Republican Speaker Joe Strauss continues to show that he picked the right puppet to spearhead the Texas GOP's efforts to disenfranchise elderly, veteran, minority, and low-income Texans from voting. Todd Smith, the flip-flopping legislator who Chairs the Elections Committee, is set to push his Party's highly partisan voter suppression legislation in 2011 should Republicans control the House in 2011.
From the Texas Tribune:
“It may not receive attention in the press because of competition from other issues, but in terms of the extent of the contention on the issue itself among the parties or the members, I don't see it as being dramatically different,” Smith said.
Oh Smith, things are drastically different this cycle. The fact that Texas is in an $18 billion dollar budget hole, with no Federal stimulus dollars set to bail you out this time, you and Rick Perry have a lot more pressing issues and policies to address than highly partisan legislation meant to address phantom issues fabricated to increase and prolong the GOP majority in Texas.
I could see a number of things the legislature could address that is far more important than political power grabs.
Let's start with the budget, shall we? How do you plan to address the CONSERVATIVE estimates of an $18 billion dollar shortfall in our fiscal state budget?
- Novel idea for you and Joe Strauss. How about convincing Rick Perry to dump $9,999 in taxpayer funded rent for his mansion, his personal chef's (yes plural), and wine magazines for a quaint $1 a month home? That's just for starters.
- How about addressing the fact that Texans pay some of the highest utility costs in the nation?
- How about addressing the fact that Texans pay some of the highest insurances rates in the nation?
Texas Republicans continue and demonstrate that their legislative priorities are nowhere near the priorities of mainstream Texans.