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mburbank mburbank is offline
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Old May 13th, 2003, 05:31 PM        saddle up! Democracy TEXAS style!
Texas House paralyzed by Democratic walkout
Redistricting at issue


AUSTIN, Texas (CNN) -- The Texas House was back in session Tuesday, but it remained paralyzed by a Democratic walkout that prompted state officials to post a political version of the Amber Alert.

More than 50 House Democrats were holed up in a motel across the state line in Ardmore, Oklahoma, out of reach of state police, whom the House's Republican majority has ordered to bring them back to Austin. The Democrats are hoping to thwart what they call an "undemocratic, unjust, and unprecedented" GOP redistricting plan that could cost them five seats in Congress.

Under House rules, the reapportionment plan would have to be brought to a vote by Thursday in order to pass this session. Republicans hold 88 seats in the 150-member House, 12 short of the two-thirds needed for a quorum.

The Texas Department of Public Safety posted a bulletin Monday on its Web site -- the same one used to alert citizens to missing children and wanted criminals -- asking for help in locating 53 Democrats "who have disappeared."

Bob Richter, a spokesman for House Speaker Tom Craddick, said four of the chamber's 62 Democrats attended Monday's session. At least two more have shown up at the Capitol since then, and a third was expected later Tuesday.

"We think we're up around 97 members. We need 100 to have a quorum," Richter said.

Craddick said House would "stand at ease" Tuesday. Unlike Monday, he said he would not require members to remain in the House chamber, but Richter said lawmakers are being asked to remain around the state Capitol.

"The important thing is that they don't drive off to the hill country and have a picnic," he said. "If we're going to get a quorum, we want to get back to work right away."

'Cowardly and childish'
Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick says the House will "stand at ease" Tuesday.

Republican Gov. Rick Perry called the walkout "cowardly and childish," and Craddick said the walkout will make a special session to pass a state budget likely.

"These members were elected to do a job. Hiding out in another state, evading DPS and the Texas Rangers, jeopardizing vital programs and standing up constituents who come to call is inexcusable," Craddick said in a Monday statement. "These 53 Democrats need to get back to Austin and get to work."

But Democrats said called the GOP-drawn redistricting plan "an outrageous partisan power grab."

The Texas Legislature failed to passed a new district map after the 2000 census, so a federal court ordered a reapportionment plan in 2001.

Under that plan, Democrats won 17 congressional seats and the GOP 15 in the November elections. But Republicans also took control of the state House for the first time since Reconstruction and proceeded to reopen the redistricting debate.

"We do redistricting every 10 years, not whenever those in power demand it," they said in a statement issued Monday.

Political observers say the plan before the House could mean a shift of up to five seats to the Republicans, giving them a 20-12 edge over Democrats in the Texas congressional delegation.

DeLay's role

Democrats want to keep the court plan in place until the 2010 census. They said the GOP plan is being rammed through the Legislature by national Republicans, led by Texas congressman Tom DeLay -- the U.S. House majority leader.

Texas Democratic Party chairwoman Molly Beth Malcolm called the rebelling Democrats "heroes."

"Wherever they may be, they should know that Texas Democrats are rock solid in support of them," Malcolm said in a statement issued Monday. "They will triumph in the end."
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Protoclown Protoclown is offline
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Old May 13th, 2003, 07:25 PM       
I don't know about anybody else, but I personally found this to be absolutely hilarious.
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Old May 13th, 2003, 07:34 PM       
I laughed for a good 20 minutes when I read it this morning on cnn.

Wacky democrats.
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Old May 13th, 2003, 10:23 PM       
Were it not for all the cattle, I'd declare Texas completely worthless.
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ItalianStereotype ItalianStereotype is offline
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Old May 13th, 2003, 10:25 PM       
since massachussets is absolutely VITAL to the continuation of our country.
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Old May 13th, 2003, 10:44 PM       
Comparatively, absolutely!
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ItalianStereotype ItalianStereotype is offline
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Old May 13th, 2003, 10:48 PM       
oh...well, how can I possibly contend with that?
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mburbank mburbank is offline
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Old May 14th, 2003, 11:08 AM       
I like the whole story 'cause is so damn BIG, like TEXAS TOAST! The republican wants to redistrict one year after the last redistricting 'cause they figure they can't be stopped, which is incredably in your face. The Democrats are like some cowboys the railroad are trying to push off their land and they ain't gonna stand for it! But the railroads got the TEXAS RANGERS so the Democrats gotta go on the lam and whole up in Oklahoma! If this don't end in a shoot 'em up, I'm gonna be mighty dissapointed.

As for Massachusetts, Don't count us out. when I was a teenager, A massachusetts man won the NH state lottery. NH wouldn't pay out because they were Mad at Massachusetts for taking liscence plate numbers of Mass vehicles buying liquor at NH state liquor stores to avoid paying liquor taxes. Mass demmanded NH pay the lottery winner his winnings, NH wouldn't, so Mass sent state marshalls across the line to basically hold up a NH state liquor store. Only when state marshalls pulled their weapoins on the NH state liquor store employees was deal worked out.
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VinceZeb VinceZeb is offline
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Old May 14th, 2003, 11:35 AM       
Nothing like wasting Texas tax money....
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mburbank mburbank is offline
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Old May 14th, 2003, 12:11 PM       
Absolutely. The overtime the texas rangers are getting when the only reason to use them is for headlines. Using the Amber Alert system, which if for KIDNAPPED CHILDREN to get headlines.

God, I hope the holed up emocrats are paying their own hotel bills.
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Old May 14th, 2003, 01:29 PM       
This has Steve Martin film written all over it...
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Old May 14th, 2003, 02:11 PM       
Does the article say if the re-appointment plan would have been the same as the district plan that they should have been able to draw up after the census. Why weren't they able to make that plan in a timely manner? Were the democrats just dragging their heals because they knew the new redistricting would come out the way it eventually did after the re-appointment? I really don't feel any sympathy for them. Part of the purpose of the census is to make sure that, during population shifts and growths, districts are redistributed and everyone is equally represented. Too bad if you don't like the results.
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El Blanco El Blanco is offline
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Old May 14th, 2003, 02:21 PM       
HA! We are gonna lose this vote so we are taking our ball and going home!

I would pity Texans, but they elected the dopes.

But, seriously, Oklahoma should have stayed out of this. The Supreme Court is gonna get involved and that only spells trouble for everybody involved.
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Old May 14th, 2003, 03:09 PM       
Oklahoma isn't in it. What are they gonna do, bar them entry to the state.

I agree with Kelly, the article doesn't answer the major questions it raises. Why? Crap journalism. The story is funny (to non texans) so they emphasize the ridiculous.

Based on the information so far, you can't really draw a judgement beyond the obvious: It should NEVER have gotten this far.
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El Blanco El Blanco is offline
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Old May 14th, 2003, 03:24 PM       
I still can't get rid of the image of Texas Rangers on horseback roping and hog tying the runaway politcos.
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Old May 14th, 2003, 03:30 PM       
I know, it's the whole extended Western metaphor I find most hillarious about this.
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Old May 14th, 2003, 06:19 PM       
Shoot Out at the Motel 6!
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KevinTheOmnivore KevinTheOmnivore is offline
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Old May 14th, 2003, 06:22 PM       
This would make for a great episode of "Walker: Texas Ranger."

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El Blanco El Blanco is offline
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Old May 14th, 2003, 09:17 PM       
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinTheHerbivore
This would make for a great episode of "Walker: Texas Ranger."

That would be a first.

I wonder if Rick Perry is strapping on a six shooter and saddling an Apaloosa to go rustle them some varmints?
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mburbank mburbank is offline
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Old May 16th, 2003, 10:53 AM       
The dems are on their way home, having defeated redistricting. Redistricting is supposed to happen every ten years, and was done just two years ago, hence the objection.

Here's a new twist, though. Turns out the Department of Homeland Security had a role in locating the missing Democrats. That sounds like a rather odd use of Homeland Security personell and funds. I was unaware they were at teh beck and call of the Republican Texas State Legislature.
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mburbank mburbank is offline
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Old May 19th, 2003, 11:24 AM       
BUMP! FEDERAL TAX DOLLARS FUND HOMELAND SECURITY! YOUR MONEY THAT BELONGS TO YOU WAS SPENT LOCATING TEXAS LEGISLATORS!

But why would you care? It's not as if that money was spent on something really wasteful. like education benefits for veterans kids.
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El Blanco El Blanco is offline
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Old May 19th, 2003, 02:44 PM       
Homeland Security was involved because thats the agency that gets other law enforcement agencies to communicate.

Seriously, Max, you want a list of the crap we spend money on?
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mburbank mburbank is offline
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Old May 19th, 2003, 02:54 PM       
No, the watsed money aspect was a dig at Vince and Ronny.

But, with all respect, that's not even remotely how I read Homeland Securties involvement. They were asked to locate a missing plane. They were deliberately misslead, (becuase they wouldn't have had anything to do with the request if they'd known what it was for) and I'd like to know who's idea it was to use Homeland Security to track down the missing dems.

If it's some over eager staffer, they should get ass canned. If it was Tom Delay, I think the taxpayers have a right to know he thought this was an appropriatte use of the department.
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Old May 22nd, 2003, 01:00 PM       
Say, now it turns out the Texas State police have destroyed documents relating to their contact with the Department of Homeland Security.

Why do you suppose they'd do something like that.
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El Blanco El Blanco is offline
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Old May 22nd, 2003, 01:37 PM       
They learned how to file from Hillary Clinton?
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