Patrick Von Dohlen

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Big Conservative Wins at Texas Republican State Convention – June 2018

Big Conservative Wins at Texas Republican State Convention – June 2018

Resolutions related to sex education and abortion providers that passed at senate district and county conventions around Texas and testimony before the platform committees had a significant impact on the Republican Platform adopted at the state convention on June 16, 2018.

Information was provided in advance to platform committee members and delegates about the reasons the resolutions were needed in the platform, and grassroots parents and grandparents testified before subcommittees. Four resolutions several of us worked on were included in the platform. It was a huge victory to get the Legislative Priority on abortion amended to prohibit Planned Parenthood in schools.

The next step is to ask candidates if they will support legislation to enact these platform items, and then on to the next legislative session, armed with the platform.

To read more from Education News, click here.

S.A. officials request changes to controversial Alamo plan

S.A. officials request changes to controversial Alamo plan

City Manager Sheryl Sculley said the city wants to study ways to avoid building demolitions and construction of railings and fences as part of a plan for the historic Alamo Plaza.

In a letter this week to the Alamo Management Committee overseeing an Alamo master plan, Sculley has requested that a draft site plan for the plaza be adjusted to include alternatives to proposed building demolitions and installation of railings and fences.

To read more from My San Antonio, click here.

This week in the Supreme Court

This week in the Supreme Court

3 important, good decisions made by the Supreme Court this week:

  • The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in favor of pro-life groups that counsel pregnant women to make choices other than abortion, invalidating a California law requiring them to prominently post information on how to obtain a state funded abortion.
  • The Supreme Court ordered Washington courts to take a new look at the case of a florist who refused to provide services for the wedding of two men because of her religious objection to same-sex marriage. The florist’s case will go back to the Washington state courts for further consideration in light of an earlier decision in favor of a Colorado baker.
  • In a 5-to-4 vote, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that government workers who choose not to join unions are not required to pay collective bargaining fees.

 

Movie Review: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom 

Movie Review: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom 

“The dinosaurs can’t be contained on Isla Nublar or anywhere else. Not only does life always find a way, unscrupulous human efforts to exploit the dinosaurs will always offer the dinos opportunities to break free. Realistically, dinos are an unpredictable hazard not only to human beings but to whole ecosystems.

Yet our heroes love the dinos and want them to live — and the longer the franchise wears on, the more the movies love the dinos too, even if the “oo” and “ah” always gives way to running and screaming.

Of course even reconstituted dinosaurs ought to be treated humanely. At the end of the day, though, if it’s them or us, there’s only one right answer, and the movie seems to struggle with that. One line even seems to suggest that what dinosaurs really need is for humans to get out of the way.

Perhaps I’m thinking about this too hard, or perhaps the writers should have thought harder.”

To read more from Decent Films, click here.

Mayor trying to rope in council to oppose amendments

Mayor trying to rope in council to oppose amendments

The Mayor’s actions are illegal if they indeed are a “walking quorum” to get unanimous support to stop the Firefighters’ Amendments.

What is a walking quorum?

Answer: First, it is helpful to define “quorum.” A quorum is the minimum number of a governmental body’s membership necessary to act. One governmental body may define what constitutes a quorum differently than another governmental body. For example, a quorum for a seven member town council may be a simple majority of four members while a quorum for a neighboring town’s seven member council may be a super majority of five members.

A “walking quorum” is a series of gatherings among separate groups of members of a governmental body, each less than quorum size, who agree, tacitly or explicitly, to act uniformly in sufficient number to reach a quorum. A walking quorum may produce a predetermined outcome and thus render a publicly-held meeting a mere formality. The Wisconsin Supreme Court has commented that any attempt to avoid the appearance of a meeting through the use of a walking quorum is subject to prosecution under the open meetings law.

Furthermore, the requirements of the open meetings law cannot be circumvented by using an agent or surrogate to poll the members of governmental bodies through a series of individual contacts. The series of gatherings need not be face-to-face. For example, phone calls, email exchanges, and other electronic messaging may suffice.

The essential feature of a “walking quorum” is the element of agreement among members of a body to act uniformly in sufficient numbers to reach a quorum. Where there is no such tacit or express agreement, exchanges among separate groups of members may take place without violating the open meetings law. Thus, the signing, by members of a body, of a document asking that a subject be placed on the agenda of an upcoming meeting likely does not constitute a “walking quorum” where the signers have not engaged in substantive discussion or agreed on a uniform course of action regarding the proposed subject. In contrast, where a majority of members of a body sign a document that expressly commits them to a future course of action, a court could find a walking quorum violation.

Walking quorum issues are complex and fact specific. If a member of a governmental body or a citizen has questions or concerns regarding a possible walking quorum, they should consult with their legal counsel.

To read more from Express News, click here.

AG Paxton Issues Letter to Fort Worth ISD Demanding Public Access to Curriculum

AG Paxton Issues Letter to Fort Worth ISD Demanding Public Access to Curriculum

Great Letter from the Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton stating parents “have the right to inspect and review information regarding what their child is learning and participating in while attending school. By law, public school curriculum should be fully available to the public, and parents retain their constitutional right to direct their own child’s upbringing. Denying parental and public access to curriculum of any kind is a clear violation the Texas Education Code.”

To read more from www.texasattorneygeneral.gov, click here.