April 23, 2007
It's not just a partisan dispute

As noted yesterday, the evil and pernicious voter ID bills are coming to the House floor today. And this is the treatment it gets from the Chron's Clay Robison.

Expect a big partisan fight on the House floor today if lawmakers debate, as scheduled, bills to require people to produce photo identification before voting and to submit written proof of citizenship before registering to vote.

The House approved similar legislation two years ago, but it died in the Senate. The legislation is a priority of Republicans, who contend it is a safeguard against fraudulent voting, particularly by illegal immigrants.

But Democrats argue it is designed to intimidate minority voters, who overwhelmingly cast ballots for Democratic candidates.

How pathetic is that? I don't know if Robison is being lazy or ignorant in casting this as a mere he-said/she-said partisan dispute when there's reams of factual evidence to back up the Democratic position and a big pile of bupkis to support the GOP stance. I suppose I should take comfort in the fact that these three lonely paragraphs appear at the very end of Robison's column, after the page jump, where nobody will actually see it. Utterly, truly, miserably pathetic.

Here's what these bills are about, courtesy of Royal Masset, writing in the Quorum Report:

I agree with David Dewhurst's comments that we should "ensure that we maximize the number of voters, which is all in our best interests, but that we limit our elections to American citizens. I can't imagine anyone who could be against that concept." I agree with David 100%. And if he is a man of intelligence and integrity he will not support HB 218 since it does the exact opposite of what he says he wants. HB 218 will lower voter turnout. There is no evidence on the record that non-American citizens have voted in past Texas elections in a manner that would have been stopped by HB 218.

Bills should only be passed if they solve problems or otherwise make our lives better. No testimony was given on HB 218 proving a problem exists that can be solved by requiring extra Voter ID. I have no doubt that HB 218 does not solve any problems. It will create new problems.


When voting in America is only allowed to healthy and wealthy people than the America I know is far sicker than my mother. HB 218 is a direct descendent of poll taxes, and of allowing only white male property owners to vote. In its effect it is racist, barbaric, antidemocratic and contrary to everything that made America great. My mother has sacrificed her life raising my severely handicapped sister and I and making this a better country. She and all mothers like her deserve the right to vote.

Amen. Let's watch the video again, shall we?

I join with BOR in thanking Royal Masset for writing his piece. May it have its intended effect.

UPDATE: More from BOR.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 23, 2007 to That's our Lege

How pathetic is that?

Since the Chronic lives off of ad revenue, the Chronic will print that which maximizes ad revenue.

The more you support the Chronic's business, the more they will print what you like to hear, just buy more ad space and they will listen to the guy with the money.

Many examples of this. One example: if you've watched the movie The Buddy Holly Story, you will recall that the agricultural supply retail business who sponsored The Buddy Holly Hayride pulled his sponsorship (read: revenue to the radio station) because the radio station wouldn't stop airing Buddy Holly's bop music. After a while, the d.j./owner couldn't afford to lose any more sponsors, so he told Buddy he would have to cut him off because "It's business".

Posted by: Charles Hixon on April 23, 2007 4:10 PM

I don't know if Robison is being lazy or ignorant in casting this as a mere he-said/she-said partisan dispute

I'm no fan of the bureau chief writing opinion pieces AND hard news (he should be doing one or the other), but didn't it turn into a huge fight along partisan lines on the floor today?

The characterization of the partisan divide on this legislation doesn't seem inaccurate.

Posted by: kevin whited on April 23, 2007 9:34 PM

Of course the floor was was and was always going to be partisan. My objection is to Robison's characterization of the merits of voter ID as being just a partisan he-said/she-said, when in fact the objective evidence solidly backs the Dems' position. Someone who knew nothing about this going in would come away from his column misinformed about the issue. All he had to do was add one extra sentence after that third paragraph to the effect of "only a handful of isolated incidents of fraud have been prosecuted in recent years, despite a focus on it by the Bush administration", and I'd have had no complaint.

Posted by: Charles Kuffner on April 23, 2007 10:14 PM

robison may have said that and it was edited out or he may have thought it but knew it would have been edited out - he wont fess up even if he wanted 2 - this is what makes a Chronic reporter a hired gun

Posted by: Charles Hixon on April 24, 2007 1:05 AM