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The QueQue

The QueQue: Protesting Canadian tar sands in Texas, Global warning hasn’t reached Perry

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Doggett, entrenched in his own uphill primary battle with local Democratic star State Rep. Joaquin Castro, has emerged as one of Perry’s loudest and harshest home-grown critics, making the rounds to ABC News, MSNBC, The New York Times, and any other national media outlet willing to take a second look at Perry’s record. From calling him a “false prophet, preaching a tired gospel of tax cuts and less law enforcement on Wall Street,” to chiding Perry for, among other things, autographing bibles at campaign stops, Doggett has worked eagerly to become the go-to Perry attack-dog.

It comes as Doggett’s branching outside his Austin base for reelection, forced to dive into San Antonio politics by a GOP-inspired map that forced the longtime liberal into a district anchored right here. “This district is drawn for a Latino, and Lloyd Doggett simply cannot win by attacking Castro,” said Larry Hufford, a political science professor at St. Mary’s University. “The Republicans were masterful [in redrawing Doggett’s district]; he simply has to run against Rick Perry.”

Doggett, the state’s most liberal Congressman, has been the target of the Texas GOP establishment for years. But ultimately, if the new district Doggett and Castro are vying for clears the federal courts, Doggett’s future in Congress rests largely in the hands of San Antonio-area voters, Hufford said. “I think he’s the underdog in this one, just demographically. … Republicans design it so Democrats feed off Democrats. Castro’s a good person who has liberal instincts, but I sure would have liked to have seen him run against [Francisco “Quico”] Canseco,” a sentiment heard often in Democratic circles these days. (In fact, protestors are expected to bring their dissatisfaction to Canseco at 11 a.m. today outside La Villita Assembly Hall [401 Villita St.] where he is expected to addresses a local business group.)

 

2012 Budget

Some highlights from inside the budget machine:

 

Blood draws

Get your veins ready. Police Chief Bill McManus said SAPD has upped its DWI initiative over the past year, expanding the department’s DWI Unit from 24 to 26 officers and ramping up the unit’s patrols to seven days a week. In light of department stats showing DWI arrests have spiked 14 percent so far this year, SAPD is expanding (and wants keep on expanding) so-called “no refusal” weekends.

 

Downtown surveillance

Homeland Security dollars allowed SAPD to install downtown surveillance cameras in mid-2009. Our eight cameras — four around Travis Park and four along Commerce Street (St. Mary’s, Soledad, Navarro, and Alamo) — have already led to over 900 arrests. With roughly $300,000 left in grant funding, expect between 20 and 30 new downtown cameras in the coming year.

 

No Mud

Improvements along the waterway means Public Works won’t be draining the San Antonio River through downtown this year. But it would like $600,000 to install hundreds of “inlet protectors” to keep more garbage and debris out of the water.

 

Streets & Drainage

The Capital Improvement Management Services department proposed over half of 2012’s proposed $596-million bond go toward street repair, and another $128 million, or 21 percent, go to drainage projects. The department also recommended $66 million go to parks and one percent go toward public art. Not much left for Castro’s new Convention Center … •

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