The Latest
Final Early Voting Totals
On Friday, a surge of 18,884 Travis County residents made their way to the polls to vote, the highest total of the early voting period, bringing the early voting grand total to 93,100. Add in the 5,560 mail-in ballots county officials have received, and that makes 98,660 who have cast their vote before Election Day, or 17.76% of Travis' 555,579 registered voters. Using the conventional wisdom that Election Day numbers are usually double those of early voting, a 50% turnout is not an unreasonable expectation, good numbers for a nonpresidential year.

Remember, Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 7. Polls will be open 7am-7pm. Voters must vote in their neighborhood precinct. Do you know your precinct number? It's on your voter registration card. If you've lost your card, look up your registration info here: http://www.traviscountytax.org/showVoterNameSearch.do or call the county tax assesor at 854-9473. Then, locate your precinct location here: http://www.co.travis.tx.us/county_clerk/election/20061107/polls.asp. You must take some form of ID that includes your address, although it does not have to be a photo ID. Registered voters can vote with a voter registration card; driver’s license or any official photo ID; birth certificate; United States citizenship papers or passport; or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, or other official document that shows the name and address of the voter.

1:26PM Sun. Nov. 5, 2006, Lee Nichols Read More | Comment »

Fort Hood-Area Residents Screwed by Their Local PBS Station
[EDIT: Mary Beth Harrell's campaign says it has been notified that KNCT has reversed the decision detailed below, and will air the episode of NOW on Monday evening at 8pm. Also, the complete episode may be viewed anytime on NOW's Web site.]

KNCT, Killeen's PBS station, did a tremendous disservice to its Fort Hood-area viewership on Friday by refusing to show the NOW national political news program that focused on the Congressional District 31 race. The program did an excellent job profiling the two leading candidates, Republican incumbent John Carter and Democratic challenger Mary Beth Harrell, and how their views of the Iraq war are affecting their campaigns in this military-heavy district. Given that Carter has refused to debate Harrell even once during this campaign, it would have been a fine opportunity for District 31 residents to get educated on the race (funny – I always thought education was a core mission of public television). "[T]he Local PBS affiliate deliberately deprived the local community it serves the right to view the program," said Harrell's campaign in a press release.

10:09AM Sun. Nov. 5, 2006, Lee Nichols Read More | Comment »

Toros' Draft Picks
The D-League held its annual draft this past Thursday, and the Austin Toros made Darius Washington their No. 1 pick and the 10th pick overall. Washington, a six-foot-two-inch point guard from Winter Park, Fla., played his college ball at the University of Memphis, where he averaged 14.4 points and 3.5 assists a night. He earned First Team All Conference USA honors his sophomore year and was a finalist for the Bob (“The Cooz”) Cousy Award, which recognizes either the best point guard in the country or the player with the lousiest nickname. Coach Dennis Johnson says that Washington will play a vital role as a playmaker for the Toros, something he says the team was lacking last season, and calls the 20 year-old a “pass-first guy” and a “leader on the court.”

Here are the Toros’ other nine draft picks:

B.J. Elder (Georgia Tech)
Brock Gillespie (Rice)
Walt Walters (Cleveland State)
Justin Bowen (Illinois-Chicago)
Rod Benson (California)
Tedric Hall (Gulf Coast Community College – Florida)
Dustin Brown (Loyola Marymount)
Ty Thomas (Concordia – Minn.)
Melvin Scott (North Carolina)

These 10, along with the final winners of the open tryout, two allocated players, and four returning Toros, will head to training camp next week to fight for a spot on the team’s final 10-man roster. Those who don’t make it will go back into the D-League players pool and await their next chance at glory.

5:34PM Sat. Nov. 4, 2006, Josh Rosenblatt Read More | Comment »

Toros Tryouts: Day Two
When I walked into the Delco Activity Center for the second day of the Austin Toros open tryouts, I made two quick observations: one, the tension and competitiveness among the players had been ratcheted up from the previous day to almost unbearable levels; and two, I had no business being awake at 9 o’clock in the morning. Normally 9 o’clock would mark the halfway point of my nightly dance with the sandman, but no one ever said the life of a sports blogger was a warm slice of chocolate cake, and I’m willing to make sacrifices, so I beat back my lingering exhaustion to put pen to paper and bring you my observations from the final day.

3:51PM Sat. Nov. 4, 2006, Josh Rosenblatt Read More | Comment »

PBS in Central Texas
I just watched the coverage of the Texas Congressional District 31 race on PBS's NOW, and it was quite impressive. A great example of how journalism with a viewpoint (make no mistake – any program founded by Bill Moyers is gonna be liberal) can still be evenhanded and not manipulative (see my complaints about HBO's Hacking Democracy).

9:37PM Fri. Nov. 3, 2006, Lee Nichols Read More | Comment »

Best Quote of the Whole Election
"We're talking not so much about an election anymore, we're talking about an intervention. We're talking about getting these people to recognize reality." – Conservative columnist Andrew Sullivan, on PBS's NOW, about why he'll be voting Democrat on Tuesday

8:47PM Fri. Nov. 3, 2006, Lee Nichols Read More | Comment »

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Injunction Against Abbott Lifted
The federal court preliminary injunction barring Greg Abbott from prosecuting individuals found in possession of the mail-in ballot of another, but with the consent of that voter, has been lifted. The case was brought by the Democratic Party and other Texans, arguing that the law was overbroad and that Abbott was overzealously prosecuting people who were simply taking ballots to the post office for the elderly. Abbott contends he is cracking down on voter fraud by strictly enforcing the 2003 law.

5:16PM Fri. Nov. 3, 2006, Lee Nichols Read More | Comment »

Wesley Clark Endorses Everybody
In the past few days, we've received e-mails letting us know that former NATO General Wesley Clark is making a push for Texas Democrats, endorsing Mary Beth Harrell (Congressional District 31), Ted Ankrum (CD 10), John Courage (CD 21), and Chris Bell (governor). Just in case you were wanting his recommendation.

4:56PM Fri. Nov. 3, 2006, Lee Nichols Read More | Comment »

Election-Related Events: Updated
A by-no-means-comprehensive sampling of upcoming election related events (not including candidate election night parties, which we'll post on election morning).

Ted Ankrum House Party (Candidate for Congressional District 10)
TIME: Saturday, Nov. 4, 1:30pm-3:30pm
PLACE: Home of Walt & Aletha Snowden, 2705 Kerrybrook

Tejano Blues (A Democratic concert and rally)
When: Saturday, Nov. 4 at 7pm
Where: The Victory Grill, 1104 E. 11th
Who: Cyril Neville & Tribe 13, Omerta Ignored, and the Blues Specialists; Democratic candidates including gubernatorial candidate Chris Bell
How much: Free, but BYOB

(More events behind the "continue reading" link)

4:55PM Fri. Nov. 3, 2006, Lee Nichols Read More | Comment »

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