The Texas Tribune has the scoop on the incredible happenings in the Texas Senate on Tuesday evening. Essentially, state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, engaged in an 13 hour filibuster of a draconian anti-abortion law. The Texas Senate rules allow such filibusters, but they can be stopped if the person doing the filibuster wanders off topic or leans too much on the desk (really!). With less than two hours to go in the special session, another Senator objected to Davis’ speech, which had “wandered” to the seemingly unrelated topic of the implications of Texas’ 2011 abortion sonogram law for this new law.
Sure seems like bullshit to me, but the advantage of being the majority party is you get to push almost everything in your favor.
From there, it didn’t go well for Republicans. There were a long series of procedural moves, the gallery onlookers periodically disrupted proceedings, and finally Senators engaged in a chaotic series of exchanges.
As the midnight deadline approached, protesters started screaming, effectively shutting down the ability to communicate on the floor. In the final minutes, Republicans hustled to conduct a vote that most Democrats weren’t even aware was happening. The final votes appeared to occur after the midnight deadline. (The deadline is not just a Senate rule, but a legal deadline for the special session, as I understand it).
This brought new issues to resolve:
State Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, told the press, “we started voting before midnight,” and therefore, it counted. But state Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, said, “the session is over with…it’s over with at midnight,” and so, the vote didn’t count.
Okay…I suppose it could be true that a vote started before midnight might be legally able to continue until after the midnight deadline. Fine…they win in a legal overtime, I suppose.
Not so fast. Despite Sen. Patrick’s confidence in being able to conclude a vote started before midnight, apparently not every Republican was convinced. Here are screenshots of the Senate log (click to enlarge image):
The first one [right] shows the last actions on SB 5 taking place after midnight. And the second [left], taken 9 minutes later, shows the dates changed to 6/25:
You’re fucking kidding me! Those fucking Texas Republicans fraudulently manipulated the time stamp to make it appear as if voting was complete before the Midnight deadline?!!!?!! In Texas, such actions might go by some folksy euphemism like , “cow paddy fence mendin’.” To the rest of us, this sure looks like organized voting fraud bullshit!
Why am I not surprised by Republicans fraudulently manipulating the election record in their favor? (Whenever you hear a Republican talking about voting fraud, it’s projection.)
And why am I not surprised the Party of Stoopid™ thought they could get away with this fraud without anyone noticing?
Update: Perhaps recognizing they were busted by screenshots, the Republicans fold…
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst stepped down from the dais after ruling that time had expired on SB 5, telling the senators, “It’s been fun, but, um, see ya soon.”