Thoughts on Viernes…02172012

UPDATE:  MALC Signs on to “The Deal.” Si, Pero…NO!

The Mexican American Legislative Caucus appears to have signed on to the deal agreed to something contained in the deal between the Latino Redistricting Task Force (represented by MALDEF and made up of seven organizations including Texas LULAC) and the State of Texas. This is the deal that would affect District 25′s Rep. Lloyd Doggett by forming a district that runs from Austin to San Antonio.

MALC said Congressional District 35 is “constitutionally permissible,” said the caucus’ chairman, state Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio.

This deal also keeps a sort of Latino-favorable District 33 in the DFW area. Of course, all this needs to be approved by the Fed panel of judges in SA and some of the other plaintiffs are dead-set against it. Still, this is an interesting development.

Now, for purposes of informing the uninformed opinionated Liberal in all of this, whenever recent articles mention “LULAC,” they are talking about the National office of LULAC and their lawyer Vera, but the LULAC that is part of the task force is Texas LULAC. Texas LULAC and the task force chose the legal minds at MALDEF to lead them through the court process. Now, you know.

UPDATE OTRA VEZ:  OK…not agreeing to the deal but…

The SA E-N has more reaction from MALC.

The Mexican American Legislative Caucus’ chairman rejected the notion that the filing indicated that the group had signed on to the deal that Attorney General Greg Abbott cut with the Latino Redistricting Task Force.

That plan gave Latinos two of the state’s four new districts while maintaining the Legislature’s decision to split Austin  into five congressional districts.

“All MALC has agreed to is that you can constitutionally draw a district as the attorney general did,” said Trey Martinez Fischer. “When we make a deal, it won’t be in a joint filing; we will shout it from the highest mountain.”

The San Antonio federal court tasked with drawing interim redistricting maps for the 2012 election asked the groups involved to file briefs to explain if the court could agree to the Abbott compromise.

“They clearly think there are no barriers to not having (Congressional District 35) the way the state drew it,” said Michael Li, an elections lawyer. “But that’s not to say that MALC doesn’t think you can’t have a (Lloyd) Doggett district.”

Fischer said a MALC briefing Monday will indicate what the organization’s position is.

Well, OK.

The Keystone Pipeline

Looks like the whole debate is hopping up again. It sorta reminds me of the NAFTA debate of the 90s when we were talking environmental concerns, worker justice, etc. Even now, if you go down to South Texas and you go all anti-NAFTA on folks, you’ll get smacked around. Like NAFTA, the Keystone Pipeline is being sold as some sort of mega-source for jobs. And for an energy-city like Houston, you know there are a lot of people that would support it, putting aside environmental concerns, or now, the new “land grab” argument.

This past Tuesday, Reverend Lawson spoke at the Harris County Democratic Party’s Brown Bag Lunch and announced his support of the pipeline because of the jobs argument.  Lo and behold, this other lady in the audience also seemed to like it.

Much like I was against NAFTA for all the right reasons, I’m against the pipeline for the right reasons, too. And just like the whole fracking debate has divided communities while seen as an economic boon in different parts of Texas, it is becoming important to realize the reasons for the differences. Some of these parts of Texas have benefited in one way or another. Unfortunately, short-term economic gratification in the form of jobs (like the private prison boom) always gets in the way of doing what is right. We just need to do a better job of educating folks on the realities.

Another Tejano Review Coming Soon

I just got word that David Lee Garza y Los Musicales just released a new CD, Y Ahora Aqui. I’ve listened to a couple of songs featuring their new vocalist Ben Ozuna, and I’m liking it. I’ll have a review of it on Monday for all you Tejano music lovers.

Americano Music included in SXSW Line-Up

Looks like SXSW will have a sanctioned event featuring Tejano and Latin Big Band Music at the Pan Americana Fest. From my old neck of the woods, Ricardo Castillon y La Diferenzia will be there, and Ausin’s own legendary Tortilla Factory. Also in the line-up is Houston’s Paul Wall. SomosTejanos.org was there providing a live feed (and video record) of the event, which featured Austin CM Mike Martinez and former Texas Senator Gonzalo Barrientos.

A Live Music Break – David Lee Garza y Los Musicales – Dame Tu Amor (2012)

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