After Governor Perry blamed Senator Robert Duncan, R-Lubbock, for the failure of the sanctuary cities bill, the Senate Republican caucus issued a statement of solidarity dated June 28 (yesterday). The text of the statement follows:
On Saturday, June 25, the Senate Republican Caucus convened to discuss the issue of possibly merging sanctuary cities issues into S.B. 1. After a lengthy discussion of the issues, the caucus encouraged Senator Duncan and the Republican Senate conferees on S.B. 1 to keep the issues separate, as combining them would put them both at risk of not passing. S.B. 9 was a strong bill that would have delivered significant reform to Texas citizens. Senate Republicans unanimously supported and passed S.B. 9 nearly two weeks ago on the Senate floor.
* * * *
And so, at the very end, somebody stood up to the governor. Perry was unwise to push for sanctuary cities. It ran into problems during the regular session and there was substantial opposition to it in the
Senate, including Perry allies. House members, ever groveling to the Tea partiers, wanted the bill so they could have an immigration vote in their quiver, even though they got one during the regular session.
Could the fate of sanctuary cities legislation come back to haunt Duncan? It is possible that one of the House members in the Lubbock area–Landtroop? Charles Perry?–might be able to make an issue of sanctuary cities in an area of the state where tea party strength is robust. Duncan could also be vulnerable as a spender, for coming up with money for the budget.
A different scenario is that the Tea parties may be too busy focusing on defeating Obama (or electing Rick Perry, perhaps) to get involved in state races. This is one of the unknown factors of the 2012 cycle.