The Fall of the Alamo (1903) by Robert Onderdonk depicts Davy Crockett wielding his rifle as a club against Mexican troops who breached the walls of the mission.

By James Banks

In January 1846, President James Polk ordered Zachary Taylor to advance troops to a remote part of Texas still unequivocally claimed by Mexico; the goal was to provoke an attack. In June 2021, authors Bryan Burrough, Chris Tomlinson, and Jason Stanford released Forget the Alamo to do the same.

The book purports to be a debunking of the traditional Texas history of the 1836 Alamo siege — a version that the authors refer to as the Heroic Anglo Narrative. But the authors also never tire of goading the usual suspects of today’s Texas politics. They line up…


Rinaldi’s election to the Texas GOP’s top post represents a win for the Empower Texans wing of the party.

A former two-term state legislator who has fiercely criticized Governor Greg Abbott and Republican leaders in the legislature has won election to the Texas GOP chairmanship.

The 64-member State Republican Executive Committee chose Rinaldi in a single round of voting, giving him 34 votes compared to 21 votes for the runner-up, David Covey, president of the state county chairmen’s association.

Rinaldi is a lawyer who represented Northwest Dallas County in the Texas House from 2015 to 2019. He was a member of the Freedom Caucus, which clashed constantly with Republic leadership in the House during the 2017 legislative session.

During…


ICE agents make arrests during an anti-gang operation in Dallas, 2014 (USG/Public Domain).

Four Texas sheriffs and an association of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers are suing President Joe Biden and his administration over a policy discouraging the deportation of some immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally.

The case stems from a February 18 memorandum that instructed ICE officers to refrain from placing immigrants who are unlawfully present in the United States into removal proceedings unless they fall into certain priority categories.

Those who qualify for deportation include immigrants who pose a national security risk and those convicted of certain felonies, including murder, rape, drug trafficking, and a theft or burglary offense…


Rep. Harold Dutton played a key role in pushing SB 29, a bill dealing with transgender athletics.

Rep. Harold Dutton, right, supported a bill that separated school sports teams on the basis of biological sex at birth.

The Harris County Democratic Party has issued a formal rebuke of state Representative Harold Dutton for helping Republicans advance a transgender sports bill during the recently concluded legislative session.

The bill, SB 29, would have prohibited school sports teams from allowing a student to compete if that student was designated the opposite sex on the student’s official birth certificate.

As the chair of the public education committee, Dutton could have killed the bill, but instead he brought it up for a vote in…


Honest Austin is a startup and a news publisher. Our day-to-day focus is covering Texas politics, local news in Austin, and business news. But about a year ago we began a side project that we believe ties in nicely with our core mission, while also serving a broader public good.

Texapedia is an encyclopedia of Texas government and civics. It features more than 115 articles about the state’s laws, institutions, and the various branches and layers of government. It’s meant to serve as a resource for students, teachers, and the general public.

The project started quietly, without any kind of…


Consumer prices rose sharply in May, with North Texas recording the highest increase of all metropolitan areas tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

According to a data release this morning, the U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 5% in May from a year earlier, while the CPI for the Dallas-Forth Worth-Arlington metropolitan area came in at 6.3%. (Austin isn’t among the metro areas included in the latest data release, so DFW may be the nearest proxy).

The CPI is a measure of inflation that tracks a basket of prices, including food, clothing, shelter, fuels, transportation, doctors’ and dentists’ services…


Hypothetically, the governor’s veto would mean lights out at the Capitol.

EDITORIAL

It’s a long-time truism in Texas politics that the governorship is relatively weak. Some would go as far as to say that the lieutenant governor holds the more important position.

Compared to some other states, Texas vests relatively more power in the legislature. And unlike the federal government, Texas has a plural executive, in which multiple officers are directly elected rather than appointed by the chief executive.

Battles between the governor and the legislature do happen, but throughout most of Texas history the governorship and legislature have been…


Texas banks and other lenders are “flush with liquidity” in spite of rising loan demand, according to the latest Beige Book report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, which came out today.

Competition among banks for loans and a reluctance to relax credit standards to boost lending to small businesses is making it harder for banks generate positive real returns.

“Loan pricing remained competitive, and multiple contacts said they were flush with liquidity and that it was difficult to deploy the excess capital to generate reasonable returns,” says the latest Beige Book report.

The Fed’s Beige Book is an…


“A peace officer may not intentionally use a choke hold, carotid artery hold, or similar neck restraint.”

Law enforcement officers in Texas will not be allowed to use neck restraints while making an arrest under a bill that cleared both chambers of the Texas Legislature this week.

SB 69 will become law September 1, 2021, unless vetoed by the governor. The reform measure comes after national protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Floyd, a Houston native, died after a police officer kneeled on his neck and back for 9 minutes and 29 seconds during an attempted arrest…


What’s the ‘town square’ in Texas? Is it this? Or is it social media?

Senate Bill 12 is a proposal in the Texas Legislature to regulate social media companies, akin to a Florida law signed Monday to “stop Big Tech censorship.”

Authored by Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) and seven other GOP lawmakers, the bill is a response to conservative complaints of being removed, “shadowbanned,” or otherwise censored by social media companies.

The bill passed the Texas Senate in a party-line vote April 1, 18–13, but the Texas House didn’t set it for a floor vote until Monday, May 24. …

Honest Austin

Original reporting on local Austin news, Texas politics, and the economy. honestaustin.com

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