Tuesday, January 30, 2007

HR 4 Fails – How They Voted

You can find the list of Texas House members who voted Nay on HR 4 here. I like to concentrate on my two favorite groups of Democrats. And one Republican.

My favorite two groups of Democrats The Craddick D’s and the Courage 27 had slightly different voting tendencies today as the votes were entered on HR 4, the motion to suspend the rules and allow bills to be considered before 60 days into the new legislative session. Texas’ 80th Legislature promises to be a contentious one.

I got to see a little of the debate on streaming video, and it got a little heated at times, causing Speaker Pro Tem Sylvester Turner to admonish his colleagues to “take a chill pill”.

What was established during debate was that individual bills could be considered in committee, and voted on the floor, but they would have to be individually allowed by 4/5th vote if HR 4 failed. And it did fail by a vote of 108 Aye to 34 Nay (31 votes would have done the job).

All 15 of the Craddick D’s voted Aye, so no change there. Three Courage 27 votes went over to the Ayes in this vote, Juan Escobar, Juan Garcia, and Richard Raymond.

Paul Gallegos didn’t vote.

But the resolution failed because of the votes of an additional 10 Democrats, and one lone Republican vote.

New to the list of Democratic House members who wanted to send a message loud and clear to Tom Craddick were the following: Alma Allen, Rafael Anchia, Valinda Bolton, Ellen Cohen, Yvonne Gonzales Toureilles, Scott Hochberg, Joe Pickett, Paula Pierson, Mike Villarreal, and Hubert Vo.

The message? Who knows? Maybe each had their own reasons. But my guess is that it was a message to Speaker Craddick that he’s got to reform from his rough and rowdy ways. Absent that, any time the opportunity arises to send him a zinger, that’s exactly what is going to happen.

Really, as a substantive issue, it wasn’t one. It was pointed out that in past legislative sessions anywhere from 2 to 10 bills were actually voted on within the 60 days after the start of the session. Not a huge impact.

So it really was a symbolic “Up Yours”.

Especially from the lone Republican Nay voter: Bob Talton. Talton is so mad at his committee assignment that he says he won’t attend any of its meetings. Startlingly, the committee in question is heavily packed with Democrats and has a Democratic chair. Vince at Capitol Annex points out that Criminal Jurisprudence was, in all probability, packed with Democrats as it has little chance of seeing any significant legislation come through to it for consideration. Don’t know about that one. Looking here I see that 22 bills were referred to this committee today. Seven of them alone concern in some way or another, sex offenders, two on car burglary, one on Indian tribe gambling, one on prostitution, one on gang activity around schools . . the list goes on and on.

Gee . . . that stuff sounds like grist for Talton’s mill.


Anonymous said...

Please do not assume that you know why I voted without asking. I do not vote to "messages" to Speaker Craddick, and did not do that today. I voted against the measure because in my view the leadership team never made its case as to why they wanted it passed. Without knowing that, and having seen at least one major bill rushed to the floor in years past without proper consideration, the only logical vote for me was to vote no.

Scott Hochberg

Hal said...

Rep Hochberg,

I am sorry for the implication that I know why you voted the way you did. I thought I had it covered under "The message? Who knows? Maybe each had their own reasons."

But then I went on to insert my own opinion on why the 34 Reps voted Nay. That is the purpose of my blog, to interpret events and express an opinion.

Your reasons for the Nay vote are honorable. Please accept my apologies if I painted them in a light that you did not want them to be cast.

- Hal