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Democrats boycotting Texas House

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#1 Shoshana

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Posted 13 May 2003 - 12:00 AM

House Democrats break quorum

Quote

Texas Democratic House members, more powerful in absence than when they are in the chamber, are hiding out to block a vote on a congressional redistricting plan pushed by Republicans.

House Speaker Tom Craddick, R-Midland, ordered the Department of Public Safety to hunt down the missing members when it became clear the House didn't have the 100 members needed for a quorum. The missing includes 53 who submitted letters announcing they would not be showing up

My favorite part? The Austin American Statesman's Tip Line:

Quote

Let our State desk know if you seen any of the missing Democratic legislators today. Send your name and phone number with who, when and where you saw them. Email us at news@statesman.com or call 512-445-3613.

And this isn't something new. Ya'll ever heard of The Killer Bees? 1979 -  10 Texas State Senators hid out together for 4 days or so... 'Killer Bees' made political history

'shana

#2 Rov Judicata

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Posted 13 May 2003 - 12:06 AM

Interesting.

Quote

"Their behavior is analogous to the pouting child who doesn't like the way the game is going and stomps off the field," said Perry, noting that many other bills could die as lawmakers this week begin hitting deadlines leading up to the June 2 end of the session.

This is true.

Senate Democrats can't win on judicial nominations, so they filibuster. These democrats can't win, so they go home.

Here's hoping the voters remember this in '04.
St. Louis must be destroyed!

Me: "I have a job and five credit cards and am looking into signing a two year lease.  THAT MAKES ME OLD."
Josh: "I don't have a job, I have ONE credit card, I'm stuck in a lease and I'm 28! My mom's basement IS ONE BAD DECISION AWAY!"
~~ Josh, winning the argument.

"Congress . . . shall include every idiot, lunatic, insane person, and person non compos mentis[.]" ~1 U.S.C. § 1, selectively quoted for accuracy.

#3 Shalamar

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Posted 13 May 2003 - 12:13 AM

I was living in Austin at the time of the 'Killer Bees'..people were laughing their heads off over this...

and ya know..the Texas Rangers are a part of DPS...hehehe

Lets send Chuck after them... :hehe:  :hehe:  :eek:
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#4 Rhea

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Posted 13 May 2003 - 12:15 AM

Hee hee. Those Texans, you gotta love 'em.  :lol:  :lol:

My great-grandfather, Harbon Hanborough Moore (I swear!), had the distinction of getting kicked out of the Texas state legislature way back when (and that takes some doing amongst all those good ol' boys). And before you ask, no, I don't know the details. :p :p My grandfather refused to cough up the info.  :blush:

When I said I came from a long, long line of Texans I wasn't kidding. He was also the first person to graduate from Texas A&M (back before it WAS Texas A&M ;) ).

Edited by Rhea, 13 May 2003 - 12:15 AM.

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#5 G1223

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Posted 13 May 2003 - 12:53 AM

Well there is always arresting them from Fraud. They did promise to serve the state of Texas and by not being there have taken salaries  for services not rendered. Say they represent a serious flight risk and till they get cleared they stay in jail.
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#6 Ro-Astarte

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Posted 13 May 2003 - 01:42 AM

I guess I'm in the minority, but I say good for them.

I've often felt the much vaunted bipartisanship of hte Texas Legislature was more cosmetic than anything else, and frankly the Republicans are trying to make the redistricting so that it's impossible for a Democrat to win.

That's not governing, that's pure politics. They have plenty of the real business of governing to be done.  They've just been handed a reminder that even minority parties have some power.

Ro

#7 AnneZo

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Posted 13 May 2003 - 05:47 AM

Quote

"I guess we will be called obstructionists, or maybe worse. But we are making a statement," said the South Texas legislator. "If this is going to be the only way to stop bad legislation from being rammed down our throats, then so be it."

I say, this is one of the parliamentary tools available to them and clearly the Texas legislatures uses it, at long, desperate intervals.

It takes courage to take a stand like this and I applaud them.

#8 shadowmagegalen

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 10:18 AM

Boy the Democratic Party has been making me more and more politically active, and in each turn they drive me further away from considering a vote for a Democrat.

After pretty much controlling the state houses of Texas for decades and already forcing the courts to step in on the last redistricting attempt which allowed the legislature to readdress the issue now, they take their little balls and go out of state, moaning and whining how unfair the Republicans are when they (the Democrats, that is) had carved up this state time and time again in their favor.  And in so doing, they freeze the legislature and allow other serious items that need to be addressed to potentially fall through.  How upstanding of the minority party.  How honorable.  How freaking ridiculous.

And what a precedent to set.  You don't like the budget?   Go to Oklahoma.  Not enough school funding?  Fly to Arkansas.  Can't stop changing the law?  Head to New Mexico.  

For a state that has both houses, most if not all high-level positions, and both Federal Senators all Republican but have what 17 of 32 (approximately) House members as Democrats just shows how the gerrymandering had been dominated in the past.  The Democrats can't stand by and take it like the Republicans have for so many years.  They cannot even try to work within the redrawn districts.  Poor wittle Dems, they can't handle it when they don't have control.  This is obstructionist and petty, and I for one will not forget this act, nor will my wife.  

Talk about sore losers.  I too hope the voters remember this cowardly act in the next session and vote the lot of them out (or if they can petition for recalls or some such now, let it happen).  And if they do succeed in stopping it this time I will not complain if the Republicans give an eye for an eye next time, because taking the high road after the Democrats have already shown how low they will stoop just keeps the Dems getting what they want.  Shoot maybe we can lock the legislature completely up so we have to scrap the system.  Wouldn't that be wonderful.  Oh but no, there won't be any long-term ramifications from this.  Noooooooo, the Dems maneuver will not affect the state one bit.

I have got to wonder who forked up the money for these trips and hotel rooms as well.

They have abandoned their duty to serve the state and its people to put one issue that will more than likely swing back in their favor at some point anyways over many many others crucial to this state, including our own budget deficit and potential remedies, the insurance problems, school funding, and many many others.  This isn't fighting for principle, it is pure partisan politics, and an absolutely shameful example to set for our kids.  Oh Bobby, you didn't really lose, just take your ball and go home until they give in.  No Amy, it doesn't matter that Tara and Melissa want to play house with their dolls and only give you the littlest doll, just take the one you want and go over to your neighbor's house and hold it till they do what you want them to.  After all, only you should ever get your way.  It doesn't matter that when you had all the dolls you only gave Tara the little, ugly ones.  

I have ranted more than enough.  

SmG

#9 Rhea

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 05:24 PM

The issue is that redistricting is mandated by law every ten years. It's already been done for Texas (I believe in 2000, but I'd have to look). The Republicans are trying to pull another redistricting simply because they'd be able at this moment to add a substatial amount of new Republican representatives. It's neither legal nor right.
The future is better than the past. Despite the crepehangers, romanticists, and anti-intellectuals, the world steadily grows better because the human mind, applying itself to environment, makes it better. With hands...with tools...with horse sense and science and engineering.
- Robert A. Heinlein

When I don’t understand, I have an unbearable itch to know why. - RAH


Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen.  - RAH

#10 Rov Judicata

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 05:30 PM

GREAT post SMA.

Rhea, on May 14 2003, 08:11 AM, said:

The issue is that redistricting is mandated by law every ten years. It's already been done for Texas (I believe in 2000, but I'd have to look). The Republicans are trying to pull another redistricting simply because they'd be able at this moment to add a substatial amount of new Republican representatives. It's neither legal nor right.
Right is debatable.

However, it is legal. The language of the law requires redistricting every ten years, but doesn't say it *only* occurs every ten years.

The only side doing something illegal are the democrats who are being hunted down by law enforcement as we speak...
St. Louis must be destroyed!

Me: "I have a job and five credit cards and am looking into signing a two year lease.  THAT MAKES ME OLD."
Josh: "I don't have a job, I have ONE credit card, I'm stuck in a lease and I'm 28! My mom's basement IS ONE BAD DECISION AWAY!"
~~ Josh, winning the argument.

"Congress . . . shall include every idiot, lunatic, insane person, and person non compos mentis[.]" ~1 U.S.C. § 1, selectively quoted for accuracy.

#11 Ro-Astarte

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 06:21 PM

shadowmagegalen, on May 14 2003, 03:05 AM, said:

They have abandoned their duty to serve the state and its people to put one issue that will more than likely swing back in their favor at some point anyways over many many others crucial to this state, including our own budget deficit and potential remedies, the insurance problems, school funding, and many many others.  This isn't fighting for principle, it is pure partisan politics, and an absolutely shameful example to set for our kids.  Oh Bobby, you didn't really lose, just take your ball and go home until they give in.  No Amy, it doesn't matter that Tara and Melissa want to play house with their dolls and only give you the littlest doll, just take the one you want and go over to your neighbor's house and hold it till they do what you want them to.  After all, only you should ever get your way.  It doesn't matter that when you had all the dolls you only gave Tara the little, ugly ones. 

I have ranted more than enough. 

SmG
I'm concerned about the same issues you are, but I have a different take.  I don't think Bobby should be taught  he gets to change the rules of the game as soon as he has the upper hand.

With all those things you listed, and more of real substantial issues to be resolved by this legislature, which meets only every other year, what was so pressing about redistricting?

Nothing but POLITICAL EXPEDIENCY.  Republicans want to make hay while the sun shines and redraw the boundaries.

Democrats were essentially being told to just shut up and take it.  So they took the only course left open to them.  

Ro

#12 Rov Judicata

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 06:58 PM

The dem-controlled Oklahoma House of Reps has commended the Texas democrats hiding from the law in their state:

http://www.saljourna.../new_okie2.html
St. Louis must be destroyed!

Me: "I have a job and five credit cards and am looking into signing a two year lease.  THAT MAKES ME OLD."
Josh: "I don't have a job, I have ONE credit card, I'm stuck in a lease and I'm 28! My mom's basement IS ONE BAD DECISION AWAY!"
~~ Josh, winning the argument.

"Congress . . . shall include every idiot, lunatic, insane person, and person non compos mentis[.]" ~1 U.S.C. § 1, selectively quoted for accuracy.

#13 MuseZack

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 07:18 PM

On the subject of setting precedents, it turns out that current Republican leader Tom Craddick pulled the same stunt in 1971.  He practically invented the tactic, in fact.  Here's the newspaper of record from that hotbed of liberalism, Waco, on the subject:

Craddick has no one to blame but himself. He helped write history when he was one of 30 members of the Texas House who disappeared during the 1971 legislative session.  Craddick and his "Dirty Thirty" colleagues were protesting the heavy-handed actions of then House Speaker Gus Mutscher and his cronies who were involved in the Sharpstown bribery-conspiracy scandal.  Mutscher, who called the "Dirty Thirty" irresponsible, eventually was ousted from power and found guilty of accepting a bribe.  At his Jan. 14 swearing-in ceremony as speaker, Craddick went out of his way to promise that the historic bipartisan tradition in the House would continue "all the way through the session." Craddick not only failed to remember history, his brazen attempt to punish Democrats by forcing through a new congressional redistricting map also failed to keep his promise to uphold the House's bipartisan tradition.
"Some day, after we have mastered the wind, the waves, the tides, and gravity,
We shall harness for God the energies of Love.
Then, for the second time in the history of the world,
we will have discovered fire."
--Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

#14 Rhea

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 07:22 PM

^I'm beginning to find this hugely funny.  :hehe:
The future is better than the past. Despite the crepehangers, romanticists, and anti-intellectuals, the world steadily grows better because the human mind, applying itself to environment, makes it better. With hands...with tools...with horse sense and science and engineering.
- Robert A. Heinlein

When I don’t understand, I have an unbearable itch to know why. - RAH


Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen.  - RAH

#15 Ro-Astarte

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 07:25 PM

Well, as someone who pays taxes for these yahoos, I'm less than completely amused by the situation.

Nonetheless, sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander here, and this Republican controlled legislature needs to remember its "bi-partisan" roots.

Such as they ever were,

Ro

#16 gadfly

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 08:23 PM

That's an interesting bit of information Zack.  Is that from the editorial in the Waco Tribune-Herald?  I'd forgotten that Dunnam is from Waco.  

Quote

Here's the newspaper of record from that hotbed of liberalism, Waco, on the subject

This is an interesting quote......  Waco's representatives, at the state level and the national level, tend to be conservative Democrats.  Waco is actually much more bi-partisan than Dallas which is ultra conservative and a Republican stronghold.  Of course, it's been about 5 years since I lived there and interacted with any of the "big wigs" so I have no idea what the current Waco atmosphere is like.  My father is involved in local politics in a nearby small town but we don't really discuss Waco that much.

#17 MuseZack

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 08:29 PM

^^
Yeah, it's from the Waco Tribune.  I'll freely admit my total ignorance of Texas politics and geography.  This whole thing is pretty funny, though. :lol:  :lol:  :lol:

Z
"Some day, after we have mastered the wind, the waves, the tides, and gravity,
We shall harness for God the energies of Love.
Then, for the second time in the history of the world,
we will have discovered fire."
--Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

#18 Rov Judicata

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 08:31 PM

I'm highly enertained as well. :lol:.

It is surreal to see law enforcement after our politicians....
St. Louis must be destroyed!

Me: "I have a job and five credit cards and am looking into signing a two year lease.  THAT MAKES ME OLD."
Josh: "I don't have a job, I have ONE credit card, I'm stuck in a lease and I'm 28! My mom's basement IS ONE BAD DECISION AWAY!"
~~ Josh, winning the argument.

"Congress . . . shall include every idiot, lunatic, insane person, and person non compos mentis[.]" ~1 U.S.C. § 1, selectively quoted for accuracy.

#19 jon3831

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 10:24 PM

*applauds SmG*

As an aside...

I'm wondering if this could backfire on the fleeing Dems?

What provisions does Texas state law have for declaring seats vacant and having the Governor appoint people to fill them?
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#20 Rov Judicata

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 10:44 PM

jon3831, on May 14 2003, 01:11 PM, said:

What provisions does Texas state law have for declaring seats vacant and having the Governor appoint people to fill them?
:ninja:

That's an EXCELLENT point.
St. Louis must be destroyed!

Me: "I have a job and five credit cards and am looking into signing a two year lease.  THAT MAKES ME OLD."
Josh: "I don't have a job, I have ONE credit card, I'm stuck in a lease and I'm 28! My mom's basement IS ONE BAD DECISION AWAY!"
~~ Josh, winning the argument.

"Congress . . . shall include every idiot, lunatic, insane person, and person non compos mentis[.]" ~1 U.S.C. § 1, selectively quoted for accuracy.



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