Edited By Mike Clark-Madison, Fri., July 25, 2003
Quote of the Week: "This is dead this legislative session. It's dead, it's dead, it's dead, it's dead." -- State Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, trying his damnedest to think about something other than re-redistricting. The zombie marched on this week to a possible second special session -- although reports now suggest that even getting a simple majority of senators (16) to approve a map will be a challenge for the DeLay Delegation. See Not Quite 'Dead, Dead, Dead' Yet.
On Wednesday morning, the Senate Jurisprudence Committee voted 4-3 on party lines to approve HB 3 -- yet another committee substitute redistricting map that most of the committee had not seen earlier and was not yet available on the Lege's redistricting Web site. The vote was expected -- but barring surprises, the map is not expected to make it to the Senate floor past the 12 senators still in opposition.
As the City Council met for the first time in over a month (see Welcome to Will's World for a council wrap-up), City Hall was rocked by news of the resignations of two of its most powerful women -- City Attorney Sedora Jefferson, heading for the Texas Association of School Boards, and Police Monitor (and former city attorney) Iris Jones, heading for D.C. and Akin Gump. Assistant City Attorney David Smith, the city's top litigator, will step into Jefferson's shoes; for more on Jones' departure, see Police Monitor Packs Her Bags.
A very different fate for another former top legal eagle: Ex-attorney general and 2002 governor candidate Dan Morales pled guilty to federal charges of tax evasion and mail fraud and is expected to be sentenced to four years behind bars; see The Moral of Morales.
Lance Armstrong -- on his way (at press time) to a fifth consecutive victory in the Tour de France -- isn't the only Austin athlete in this week's headlines. On Tuesday, Austinite Tanya Streeter, holder of five world records in free diving, descended to a depth of 114 feet on a single breath and rose again without the aid of fins. Streeter performed this extraordinary feat in the Turks and Caicos Islands.