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So long, Shelley

And thanks for all the speeches.

She marched into Congress determined to help cut taxes and reform immigration despite the fact that she was only serving out a lame-duck term.

But after two weeks of legislative business on Capitol Hill, Rep. Shelley Sekula-Gibbs learned what being a lame duck really means: She could give speeches but not deliver all of the goods.

The Houston Republican spent the past week – Friday was her last official day on the Hill – delivering one speech after another on the House floor.

Her soliloquies, aimed at the House television camera as the chamber was virtually deserted, could have been judged plentiful even in a place where performance art often passes for good politics.


She indeed held forth on Medicare and immigration (a subject that eluded agreement by Congress) but didn’t confine herself to the major issues of the day. Among her other topics:

  • A welcome to the first lady of Azerbaijan during her visit to Washington.
  • Giving nonprofit athletic organizations immunity from being sued.
  • Declaring the first week in April “Plan Ahead with an Advance Directive Week.”
  • Requiring abortion providers to give women the option of receiving anesthesia for the fetus.

Sekula-Gibbs started her term last month as little more than a political footnote.

I wonder when some of these gems will turn up on YouTube. I’m thinking there’s a dance remix in there somewhere. Muse has some fun with this as well.

Meanwhile, the Chron gets aboard the let’s-have-that-damned-election-to-replace-Shelley bandwagon. One thing they note is that the election must be called 62 days before May 12, which by my calculation is March 11. It’s not just a matter of getting a bill to change the existing law passed by then, which as State Sen. John Whitmire notes is a logistical challenge. It’s getting it passed with a supermajority so that it takes effect immediately upon Governor Perry’s signature, and it’s also getting Perry to sign it. That’s a really tall order in my book.

I’m still trying to figure out who might help Mayor White get his bill passed. If I had to bet at this point, I’d say Rep. Beverly Woolley, but I can’t say for sure that she’s the one. I’m going to keep calling offices and see what I can find. I know that folks in Austin read this site. If you’ve got any information that might help me with this, please send me an email to the address at the top of this site. Thanks.

Finally, one of the hopefuls to replace Shelley, David Goldberg, has a petition going asking Mayor White to reconsider his plan. He tells me he has about 50 signatures so far, and has a number of people now helping with this effort. If you want in on that, send him a note to [email protected]

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