Big Government Texas Part 1: TX Lege Defending Discrimination??

You know the old saying Everything is bigger in Texas right?  Well that’s especially true when it comes to government oppression from the state legislature and Governor’s office.  Sure, Texas TEA-CONs (TEApublican CONservatives) like Greg Abbott and Dan Patrick love nothing more than to scream and yell about how President Obama and Washington are violating their rights and liberties to govern their own state how they see fit.  But the ugly truth??  In an ultimate show of hypocrisy, the TEA-CON leaders turn right back around and oppress the citizens of Texas and our municipalities with a much heavier hand than Washington could ever hope for.

So, as a way to finally expose this TEA-CON oppression, Texas Leftist is beginning a new blog series for the 2015 Texas Legislative Session.

B-I-G Government Texas.  

And on this first day of the 84th, hypocrisy abounds, especially for any and all fighting for equality.  Here’s the story from John Wright of the Texas Observer

Four Republican lawmakers from the Plano area plan to introduce legislation that would bar cities and counties from adopting ordinances prohibiting discrimination against LGBT people, the Observer has learned. The proposed legislation also threatens to nullify existing LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances in cities that are home to roughly 7.5 million Texans—or more than one-quarter of the state’s population.

The bill comes in response to the Plano City Council’s passage last month of an equal rights ordinance banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing and public accommodations.

“There is legislation that’s being worked on,” Rep. Matt Shaheen (R-Plano) told a group of pastors who gathered in mid-December at Plano’s Prestonwood Baptist Church in response to passage of the city’s equal rights ordinance, according to an audio recording obtained by the Observer.

“Jeff Leach, who’s also a state representative—he and I represent the majority of Plano—he’s actually leading an effort to nullify these types of ordinances statewide,” Shaheen said. “There’s actually four state representatives that represent Plano—all of us will be joint authors of that legislation—but Rep. Leach will lead that effort.”

Shaheen declined the Observer’s request for an interview about the legislation, which had not yet been filed as the session got under way Tuesday. Shaheen, Leach and the other two GOP Plano lawmakers—Reps. Pat Fallon and Jodie Laubenberg—wrote a letter to the Plano City Council opposing the equal rights [ordinance] prior to its passage. Calls to the offices of Fallon, Leach and Laubenberg went unreturned.

In one swoop, this bill would take away critical protections for Texans living in Texas’ largest cities like Dallas, Houston Austin and San Antonio, along with other smaller, brave municipalities.  It is a bill based solely on discrimination and lies, most of which are against the LGBT community.

As if that wasn’t offensive enough, the greater hypocrisy here is that the state legislature, many of whom have made their careers preaching about “liberty” “freedom” and “self-governance” all day every day, are now seeking to squash the rights of Texas cities and counties to prevent and discourage the discrimination of their citizens!  It’s the textbook definition of “Big Government”.  Last time I checked, the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance was passed by that city’s governing body, the Houston City Council.  They have every right to make decisions about the laws governing their municipality.

For a true Conservative or Libertarian, this bill slowly creeping into the Texas Legislature has got to be most troubling.  How can one stand against government interference at the Federal level, but then condone an even more substantive intrusion from the state??

So the next time you hear that Texas TEA-CON lawmakers are trying to “limit government” or “ensure personal freedom”, you’ll know what they are really trying to do.  If passed, this bill would put decades of hard-fought gains for Texas equality behind bars.

Texas Equality Behind Bars

The Lone Star State cannot let that happen.  If you or your loved ones live in Texas, now is the time to contact your state representatives and urge them not to support this bill.  They need to know that YOUR rights and freedoms stand to be violated if this monstrosity is passed.

Texoblogosphere: Week of January 12th

The Texas Progressive Alliance is girding its loins for what is likely to be an ugly legislative session as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff highlights the ongoing voting rights dispute in Pasadena by showing how fallacious the city’s argument for changing to a hybrid At Large/district model for its City Council is.

Libby Shaw writing for Texas Kaosand Daily Kos has heard whispers about the possibility of accepting federally expanded Medicaid in Texas. She wonders how can this be sold to far right wingers like Dan Patrick and the tea party ultra conservatives? If expanded will Medicaid be called Jesus Care or Koch Care?

As the 84th Texas Legislature prepares to convene, PDiddie at Brains and Eggs says, “Kansas-sippi here we come!”

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wants to know what the difference is between Henry Cuellar and the Republicans who kiss Wall Street ass-ets? Really? Is there any difference?

Neil at Neil likes how the 1976 Walter Matthau movie Bad News Bears takes a swipe at liberalism.


And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Juanita is delighted by the “Louie Gohmert for Speaker” story.

Durrell Douglas tells Oprah why their movement will have no “leaders”.

Unfair Park is not a fan of the Jerry Jones-Chris Christie bromance.

The Lunch Tray interviews USDA Under Secretary Kevin Concannon.

Texans Together examines the elements of an effective pre-K program.

The TSTA blog reminds the Legislature that its obligation is to public, not private, education.

Better Texas Blog has a cheat sheet for the biennial revenue estimate.

Texas Vox is looking for people to work with Public Citizen for the legislative session.

(Photo is of the Fort Bend Museum in historic Richmond, Texas)