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

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Video: TSA Now Groping Texas State Officials

The State of Texas is still in the midst of its special session and HB 1937, which passed unanimously in the House, failed in the Senate when the Feds threatened that such a law would lead to Texas becoming a 'no fly zone.' The bill would make it a crime for TSA agents to overstep their bounds with respect to pat downs. Now that the Texas legislature is in special session, passage of the bill has come down to being contingent on Gov. Rick Perry putting it on the agenda.

Making matters even more interesting is the fact that two state officials - Barry Smitherman, Chairman of the Public Utility Commission and Barbara Nash, a state rep. - have their own personal horror stories to tell.

Via the New American:
High-ranking Texas officials groped by agents with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) are sounding off about the scandal in the press, adding more pressure on state lawmakers and Gov. Rick Perry to resurrect a bill criminalizing the invasive measures without probable cause. In May, it appeared likely that the Texas anti-groping legislation would succeed. After unanimously sailing through the state House of Representatives, the bill was on its way to passage in the Texas Senate. Originally it had more than enough support to pass.

Then the feds intervened. U.S. Attorney John E. Murphy sent a thinly veiled warning to lawmakers and senior officials: If the TSA was no longer permitted to violate the Fourth Amendment rights of passengers and the courts refused to block the legislation, the federal government would basically create a "no-fly zone" in Texas.

The State Senate backed down. But the battle is still not over. In fact, it may be just getting started. After two Texas officials described their recent experiences with the TSA on local television, calls for state action are growing even louder.
This short news report from Austin's Fox affiliate says it all:

Interestingly, the bill has already passed through committee for a House vote, which was unanimous the first time around. Not only that but Republican senator Dan Patrick is saying that there are enough votes to pass there as well. Lt. Governor David Dewhurst is also encouraging Perry to put the bill on the agenda.
The Lt. Governor is on board this time, too. State Sen. Dan Patrick also re-introduced the bill into the Senate. And this time, he says there are enough votes to pass it.

Now the fate of the bill rests with Gov. Perry. In Texas, only legislation that is called up by the Governor can be voted on during the special legislative session. So, a broad coalition of liberty-minded organizations is mobilizing to make sure that happens.
Once again, Perry is being faced with a political decision that he cannot wiggle out of. Passage of this bill is all but guaranteed by him putting it on the agenda. In light of that reality, this video should be shown to him by every member of the Texas legislature. It is from April 9, 2009 - during the rise of the Tea Party. Perry made some very bold statements and his refusal to put HB 1937 on the agenda will have meant this press conference was a big fat lie.

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