Analysis by WorldTribune, July 14, 2021
Election integrity would seem to be a bi-partisan joke. Even in Texas.
“If they (Democrats) felt like walking out was representing their districts, I was not going to force them to vote on a piece of legislation that was offensive to their district.”
That’s how freshman Republican House Speaker Dade Phelan responded to questions surrounding the Texas Democrats’ latest attempt to delay passage of a voter integrity bill by flying to Washington D.C., the Corpus Christi Caller Times reports.
The voter integrity bill introduced was one of 11 policy initiatives Republican Gov. Greg Abbott outlined for a special session of the state Legislature. State Democrats effectively denied quorum by flying to Washington, leaving both houses short of the two-thirds requirement outlined in the Texas Constitution.
In an interesting twist to the story, the party of “Russian collusion” “[t]ook 3 private planes from Austin to DC paid for by Philippe Khalil Ziade, a Lebanese-American entrepreneur and founder of Las-Vegas based Growth Holdings,” Houston radio talk show host Kenny Webster tweeted.
Ziade, according to National File, “is the Honorary Consul of Lebanon in Nevada, and as such he represents a foreign nation state. If his participation in the Democrat exodus is confirmed, Republicans can use this information to help bring to justice the fugitive Democrat lawmakers.”
Foreign collusion aside, Democrats at the national level are making hay of their Texan counterparts’ theatrics.
Speaking from Philadelphia on Tuesday, President Joe Biden exclaimed: “The right to vote freely… the right to vote fairly, the right to have your vote counted. The Democratic threshold is liberty. With it, anything is possible. Without it, nothing, nothing.” Biden made no mention of any specific restriction that violated these tenets but did suggest that America is on the brink of a second civil war.
“We are facing the most significant test of our democracy since the Civil War. That’s not hyperbole — since the Civil War.”
Biden also took the initiative to comment on state and independent audits that have uncovered considerable fraud in the 2020 election. “The big lie is just that: a big lie.”
The lack of any real substance to Biden’s statements doesn’t change the fact that Republicans with a majority in both legislative houses failed their conservative voters in Texas.
Incumbent Gov. Abbott on July 12 vowed that the Democrat officeholders will be arrested the moment they return to the Lone Star State.
“Once they step back into the state they will be arrested and brought back to the Capitol and we will be conducting business,” Abbott told Fox News host Laura Ingraham.
“Isn’t this the most un-Texan thing you’ve ever heard — Texans running from a fight? They’re quitters,” Abbott said.
Members of the Texas state House on Tuesday voted 76-4 to deploy law enforcement to locate and bring the disappeared Democrats back to Texas.
“Under House rules, absent members can now be ‘sent for and arrested’ and their attendance be ‘secured and retained’ by the sergeant-at-arms or any appointee, typically state troopers from the Texas Department of Public Safety,” The Houston Chronicle observed.
“The officers do not have jurisdiction outside of Texas, however, meaning Democrats who have left could not be arrested until they return to the state.”
Conservative commentator Chad Prather’s gubernatorial campaign ridiculed Texas Republicans for being weak and ineffectual.
“The same people who refused to force quorum also scheduled bills restricting gender modifications on minors at a time when the leadership knew they wouldn’t be heard. They had the benefit of saying they wrote the legislation, but could tell their Silicon Valley partners it would not pass. If self-styled conservatives won’t even conserve something as sacred as gender, what use are they?”
As the campaign for Texas governor heats up, Greg Abbott will have to defend his record from these and other perceived policy failures to a discontented voter base that continues to grow.