Here, you are urged and encouraged to run your mouths about something important.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sanctuary Cities Bill and TSA anti-Groping Bill may Both be Dead in Texas

First up, the Sanctuary Cities Bill (SB 9 and HB 9) in Texas. It looked like a tough immigration bill was set to sail through Texas' special legislative session after Gov. Rick Perry put it on the agenda. With Republican majorities in both houses, odds were much better than not, that the bill would end up on Perry's desk. Then two of Texas' richest men stepped in - Charles Butt and Bob Perry - and threatened to withhold future contributions to the Republican Party if the bill passed.

Via Houston Chronicle:
AUSTIN — As two of Texas' most politically-involved business leaders emerged as opponents, a bill banning "sanctuary cities" lost crucial momentum Friday, raising the possibility the measure will be killed or substantially weakened before the special session of the Texas Legislature ends Wednesday.

HillCo Partners' lobby team, led by Neal T. "Buddy" Jones, is working on behalf of Houston home builder Bob Perry and San Antonio grocery store magnate Charles Butt to alter a proposal that would permit law enforcement officers to inquire about the immigration status of people they detain, Jones' partner Bill Miller confirmed.

Miller declined to detail the changes Jones hopes to make in the legislation, saying only that they have "given language to members" to consider including in the proposal, which would carry financial penalties for cities that prohibit law enforcement from inquiring about immigration status.

The opposition of the business leaders demonstrates a schism in the Republican Party on the issue, designated a priority by Gov. Rick Perry. Bob Perry, no relation to the governor, is a prolific Republican contributor who has given $2.5 million to the governor's campaign coffers since 2001. HEB CEO Butt has made substantial contributions to members of both parties.

Friday, the House State Affairs Committee canceled hearings scheduled to pass the bill for the second day in a row, due to a lack of a quorum, as exhausted lawmakers returned home to tend to their businesses and families. A meeting has been scheduled for Monday, but House leaders did not rule out that a meeting could be called during the weekend if enough lawmakers return to Austin.
As if that wasn't enough, House Speaker (RINO) has called the TSA anti-groping bill a 'publicity stunt,' which indicates an unwillingness on his part to push the bill forward.
AUSTIN — House Speaker Joe Straus on Friday called an “anti-groping” bill favored by Gov. Rick Perry a “publicity stunt” and said he would not allow it to come up for a vote as written.

The legislation, which would criminalize invasive airport security pat-downs, would turn Texas “into a laughingstock,” said Straus, R-San Antonio, after abruptly adjourning the House for lack of a quorum for the second time this week.

Straus said the bill is so seriously flawed he does not think lawmakers will approve the measure before the special session ends Wednesday.

“The bill, without some serious revisions, appears to me to be nothing more than an ill-advised publicity stunt,” he said. “It’s unenforceable, ill-advised and misdirected to uniformed security personnel, not where appropriately it should be aimed, which is in Washington to the bosses of these people.”

Perry, who is contemplating a run for the Republican nomination for president, placed the measure on the special agenda Monday. He and some of his legislative allies view the security checks by the Transportation Security Administration as unreasonable.

The bill, as drafted, would make it a crime of official oppression if federal employees perform a search that involves touching a person’s private parts without probable cause to believe the person has committed an offense.
Both of these developments should outrage conservative voters who are watching establishment-style politics torpedo two critical bills they demand get passed. This goes to demonstrate that when Republicans lose seats, it's because they're too liberal, not because they're too conservative.

More at Texas Tribune

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