Tuesday, January 30, 2007

IF YOU HAD 30 VOTES IN YOUR POCKET, AND WANTED TO MUCK STUFF UP ...

In Billy Clyde's little hometown Municipal Utility District, junior high school students would show their rebellious side by wrapping someone's yard.

This involved throwing rolls of toilet paper into hardwood trees (it's hard to wrap pine trees) and laughing uncontrollably all the way home, knowing that Johnny Law or the owner of the home could be hot on your trail. Dangerous, exhilarating, but, ultimately, rather harmless.

Kinda like this morning's vote in the House to suspend Article 3, Section 5, of the Texas Constitution so this Legislature can start getting a little traction.

Speaker Tom Craddick announced last week that the House had successfully approved this normally routine, perfunctory motion "every session except for one." Not sure if that meant in the history of the state or just since he got here (basically the same period of time) but he stated it with great authority, so it must be true. BC can't remember the House tying its own arms behind it own backs before by knocking down this motion. But then again, Billy Clyde doesn't pay real close attention sometimes.

Folks around the Capitol refer to this as the "60-day rule." The Texas Constitution has checks and balances on its checks and balances, and this is a prime example. Since Northern Reconstructionists are no longer a major threat to state government, the House simply ignores this provision and suspends the Constitutional rule. The invention of the automobile also played a role in making this rule unnecessary.

Anyway, the aginners in the House have sensed that the Speaker cares about this vote and believe it will promote efficiency and progress. So, naturally, they are opposed. The permanent opposition (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Jim Dunnam, JohnCornyn'sBoxTurtle, et al) has decided to Make A Point. Stand Up And Be Counted. Take Me Down To Funky Town.

If you look at past House Daily Calendars for the month of February (something that BC hasn't done; this is a Research-Free Zone) it's all a big pile of nothing. Some Sunset bills, a few non-controversial measures, an emergency item here or there. Frankly, I wouldn't want a bill I cared about on a February calendar. You're just asking for ill-informed show-boating.

So if this motion -- which requires a hard 120 votes -- fails today, there are two main options. One, suspend on a bill-by-bill basis. The problem with this strategy is that it promotes future ill-informed show-boating.

Billy Clyde prefers Option 2, which is a little bit wacky on the surface but makes great sense.

BC suggests that the Speaker should phone up Governor Perry and ask, in a nice and polite sorta way, to please designate House Bill 1 through House Bill 3000 as Emergency Items, thereby making the 60-day rule meaningless. Not only would this achieve the leadership's objective, it would have the added benefit of being funny. And Lord knows the Texas House needs more funny.

For whatever reasons (my slight mental retardation?), our high elected officials rarely take my advice anymore. That's fine. Just when the term "thinking outside the box" made its way into our nation's nomenclature, Billy "Thinking Outside The Box" Clyde fell out of favor. That's fine.

If the House leadership thinks my strategy is full of shit as a Christmas turkey, then so be it. But I have Anita Perry's cell number. And I'm NOT afraid of using it.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

BC,

Shake here.

You need to give us some sort of heads up when you're about to do something like creating the mental image of you and Anita Perry.

There's bound to be a law against it.

Anonymous said...

34/150 = 22.6%

Any bets on how many times that HJR gets filed??

"We protected the constitution!" From what?

When is the mainstream press going to call them on this crap? Bunch of obstructionist, selfish, self-important a$$holes, if you ask me.

Sorry to use such langage BC. Next time I'll come up with another word for crap.

Anonymous said...

Today liberal, Democrat State Representative Jim Dunnam (D-Waco) manipulated and obstructed the important pending business of the Texas House of Representatives. Dunnam led a group who voted against beginning consideration of legislation on the floor of the Texas House of Representatives for almost two months.

“Jim Dunnam is obstructing the important business of this state again. His “do nothing” partisanship and constant manipulation of the legislative process is reprehensible,” said Republican Party of Texas spokesman Hans Klingler.

The House of Representatives traditionally takes what is always a largely non-controversial vote at the beginning of each legislative session. This vote would have started the legislative process moving quicker. Today’s vote on HR4 effectively means that no legislation can be considered on the house floor until almost half the session is over. It has been twenty five years since the Texas House of Representatives was unable to muster four fifths of their membership to consider legislation on the house floor early.

“The taxpayers of this state want action on important items such as property tax relief, education funding and health care. Jim Dunnam obstructed the process when he went to Oklahoma and again today. Unfortunately, Dunnam’s “take my ball and go home” obstructionism is a victory for partisanship over leadership,” Klingler continued.

dreamer said...

anonymous,

When did anything of consequence ever happen in the first 60 days? This was simply a big, fat, sloppy razzberry for the Speaker, that's all. Besides, any group of 108 Texas representatives is going to have a helluva lot of Republicans in it, too, you know.

Billy Clyde said...

Dear Mr. Tiller:

Everyone has everyone else's cell numbers these days. It's not 1983 anymore, Big Boy.

But since you brought it up ... I think we have a very hot First Lady.

BC

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