I've watched with a bit of a chuckle, the state representatives from Texas. The group decided that it would be a good idea to take off to Washington D.C. so that they could protest a bill in the Texas Statehouse. You know, like the spouse does who DOESN'T want to talk about "it," whatever "it" is. They'd rather run away and hide rather than come up with a good debate on the topic.
Running away is a sign that they haven't got a good argument. Of course, it could be that they don't have the votes to get their way aka they can't win the argument. Either way, they decided that they should spend their $7,200 a year salary to go to one of the most expensive places in the country, Washington D.C.
The group of legislators arrived in Washington D.C. via two chartered flights and planned to stay until the session expired on August 7 so that the state House of Representatives wouldn't have a quorum. One source said that the private charter jets cost the group more than $100,000, leaving housing, meals and transportation as the remaining costs.
The best part is that the runaways have now discovered that they need care packages. I'm guessing that someone didn't think this through. a former congressman, presidential hopeful Beto O'Rourke, and who is also considering a run for governor, raised $500,000 to pay for the group's travel and lodging. You'd think that would cover their needs, but they might need a bit more.
The 57 fugitive lawmakers vowed to stay there until the 30-day special legislative session expired, in an attempt to stop the voting bill. With selfies of the group crowded on a chartered plane, along with their case of beer, the flights were paid for by the state House Democratic Caucus, while the lawmakers have been using their own credit cards for living expenses.
Estimates have said that it's going to cost more than 1 million dollars to stay out of Texas for the group through the month that they expected to be gone. The Mexican American Legislative Caucus is also covering some of the costs.
"I am demanding all of our colleagues in DC to contact my staff immediately in order to secure their seat on the plane and return to Austin in order to do the state's business. The state of Texas is waiting," said Phelan who is a Republican, adding that his political campaign will pay for it. And the delegation no doubt laughed at that idea. Phelan also asked the lawmakers, who earn a $600-a-month salary, to return their $221 per diem for the session. I mean, that's only fair. But again, I bet they laughed.
Let's stop a moment and ponder something. The runaways are getting paid by tax payers, and a guy from the other side is volunteering to use money that people gave him to bring back the lawmakers. Just a little observation here in Iowa. I'm thinking that perhaps all of these officials are making waaay too much money from all of residents in Texas to be playing these games.
While the group is in Washington, they plan to lobby the congressional colleagues of theirs, to pass federal voting rights legislation.
Governor Abbott has now joined in. He thought it would only be fair to call another special session, which began on August 8, so that the lawmakers can return home and cast their votes. It appears that the group will all get to stay in D.C. another month, if they continue on this path. I have a feeling they might be in D.C. for a while.
I'll just sit back and pop some popcorn and watch to see how this comes out. I might have to get a large bag of it because I suspect that this could go on for a very long time.
You don't mess with Texas, and right now Governor Abbott, is Texas. So, let's see who wins. The home team or the runaway team. Then I suppose we have to define what a "win" is. At some point you'd think these people will have to come home. Whether or not they show up to work, and then actually work is another question.
So keep this in mind when you make your political donations. I honestly think if you see a candidate on TV a lot, they have too much money. Is your mailbox flooded with flyers? Too much money. But what do I know.