Just a quick look at the not-much-to-say-but-we've-gotta-write-something stories about the Texas 11. Next week, as this session ends and the federal courts make some rulings in the various suits and countersuits, there'll be some real news.
Anyway. The Senators miss their families but are finding ways to cope as they get support from well-wishers and from the MoveOn fundraising effort. They met with some House Democrats to talk strategy for the next session, though nobody knows when exactly Governor Perry will call it. Lt. Gov. Dewhurst is advocating a cooling off period before another session is called, but the decision is solely up to Perry. The Dems continue to insist they're in for as long as it takes:
But [Sen. Leticia] Van de Putte of San Antonio said [the boycott is] not about making a statement.
"They don't get it. It's about protecting voting rights," she said. "We're not out here for show."
Democratic strategist Kelly Fero said the absent senators won't trust any GOP offers at this point.
"There's going to need to be some sort of legal restraint placed on the people who are running this power grab so the Texas 11 can come home and know that they are still able to represent the interests of their constituents" Fero said.
Ratliff admits he's lost influence with his Republican colleagues because he opposes redistricting.
"I'm not nearly as effective as I have been in my career," Ratliff said this week. "It's not a whole lot of fun to feel like you are out of step with the leadership and what appears to be most of my colleagues.
"Fifteen years may be long enough."
Ratliff insists his relationship with Dewhurst remains cordial. Last week Ratliff said he talked to Dewhurst about resigning.
"I wasn't after him," Ratliff said of Dewhurst. "I believed I was representing the people of Northeast Texas when I did it. My mail and phone calls have confirmed to me that I was."