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Political Report

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The Legislative Report
The Gazette Staff
For those who may interested, here are the major dates of activity for the Texas Legislature: November 8th was the opening date for the prefiling of proposed legislation for the 2011 legislature.
The 82nd Texas Legislature will convene in regular session on January 11th. May 30th will be the last day of that session.
June 19th will be the last day the governor can sign or veto bills.
August 29th is the date that bills without specific effective dates will become law.
On the electoral scene, Dan Neil has filed paperwork seeking a recount in his challenge to State Rep. Donna Howard in District 48. Unofficial returns show Howard winning by just 16 votes out of 51,000 ballots cast. "Our ultimate goal is to make sure every legal vote is counted," Neil said. "I want to be an advocate for the voters."
A question that is making the rounds on the political front is will Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison resign or run again in 2012?
If she decides not to run, there are plenty of potential Republican candidates who may be ready to run for her seat. These include, among others, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Attorney General Greg Abbott, who is a favorite among conservatives in the state.
On November 24th, former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Tom DeLay was found guilty by an Austin jury of money laundering. The charge was that he illegally funneled corporate money to candidates running for the Texas legislature in 2002. Republicans took over the legislature that year for the first time since Reconstruction.
Following the verdict, DeLay said the prosecution was guilty of "abuse of power" and the verdict was a "miscarriage of justice." He added that the proceeding contributed to the "criminalization of politics" which he stated "undermines our system."
DeLay's lead attorney, Dick DeGuerin called the verdict "a terrible miscarriage of justice."
"To say I'm shocked is an understatement," DeGuerin said. He said he will appeal the verdict.
DeLay said he hoped "we can get it before people who understand the law."