Silly Season in Austin

Texas is a great state, I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know, but sometimes you have to wonder what folks on the outside looking in see when they read about what went on in Austin the first few days of the session.

Our former Governor has to go to court on his felony charges, only to have the judge not throw out all the charges, but basically give him a roadmap to freedom. How screwed up is the Public Integrity Unit (PIU) that we have to actually get to this point? Didn’t anybody learn their lesson after the whole Kay Bailey Hutchison thing? I won’t even go into Tom Delay and his overturned conviction. There actually was some good news; our new Attorney General Ken Paxton was informed the investigation into his securities issues was being dropped by the PIU. Well, maybe they finally did learn a lesson.

Lt. Governor Dan Patrick came out and said he wasn’t going to prioritize Open Carry (Senate version filed by Senator Estes, not Patrick’s favorite person), but then a few hours later has to issue a mea culpa after public backlash. All at the same time, there were some in the pro second amendment camp (myself included) that were just aghast at the tactics used in the Capitol on opening day of session when they descended on Rep. Poncho Navarez’s office. Numerous lawmakers of both parties came to Rep. Navarez’s defense on social media and in fact, many were spotted wearing “I’m Poncho” stickers this week at the Capitol.

Muslim Capitol Day got off to a great start with Representative Molly White issuing a Facebook post that got her an immediate reprimand from the Speaker. Don’t you think you’d wait to do something so inflammatory until after you find out what your committee assignments are going to be? I think she will have plenty of time free from serving on any important committees this session. Numerous State Reps of both parties also came out on social media to point out that the Capitol is the people’s building, and that we have this little thing called the First Amendment.

And it didn’t take long for Agendawise to publish a post that had everybody in Austin (and us out here in the hinterland) scratching their heads and then picking up their jaws from the floor. The post is titled “Sex and politics in Austin,” and the author goes on to call out “political whores” in Austin. When somebody first texted me about this post, I thought that maybe the subject was lobbyists in general, but the author makes it clear that he is calling out certain women in Austin that sleep around for political favors. This is from the same organization that suspended an author the last session for making gay slurs on a fake Twitter account.

I have always used the term “Silly Season” for the strange stuff that happens right around election time. I’m thinking about amending that to also include the time between opening of session and when work finally starts to get accomplished. When I talked to a lawmaker this week, only in half jest, he stated that he was going to file a bill to make the sessions only 120 days long, instead of 140.

I think a lot of lawmakers would support it and name it the “Eliminate Silly Season.” Just think of how much time lawmakers would save not having to jump on social media every couple of hours to address something that was said/done at the Capitol.


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