Democracy dies in the dark.
Last night, long after the House floor session wrapped up, after protests and petitions, Briscoe Cain called up SB7 for the second time of the day. What followed was a series of amendments, each aimed at protecting the people of Texas and each shot down by the coalition of assholes who have an (R) next to their name. Despite SB7 being very different from HB6, Briscoe Cain shoved this major piece of legislation through without any public testimony through the committee. Yesterday, Cain, a staunch supporter of Trumpism, demonstrated what can only be called fascism and tyranny.
Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised because Briscoe Cain fell right in line with what SB7 aims to do, which is to keep Texans from having their vote heard in the democratic process.
You have to see these clips.
How it started.
The Election Committee of the Texas House met early Thursday morning before the House was in session. With only 10 minutes before the Representatives were supposed to be on the House floor, Briscoe Cain brought SB7 up for consideration.
Right away, the Democrats on the committee objected to hearing and voting on this bill without a public hearing.
Briscoe Cain refused to allow discussion or wouldn’t allow the Democrats on the committee to introduce amendments. Michelle Beckley responded by calling it “crap,” and Jessica Gonzalez responded by calling it “bullshit.” It was both crap and bullshit.
They ran out of time and had to go to the House floor. The House session yesterday lasted until after 7:00 pm, so it was late when they returned to the committee.
While the House was in session Democratic leadership was raising the alarm bells.
A coalition of voting rights groups held an emergency press conference. Progress Texas, Representative Busy, the Texas Civil Rights Project, Common Cause Texas, the Texas Democratic Party, the Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism, Texas Rising, the League of Women Voters, and the ACLU each spoke at this press conference.
What Briscoe Cain did in the Elections Committee yesterday appalled everyone. It was undemocratic and an ugly display of fascism and tyranny.
These groups collected a petition with over 10,000 signatures against the Jim Crow voter suppression bills, HB6 and SB7.
They then delivered them to Cain’s office.
Within minutes of delivering the petition to Cain’s office, his staff had thrown it out. MOVE Texas said it best, “When people show you who they are, believe them.”
Yesterday, Briscoe Cain said “fuck you” to Texans of color, he said “fuck you” to democracy, and he said “fuck you” to the American Constitution.
Briscoe Cain has shown us all who he is.
What happened when the Election Committee resumed?
Of course, Briscoe Cain picked back up where they left with SB7 because he doesn’t care about millions of Texans’ voting rights he’s pushing to disenfranchise. This time he was nice enough to let the Democrats introduce their amendments.
How did that go?
The Buckley amendments:
- The first amendment would have allowed for online voter registration in the state of Texas. It failed on a 5-4 vote along party lines.
- Beckley’s second amendment would have established a countywide polling place program. It failed on a 5-4 vote along party lines.
The Bucy amendments:
- His first amendment would have ensured presiding judges have the capability to remove a poll watcher from the polling location. It failed on a 5-4 vote along party lines.
- Next, Busy offered an amendment to ensure the definition of “perjury” under SB 7 matches the definition of perjury in the penal code. It failed on a 5-4 vote along party lines.
The Fierro amendments:
- Representative Fierro’s amendment ensures SB 7 addresses voter intimidation. It failed on a 5-4 vote along party lines.
- Then he offered an amendment that would have ensured the definition of “vote harvesting” in SB 7 means without the voter’s consent. It failed on a 5-4 vote along party lines.
The Gonzalez amendments:
- Representative Gonzalez’s first amendment would have required the Secretary of State to conduct a racial impact analysis on SB 7. The reason she cited for her amendment, “It’s imperative we understand as a legislature how these laws impact black and brown Texans.” It failed on a 5-4 vote along party lines.
- Next, she brought an amendment to allow Texans to apply to vote by mail online. It failed on a 5-4 vote along party lines.
- Her last amendment would have required the Attorney General to collect demographic data on investigations opened under this bill. It failed on a 5-4 vote along party lines.
So, we’re all clear on what happened with these amendments.
Both Representative Bucy and Representative Fierro tried to introduce amendments that would protect Texans from voter intimidation, and every Republican voted against it.
- Briscoe Cain does not want to protect Texans from voter intimidation.
- Travis Clardy does not want to protect Texans from voter intimidation.
- Jacey Jetton does not want to protect Texans from voter intimidation.
- Mike Schofield does not want to protect Texans from voter intimidation.
- Valoree Swanson does not want to protect Texans from voter intimidation.
Representative Gonzalez’s amendments explicitly protected voters of color from this awful and racially oppressive bill, and every Republican voted against it.
- Briscoe Cain supports racism.
- Travis Clardy supports racism.
- Jacey Jetton supports racism.
- Mike Schofield supports racism.
- Valoree Swanson supports racism.
Period. Full stop.
Vote every single one of them out. Their sole agenda in Austin is to hurt Texans.
Meanwhile, go HERE to tell your legislators to VOTE NO on the Jim Crow voter suppression bills, HB6 and SB7.
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