Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Little Tussle in Texas

Let me explain a bit of background of what took place the last few days.

A brave state senator stood up and attempted a filibuster to prevent a restrictive abortion bill from being considered for a vote (which would have passed).  But the backstory is important to know the significance or in-significance of this story.

First, as I wrote a long time ago, Texas has in it's constitution that the legislature only meets every two years.  That's partially the reason that Texas almost always has a balanced budget.  You have to plan conservatively in order to make sure you don't go "in the red" in the even numbered year that you aren't meeting.

Second, the representatives are meant to only be part time representatives.  This "job" is one that takes them away from their real jobs and it costs them money to be away from work (they get paid very little for the 3 or 4 months they work in Austin).  Again, this was meant by Texans to prevent professional politicians from reigning over Texas.

Third, if'/when they can't resolve something in the regular session or there is an emergency in the even-numbered year, the governor calls a "special session", which everyone wants to avoid as it takes them away from their regular lives.

So, who are the players?

Our Guv, who has higher political aspirations, but the last time he tried had the unfortunate experience of trying to talk and think on his feet at the same time.  Basically, you learned he (from a distance) looks like a "man's man [cough, cough, rumors for years he had many young (handsome) male aides, cough, cough]".

Our Lt. Guv, who was a guaranteed shoo-in to be a senator until he was upset by our super-right-wing-cracked-tea-pot senator Cruz.  He was shocked.  We were shocked.  He's a "normal conservative" who was run over by a crazy-conservative.

So, the regular session ended.  They spent A LOT of time during this session debating water rights and the funding for it.  Very surprisingly, our Guv was arguing for money to be spent (whaaaa????) on water projects for the future (but you know, there is no such thing as global warming).

Two things were left unfinished:
a) Funding for our roads.  Everyone agreed that they had to work out how to pay for upkeep on our many deteriorating roads.
b) A bill to allow 17 year olds to be given the death penaly.
[Warning! Warning!  The ultimate irony!]

And then, the legislators all stayed in Austin instead of heading home.

And then....the Guv thought, "Hmmm, hey I'm going to go speak at a pro-Life meeting in Dallas.  Why don't we toss in this abortion law we had thought about during the regular session, but everyone said we had to concentrate on the nuts-and-bolts of running the state for the next 2 years.  Yeah, I'll look great to those guys in Dallas...cause they will really help me out if I run for president again in 2016."

 And the Lt. Gov said to himself, "I am NOT going to get out-conservative'd again!  No crazy tea-party guy is going to say I'm not conservative."

And so the special session descended into the filibuster.  It's a strongly controlled Republican legislature, with some Democrats supporting the bill because they want to get re-elected.

While Wendy did something incredibly brave (she's going to lose some of her law clients), we know that the Guv will just call another session and...zoom, the bill will go through.

And to top it off (my non-lawyer) personal opinion, is that some Federal judge is going to strike down that law right after it is appealed, since similar laws in other states have been suspended as well.

But the Guv looks good, and the Lt. Guv is safe to take the Guv's job when the Guv finally leaves.

All for show.

Oh, the irony.  As the Guv was talking about fighting for the sanctity of life, on the same day of his speech calling for a new special session, we (Texas) executed our 500th inmate, a 52 year old woman.

1 comment:

  1. I love reading your ideas and am glad to see you are back. As for that woman that was executed although I am not pro death penalty I am not going to cry tears over that one.

    Michigan Andrea