August 22, 2003
I must be slipping
Something I totally forgot to mention in yesterday's post about the Texas 11 was a remark that Governor Perry made that was quoted in the Chron.
Gov. Rick Perry has said he will call another special session if the Democrats do not return to pass a Republican congressional redistricting plan. But he hinted Wednesday that he might not call one immediately.
"I'll call a session if they don't show up and get their work done. I don't know when exactly that might be," Perry said in Dallas, according to The Associated Press. At a later stop in Tyler, he said that a special session on school finance could be held in "April or sometime thereabouts, " the Tyler Morning Telegraph reported.
If indeed the next special session is not until April, then the Democrats have won. It doesn't matter if there's no blocker bill, or if anything else is on the agenda, or whichever of the many Salvador Dali maps gets passed. The Democrats will have won because no new map would be applicable in 2004. Period. They can then focus their resources on the inevitable Voting Rights Act lawsuit. Given that redistricting could always have been brought up again in the 2005 regular session regardless of whatever other tomfoolery had occurred, this was always the best they could hope for in the short term.
Is this what will actually happen? I kind of doubt it, and the Statesman today is saying that the next session will be called a few days after this one ends. I personally can't see any way for Perry to spin that as victory for himself and his party (which of course doesn't mean such a way doesn't exist), which makes this scenario even less likely. But we'll know soon enough. We should also have some rulings in the Democrats' lawsuits by the time this session ends, which may or may not affect the playbook.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 22, 2003 to Killer D's
A scenario that's occured to me plays along the same lines.
Perry says no more special sessions or, as in this case, no more till April or so.
The Texas 11 comes home.
Dewhurst arranges for the senators (all of them) to be shadowed.
Shortly thereafter, Perry calls a special session to start immediately, all senators are "arrested" and brought to Austin.
You can call me paranoid. Just don't call me trusting, not when Tommy Boy's involved.
I could see that happening, too. It's just barely possible that some Republican Senators (other than Ratliff) might object to that, though. But yeah, I'd be very wary if Perry announces no more special sessions this year.
Curiously enough, I just found this in some mail from MoveOn....
5. In fact, the Governor and Lt. Governor attempted to "surprise" the Senators by calling the second special one day early and "trap" them in the Senate Chamber. The Senators were able to escape the Capitol with literally minutes to spare.
Like I said, don't trust 'em.