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Newsmonger: Regular Session Round-up

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Amongst the nuttiest nattering came courtesy of a newbie state senator from our neck of the woods. Texas Tribune readers have already voted her the 83rd Lege’s worst legislator. Our neighbors to the north at the Austin Chronicle called her “Just Straight-Up, Tea Partying, Bats**t CRAZY.” We suspect when Texas Monthly editors come out with their biennial legislator list, State Sen. Donna Campbell will populate a spot somewhere near the top of the magazine’s “Worst” category.

This session, we got exactly what we should have expected from the freshman senator from New Braunfels, who told the E-N before the start of the session she hoped to be the “cavalry” for the “most conservative Senate in Texas history,” and, in a preview to the ultimately unsuccessful anti-abortion measures she championed this session, said, “There was only one baby ever created for the purpose of dying, and that was Jesus.”

The most conservative Senate in Texas history the 83rd was most definitely not. But Campbell carried the culture-war torch all the same. She helped wage the bizarre witch-hunt against CSCOPE, the curriculum management program that fielded Tea Party-driven charges that it sough to proselytize Marxism, socialism, and pro-Muslim, anti-Christian anti-Americanism to Texas students. In brain-wrinkling fashion, she later questioned why we don’t teach creationism in public schools during the nomination hearing of State Board of Education chair Barbara Cargill. (Answer: because the federal courts ruled long ago that public schools can’t teach creationism, or so-called Intelligent Design.)

Even her right-to-life kin grew weary of a resolution Campbell filed that would have let voters decide whether to amend the Texas Constitution to declare that “government may not substantially burden a person’s or religious organization’s Freedom of Religion.” While some argued its redundancy, Joe Pojman with Texas Right to Life worried that the bill’s language was so expansive that it could have made abortion “a religious right.” Good one, Dr. Campbell, and bless your heart for keeping things interesting.

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