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GHP finally says something about voter suppression

Weak.

After days of external pressure from Harris County politicians and internal calls from board members to speak out against voting bills in the Texas Legislature, the Greater Houston Partnership on Thursday evening issued a broad condemnation of efforts to restrict ballot access.

It made no mention of the legislation.

Bob Harvey, the partnership’s president, said the statement came out of a listening session Thursday morning with more than 80 board members to discuss the bills. The two main proposals, Senate Bill 7 and House Bill 6, would limit early voting hours, ban drive-thru voting, lessen restrictions on poll watchers and streamline the process to purge voters from rolls.

[…]

Harvey said 15 members spoke during the one-hour discussion, and “it remains clear there is no consensus on our board to take a formal position on the legislation itself.”

He said a clear consensus did support the new statement, which acknowledges that Texas and the United States have historically suppressed the vote of certain groups, including women, the poor, residents of color and those with disabilities. The partnership, the statement reads in part:

“Believes voter suppression is wrong and stands firmly against it in any form.

“Believes impediments to voting should be reduced to the greatest extent possible.

“Believes the right to vote is fundamental to our democracy and that all citizens should have ready and easy access to vote.”

[…]

[Mayor Sylvester] Turner and [County Judge Lina] Hidalgo said Friday the partnership’s new statement would not change their decision. The mayor said he was disappointed the House had advanced its version of SB 7 overnight.

“More than 350 of these voter restriction, suppression bills have been filed across the country, trying to fix a problem that doesn’t exist,” Turner said. “These bills were filed because a lot of people voted in the last presidential election, and specifically more people of color.”

See here, here, and here for some background, and here for the full statement. I’m trying to understand what it is that allows the GHP to (finally, at long last) make these very basic statements about the core tenets of democracy, but forbids them from connecting them in any way to the legislation that is on a glide path to Greg Abbott’s desk. What, other than a critical mass of Republican members who accept at face value the ludicrous and widely disputed claims by Republican legislators that SB7 and HB6 and the various other smaller bills won’t contradict these things they say they believe, is stopping them? Does Bob Harvey not understand why so many people are mad at the GHP for not taking a stand, or is he gritting his teeth and picturing himself in one of those “wanna get away?” Southwest Airlines ads? I have no idea. All I know is that this is the equivalent of turning in a term paper that’s two days late and that you wrote in an hour having done no research before handing it to the professor and hoping it’s enough to keep you from flunking the class.

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2 Comments

  1. Jason Hochman says:

    Everyone who cares about the environment should be FOR the voter suppression that outlaws “drive through voting.” Just what we need, more cars sitting in line blowing out deadly greenhouse gas, and fueling the greatest existential threat. Where is Greta Thunberg on this?

    Basically, if you read the Time magazine article, the way that the Democrats stole the election was that they did everything that was not explicitly and expressly prohibited by law. So now the law wants to close those loopholes. It’s kind of like the NFL in the early 1980s. They started to have Stick Um, and that helped Lester Hayes intercept more passes. After a couple of seasons, the league outlawed Stick Um.

    We don’t even know what Joe Biden believes. One day, he says that “poor voters can be as smart as White Voters,” another day, he says that the “poor voters especially in urban and rural areas (a large portion of the country, there), are too dumb to get an ID.” Which is it? And do we really want people who can’t figure out how to get an ID voting?

    The Democrats are incoherent and self contradicting.

  2. Andrew Lynch says:

    Stop forcing non-profits into partisan politics. Who’s next Baker Ripley , Preservation Houston ?