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May 13, 2003

Dems with Guts- Texans on the Lam

For those not following it, the Texas legislature is going through a pretty impressive breakdown that puts the minor theatrics of the Senate filibusters to shame.

In order to prevent the GOP majority from ramming through a mess of rightwing legislation, including new redistricting rules that would disenfranchise a range of poor and minority voters in the state, the Dem legislators are boycotting the legislature in order to prevent quorum (two-thirds required in the state). The GOP have issued warrants to the police to haul the recalitrant Dems to show up, so they are hiding out.

Here is a web site dedicated to the Texas Dems on the lam. Here is the main statement of the "quorum breaker" outlaw legislators:

We did not choose our path, Tom Delay did. We are ready to stand on the House floor and work day and night to deal with real issues facing Texas families. At a time when we are told there is no time to deal with school finance, and when we must still resolve issues like the state budget crisis and insurance reform, the fact that an outrageous partisan power grab sits atop the House calendar is unconscionable.

Our House rules, including those regarding a quorum, were adopted precisely to protect the people from what is before the House today - the tyranny of a majority. By our actions today, we are fulfilling our responsibilities to our constituents and upholding the oaths we took to serve the people of Texas.

The redistricting plan scheduled today before the Texas House of Representatives is the ultimate in political greed ó it is undemocratic, unjust and unprecedented. Itís a power grab by Tom DeLay, pure and simple. The current congressional plan has been ruled by our United States Supreme Court to be constitutional and in compliance with the Voting Rights Act. Elections have been held, and we should respect the will of Texas voters.

Our Republican Attorney General ruled that this map can stand for the decade, and that we are not mandated to do redraw congressional districts this session. Many Republicans privately oppose it. Texas newspapers have editorialized against it. We do redistricting every ten years, not whenever those in power demand it.

Our Republican Attorney General ruled that we are not obligated to do this. Many Republicans privately oppose taking up redistricting. Texas newspapers editorialized against it. We do redistricting every ten years, not whenever those in power demand it.

Wish the Dems in Washington would tell Delay to go to hell with such verve.

Posted by Nathan at May 13, 2003 05:49 PM

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Its amazing how whiney the Democrats have gotten in Texas. Especially considering that until the mid 1980s the Democrats were your majority partisan party from the 1840s on (Phil Graham was the first republican in his county court house). Two party politics must really suck for this union site.
I also wonder why the union machine is so limited to only back one party and thereby potentially lose as opposed to backing only issues with candidates that change. The wedding to the democrats may have made you guys great, but as the country's voting statistics change not only the dems but the unions will get slaughtered too.

Posted by: Stephen Petit at May 14, 2003 07:59 AM

Texas always had a multi-party system, with rightwing conservatives vying with populist types-- it just always happenened within Democratic primaries. Remember that before the early 80s, Phil Gramm was a Democrat, as was former Governor John Connolly-- who became a Republican. Texas had lots of racist and pro-corporate Dixiecrats who only later became Republicans.

As for why unions back mostly Democrats (along with some Republicans in Congress), it's because they support their friends. Back in the earlier part of the century, there were plenty of unions supporting Republicans, because Republicans were not quite so dedicated to wiping unions off the face of the earth. Now that they are, the unions fight the GOP. Big surprise.

Posted by: Nathan Newman at May 14, 2003 09:24 AM

It's so nice to see Dems with a spine!!

Stephen, unions are great, you however, suck.

Posted by: nofundy at May 15, 2003 12:28 PM

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