August 05, 2003
Dewhurst hints at legal action

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is warning that he might go to court to drag the eleven boycotting Senators back to Texas.

"I'm not going to discuss our legal options. But it's very, very clear that there are a number of things we can do to compel the attendance of the absent members," Dewhurst told news reporters in Austin.


Dewhurst, a Republican who presides over the Texas Senate, said consideration of a lawsuit is not a threat. "I'm not threatening anyone," he said.

But the lieutenant governor also said, directing his comments to the absent senators: "If you don't come back in a timely fashion we're going to be forced to look at other options, including legal options. And don't put us into that position."

I suppose that's sauce for the gander, since the Democrats have also spoken about lawsuits. I didn't care for the Dems' talk, and I don't care for Dewhurst's either. In some sense, I think the first side to sue is admitting defeat.

Speaking of admitting defeat, Gov. Perry has announced (PDF) that the state can spend that extra money it has lying around on Medicaid after all, meaning that his attempt to blame the boycotting Senators for denying these funds to those who need them was in fact a ton of malarkey. Not that this should surprise anyone.

Meanwhile, the Dems met today with the American GI Forum, while Gov. Perry denied that withholding funds to them was politically motivated.

Perry spokesman Gene Acuna said the GI Forum asked for the grant money and wanted it by June 30, but the federal government did not send the money to Texas until July 14. Acuna also said the governor's office is establishing criteria under which all the funds from this grant program will be distributed.

Acuna rejected arguments that the group was denied the money because its members opposed congressional redistricting.

"That argument might hold more water if that group was the only one affected by this decision," Acuna said. "Everyone who has applied for these federal dollars is in the same situation."

Maybe he's right, I don't know. I do know that the timing was suspicious, and whatever else you may say, there have been hard feelings engendered. The perception is that Perry screwed these guys, and he's going to have a hard time overcoming that.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 05, 2003 to Killer D's | TrackBack

I'm opposed to abortion but you know what? That's a stupid, Stupid, STUPID law. Legal abortion is the Law of the Land and the way to change that is through the Congress, not throught assinine State Legislatures running roughshod over the rulings of the Supreme Court. It's called SUPREME for a reason.

Posted by: B. K. Oxley (binkley) on August 5, 2003 7:41 PM

B.K. Oxley,

How does the Texas law contradict any Supreme Court ruling? All it says is that abortion providers cannot get taxpayer dollars in the state of Texas. What kind of libertarian are you when you believe that the right to have an abortion somehow creates a right to taxpayer funding for abortion providers? That's a total logical disconnect, man.

Well, the Supreme Court says I have a right to free speech! Why isn't the state giving me a megaphone and a podium in downtown? They're 'running roughshod over the rulings of the Supreme Court!' And I also believe I have a right to freedom of worship, so why isn't the government building me a church? This is unconstitutional!

Get the idea?

Posted by: Owen Courrèges on August 6, 2003 2:06 PM