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  1. #1
    Senior Member FedUpinFarmersBranch's Avatar
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    Texas senate suspends blocker rule for voter ID vote

    The blocker rule in Texas has been suspended to allow the senate to consider a bill on an ID at the polls , this is very good news .


    I received this email today

    SUCCESS! BLOCKER BILL SUSPENDED TO

    CONSIDER VOTER IDENTIFICATION MEASURE



    January 15, 2009

    What a difference can be made when we unite our message and efforts!

    Yesterday evening, Republicans in the Texas Senate made a historic vote to suspend the Blocker Rule two-thirds provision, allowing the Senate to consider a bill requiring voters to show a photo ID at the polls. Although the Blocker Rule has not been permanently changed to require only a 3/5th's majority on all votes, this vote is a tremendous victory for our conservative legislators.

    It was exactly two years ago when Sen. Dan Patrick cast the lone vote in favor of ending the Blocker Rule. Yesterday evening, the hard work of Conservative Republicans of Texas, and many other grassroots activists encouraged 18 Republican Senators to stand firm for conservative principles as they voted to suspend this archaic practice. With this vote, our Senators enacted the precedent to end years of disenfranchisement at the hands of the minority. As Sen. Tommy Williams eloquently summarized, "Every member of the body is empowered to have their point of view expressed on this very important issue."

    This victory illustrates the power of a politically involved and informed conservative grassroots. During debate, Sen. Williams had an important confirmation saying, "This was not something driven by leadership. Quite the contrary." Although we have not achieved our ultimate goal of changing the Blocker Rule requirement to a 3/5th majority on all votes, this represents a very important step towards that goal.

    We could not have achieved this result without your involvement. I have heard from many Senators reporting back to me on the number of emails and phone calls they received from you on this debate. I thank you for rising to the call, and for making your voices heard.

    The battle continues on! Many more important votes and bills will be facing our Legislature over these 140 days, and I pray that our efforts will be equally effective.

    Thanking you for your commitment to liberty, I remain, as always,

    Sincerely yours,

    Steven F. Hotze, M.D.
    President, Conservative Republicans of Texas


    Steven F. Hotze, MD
    President
    Conservative Republicans of Texas
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  2. #2
    Senior Member FedUpinFarmersBranch's Avatar
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    Republicans' move to avoid Texas Senate rule upsets chamber'

    Republicans' move to avoid Texas Senate rule upsets chamber's dynamics

    07:58 AM CST on Friday, January 16, 2009
    By TERRENCE STUTZ / The Dallas Morning News
    tstutz@dallasnews.com

    AUSTIN – Was it worth it?

    Senate GOP leaders may not have an answer to that question until the end of the legislative session, but it's clear their raw exercise of power this week to ensure passage of a new voter ID law – an issue close to the hearts of Republicans – has upset the dynamics in the usually staid chamber.

    Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and other Republican leaders predicted that cooperation between the two parties would be quickly restored. But Democrats said their scars will probably stretch even into the 2011 session, when another politically charged issue comes into play: redrawing of House and Senate districts.

    Democrats predicted that the Republican majority will again be tempted to set aside a long-standing Senate rule, that at least two-thirds of the members concur before any legislation can be taken up.

    That's what happened Wednesday when the GOP majority – after heated debate with Democrats – exempted itself from the Senate rule to assure passage of a bill that would require Texans to show a photo ID before being allowed to vote. The bill has been killed in the past by Democrats relying on the Senate's two-thirds rule.

    "When you can't win fairly, you manipulate the rules," said Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, a San Antonio Democrat who leads the Senate Democratic Caucus.

    "We have poisoned the well and set a tone ... that will do harm to our deliberations for the rest of the session – and for what?" she asked, referring to the belief of many lawmakers that a voter ID bill won't pass this year in the more evenly divided House.

    The Republican who devised the maneuver, Sen. Tommy Williams of The Woodlands, played down the long-term effects of the hardball play.

    Williams also denied Democratic complaints that he was acting at the behest of the Texas Republican Party and GOP activists.

    "I have been under absolutely no pressure whatsoever from any Republican group to do this," said Williams, who easily won his primary contest last year.

    The senator said he decided to bypass his Democratic colleagues because he saw no other way to get the proposal through.

    "They said there was nothing we could do to make a voter ID bill acceptable to them," he said.

    Williams and most Republicans contend that the voter ID law is needed to prevent fraud, while Democrats counter that it would discourage voting by senior citizens and minorities who tend to vote Democratic. Further, Democrats say, there is little evidence of illegal voting in Texas.

    Approval of the voter ID bill could be a boost for Dewhurst, who fought hard for its passage two years ago. Dewhurst is expected to either run for re-election or seek Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison's U.S. Senate seat if she resigns to run for governor.

    Dewhurst insisted that he had nothing to do with the Senate GOP initiative.

    "I've been very, very careful to stay out of this process," he said. "These are the senators' rules, and I did not want to get involved."




    http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent ... f8f14.html
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  3. #3
    Senior Member FedUpinFarmersBranch's Avatar
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    Williams’ proposal gives GOP more power

    Williams’ proposal gives GOP more power



    State Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, signals his “aye
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  4. #4
    Senior Member FedUpinFarmersBranch's Avatar
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    Perry favors voter-ID proposals

    Posted on Thu, Jan. 15, 2009
    Perry favors voter-ID proposals
    By DAVE MONTGOMERYdmontgomery@star-telegram.com



    AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday threw his support behind efforts by Republican lawmakers to require voters to show photo identification at the polls.

    In an interview with the Star-Telegram, the Republican state chief executive endorsed the proposal as a safeguard against voter fraud, saying that requiring someone to show a picture ID to vote "is not asking too much."

    Voter ID legislation has emerged as one of the early hot-button issues of the 3-day-old 2009 legislative session, spawning a partisan confrontation between Republicans pushing the measure and Democrats hoping to stop it.

    The Republican-controlled Senate on Wednesday voted 18-13 to suspend the so-called two-thirds rule to allow an eventual vote on the voter ID bill.

    The bill was unlikely to come up under the Senate's traditional rules, which require that two-thirds of its members — 21 senators — must agree to hear a bill before it can be put to a vote.

    With 19 Republicans in the Senate, the GOP is two senators short of addressing any issue in which at least 11 of the 12 Democratic senators are united in opposition.

    Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, led a Republican measure to lower the threshold to 19 senators — three-fifths of the body — solely for voter-ID legislation. He noted that the rule has been suspended before, though rarely.

    Republicans say that toughening protections against voter fraud is a top priority of their constituents, but Democrats have long opposed voter-ID measures, arguing that they disenfranchise minorities and the elderly, who are less likely to have photo identification.

    Perry said he would want to look at specific legislation before promising to sign a Voter ID bill. But, he added, "if it is a clean requirement that a voter shows a picture ID prior to voting in a local, state or federal election, I would suggest to you that I'm very supportive of that concept."

    Stafhttp://www.star-telegram.com/legisl ... 5741.htmlf Writer Aman Batheja contributed to this story.
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