Friday, May 29, 2009

Selfish Reason the Democrats Killed the Session

Why on earth would the Democrats kill hundreds of bills all to kill one bill, that merely required reliable ID from voters when they came to vote? Why such an absurd and over-the-top hyper-over-reaction?

The selfish reason comes from Texas Insider:

And then, over the weekend, a little noticed comment from Texas Monthly’s own Paul Burka, who commented on why Texas Democrats undertook their 5-day filibuster to kill the Republican-backed Voter ID measure:

“In a phone interview earlier today (Saturday), Craig Eiland (D-Galveston) told me that the Carter-Baker commission testified that the Voter I.D. Bill would result in 150,000 voters being disenfranchised statewide. That is an average of 1,000 per legislative district. If this average held true, based on the electoral numbers, Democrats would lose 7 seats in the House.”

No interest is stronger than self-interest. At least for Democrats. Why haven't the Republicans pushed harder and held together better on this? A commenter on TexasInsider makes a brilliant point:
As is the case with national issues and campaigns, the media control the level of information which most voters have. If the media do not report that a 5 day filibuster occurred, it never happened as far as John Q Public knows. I don’t know why the Senate members decided to cover for the House. Nor do I know why the House Republicrats decided to provide cover for the Dems. If nothing further had been done to pass all these bills, would the Dems have been blamed, or would the media have placed the blame on the Repubs for failing to help the Dems out of the hole they dug?
Update: From Rep Ken Paxton "Capitol Steps", some of the collateral damage from the Democrats obstructionist 5-day Voter ID bill filibuster:
Unfortunately, a number of important bills were not brought to the House floor in time for us to consider and vote upon because some members of the Legislature purposefully exploited parliamentary procedures to stall one piece of legislation - the Voter ID bill. The stalling tactics by these members led to the killing of hundreds of other bills, which I believe is a disservice to Texans. Some of the bills affected by their stalling tactics are as follows:
· An eminent domain bill limiting the authority of government to seize a person’s home or land (SB 18);
· Health insurance coverage for children (SB 66);
· An air quality improvement bill (SB 16);
· A bill to encourage the use of solar energy devices (SB 545);
· A bill affording greater protections for abused children (SB 786 and SB 1877);
· A bill increasing services for children with autism (SB 1217); and
· A bill relating to the prevention, investigation, prosecution and punishment for gang-related activities (SB 11).
Rep Jackson has more collateral damage to report:

In fact, two bills I sponsored that would have made employment of children in sex clubs a public nuisance and increase the criminal penalty for repeat offense of such employment, died on the calendar. Other bills killed due to parliamentary delay would have given us:

* Cleaner air
* Insurance reform
* Property rights
* Better domestic violence prevention
* Many children’s services, including services for children with autism spectrum disorder, and
* Children’s health programs as well as many other issues.

UPDATE 2: Will Lutz on the non-action in the Texas lege.

No comments: