<![CDATA[NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth - Dallas-Fort Worth and Texas State Political News]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/politics http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC+5-KXAS+Logo+for+Google+News.png NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth http://www.nbcdfw.com en-us Sun, 02 Aug 2015 05:28:17 -0500 Sun, 02 Aug 2015 05:28:17 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Lone Star Politics: August 2, 2015]]> Sat, 01 Aug 2015 19:53:38 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NEW+013114+lone+star+politics.jpg It's the countdown to the first republican presidential debate. Find out who may be out and who is in. Plus, new developments in the federal case against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, possible changes inside Texas jails following the death of Sandra Bland and the plan to expand Fort Worth city council in order to catch up with the city’s growth.]]> <![CDATA[LSP: Will Rick Perry Make Cut for 1st GOP Debate?]]> Fri, 31 Jul 2015 16:46:26 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NEW+013114+lone+star+politics.jpg The first republican presidential debate is next week in Cleveland, Ohio, but the stage still isn't set. The 10 candidates with the highest national poll ratings on Tuesday will be invited to the main stage Thursday night. Gromer Jeffers with The Dallas Morning News says there is one Texas candidate that won't likely make the cut - this Sunday at 8:40 a.m. On NBC 5’s Lone Star Politics.]]> <![CDATA[LSP: Proposed Fort Worth City Council Changes]]> Fri, 31 Jul 2015 16:44:42 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NEW+013114+lone+star+politics.jpg Fort Worth is growing rapidly and some say changes at city hall are needed to keep up with that growth. Assistant Manager Fernando Costa explains a proposal to expand the number of city council members, their term limits and their paychecks - This Sunday at 8:40 a.m. on NBC 5’s Lone Star Politics.]]> <![CDATA[Wait, Mark Cuban and Donald Trump Are Playing Nice?! ]]> Wed, 29 Jul 2015 10:59:48 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cuban-trump-side-by-side.jpg

In the latest round of “Never Say Never”, I present as evidence:

Mark Cuban may vote for Donald Trump. And the Republican presidential candidate is becoming a Mavs fan.

Indeed, sweaty souls are breaking out the ice skates in Hades.

The Mavs owner and The Donald have waged a public, petty feud for almost a decade. Trump eye-rolling at Cuban’s failed Benefactor reality show. Cuban firing back that Trump couldn’t afford to buy the Buffalo Bills. Trump calling Cuban a “lightweight.” Celebrity Apprentice vs. Shark Tank. And on and on and on …

Entertaining stuff, from two of America’s most successful and boastful entrepreneurs.

But suddenly the icy relationship may be thawing.

Just a week after calling Trump a “paper tiger” and disparaging his net worth as a “play number,” Cuban actually flooded him with praise via his Cyber Dust app.

“I have to honestly say he is probably the best thing to happen to politics in a long, long time,” Cuban wrote. “I don’t care what his actual positions are. I don’t care if he says the wrong thing. He says what’s on his mind. He gives honest answers rather than prepared answers. This is more important than anything any candidate has done in years.”

Yeah, I was waiting for the “But … “ zinger, too. It has yet too arrive. Instead, more flattery from Cuban toward his (former?) rival.

“We need new ideas,” Cuban continued on Cyber Dust. “We need candor. That only comes when the candidate getting all the attention is candid and open. I don’t have to agree with everything any candidate says. I don’t have to decide who to vote for now. What I do like is that we finally have a candidate that says what is on his or her mind and is leading the polls. That could change the way things are done and I’m a huge fan of Trump for getting that ball rolling.”

These two are nothing if not savvy and conniving and, well, brilliant.

Bottom line: Cuban’s Cyber Dust app is getting tons of play in the national media. Trump’s welcoming of the support from one of his harshest critics. And, about to embark on what should be a lousy season, the Mavs may have won another fan.

Tweeted Trump in response to Cuban’s praise:

Never. Say. Never.

A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.

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<![CDATA[Collin Co. Grand Jury Hears AG Ken Paxton Case]]> Tue, 28 Jul 2015 17:38:43 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Ken+Paxton.jpg

A pair of special prosecutors left the Collin County Courthouse accompanied by two Texas Rangers just after 5 p.m. Tuesday after a grand jury heard evidence in the case against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, according to a person familiar with the investigation.

The Rangers have been investigating whether Paxton, while an attorney in McKinney, improperly solicited clients for his friend, securities broker Frederick “Fritz” Mowery.

Paxton admitted he was not licensed at the time, which is a violation of securities law. Paxton signed a civil settlement with state regulators and paid a $1,000 fine.

Paxton has said he believed the settlement ended the matter.

The two special prosecutors in the case, Brian Wice and Kent Schaffer, were at the courthouse in McKinney on Tuesday.

Wice declined comment, and Schaffer could not be reached.

There was no indictment filed against Paxton.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Community Healing As Former Police Chief Awaits Trial]]> Sat, 25 Jul 2015 22:26:22 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/215*120/Kevin+Coffey.jpg

It's been a trying week for the people of Maypearl, who are still reeling from the shocking arrest of former police chief Kevin Coffey.

Behind closed doors, members of the Maypearl City Council and a city attorney met to discuss disciplinary steps for the former police leader.

Coffey, 49, was booked Wednesday into the Ellis County Jail on charges that include child sexual assault and indecency with a child, according to jail records. His bond was set at $350,000.

"The community is – you know, it's broken and it needs support," Susan Welch-Rodriguez told NBC 5.

The city initially sent out a statement reporting Coffey was no longer the police chief – but they never said he was fired. It was revealed Saturday that Coffey resigned amid the allegations of his soliciting a minor, according to a written statement by Maypearl Mayor Adele Mooney.

At the end of the meeting, the council said no further action was needed because Coffey had resigned himself. Members said the search for a new police chief would begin immediately.

"It's all about community and getting things done and back on track," Welch-Rodriguez said.

The Ellis County District Attorney's office and the Texas Rangers began investigating Coffey after the parents of a 16-year-old girl complained, according to search warrants released in July.

Coffey first contacted the girl on Facebook two years ago when she was 14 years old, investigators said, and ended up messaging her almost every day.

Some of the texts were sexually explicit like "You have a nice body" and other comments far more graphic, according to the warrants. In one case, he sent her a photo of himself holding handcuffs with the message, "One of these days hahaha," authorities said.

"Where I'm at, I just pray for him, you know. We know God is in control and God leaves no stones unturned," John Pruitt said.

The girl told investigators that Coffey was also communicating with as many as five other girls, the warrants said.

"We wish for it to be known that this council would have preferred dealing with this circumstance by terminating the former chief," said Mayor Adele Mooney, City of Maypearl.

Coffey was hired as Maypearl police chief two years ago.

NBC 5's Tim Ciesco contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Ellis County Sheriff's Office
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<![CDATA[Lone Star Politics: Sunday, July 26th, 2015]]> Fri, 24 Jul 2015 15:45:14 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NEW+013114+lone+star+politics.jpg This week, the federal case against former Gov. Rick Perry weakens and the state’s top law enforcer remains the focus of a criminal investigation. Hear why Attorney General Ken Paxton believes he’ll be cleared and Donald Trump brings the race for the White House to Texas, what his controversial campaign could mean for the other candidates with Texas Ties. This week on Lone Star Politics Sunday at 8:40 a.m. on NBC 5.]]> <![CDATA[Spokesman Says Case Against Ken Paxton Is Without Merit]]> Fri, 24 Jul 2015 15:37:51 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/LSP_TZ_KEN_PAXTON_INVESTIGATION_1200x675_490956867676.jpg Legal troubles continue for the man sworn in as the state's top law enforcement officer. This week on Lone Star Politics we sit down with his spokesman Anthony Holm. He explains why Paxton should not be indicted for something he’s already admitted to doing. Hear the entire interview Sunday at 8:40 a.m. on NBC 5.]]> <![CDATA[Lone Star Politics: Rick Perry Charge Dropped]]> Fri, 24 Jul 2015 15:32:20 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/LSP_TZ_PERRY_CHARGE_DROPPED_WHAT_DOES_IT_MEAN_1200x675_490950723801.jpg A Texas appeals court has dismissed one of two criminal charges against former Gov. Rick Perry, what does this mean for his presidential campaign. Gromer Jeffers of The Dallas Morning News answers that question on Lone Star Politics, this Sunday at 8:40 a.m. on NBC 5.]]> <![CDATA[WATCH: Lindsey Graham Destroy His Phone After Trump's Comments]]> Wed, 22 Jul 2015 15:37:09 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/graham+screen+shot.JPG

Lindsey Graham won't be receiving any unwanted phone calls for the time being.

A day after Donald Trump implored a campaign crowd to call a phone number belonging to the GOP presidential candidate and South Carolina senator, Graham responded with a tongue-in-cheek video showing him destroying his flip phone.

Graham teamed up with conservative news website Independent Journal Review for the aptly named video "How to Destroy Your Cell Phone With Sen. Lindsey Graham."

The video shows Graham wrecking his phone in a multitude of ways, including with a blender, a sledge hammer, and a toaster oven.

After throwing his phone off a building, Graham faces the camera and says, "Or if all else fails, you can always give your number to The Donald."

"This is for all the veterans," Graham says before a final toss of the phone.  

Trump had given out Graham's phone number during a televised campaign stop in South Carolina Tuesday where the real estate mogul brushed off criticism over comments he made about Sen. John McCain.

"He's a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren't captured," Trump had said about the former Naval pilot held prisoner for nearly six years during the Vietnam War. 

Graham had called Trump a "jackass" over the McCain remarks. 

McCain, meanwhile, promoted Graham's new video with a tweet that read, "This is why Lindsey Graham hasn't been answering my calls!"

Trump has yet to respond to the video. 

Photo Credit: IJ Review
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<![CDATA[Part of Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's Sentence Vacated]]> Wed, 22 Jul 2015 08:53:02 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/rod+blagojevich+1+year.jpg

Former governor Rod Blagojevich got bad news Tuesday from the court which has been considering his appeal for the last 18 months. The three judges on the federal appeals court threw out only five of the Blagojevich’s convictions, and ordered that he stay in prison.

The former governor will be resentenced, but his outlook is uncertain.

“I’ve had an opportunity to look over the opinion, and it’s not justice in my view,” said Blagojevich attorney Leonard Goodman. “He never put a penny in his pocket.”

Belying the notoriety of the case, the majority of the court’s opinion was rendered in strict legalese.

"The convictions on Counts 5, 6, 21, 22 and 23 are vacated; the remaining convictions are affirmed," the opinion stated. "The sentence is vacated and remanded for retrial on the vacated counts."

Those five counts related to Blagojevich’s negotiations for a cabinet job which he hoped to snag in exchange for appointing Presidential-choice Valerie Jarrett to a vacant U.S. Senate seat. But in other areas, the court made clear the former governor’s convictions should remain intact.

“Blagojevich viewed the opportunity to appoint a new senator as a bonanza,” Judge Frank Easterbrook wrote in the 23-page opinion. “Blagojevich asks us to hold that the evidence is insufficient to convict him on any count. The argument is frivolous. The evidence, much of it from Blagojevich’s own mouth, is overwhelming.”

“We’ve waited a long time for this decision and we are very disappointed,” said the former governor’s wife Patti. “If there’s any silver lining for us, is that possibly this is a step in the right direction, to getting him home with us.”

That could be a long road. While the court ordered that Blagojevich be resentenced, they went out of their way to say they did not believe his existing 14-year sentence was unreasonable.

“It is not possible to call 168 months unlawfully high for Blagojevich’s crimes,” Easterbrook wrote. “But the district judge should consider on remand, whether it is the most appropriate sentence.”

Former Blagojevich lawyer Sam Adam, said he had to believe trial judge James Zagel would render a lower sentence.

“You have to reduce his sentence,” Adam said. “How could you say the 14-year sentence was right for all of them. Now you take five out and it’s still the same?”

“There’s just something about that that’s fundamentally unfair.”

The appellate court also took issue with Blagojevich’s argument that he should have been allowed to explain that his real plan was to offer the senate seat to Attorney General Lisa Madigan, in exchange for political cooperation from her father, House Speaker Michael Madigan. Easterbrook suggested that one apparent legal gambit did not negate possible shenanigans which were being plotted at the same time.

“A bank robber cannot show that on many other occasions he entered a bank without pulling a gun on a teller,” he wrote. “Nor can a teller charged with embezzlement show how often he made correct entries in the books.”

In 2009, Blagojevich was impeached from the governor's office after being charged with racketeering, bribery, wire fraud and attempted extortion, including the "sale" of Obama's Senate seat.

He was sentenced to prison and given a $20,000 fine in 2011 when he was convicted of 17 counts of corruption, including trying to sell now-President Barack Obama's Senate seat to the highest bidder. He had previously been convicted, in an earlier trial, of lying to the FBI.

Reached at his home in Nashville, Blagojevich’s brother Robert, said he was not hopeful Zagel would extend much mercy.

“I’m very cynical with regard to the whole system,” Blagojevich said. “I’m also jaundiced when it comes to the key players in this drama, especially Judge Zagel. So I’m not hopeful for Rod to get any measure of fairness from him.”

The elder Blagojevich was especially angry about comments the appellate judges made, blasting the former governor for involvement in a scheme to appoint Jesse Jackson Jr. to the senate seat in exchange for $1.5 million in campaign contributions.

“That is just flat out not true,” Blagojevich said, noting that as his brother’s chief campaign fundraiser, it was he who had been approached by Jackson’s emissaries with the $1.5 million offer.

“That is an altered reality to what I know and what I experienced,” he said. “That is just flat out wrong!”

Attorney Lauren Kaeseberg, who worked on the Blagojevich appeal and represented him at both trials, said she had to remain hopeful.

“Knowing him as a person, I’m sure he also sees some hope and is optimistic that he’ll be with his family again,” Kaeseberg said. “You know it pains him greatly to be missing out each day with his daughters.”

Her co-counsel Goodman, suggested that the decision defied common sense.

“I think most people agree the sentence is incredibly harsh for a case that’s all about politics,” Goodman said. “Never put a penny in his pocket. It’s all politics!”

<![CDATA[GOP Field Grows to 16 as Ohio Gov. Kasich Announces 2016 Run]]> Tue, 21 Jul 2015 11:33:56 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/kasich-GettyImages-471835132.jpg

Saying "big ideas change the world," Ohio Gov. John Kasich declared his candidacy for the Republican nomination Tuesday and set about trying to distinguish himself in a bustling contest with other high achievers.

The outspoken swing-state governor declared his candidacy Tuesday before a crowd of 2,000 at Ohio State University, saying "the sun is going to rise to the zenith in America again." The 63-year-old is the 16th notable Republican to enter the race. 

"I am here to ask you for your prayers, for your support, for your efforts because I have decided to run for president," Kasich, a strong-willed and sometimes abrasive governor, said in a scattered speech packed with family anecdotes, historical references and a pitch for his well-rounded resume.

A veteran congressman as well as governor, Kasich is telling voters he is the only GOP candidate with experience in three broad areas of political leadership — the federal budget, national security and state government. As well, he spent nearly a decade at Lehman Brothers.

"I have the experience and the testing," he said, "the testing which shapes you and prepares you for the most important job in the world and I believe I know how to work and help restore this great United States."

As budget chairman in the House, he became an architect of a deal in 1997 that balanced the federal budget.

Now in his second term in swing-state Ohio, he's helped erase a budget deficit projected at nearly $8 billion when he entered office, boost Ohio's rainy-day fund to a historic high and seen private-sector employment rebound to its post-recession level.

This, through budget cutting, privatization of parts of Ohio's government and other, often business-style innovations.

Unions that turned back an effort by Kasich and fellow Republicans to limit public workers' collective bargaining rights say Kasich's successes have come at a cost to local governments and schools, and that new Ohio jobs lack the pay and benefits of the ones they replaced. They plan a protest outside Tuesday's launch.

Kasich embraces conservative ideals but bucks his party on occasion and disdains the Republican sport of bashing Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton.

His entry nearly rounds out an unusually diverse Republican lineup with two Hispanics, an African-American, one woman and several younger candidates alongside older white men. So many are running that it's unclear Kasich will qualify for the GOP's first debate in his home state in just two weeks.

In recent months, he's made trips to New Hampshire, South Carolina, Iowa, New York and Michigan, and will be returning to early voting states. His allies at the political organization New Day for America reported raising $11.5 million on Kasich's behalf before his entry into the race. 

Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[McCain Calls Trump's Comments 'Totally Inappropriate]]> Mon, 20 Jul 2015 09:21:49 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NC_trumpmccain_1500x845.jpg Senator John McCain says Donald Trump owes an apology to all the prisoners of war he served with. Trump recently stated that McCain is not a war hero, is only considered a war hero "because he was captured" and "I like people that weren't captured." McCain was reluctant to call himself a hero, but added that Trump's recent comments criticizing P.O.W.'s were "totally inappropriate."]]> <![CDATA[Walker: Trump 'Needs to Apologize' for McCain Comments]]> Mon, 20 Jul 2015 06:19:00 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-473663490+%281%29_scott_walker.jpg

Wisconsin Gov. and Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker said Donald Trump "needs to apologize" for his comments questioning whether Sen. John McCain is a war hero. 

Walker, who tried to ignore Trump's inflammatory rhetoric by leaning on the old "Reagan commandment" that discourages attacks against fellow Republicans, also had a message for the real-estate mogul's supporters.

"At a minimum, he needs to apologize," Walker said in an interview with NBC News. "I think more people need to push him. Not just candidates or elected officials, I think more people across America including some of those who, maybe up until now, have been supporters of him."

Trump said Saturday McCain is "not a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren't captured." Under fire, Trump later acknowledged that McCain's sacrifice was heroic.

Walker was careful not to mention Trump by name but said his insulting rant against McCain went too far, "when it came to personal attack like this against the military, an American hero, I'm gonna call it like I see it."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bernie Sanders Visits Dallas for 2016 Race]]> Sun, 19 Jul 2015 17:31:45 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Bernie_Sanders_Dallas.jpg

A presidential candidate's race for the White House made a stop in North Texas today with thousands rallying for Bernie Sanders.

The Vermont senator held a town meeting at the Sheraton Hotel where he spoke on education, climate change and income equality in front of a standing-room only crowd.

"When we talk about wages, what we also have to talk about– and guys I need your help on this, ending the unfairness of women making $0.78 an hour compared to men," Sanders said.

It was a weekend of campaigning for Sanders, who had just flown in from Phoenix, Arizona where he spoke to the biggest rally of his campaign.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Lone Star Politics: July 19, 2015]]> Fri, 17 Jul 2015 15:41:29 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NEW+013114+lone+star+politics.jpg This week, we sit down with State Rep. Jason Villalba to discuss the role Texas will play in the GOP race for the White House. Hear his take on Donald Trump’s controversial remarks about immigration and how it will reflect on the Hispanic vote here in Texas. We also get reaction to the controversial Planned Parenthood video, this week on Lone Star Politics Sunday at 8:40 a.m. on NBC 5.]]> <![CDATA[LSP: Rep. Villalba on the Hispanic Vote]]> Fri, 17 Jul 2015 15:39:22 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NEW+013114+lone+star+politics.jpg This week we sit down with republican State Rep. Jason Villalba. Hear his thoughts on what it will take for the GOP presidential candidates to win over Hispanic voters. Watch the entire interview on Lone Star Politics this Sunday at 8:40 a.m. on NBC 5. ]]> <![CDATA[LSP: Rep. Villalba on Trump]]> Fri, 17 Jul 2015 15:35:24 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NEW+013114+lone+star+politics.jpg This week we sit down with republican State Rep. Jason Villalba. Hear his take on why Donald Trump remains the frontrunner for the GOP nomination, despite his remarks about Hispanics and who he thinks will win the hearts and votes of Texans on Lone Star Politics, this Sunday at 8:40 a.m. on NBC 5.]]> <![CDATA[Boston Mayor Says Trump Should Apologize or Stay Out of Boston]]> Tue, 14 Jul 2015 11:17:21 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/walshtrump.jpg

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has a message for Donald Trump: Apologize for your comments about Mexico or stay out of Boston. 

"I think his comments are inappropriate," Walsh told the Boston Herald on Monday. "And if he wanted to build a hotel here (in Boston), he'd have to make some apologies to people in this country."

Trump, a Republican candidate for president, has come under fire in recent weeks for criticizing Mexico and immigrants who come to the U.S. illegally. He said they bring drugs and crime with them and are "rapists."

NBC, which owns this website, cited Trump's comments when it cut business ties with him as the former partner in the Miss USA pageant and dropped its pageant telecast. Macy's, which carried a Trump menswear line, also ended its relationship with him. 

Photo Credit: necn]]>