only one employee listed by name at that record: “John H Bucy III” who is described as a “Principal.”
    6. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that John H. Bucy II is, in fact, the father of John H. Bucy III.
    7. Note that the same day the house is sold to John H. Bucy II, the deed is then granted to “The Jarrett-Simmons Irrevocable Trust.”
    8. There’s not a lot of information on the Jarrett-Simmons Irrevocable Trust, except that: A.) It seems to be associated somehow with Paddington Property, LLC, B.) Their address is listed as “6633 E Highway 290, Austin, Texas, 78723,” and C.) The principal is one Bryan Jarrett.
    9. 6633 Hwy 290 East, Suite 104, Austin, Texas, 78723 is listed as the address for the Texas Charter School Academic and Athletic League, which lists “John Bucy” as founder and president; presumably that’s John H. Bucy III, as per his campaign website.
    10. John H. Bucy III’s official campaign filing address is the same address: 6633 Hwy 290 East, Suite 104, Austin, Texas, 78723.
    11. A John Bucy is listed as the owner of “6633 E HIGHWAY 290 STE 104 AUSTIN , TX 78723-1157.” An appraised value of “$4,744″ suggests that he does not own the entire building, which seems to be a business condo.
    12. Bryan Jarrett seems to be involved with a number of enterprises run from that same 6633 Hwy 290 East address: Brant Management, Caretech International Inc., Complete Care Centers, Inc., Incolumus Inc., Texas Matrix Group, Mission Nursing Home Inc., Windcrest Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Inc., and Plaza 290 Office Condominium Association (hmmm).
    13. In all these enterprises, he seems subordinate to an Anthony J. Langford.
    14. I note for the record that John H. Bucy III’s north Austin home he shares with his wife Molly is registered in the name of a Josh T. Brown of Santa Cruz, California.
    15. The house at 8609 Camelia Ln appears to be for sale (I say “appears” because you can never tell with real estate listings). The listed seller? Ellmaker Realty.

    What all this amounts to:

  • John Bucy III appears to be the son of John Bucy II
  • John Bucy II did own the house where the lien said John Bucy III resided.
  • Both Bucys appear to work out of the same building, which just happens to be the same building the trust which bought the house in question also operates out of.
  • I can think of a dozen different scenarios which fit the facts in this case, so I don’t want to speculate on which might be the case here.

    Yesterday I wrote the John Bucy III campaign, asking for clarification. I still haven’t heard back from them.

    But the big question remains: Why was the IRS lean against John H. Bucy III against the house lived in, and later owned, by John H. Bucy II?

    Finally, there is this set of court records for John H. Bucy II. I don’t know enough to decode the various charges listed. I merely include it for others to research.

    Update: The Bucy campaign claims that the lien is indeed against John Bucy II, not John Bucy III.

    Democratic State House Candidate John Bucy’s $160,000 in Unpaid Taxes

    Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

    What is it with Democrats and their recurring problems with paying their taxes? Certainly they seem more than capable of passing and raising taxes. But paying them on time? Not so much.

    Today’s example of a Democrat not paying his taxes comes from House District 136 candidate John H. Bucy, which a press release from his Republican opponent, incumbent Tony Dale‘s campaign (not yet up on his websites) identifies as owing $160,000 in back taxes to the IRS:

    John H. Bucy, III, the Democratic nominee for Texas House, District 136 in Williamson County, apparently failed to pay his taxes for at least 4 years and owes over $160,000 to the IRS. According to the IRS tax lien filed with the Travis County Clerk, Mr. Bucy owes personal income taxes dating as far back as 2008 and as recently as 2011. And there could be more.

    The Dale campaign also notes that “In addition to the IRS tax lien, Mr. Bucy has problems with the state of Texas as well. Every single business Bucy has registered with state of Texas has forfeited its existence for failure to pay the required taxes and fees, seven total businesses.” To me, this is not only several orders of magnitude less important than the taxes owed the IRS, it’s not necessarily an issue at all, as it could mean Bucy’s business entities are no longer active and he simply let the registration expire.

    I emailed the Bucy campaign for comment about an hour ago, but so far have not heard back from them.

    Note: Dale is my own state representative, and I endorsed him in 2012.

    Update: The Bucy campaign contends that Dale got the wrong John Bucy:

    Mr. Lawrence [sic],

    The accusations are false, and John has never had a lien filed against him.

    We are aware of the document that the Dale campaign claims to possess, and the “John Bucy” referenced in Tony Dale’s press release is NOT John Bucy the candidate. — Not only is John Bucy (the candidate) not the person to whom the lien attaches, he has also never even lived at the address to which the John Bucy in the lien attaches to.

    We spoke to the Dale campaign last week and made them aware of this. — The Dale campaign still chose to move forward. — They clearly do not care to be honest with the voters.

    To the other point of John’s companies, John has only been affiliated with 3 companies, and we do not know where the count of 7 comes from.

    One of the companies is his current company, which is in good standing, and the other two companies have been closed down properly.

    None of this information should be published, as it is false, and we are presently exploring all options to stop these false accusations.

    -Brent Grady.
    Campaign Manager, Bucy for Texas

    Update 1: My update on the still murky issue is here.

    Update 2: Bucy campaign claims that the lien was against his father, John Bucy II, which fits the facts in the first update above.

    Perry Indictment Slammed as Ridiculous On Both Left and Right

    Monday, August 18th, 2014

    More and more commentators, on all sides of the political spectrum, have weighed in on the risible nature of the Rick Perry indictment:

  • Respectable lefty attorney Alan Derschowitz (who has maintained an admirably consistent commitment to civil liberties throughout his career) condemns the Perry indictment: “Everybody, liberal or conservative, should stand against this indictment.”
  • Patterico provides extensive legal analysis and notes: “Words truly fail to describe what an outrageous and unsupportable abuse of prosecutorial power this is.”
  • “’You can’t pay me enough to vote for Rick Perry, but this indictment is a totally corrupt use of criminal law,’ said David Berg, a Houston attorney and contributor to Democratic candidates. ‘It is clearly political, vindictive and unsupportable.’”
  • Sarah Palin notes that frivolous lawsuits to derail a Republican’s national electoral chances are now standard operating procedure for Democrats.
  • Lefty journalist Jonathan Chait says:

    They say a prosecutor could get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich, and this always seemed like hyperbole, until Friday night a Texas grand jury announced an indictment of governor Rick Perry…The theory behind the indictment is flexible enough that almost any kind of political conflict could be defined as a “misuse” of power or “coercion” of one’s opponents. To describe the indictment as “frivolous” gives it far more credence than it deserves.

  • Even MSNBC says that “it’s hard to imagine sending a governor to jail for talking about why he issued a veto.”
  • In other news, check out the #IStumbleWithRosemaryLehmberg tag…

    Rick Perry Indicted for Acting Like a Governor

    Saturday, August 16th, 2014

    Friday Rick Perry was indicted for using his constitutionally enumerated veto powers, namely carrying through on his threat to veto $7.5 million funding for the Travis County Public Integrity Unit last year unless Democratic District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg resigned over her DWI.

    To call it weak sauce is to give the false impression that there’s any sauce there whatsoever. This is pure political hackery by a Democratic prosecutor looking to “get Perry,” since Democrats have been completely unable to do so at the ballot box. As Powerline notes:

    The Travis County district attorney’s office has long been a cesspool of corruption. It was that office, controlled by the Democratic Party machine, that infamously indicted Tom DeLay for nothing. It took years before DeLay could finally clear his name, and his career was ruined.

    Conservatives should respond to this indictment by rallying around Perry. The indictment is a bad joke, intended simply to generate negative publicity. As with the bogus DeLay indictment from the same source, years may go by before it is finally proved baseless. In the meantime, conservatives should stand behind Perry and denounce the politically-motivated machinations of Texas Democrats.

    Eugene Volokh notes that in a previous case (Wurtz vs. Risley) the court ruled that “Coercion of a lawful act by a threat of lawful action is protected free expression.”

    Even Think Progress think the Perry indictment is weak. Another sign of that weakness is the fact they released the indictment late Friday, the traditional “bury the story” dumping ground.

    I suspect Rick Perry will come out of this just fine. The real loser will be Lehmberg, when a whole new national audience gets to see her drunkenly scream “Call Greg!” all over again…

    LinkSwarm for August 8, 2014

    Friday, August 8th, 2014

    Another roundup of news, a disproportionate amount from the Middle East, disproportionately bad.

  • Old and Busted: “Never again!” The New Hotness: “Genocide? Meh. Case-by-case basis.”
  • More on the ISIS campaign to wipe out the Yazidi and other religious minorities.
  • Obama says he’s authorizing air strikes “if necessary.” Even when threatening military action, Obama manages to sound wishy-washy.
  • There are conflicting reports as to weather ISIS or the Kurdish Pesh Merga hold the Mosul dam.
  • Hamas demands that Israel kick their ass some more.
  • Rick Perry: “Since September of ’08, we have seen 203,000 individuals who have illegally come into the United States — into Texas — booked in to Texas county jails…These individuals are responsible for over 3,000 homicides and almost 8,000 sexual assaults.”
  • Quiz: Real Salon or Parody Salon? Difficulty: Impossible.
  • Leland Yee pleads not guilty to racketeering charges. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • Won’t someone think of the poor federal employee who have nothing to do all day but spank their monkey to online porn?
  • Why did Austin mayor Lee Leffingwell proclaim a day in honor of convicted Louisiana felon Ed Edwards?
  • It has to be said: Hillary Clinton doesn’t have the fashion sense God gave a turtle. Two words: Lane Bryant.
  • Soldiers’ military kits from 1066 to 2014.
  • There’s a website dedicated to the world’s tallest men.
  • Gun and Crime Roundup for July 31, 2014

    Thursday, July 31st, 2014

    Time for another gun and crime roundup, and oh boy, is there a lot of stupid to go around this week:

  • DC Gun ruling put on hold. (Hat tip: Alphecca.)
  • The “Everytown for Gun Safety” head of the Bloomberg hydra just made the strongest case for women owning a gun I’ve ever seen on TV. Even the women on The View said as much, which is saying something. It’s like an ad for Taco Bell promising “Rectal bleeding and serious diarrhea, guaranteed!”
  • And the inevitable video recut:

    (Hat tip: Ace of Spades.)

  • Did gun owners kill Operation Choke Point? Great news if true, but bad ideas in the Obama Administration just never seem to entirely go away… (Hat tip: Say Uncle.)
  • Doctor ignores hospitals anti-gun policy and prevents a massacre.
  • The “Moms Demand Action” head of the Bloomberg hydra protests topless in Austin. Sadly, they seem to be made up of exactly the women you don’t want to see topless. “Put it on! Put it all on!”
  • Restaurant owner puts up sign welcoming gun owners. Result? Business explodes.
  • Beretta says goodbye to Maryland and hello to Tennessee.
  • Is New York DHS offering $500 rewards to snitch on preppers? (Hat tip: Sipsy Street.)
  • DHS seize Land Rover:

    (Hat tip: Sipsy Street.)

  • Police in La Joya, Texas (West of McAllen and Mission) kill gang member in shootout a mile from the Mexican border.
  • ProTip: If you break into a restaurant, don’t try to order something from that same restaurant later the same day wearing the same clotehs captured on the security camera.

  • ProTip: If you’re trying to rip off a convenience story, don’t pick the one where an MMA fighter works:

  • Why Black People Are Leaving Austin

    Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

    Austin’s population is growing, but its black population is actually shrinking. Orisons are sounded to the usual liberal shibboleths (“disparities in public education, a distrust of police”) before the piece starts to touch on the real issues:

    “Barriers to accessing jobs in the city’s booming technology and construction industries.” Nice job conflating two very dissimilar industries into one sentence:

  • High technology generally require high school or college degrees, something the black community notably lags behind whites and Asians.
  • Construction jobs are one of the areas where American workers (including African Americans) have been hit hardest by the influx of illegal alien labor. 30 years ago, roofers used to reflect more ethnic diversity; if Austin is any indication, 90+% of roofers today are Hispanic.
  • “The report also suggested that the city’s history of racial segregation followed by gentrification of Austin’s historically black neighborhoods contributed to the decline.”

    That word “gentrification” needs to be bolded in 24-point type.

    “East Austin’s proximity to downtown has driven up property values and taxes in the area, prompting some longtime residents to leave.”

    And how.

    For years East Austin (and by “East Austin,” generally people mean “East of 35, north of the river, west of Ed Bluestein, and south of 290″ (though the tiny subdivision just west of the old airport generally got excluded for demographic reasons), set as it was on the far side of “Apartheid 35,” was overwhelmingly poor, black and Hispanic. Apartment complexes or condos catering to students might have made a few blocks worth of inroads near campus, but that was about it. But as the city grew by leaps and bound, and every boom brought more skyscrapers downtown, canny developers and real estate agents couldn’t keep from eying all that land a literal stone’s throw across I-35, and gentrification was on.

    Now if you walk down, say, East 11th street, you’ll see far more white hipsters than black or Hispanic residents until you’re a good mile or more away from the freeway.

    Here’s historical data for all Austin housing. Notice the relentless upward trend for houses. Though I haven’t been able to find historical trending data for just East Central Austin, I believe the trend is far more pronounced there, since prices there used to be far below that of the suburbs and are now far above them.

    And as for rising taxes and property values, don’t forget this epic bit of cluelessness:

    “I’m at the breaking point,” said Gretchen Gardner, an Austin artist who bought a 1930s bungalow in the Bouldin neighborhood just south of downtown in 1991 and has watched her property tax bill soar to $8,500 this year.

    “It’s not because I don’t like paying taxes,” said Gardner, who attended both meetings. “I have voted for every park, every library, all the school improvements, for light rail, for anything that will make this city better. But now I can’t afford to live here anymore.

    Yes, funny how voting for every liberal boondoggle to come down the turnpike raises one’s tax rates. But higher tax rates that may be a mild inconvenience for moneyed white liberals can be intolerable for poor black residents, who can find themselves priced and taxed out of their longtime neighborhoods.

    Those are the obvious, prosaic reasons black residents might be leaving Austin. There’s no reason to haul out the usual cast of Democratic politicians and critcal race theory grievance mongers to explain it…