Trending
MOST READ
4 Downtown Dive Bars to Embarrass Yourself In

4 Downtown Dive Bars to Embarrass Yourself In

City Guide 2014: In the last few years, San Antonio has made great strides when it comes to its mixology doings. Many good (and some great!) cocktail bars have been springing... By Tim Hennessey 2/24/2014
Best Guacamole

Best Guacamole

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Best Happy Hour

Best Happy Hour

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
SA’s Shadiest (in a good way) Parks

SA’s Shadiest (in a good way) Parks

City Guide 2014: For anyone in charge of a child or two, knowing where to find the nearest playground is information as essential as the numbers for poison control and your pediatrician... By Joy-Marie Scott 2/24/2014
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

News

GOP Rule-Wrangling During Davis Filibuster Draws Fire

Photo: Photos by Mary Tuma, License: N/A

Photos by Mary Tuma

The “unruly mob” watched as GOP lawmakers defeated decorum in their own way.

Photo: Thousands of pro-choice supporters have swarmed the Capitol for both special sessions., License: N/A

Thousands of pro-choice supporters have swarmed the Capitol for both special sessions.


Kronberg, who described the scene as “combative,” considers the last point-of-order sustained a “terrible” decision, as well as in “defiance of precedent and rules.”

The confusion on the Senate floor that evening culminated before midnight, when State Sen. Kirk Watson (D-Austin) offered a challenge to the ruling in defense of Davis. In a series of questionable procedural calls by Republican legislators, Watson’s objection was effectively trampled over and, in the end, a vote to end the filibuster was considered the same as a vote to decide if the last straw point-of-order was valid — which, under no circumstances, is equivalent, said Kronberg.

“That’s when the crowd knew the game had just been fixed, the rulebook was gone, and we were now in uncharted territory in terms of Senate procedure,” said the political insider. “The end of the session was 15 minutes away and they realized they could drown out the Chair.”

Inaudible to the public, a vote was cast amid the noise, an overlap of procedural rules and an unresolved challenge. Just when things couldn’t get messier, the rulebook, now completely discarded, was set on fire by Senate Republicans who argued the vote had taken place before midnight, the deadline for it to count. Democrats — many of who weren’t even certain what they were voting for in the midst of the confusion — countered, alleging someone altered the record vote to make it appear valid.

While the final determination allowed the bill to die for now, the ethical question remains in limbo and a possible investigation may arise as a result. Greg Cox, director of the Public Integrity Unit — a division of the Travis County DA’s office that looks into public corruption — says his office has received dozens of complaints and the case is currently under review. A formal decision on whether an investigation should begin could take days or weeks.

In the meantime, the gray area doesn’t bode well for the GOP who are being seen as disorganized, working haphazardly, and weakened by competing political leadership. That means there’s more for them to prove during the second special session.

“The lack of unified strategy among Republican leadership made it difficult to manage the process and put the Senate in a position where they had to push and manipulate the rules,” says Jim Henson, director of the Texas Politics Project at The University of Texas at Austin. “Some members of the majority went in with the strategy of testing the bounds of the body’s common understanding of those traditional rules. My own impression is that in the end, that didn’t work too well for them.”

So now Republicans are dealing with a whole other layer in the political fight, said Henson. In addition to getting the bill itself passed they’re also going to be “focused on reversing the perception of chaos and public failure.”

But public interest groups and the thousands of citizens that ventured to the Capitol in the past few weeks to protest the anti-abortion bills have taken notice of the departure from regular procedure. One organization in particular has identified specific infractions. Progress Texas will announce their allegations later this week.

Recently in News
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus