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Guilty plea in South Texas vote-buying operation

A former south Texas politiquera, Diana Balderas Castañeda, earlier this month pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of vote-buying in conjunction with campaign activities supporting the election of four Donna ISD school board candidates. In the criminal complaint, FBI Special Agent Brandon Cook defines a politiquera as “a person who works for a Keep Reading…

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Bond elections: Reality absent from entitlement epidemic (TX)

Texas voters approving much of the $6.5 billion ($9 billion with interest) sought by local governments in May bond elections prompts two interesting observations. First, an entitlement epidemic breeding a self-indulgent culture and mindset that living beyond one’s means will override basic economic principles is thriving. Second, the reality ahead will be fascinating when economic Keep Reading…

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New Pig Book: ground gained, lost in battle against federal earmarks

The 2014 Congressional Pig Book, Citizens Against Government Waste’s (CAGW) annual review of pork-barrel spending, is out with this year’s analysis illustrating ground both gained and lost in the effort to eliminate the congressional practice of directing funds to specific projects known as earmarks. In addition to no notable earmarks like past findings of “museums, Keep Reading…

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Hearne police officer shoots 93-year-old woman (TX)

A 93-year-old woman, Pearlie Golden, died at a Bryan hospital Tuesday after being shot at least five times by a Hearne police officer. A sheriff’s office statement describes officers responding to a 911 call of a woman allegedly “waving a gun around” outside a residence. When Officer Stephen Stem arrived, he asked Golden to “put Keep Reading…

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Whistleblower: Texas VA’s falsified wait time records

Allegations of falsified records reflecting inaccurate wait times are surfacing in Texas as charges in connection with the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care System and a VA outpatient clinic in Fort Collins, Colo., continue making headlines. Though investigations are ongoing, media reports suggest “at least 40 U.S. veterans died waiting for appointments” with the Phoenix Keep Reading…

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