How a Bill Doesn’t Become a Law

by , May 24, 2007 | 5:03 am

The Texas legislative session is coming to a close, and save for the chance of hitting a miracle half-outer on the river, the Texas Poker Act is dead. Bummer. But better luck next time, right? And until then, I guess it’s off to Oklahoma we go!

Good article in the DMN about how Dallas essentially got its butt kicked
on many issues that might matter to this city. What poker people might also find interesting is discussion of House Speaker Tom Craddick. He, of course, was essentially the guy who killed the poker bill. I mean he didn’t kill-kill it — officially he declared his neutrality — but he had the power to put it somewhere better on the calendar and chose to go the other way. Craddick, followers of Texas politics may know, has some hot water of his own to deal with right now — as a lot of people within the Republican Party want to replace him.

Mr. Craddick is in a pitched battle to retain his post as speaker. Three Republicans who have signaled their intent to replace him are from North Texas: Reps. Jim Pitts of Waxahachie, Fred Hill of Richardson and Brian McCall of Plano.

I don’t know much about Fred Hill. But Jim Pitts … in addition to advocating the execution of highly problematic pre-teens, was part of the minority declaring intent to vote against our beloved HB 3186. And lest you think nepotism abounds in Texas politics … this despite the fact that his brother and nephew, John and John Jr., were the chief lobbyists on legal poker’s behalf.

As for Brian McCall, despite his being one of the more liberal Republicans in the state … well … Pokeratizens know all too well that we’ve got some work to do in terms of endearing him to our cause.

ALT HED: Murmur?

6 Comments to “How a Bill Doesn’t Become a Law”

  1. Tim B.

    well, as much as id like to see legal poker in texas, if i had to choose between someone who could get broader application of the death penalty (including application to minors) and someone who would support legal poker… sorry, but poker loses.

  2. Lavigne in Austin

    Jim Pitts is a good man. I’ve known him for over a decade and still, he would not have voted for poker. This could mean i’m a lousy advocate, but more likely it is that he is a good representative of a very conservative district.

    Despite the fact that his brother and nephew were pushing the bill, he was never a yes vote.

    There are plenty of reasons to oust someone from office, but being consistant and accurately representing your district don’t rise to that level. He is honest and his family doesn’t lobby him, as that would be against the rules.

    I will write a proper post mortam soon (promise) but in the meantime, lets remember that the best way to get guys like pitts and a dozen others on our side is to get our message out and make sure that the poker players in their district let them know they are there. The honus is on us…

  3. DanM

    Mike, I hope it doesn’t come across that Jim Pitts is a bad man — just pointing out that he represents a highly conservative side of the equation that we might face.

    I mean let’s call a spade a spade … George W. Bush oversaw more executions than any governor in contemporary American history (if not our nation’s entirety) … and even he was opposed to Pitts’ plan to execute 11-year-old offenders upon reaching their 17th birthday. Not only is that in violation of multiple international treaties, but also it would keep Texas on par with Saudia Arabia, Nigeria, the Congo, Pakistan, Yemen, and China as the only countries to execute children.

    A house leader willing to ignore international treaty in this way can’t be good for poker/Texas/America … and at a minimum would have no problem doing what is in his power to make sure something he’s opposed to wouldn’t find its way into law.

  4. DanM

    By the way, just looked a little closer, and most of the nations mentioned above stopped executing child offenders last century. The US and Somalia were the last two nations to sign one such treaty … with America finally coming around in 1995. I mean not to get overly political on a poker blog — and I recognize that one bill shouldn’t determine the judgment of a politician — but if someone is soooo conservative that they want to go back to a certain form of old days that makes the US a lone, rogue state … well c’mon, then we’ve all got far more serious problems at hand.

  5. Lavigne in Austin

    Hey man, I worked for Rodney Ellis for 2 years. While there, we fought against any expansion of the Death Penaly. As a matter of fact, we fought battles to prevent the execution of the mentally retarded and to recompense the wrongly imprisoned.

    point is, I don’t agree with many of his positions, but as we look to see who the next speaker is we have to remember a few hard realities.
    This being Texas:

    The next speaker will be a republican
    the next speaker will be far more conservative than the average texan
    and the next speaker will be far more conservative than the average reader of this site.

    That said, there are a number of other qualities that make a good speaker. First and formost of those, is a speaker that allows the members to vote their districts without retaliation.

    I am confident that Jim Pitts, and a couple of others on the list will make that a centerpiece of their leadership style.

    enough boring texas politics for now. must sleep.

  6. DanM

    Fair enough … I’ll let you go home early.