Texas Democrats try to suppress voter ID
House members learned the hard way Tuesday that red ties and butterflies may be free, but killing a voter ID bill is expensive.
A grueling, all-day talkathon by Democrats wandered from a monarch butterfly watch program at state parks to the size of Amarillo's convention center. There were frequent quips about the red ties most in the chamber – male and female – were wearing.
Jacksonville Democratic Rep. Chuck Hopson handed them out. Red ties are his sartorial trademark and the gifts were "an expression of solidarity with all the members," a Hopson aide explained.
But as Day Five dawned on Democrats' attempt to talk to death a bill to force voters to present more identification at the polls, goofiness and good feelings quickly dissipated.
House GOP caucus leader Larry Taylor of Friendswood said Democrats now have proved they can't work with either Straus or his more controlling predecessor, former Speaker Tom Craddick, R-Midland.
Taylor said neither Straus nor Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, the Senate's presiding officer, could stave off a groundswell of support for voter ID requirements.
"Statewide, across party lines, across races, 70 percent of the people support having a photo ID at the polling place," Taylor said. "They would like to have us do that to protect the integrity of elections."
The Democrat argument against the bill is at best circular and at worst incoherent. If they were really concerned about IDs being a problem they could secure them at the same time they register people to vote. It just is not that hard to get a valid ID. But, it would inhibit groups like ACORN that ahve become notorious for fraudulent registrations.
Perhaps that is what all this stalling is about. Democrats may be running a protection racket for ACORN's abuse of the law.
If Taylor is right, and I suspect he is, 70 percent of voters will have a reason to vote against Democrats next year.