Tuesday, May 13, 2003

AWOL Texas Democrats to be hunted down...

Ok, I'm being a wee melodramatic. But it is true that

State troopers and the elite Texas Rangers were ordered to track down and bring in 59 Democratic lawmakers who brought the Texas House to a standstill Monday by going into hiding.
The quorum-busting boycott capped months of tension between Democrats and the newly-in-control Republicans, and occurred as the chamber was scheduled to debate a congressional redistricting plan opposed by Democrats. The parties also have clashed over a bill to limit lawsuits and a GOP budget that would avoid new taxes but make deep spending cuts.

according to the AP's Connie Mabin, as of yesterday. It turns out that they're "holed up" in a Holiday Inn in Oklahoma jus' north of the Red River.(Sorry, I couldn't resist. I've lived here since '74 and I still don't sound Texan. Anyway, I digress...)

Today they gave a press conference(I think it was in the motel's parking lot) and defiantly annonced they were staying put as long as necessary to stave off redistricting and harmful budget cuts the newly majoritarian republicans mean to enact. The republican majority leader, Bill Craddick, dubbed the missing democrats "chicken d's", which doesn't seem to be sticking, if my Google search for the term is any indication. And no, it's not really that bizarre that law enforcement is (ostensibly) involved, because Texas state law does have a provision to use law enforcement to track down missing legislators as needed, even if it dates back to a time when you might've been plausibly concerned that your colleagues had been kidnapped by indians.