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Democratic Voices

September 28, 2003

The Nasty Behavior of Texas Republicans

While the national media stays distracted and obsessed by the California Recall Election, a much greater political injustice is at work by the Republican Party in Texas. The Republican political establishment in Texas has decided to engage in a naked power grab by doing Congressional redistricting after the traditional redistricting period.

Traditionally, Congressional Districts are drawn after each census and before the next cycle of Congressional elections. Republicans blocked the Democrats in 2000 from passing their redistricting plan. This blocking action was effective because of the traditional “two-thirds Senate rule” for bringing legislation to the State Senate floor for a vote. This rule was suspended once Republicans were in control to push thru their plan despite public pledges to keep it. The courts were forced to draw the current Congressional District lines. The adopted plan was not as favorable to Democratic candidates as the blocked Democratic plan.

The Democrats elected 17 Congressional candidates in Texas while the Republican only elected 15 despite Republicans winning control of all the statewide offices and control of both houses of the state legislature. Basically, the Republicans ran poor candidates in the Congressional races.

It is widely speculated that Republican Majority Leader Tom Delay, Governor Rick Perry and the Bush-Cheney White House created the current controversy. They choose to use their newly gained majorities in the state legislature to achieve political aims. The citizens of Texas do not benefit.

Millions of dollars have been spent in Texas solely to advance the political power of Texas Republicans. The Texas Republicans should have to pay back to the state treasury all the money spent on the special sessions called in this Congressional rigging scam. This legislature has been in session more days than any other in Texas history at great expense to the Texas taxpayer.

The Republicans claim that the Congressional delegation should more closely represent their power in Texas despite their inferior candidates. This proportionality concern is not reflected in how the Republican plan is being handled in the Senate-House conference committee (where the Republicans hold 5 to 1 advantages in membership from each branch of the legislature). The Committee does not have to even hold open meetings or meet with the two Democratic members to approve the Republican plan.

Next we will go back to the courts.

Column written by Stephen Crockett and Al Lawrence (hosts of Democratic Talk Radio which is nationally syndicated on the ieAmerica Radio Network). You can hear them via the Internet several days a week from 2-4pm Central at You are invited to visit the Democratic Talk Radio site at They can be reached by mail at: 7A Planville Drive, Fayetteville, TN 37334. Reach DTR by phone at 931-438-1500 or 443-421-0287.

Stephen Crockett
Al Lawrence
Co-hosts: “Current Affair” News Talk Program
WEKR 1240 am radio
(931) 433-3545

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