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View Diary: Texas Lawmakers use "ghost votes" to pass Voter ID Law (18 comments)

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  •  But, but, but... (7+ / 0-)

    They have to get up to go to the bathroom, and stretch their legs, and meet constituents and lobbyists and stuff.

    When I read that this morning I thought: Maybe they'd have more appreciation for regular working people if they organized that the way it's organized in many a meeting or conference. Set time when everybody can break for 20 minutes, and then everybody comes back into session. That way nobody misses anything - including votes.

    Then I realized, it doesn't matter. Nothing is happening there to miss. The speeches being made are just performances. The real influential "speeches" are the ones out in the hall (or the restroom) with the lobbyists. And it doesn't matter what's said in the chamber, everybody knows how they are going to vote long before the vote happens.

    •  Good point. They know when the votes are (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Philpm, Tinfoil Hat, matx

      They certainly don't sit there VOTING for 13 hours.  And they only work every other year, for God's sake!  And we're supposed to feel sorry for them?  I don't think so!

    •  Part Of What You Say Is Correct And... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CoolOnion, Catte Nappe, WI Deadhead

      part is wrong.

      Most Texas Legislators know what working people go through because unlike most U.S. Congressman and Senators they actually have jobs outside the Legislature to support their families.

      But, you are absolutely correct about the speeches being performances.  And that is true of City Councilman, County Commissioners, Congress, and many many Commissions and Boards.I had to deal with County Commissioners for 25 years.  Some Commissioner's Courts actually do conduct a little bit of business during public meetings.  But most do not.  Because everything that is actually debated publicly becomes a brawl between opposing sides.  The worst fight I ever saw was what days to set for paid Holidays.

      Publicly an elected official is concerned about upsetting any voter.  Privately they feel like they are not losing votes.  As long as they don't have a quorum they are legal.

      The most unusual meetings I ever attended appeared to be choreographed like a dance number.  Everything was "by the numbers" with everyone in favor and no discussion.  They must have done a lot of talking before the meetings to get everything ironed out.  Happened for years in one small county.

      •  Good points (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CoolOnion, WI Deadhead

        Was part of a group that spent months on a city issue once; and a good deal of the work was in "task force" meetings - which were "open" (to those who knew they were happening) and a great deal was in one-on-one's with staff and individual council members. About 10% actually took place in the chambers, and by then most everybody knew what most everybody else was going to say.

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