Brad Messer Commentary
Tuesday, May 13, 2003

Killer Ds Paralyze Texas House

Yesterday more than fifty Democrat state representatives hid out, paralyzing our state legislature, because they don't have the votes to kill a redistricting bill that would reduce their power in Texas politics.

Back in 1979, a dozen Democrat state senators did the same. The hiders were dubbed the Killer Bees, for killing the session. Next election, three of them were voted out of office.

The tactic is called quorum busting. Rules of the Texas House call for the absent members to be found, arrested and forced to return to the House. Until a quorum is regained - that's 100 of the 150 lawmakers - no business may be conducted.

People who have contacted me are against the tactics of the Killer Ds overwhelmingly.

For the more than a century in which Democrats ruled the Texas House, the minority Republicans never staged a quorum-busting.

The House Democrats did it the first time they became a minority. So much for the "bipartisan cooperation" they said they wanted. The Killer Ds are sore losers who will be haunted by this tactic.

Brad Messer— commentary, KTSA.

San Antonio Express-News 5/12/03
2003 version of 'Killer Bees' gets numbers to break quorum

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