Business Group Buys Radio Ads Opposing ‘Bathroom Bills’

Our daily roundup of Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelJuly 25, 2017 3:49 pm

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

The state’s largest business lobbying group has paid for radio ads calling for the defeat of so-called “bathroom bills.”

At the end of last week, the Texas Association of Business announced a “seven-figure” media buy. The ads start running across the state Tuesday.

One ad airing in the Dallas area zeroes in on the city’s hopes of hosting the NFL Draft in 2018.

“As a lifelong Cowboys fan, I’m thrilled that the 2018 NFL Draft could be in Dallas, bringing the NFL’s brightest stars, tens of thousands of fans, and millions in revenue to our state, but all of that could be in jeopardy. The legislature is considering unnecessary legislation that could harm our state. These bathroom bills won’t make us safer but if they pass the NFL could reject Dallas’s bid to host the draft,” the ad says.

The Texas Association of Business has been an outspoken opponent of bathroom bills in both the regular and special legislative sessions. The group says passage of such legislation “would result in terrible economic consequences.”

Despite these concerns, a Texas Senate Committee passed Senate Bill 3 last week. It would require people to use the bathroom that matches the sex on their birth certificate in government buildings and public schools. Supporters argue the bill is intended to protect the privacy of women and children. The bill is being considered by the full Senate Tuesday.

The Washington Post reports that there are no staff political cartoonists left at Texas newspapers. The Houston Chronicle eliminated its editorial cartoonist position about a week ago.

The Chronicle’s cartoonist, Nick Anderson had won a Pulitzer Prize for his work.

Shan Wang is a staff writer at the Nieman Journalism Lab.  Wang says newspapers might be failing to capitalize on cartoons in the digital age.

“I do think there’s a lot of potential in drawing, and art, and editorial cartooning in the digital age. There’s a lot of potential for the graphic medium to viral as Nick himself, highlighted in I think a post announcing his departure,” Wang says.

Wang adds that losing political cartoonists at the local or state level is problematic for the medium.

“Especially with political cartooning you don’t capture the spirit of a place unless you’ve lived there,” Wang says. “You can’t properly comment on the strangeness, and the culture, and the fun, and the way certain processes work in a place, unless you’ve lived there and know the people.”

There are fewer than 40 staff editorial cartoonists nationally.

The annual sales tax holiday on back-to-school stuff is coming up August 11 through 13.

Texans can save the sales tax on things such as clothing, shoes, school supplies and back packs, as long as the items are priced under $100. The sales tax exemption applies not only in stores, but also online and telephone sales. Shoppers can also put things on layaway.

This is the 19th straight year for the sales tax-free weekend.