Elections Chair Todd Smith Flip-Flops Again on Voter Suppression Legislation

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Republican Todd Smith has signaled he is ready to bring forward out of the Elections Committee Voter Suppression legislation that although watered down when compared to the Texas senate version, and so far has received a cold response from Republican House colleagues, that ultimately when push comes to shove Smith would support a tough Indiana-style Voter Suppression bill that his GOP pals want:

Smith said he is prepared to fight for his plan but added that if the choice is between an Indiana-style photo ID bill or nothing at all, he would vote for a photo ID bill.

“The reason I take that position,” he said, “is it's very clear that my constituents want something done on the security side of elections.”

Republican Smith continues to demonstrate it is more important that he carry the partisan pale for the Texas GOP versus supporting and passing sensible legislation to combat escalating utility costs and rising insurance rates–legislation that would have a positive impact in the lives of everyday Texans, particularly for constituents in House District 92.  First, Todd you are out of touch with the needs of the constituents of House District 92 because large numbers of us have told you time and again, despite your cloaked efforts to hold Town Hall meetings and avoid public feedback, that we want something done with our out of control utility bills and escalating insurance rates, or in my case make higher education affordable again, and to leave our right to vote alone.  

Second, you flip-flopped on your original position of not supporting an Indiana-style Voter Suppression bill, one that is far more stringent than your version, by saying to the Star-Telegram back in March, “I don't think there is any chance we'll be proposing the Indiana law on the House floor.”

So what has changed, Todd?  First you tried to play good-guy and craft legislation you felt would have bi-partisan support, despite clear opposition from a large swath of Texans, and suddenly now you indicate that if your Republican colleagues toss your Voter Suppression bill aside for a much tougher Indiana-style version that you would vote for it.  You have bogged down the Elections committee to play “good-guy Todd Smith” only to demonstrate you don't mind being a bad-guy in the end.  Have we reverted back to the Todd Smith of 2007 who votes for legislation like Voter Suppression because you are “Republican?”  I hereby nominate Todd Smith for the Profiles in Pathetic Legislating award.      

Todd, you killed your own legislation before you even got it out of committee.  You said, “here's my version, but I'll vote for yours if you want me to.”  That's just pathetic, just plain pathetic.  Not only does House District 92 have an out of touch Republican who doesn't listen to his constituents, but we now have a spineless legislator who signals defeat and retreat before the debate even begins.  What middle ground you claimed you could sew on this debate has given way to your retreat back into the partisan fold.  If you are as principled and determined as you claim to be regarding moving something bi-partisan to the floor, something that you claim you have labored to find middle-ground on, then stand up and fight for the legislation you crafted.  Defeat and retreat signals to House District 92 that you have wasted not only our time, but also the time of everyday Texans as well with a bi-partisan façade you never intended to uphold on a phantom issue such as voter fraud that doesn't even exist.                

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