We can all have a good laugh about this year’s Texas House Elections Committee, now that it’s being chaired by Rep. Briscoe Cain (R-Deer Park). This has everyone we know – from all political camps – scratching their heads. Some have likened the appointment to giving someone with COVID the right to sneeze into the punch bowl.
Here’s another laughable irony. We independents call the practice of legislators filing a bill then sitting on it, “Grab and Squat”. Last session, Briscoe Cain grabbed (filed) a bill for fair ballot access for independents and minor parties. (The Voter Choice Act is now the subject of a federal lawsuit backed by Mark Cuban.) Briscoe couldn’t get a hearing in his own committee – Elections. That’s a squat if there ever was one.
The next thing we hear is Briscoe is chairing Elections! Get ready for the BIG SQUAT, y’all!
Briscoe believes Trump was denied the election due to voter fraud. While we at LIV will defend his right to believe whatever he wants, putting him in charge of the Elections Committee, the committee that sets the rules for voting, must be seen for what it really is. It is a challenge – by the GOP itself – to the rule of law.
Did you happen to notice the one about secession? It’s bad joke. Most Texans happen to remember this issue was already settled in a bloody Civil War. That’s right. HB 1359 is not only an affront to African American Texans — it is flat out unconstitutional.
What has gotten into the GOP? Many Texas independents, even those who voted for Trump, would really like to know. The GOP appears to be so deeply focused on their own permanent one-party rule that we nearly froze to death in our own homes last month.
Let’s not let the Democrats off the hook either. Their definition of “voter suppression” does not include the voting rights of approximately 8 million Texans who are likely independent, non-aligned voters. The Democrats, when they enjoyed one-party rule in 1967, set the rules allowing them to monopolize ballot access in Texas, arguably the most independent state in the nation. Moreover, today, Democratic City Officials in Austin and San Antonio have engaged in extreme maneuvers to squash citizen’s petitions. (See what happened to the SAWS Accountability Act Petition here.)
The January 2021 Gallup poll has American voters moving into the independent (non-aligned) column at a now all-time high of 50%. See Bill King’s article.
What is LIV? We are a cross-partisan non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to POLICY NOT POLITICS. We want government to solve our problems — not make them.
Oh my! What You Can DO!
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- Call your Legislators — Texas House and Texas Senate, the Governor too. Tell them you’re an independent and you’re paying attention to their votes on Election Bills. Ask them to refrain from voting for any legislation that makes it harder to vote in Texas.
- Take a look at some of our favorite election bills. How about a little Rank Choice Voting! See Rank Choice Voting for Texas and be sure to take their survey. See Mark Miller’s slide show on LIV’s 2021 Lege Page for more favorite bills (see p. 19).
- Volunteer to review some of the 489 election bills. There are so many bills, we need your help to build a list of “Good, Bad and Ugly Election Bills”. See LIV Advisory Board Member Mark Miller’s slide show on LIV’s 2021 Lege Page.
- Join LIV for our weekly conference calls/Zoom meetings on Monday night’s at 7 pm. Learn more some of the history (1992-2006) of Texas independent politics in Divided We Stood.
- If money is holding you back from becoming a dues paying member, volunteer some time — we even prefer it!
If you liked this article, you might also like this one, “Little Bandwidth for Partisan Bloodbath in Elections.”
For more on LIV efforts on electoral reform, visit our “2021 Lege” page here.