Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Voter ID Bill Hogs the Headlines in the Texas Legislature Today

The Texas Voter ID bill, known as SB 362, filed by State Senator Troy Fraser (R – Horseshoe Bay) has finally made it to the state house for a hearing on the House’s Elections Committee.

Preventing the passage of this heinous attempt to disenfranchise key (Democratic) populations in the State Senate was a non-starter this year. Rules developed at the beginning of the legislative session made sure of that by engineering a rule to allow a mere majority vote for this particular matter only in order to bring it to the senate floor for a vote.

And with a 19-12 majority in the State Senate, Republicans had no problem passing this abomination right down party lines.

Now we are starting to see the same thing occur in the House. The House committee on Elections has a 5-4 Republican majority, and committee chairman Todd Smith (R-Euless) led a committee that formed a partisan skirmish line.

The committee, in hearing expert testimony, heard arguments that passage of the bill would, and wouldn’t affect whether a qualified voter would be discouraged from registering or voting at the polls.

Committee Chairman Todd Smith, throwing up his hands in a show of anti-bipartisanship, doubts that the bill would have any impact on voter turnout:

"My sense is that both sides are guilty of speculating [on voter turnout] without any substantial evidence to suggest this will have any meaningful impact on turnout one way or the other.”

In addition, according to the Dallas Morning News, Smith “took strong exception to Democratic arguments that there is no evidence of serious voter fraud in Texas. To bolster his case, he read through a litany of supposed voter fraud incidents – a few from Texas but most in other states.”

But I have to say, the real fun, and the prize for originality in crafting a political argument goes to Leo Berman (R - Tyler), who has an interesting and totally original take on why there are so few county DAs prosecuting cases of voter fraud in Texas. From the Austin American-Statesman:

There's so much fraud that even the district attorney or the attorney general won't prosecute it," Berman said. "If they did, they'd have to stop prosecuting murderers and rapists.

Darn it. I knew that’s why there were so many people out there who think there is rampant voter fraud in Texas. There is. There is so much out there that DAs can’t prosecute them for fear of letting off murderers, rapists and unrestrained criminal roofing contractors.

Come to think of it, that’s probably why no one has ever interviewed a space alien. There are so many out there that to interview any at all would sorely tax our tabloid reporters who are already beset in keeping up with the antics of Angelina and Brad, Madonna, Dr. Phil’s wife, and Bat Boy.

So, I don’t know, in the logic and reasoning category it seems to be a toss-up between State Rep. Berman and his main, and still living nearest competitor: Professor Irwin Corey.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If the Republicans had policy favorable to the people, then they would not always have to be on the prowl to undermine Democracy. I believe I saw a quote on this site by the late Adeli Stevenson, that goes along the line that---“If the Republicans quit lying on the Democrats then the Democrats would stop telling the truth about the Republicans.” So apropos, even, today as it was in yester years, I think, even, more so, today.