Are you ready for a zany drama with gratuitous blood-letting, quirky characters and a murderous, secret cult? No, no, I'm not talking about the final 21 days of the 80th Legislature. My spouse and I made it to the movies this weekend armed with nothing more than a recommendation from that particularly unreliable demographic focus group: Males, aged 16 to 22. We saw "Hot Fuzz," which did indeed make us laugh, and allowed me two hours of respite from real-life mayhem.
Only later did a parallel theme to the Legislature occur to me: Nothing is an accident. In "Hot Fuzz," an overzealous London cop is reassigned to a deceptively placid country town, where the townsfolk like to brag about their low crime rate. Meanwhile, a disturbing number of citizens wind up dead from gruesome circumstances (decapitation by falling church spire, severed jugular from falling on gardening sheers, etc., etc.) which the inept local police force attributes to accident. Bad luck? Our London hero doesn't think so.
So that got me to thinking...Hmmm...why exactly is it taking so long for the governor's office to accept the big transportation bill? Was it an accident that the house clerk's office discovered an "error" that required the bill to return to the Senate for a fix that cost 24 hours? Was it an accident that governor's office was bolted shut and not available to take the bill late Friday, or over the weekend? I don't think so.
More likely, Rick Perry's office is seeking ways to put off a veto and the dramatic override fight that surely will follow.
Another interesting plot twist: There is the evidence that Perry's office was behind Robert Duncan's amendment that barred county commissioners from accepting campaign contributions from road-builders. You'll recall that Tommy Williams objected on the grounds of germaneness, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst agreed and Duncan appealed the ruling of the chair.
I have since learned that although the House version did have a similar ban, Duncan's went much further, creating a Class A misdemeanor. That would have opened the bill up to a potential point of order on the House floor. Not to mention that county officials might have pulled their support from the bill.
Recently, a Very Credible Source confirmed that the amendment originated in Perry's office. Am I just in a conspiratorial mindset? I don't think so. There are no accidents in the last month of a legislative session.
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