The Texas Rangers have a message for Texas voters: Thank you.
Officials with the baseball team appreciate that Texans passed Proposition 4 letting Texas professional sports teams hold 50-50 raffles — which give half the cash winnings to a local charity and half to a lucky winner — at home games.
“We are gratified and honored by the support,” a statement from the Rangers read. “We plan to begin work immediately on the details of our charitable raffle for the 2016 season at Globe Life Park in Arlington.
“The funds raised by the charitable raffle will allow the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation to increase its scope and resources in its mission to improving the lives of children in need within our community.”
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Currently, nonprofits may operate raffles only twice a year, giving out prizes ranging from houses to cars but not cash. That changes as of Jan. 1. The Rangers plan to hold a “50/50” charitable raffle during all home games in 2016.
Councilmen elected to national board
Fort Worth Councilman Jungus Jordan and North Richland Hills Councilman Tito Rodriguez have been elected to the board of the National League of Cities, which advocates for cities at the federal level.
The board seats are two-year terms. The men were elected Saturday at the National League of Cities annual Congress of Cities in Nashville. The NLC works with the 49 state municipal leagues and serves as a resource to and an advocate for the more than 19,000 cities, villages and towns it represents.
Cruz Does It Again
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, mixed it up with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, R-Calif., on the Senate floor last week in a series of exchanges that featured Cruz’s pugilistic style and Feinstein’s barely contained anger.
Feinstein had blocked the Texan’s attempt to pass a bill under unanimous consent naming the street in front of the Chinese Embassy in honor of Liu Xiaobo, a Chinese human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2010.
It was the third time the California senator had objected to the bill, and Cruz did not take it well.
“It saddens me that in the face of unspeakable brutality and evil, that the Democratic senator chooses to align herself with the Communist Party dictators rather than a Nobel peace laureate,” Cruz said.
Feinstein objected to the bill because she thought such an aggressive move by the U.S. would be counterproductive. “Unlike the senator from Texas, I’ve had a long experience with the Chinese, going back more than 30 years,” Feinstein said. “And I know what can convince them to move toward a goal.”
I am not a sixth-grader. Diane Feinstein to Ted Cruz when he seemed to be talking down to her.
Cruz noted that Congress in 1984 named the street in front of the Soviet Embassy in Washington “Andrei Sakharov Plaza” in honor of the Soviet dissident.
Sessions still chairman?
Texas now has seven committee chairmen in the U.S. House with the addition of U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, R-The Woodlands, at House Ways and Means Committee, to the roster. Brady won approval of the GOP Conference after former Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., became speaker.
But wait, what about U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Dallas? He’s the chairman of the House Rules Committee, and is hand-picked by the speaker. That would by then-Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. There’s no indication that there’s a problem or a preference for someone else but still, there hasn't been confirmation, either. Well, except for a confident Sessions, asked if he would keep the chairmanship on WFAA’s Inside Texas Politics, said, “sure, sure, we’ll stay.”
“Paul and I are very dear friends. We have worked together a very long time. . . good guy. We’re really going to address the problems of this country. I’m very excited.”
Force a vote
The Export-Import Bank reauthorization became a big debate within the House Republican conference — who’s more conservative now?
The pro-business traditional Republicans revolted against hard-line Tea Party activists and joined with all but one Democrat in a rare discharge petition to force a vote on the House floor.
The leader of the hard-liners: House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Dallas, who said the bank was part of “crony capitalism” that rewards a few large companies like Boeing Co. But even in the conservative GOP U.S. Texas delegation, some broke ranks. U.S. Reps. Ted Poe of Humble and Randy Weber of Friendswood voted to bypass the committee process and vote on the floor.
Then, on final passage, Republicans came out in large numbers voting for restarting the Ex-Im Bank, with over half of the GOP conference voting for the bill. The Texans, in addition to Poe and Weber, who supported Export-Import reauthorization: U.S. Reps. Kay Granger of Fort Worth, Joe Barton of Ennis, Pete Sessions of Dallas, Kevin Brady of The Woodlands, Will Hurd of Helotes and Mac Thornberry of Clarendon.
Maria Recio, 202-383-6103
Anna Tinsley, 817-390-7610