Last week, the Texas legislature preemptively covered their posteriors in lieu of the July release of the American Phoenix Foundation’s sure-to-be scintillating and scandalous undercover videotaping of over 800 hours of footage of Texas legislators engaged in…well, we don’t know yet.
But 46 of your Texas Republican representatives decided that their possible involvement in said videotapes was more pressing an issue than supporting lowly citizens’ First Amendment rights—you know, the ones protected in the Constitution.
SB19, hereafter known as the Censorship Bill, would criminalize any private citizen who videotaped any legislator even in public areas of the Austin capitol building—with fines reaching up to $10,000. In essence, our legislators—who work for US, not the other way around, remember—want to shield themselves from any citizen journalist wielding a camera who might have some tough questions for them. Questions like, oh, I don’t know, why didn’t this legislature do more to secure the border as promised? Or pushed for Constitutional Carry? Or stopped public money going to toll roads? Or, to those who voted to weaken Texas abortion laws, why did you do so? Or why ALAC (American Law for American Courts) couldn’t make it out of committee? Or why the law promoting electric grid security died on the vine? Or why Texas legislators got bullied by the LGBT mafia and refused to pass a religious freedom act? Just stuff like that.
Now, what on EARTH could have all these *staunch* Constitutional conservatives’ panties in such a twist? Could it be that Hannah Giles and her husband Joseph Basel, with their American Phoenix Foundation, dug up some nasty and down-low dirt on the legislators who voted “yes” on the bill? I wonder—will the footage show philandering spouses, backroom deals, outright lies told on camera, and essentially the seedy underbelly of Austin politics? (Side note: how I WISH I had thought of this first! Bravo, Hannah and Joseph.)
The pesky thing these legislators don’t seem to understand is that regardless of this truly bad bill, citizens of Texas and the United States still *bitterly* cling to their First Amendment rights. The first time one of these blowhards tries to civilly punish or prosecute a non-threatening citizen journalist from asking questions of his or her elected official, on camera, I would expect every First Amendment lawyer in the country to beat a line to their door. And in the end, the citizen journalist will prevail.
The sad thing is, as you will read, there are a handful of usually quite solid conservatives on the List of 46 Texas Traitors. No matter—they must be held accountable as well.
You want a fight?
Bring. It. On.
Below are the 46 Republican legislators (many more Democrats joined them) who voted in favor of curtailing your First Amendment rights. The number next to that legislator and his/her email is their Raging Elephants Liberty Score. Thanks to www.clashdaily.com for compiling the original list.
- Trent Ashby (HD 57) @TrentAshbyTX, email@example.com 61
- Jimmy Don Aycock (HD 54) @Aycockjda, firstname.lastname@example.org 54.5
- Cindy Burkett (HD 113) @CindyBurkett_TX, email@example.com 78.1
- DeWayne Burns (HD 58) @BurnsForTexas N/A
- Angie Chen Button (HD 112) @AngieChenButton 69.4
- Giovanni Capriglione (HD 98) @VoteGiovanni, firstname.lastname@example.org 93.8 (THIS ONE HURTS)
- Travis Clardy (HD 11) @TravisForTexas 59.4
- Byron Cook (HD 8) email@example.com 54.3
- Tony Dale (HD 136) @TonyDaleTX 71.9
- Drew Darby (HD 72) @drewdarby4Tx, firstname.lastname@example.org 53.6
- Sarah Davis (HD 134) @SarahforHD134, email@example.com 51.1
- Gary Elkins (HD 135) firstname.lastname@example.org 71.8
- Wayne Faircloth (HD 23) @WayneFaircloth N/A
- Marsha Farney (HD 20) @DrMarshaFarney, email@example.com 54.2
- John Frullo (HD 84) @FrulloForTexas, firstname.lastname@example.org 68.3
- Rick Galindo (HD 117) @GalindoForRep N/A
- Charlie Geren (HD 99) @charliegeren 56.2
- Larry Gonzales (HD 52) @larrygonzales52, email@example.com 59.8
- Patricia Harless (HD 126) @PatriciaHarless, firstname.lastname@example.org 51.2
- Dan Huberty (HD 127) @DanHuberty, email@example.com 61.6
- Todd Hunter (HD 32) @toddahunter, @Dist32StateRep, firstname.lastname@example.org 63
- Kyle Kacal (HD 12) @KyleKacal, email@example.com 48.2
- Jim Keffer (HD 60) @RepJimKeffer, firstname.lastname@example.org 54.1
- Ken King (HD 88) @KingForTexas, email@example.com 51.2
- Linda Koop (HD 102) @LindaKoopHD102 N/A
- John Kuempel (HD 44) JLKcampaign@hotmail.com 59.9
- Lyle Larson (HD 122) @RepLyleLarson, firstname.lastname@example.org 55.5
- Jose Manuel Lozano (HD 43) @RepJMLozano, email@example.com 36.7
- Morgan Meyer (HD 108) @MorganMeyerTX, firstname.lastname@example.org N/A
- Doug Miller (HD 73) @DougMiller73, email@example.com 58.5
- Rick Miller (HD 26) @Vote4Rick, firstname.lastname@example.org 76.8
- Jim Murphy (HD 133) @JimMurphy133, email@example.com 62.3
- John Otto (HD 18) @RepJohnOtto, firstname.lastname@example.org 53.1
- Tan Parker (HD 63) @tparker63, email@example.com 84.7 (Et tu?)
- Larry Philips (HD 62) firstname.lastname@example.org 77.7
- Four Price (HD 87) @FourPriceTX 59.9
- John Raney (HD 14) @RaneyForTexas, email@example.com 56
- Debbie Riddle (HD 150) @debbieriddle 66.1
- J.D. Sheffield (HD 59) @dr_sheffield, firstname.lastname@example.org 37.5 (This is Democrat Score-Land)
- Ron Simmons (HD 65) @RonSimmonsTexas, email@example.com 86.6 (Sad.)
- Wayne Smith (HD 128) firstname.lastname@example.org 51.6
- Ed Thompson (HD 29) @RepEdThompson, email@example.com 83.6 (Really?)
- Gary VanDeaver (HD 1) @GaryVanDeaver N/A
- Jason Villalba (HD 114) @JasonVillalba, firstname.lastname@example.org 58.7
- Paul Workman (HD 47) @PaulWorkman, email@example.com 67.8
- John Wray (HD 10) @wrayfortexas10 N/A