Texas Politics and Participation

Posted on: May 21, 2012

The Texas House of Representatives has been an institution of government, in its current form, for over 130 years. Our Constitution is among the longest and most restrictive in the nation. One key point to note is that the Texas Constitution does not contain a “Necessary and Proper” clause, meaning residents and government bodies only have rights that are explicitly granted in this document. No others exist in the eyes of the state. Another fun fact: in order to serve as a State Representative, you must acknowledge the existence of a “Supreme Being.” There’s a First Amendment violation if there ever was one.

As you can see, we are very different than other states and our policies and politics reflect that. For example, did you know that in 2005, Texas voted on whether or not to ban the recognition of same-sex marriage? Well, it passed. Did you know that in 1965, there was only one Republican in the entire Texas House of Representatives? Now they have a Super Majority (102:48). After viewing this video: , do you think that the votes taken on any of these bills were fair or just? I think not. Elections will be held on November 6, 2012 to replace any and all of the irresponsible parties.

Several representatives were shown blatantly breaking rules and the manner in which it was done makes it obvious that it wasn’t the first time. Representative Debbie Riddle, Texas district 150, must be the most well-known hypocrite in the history of the Texas House. “It’s all about integrity.” HA! What do YOU know of integrity? Integrity means doing the right thing, even when no one is watching. You broke the law with several people watching, while representing law-abiding, tax-paying, voting constituents. Gary Elkins of District 135, Mike Hamilton of District 19, Larry Phillips of District 62, and Donna Howard of District 48 have all been shown voting for both their constituents AND for voters in other areas of the state. Not only is that illegal, it has a significant effect on the passage of bills and the morale of educated, informed citizens.

Some people including, but not limited to, Charlie Howard, District 26, Wayne Smith, District 128, Wayne Christian, District 9 and Dan Branch of District 108 in Dallas weren’t even present to represent any of their approximately 150,000 voters! Other North Texas notables include Kelly Hancock of Tarrant County District 91, Will Hartnet of Dallas District 114 and Mark Veasey of Tarrant County District 95 ALL either illegally voted on a regular basis or didn’t show up and were voted for in absentia by another representative. This should be infuriating to those 11% – 13% of Texas voters. But if you don’t vote, your opinion doesn’t really matter. I’m not trying to be harsh, just realistic.

The only conclusion to be drawn is that in order to make a difference, you have to be informed and present. Both the illegal voting crowd and the Not-Present crowd are equally to blame, in my opinion. Too often people claim discontent with public policies while not actively participating in the solutions. That time needs to end. To hear Debbie Riddle say things like, “We work through lunch,” and “We work through bathroom breaks,” is unacceptable. In the U.S. Army, as a “public servant,” I and others have gone without MUCH more and have done so with less benefit. Save your sob story for Jesus. Voters deserve honest, responsible, diligent representatives who represent us! If you don’t want to show up then quit. If you want to break the law, turn yourself in and receive the punishment.

Either way: stop wasting everyone’s time.

William Jenkins