Rules are for the little people.
What will we tell the children?I have no real problems with this practice except for the rank hypocrisy and the fact that it is quite clearly against the chamber's own rules.
But the fact is that the GOP has been screaming about supposed voter fraud by Democrats as part of their tool box of limiting access to the ballot box in Democratic leaning precincts. The problem with their crusade is that it is a red herring designed to suppress voter turnout rather than restore integrity. The US Attorney purge was about firing Federal Prosecutors who would not trump up charges on political grounds near election day, even when pressed by GOP honchos. Integrity is not dead.
The list of disenfranchising methods employed in recent years by the GOP is as long as my arm. And the best that they can come up with a some fake voter registration forms (not votes mind you) that were filled out by pot-heads working to sign up voters on commission. (Remind me again why people who forged signatures on Mass' anti-gay marriage petition were not prosecuted.)
But my favorite ACTUAL vote fraud story is Ann Coulter who didn't want to vote in the very Democratic Palm Beach precinct where she dropped $1.8 million on a house, so she registered to vote AND VOTED with her realtor's address in a more Republican area. She got caught and had to spend beaucoup $$$$ to a silk stocking law firm to avoid a felony charge.
In a round about way, that is why these shenanigans in the Texas House matter.
¶ 7:02 PM
Excellent post Greg, again! Is it no wonder why so many feel the way they do towards politicians?
So now that we really know what we have known already and knowing that they knew that we knew but they don't give a shit that we know, and knowing all this...What can we possibley do, NOTHING...and they know that! The cameras should be allowed to show the reality of the chambers in action, what are they afraid of us knowing?
I don't see what legislators voting on each others' behalf has to do with voter fraud and vote suppression.
The TV clip made no claim that the legislators are voting contrary to the intention of the absent legislators; assuming they could find examples of this, I think they would have. Votes in the legislature are public, not secret, so this practice is not likely to result in many fraudulent votes. The story also made clear that no one on either side of the aisle is complaining.
That said, I agree that the situation in Texas is a problem. The rule should be enforced, or it should be removed. It is a bad idea to have such a rule that's not enforced, mostly because then there is no system in place to ensure who is authorized to make the vote, and ensure that the vote is made correctly in the way desired by the absent legislature (although, as I stated, I doubt it frequently is not). For example, I believe in the US Congress we do see members voting in committee (but not on the floor) explicitly as proxy for missing committee members. If there's a screwup, we (and the missing member) know who to blame.
Of course, the reason the Texas situation exists is not to allow nefarious fraudulent votes, it's so members can spend more time shaking down contributions, and less time voting, without risk of being attacked in election season for a "poor" voting attendance record. That's bad, but not as bad as fraudulent voting.
That's bull shit! Our elected servents are being paid to be there and do their own voting....themselves! Not out diddling and playing footsey in some toilet with their queer friends! The whole system is shot to hell and "WE THE PEOPLE" are getting it stuck up our ass. Time for a REVOLUTION!!!!!