Speculation on SB 5 Timestamp Change Continues; Was It A Felony?

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Questions remain unanswered in reference to the mysterious time change that occurred with the failure of Senate Bill 5 Tuesday night.

As Senate Democrats insisted that the vote was invalid, the internet helped verify the speculation as thousands tuned into the activity on the Senate floor.

There is plenty of evidence that showed the time change was intentional. Those following the vote on Texas Legislature Online took screen captures to show that the votes were taken after midnight, on June 26. Moments after, several people reported being unable to access the webpage. When refreshed, the website reported having been taken place before midnight on June 25.

This, and the picture above of Senator Juan Chuy Hinojosa comparing the changes made sent out Tuesday night, solidified the GOP's efforts to turn back time.

Read more below the jump about the action. Was it a crime?Senator Wendy Davis said on Anderson Cooper 360 that “I know it [the time change]was done intentionally based on a conversation that one of my Senate colleagues had with the office that actually puts that online or makes that information available. And he was told by them when he asked why it was changed that they were instructed to do it.”

Senator Leticia Van de Putte has also called for an investigation to be done:

“I think there will be an investigation. You can't try to change a government document. The length they were willing to go to to break Senate rules – tampering with a government document? That's a felony.

She's right on point. Definitely a felony.

State leadership seems to think that they can let this blow over. All that has been released is this statement from the Texas Legislative Reference Library released this statement:

“Actions taken by either house on a bill are entered and updated in the Texas Legislature Online system (TLO) manually by Legislative Reference Library (LRL) staff, and for that reason there is a delay between the time the action takes place and the time the action is entered into TLO.  TLO is not the official record of those actions, and LRL enters actions on TLO as a public service independently of the officers of the house or senate.  

The LRL strives to ensure the information in TLO is timely and accurate, and as part of our normal business process, the LRL ultimately verifies actions posted in TLO against the official journals of the senate and house.  TLO actions should be considered preliminary until verified against official senate and house records. When the senate took its final actions on SB 5, the LRL floor staff was unable to hear the motions made or the result of votes taken.  After midnight the LRL floor staff confirmed that a vote was taken on the motion to concur in house amendments and that the motion prevailed. The system used to enter actions for TLO defaults to the current date, so when the concurrence action was initially entered, the system automatically entered 06/26/13.

In reviewing the actions initially entered by LRL staff, and based on our best understanding at that time that a vote was taken on the motion to concur, we modified the date of the action to 06/25/13. During or after the senate's deliberations on SB5, LRL did not enter or alter any information on TLO at the direction of any senate officer or member.

After confirming the date of the final vote on SB5 to have been 06/25/2013, the LRL has now corrected the entry on TLO to reflect the official record.”

State Representative Dawnna Dukes said this about the LRL statement on Facebook:

“The false explanation purported by Legislative Reference Library leads me to question whether the 4th of July really occurred on the 4th or was it the 5th of July or even the 3rd. Real-time data captured by the world over the Internet confirms the vote was after midnight. As well, it was after midnight on a parliamentary procedure and not move to concur in House amendments. By their explanation they allege that the Internet and speed of sound in the chamber all run 3 minutes behind reality. People, keep your eye on the injustice to democracy being established by this uncharted precedence. This a an example of why the US Supreme Courts ruling on the Voting Rights Act was the wrong decision. It emboldens coward and bullies to manipulate systems of transparency without fear of repercussion. They must truly believe we are all illiterate to democracy, freedom and justice.”

What time has to say to David Dewhurst

What can we take from this? David Dewhurst and his cronies think all they have to do is make the LRL send a brief statement and that it'll blow over.

The pressure should continue, especially as we move into the second special session. The Texas GOP has broken enough rules. This could actually be an instance they could truly be reprimanded legally.


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