“Rarely in the history of this legislature has the State’s leadership so masterfully worked against the will of its members and the people they represent.” – State Rep. David Simpson
The defeat of the TSA Anti-Groping Bill in Texas is heartbreaking.
And the dirty tricks used by Texas’ Republican leadership can seem devastating…
But this is not the end.
We will not give up. We’ll be back in other states and we’ll make them regret their actions in Texas!
Before I explain the nitty-gritty, I should make it clear who deserves some political pain:
- Gov. Rick Perry
- Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst
- Speaker Joe Straus.
As Dave Nalle, an Austin liberty activist, put it, it’s a carnival trick. There are “three hollow coconut halves and a large marble.”
The marble is the TSA bill, and the three coconut halves are named Perry, Dewhurst, and Straus.
“Hands continually shuffle or pass the TSA bill marble under the hollow coconut halves, hiding it from the eyes of you, the public, the citizens of Texas.”
But what, specifically, did these scoundrels do?
As David Simpson said, their manipulations were so masterful they “managed to arrange it so that every member could cast a vote in support of a bill which they ensured would not pass.”
And all three can claim they oppose TSA groping while guaranteeing the bill to end it was defeated…
After the bill passed unanimously through the Texas House, the TSA wrote a stern letter to the Texas legislature claiming it would be forced to impose a no-fly zone upon the state of Texas.
This was an act of political war for states’ rights minded liberty activists.
But for Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, it was an excuse to begin single-handedly “peeling off the votes” needed to pass the bill through the state Senate.
What makes his treachery so jarring was what happened as the special session called to take care of unfinished business came to order.
Dewhurst wrote a letter to Governor Perry urging him to add it to special session. The letter was widely publicized.
So kill the bill behind the scenes, but broadcast your loving support all over Texas.
But establishment politicians didn’t take over our country by being stupid.
Expectedly, Gov. Rick Perry, who controls what bills are put on the agenda for the special session, did not immediately heed the call of Dewhurst’s political theater.
In fact, he waited, and waited… and waited some more.
An open records request showed over 10,000 individual pieces of correspondence received by the governor’s office in favor of the anti-groping bill.
And finally he acted.
But you see, he had waited long enough. He knew it wouldn’t have the time to pass with only 2 short weeks in the special session without special assistance for the legislative leaders who control the rules.
Now the marble was passed to Speaker Joe Straus.
The Speaker of the House controls the rules in the state House. And rules are where bills go to die.
Parliamentary procedure is an Orwellian whirlwind tyrants use to spin you into confusion.
I won’t go into all the details here, but don’t be fooled.
Speaker Straus knew what he was doing.
He purposefully delayed, first by adjourning when the bill was scheduled to be considered and then by making sure it would be bunched up on the final day of the session – guaranteeing failure. His best trick was that by waiting until the last day he could bring the anti-groping bill up under a special rule that requires a 4/5ths majority (80%!) to pass.
After the TSA and statist politicians started opposing it, even the wildly popular anti-groping bill didn’t have 80% support.
So what do we take away from all of this?
Who would have thought 4 years ago that this bill would even be introduced? The fact that they had to go to such extraordinary lengths to stop us should confirm our commitment to this fight.
Already Utah and other states are moving on their own anti-groping legislation.
And the opposition to the out-of-control TSA grows with every report of assault, theft, and naked radiation scanning.
We’re stronger than ever before.
And they’re afraid.
For those activists in Texas who fought so valiantly, take a break, relax and refresh, and then come back ready to hold them accountable when they next face the voters.
Matt Hawes, Campaign for Liberty