Re: More Important than Poker

by , May 10, 2007 | 5:23 pm

OK, I am losing faith … I am thinking a few people need to die before poker becomes a priority.

Right now the debate on the Texas House floor is about some consulting fee to improve county jail standards — and it’s turning into a bitter fight about who’s got a worse lock-up, Dallas or Harris County. (Dallas has had major inspection failures four years in a row — and the Dept. of Justice is not happy.)

It’s all reminding me of the last time I followed a specific legislative push in Texas — looking to address dire circumstances faced by prison guards in 2000. The correctional officers had been getting stabbed and beaten at an alarming rate, Hepatitis was running wild, and the gangs were growing stronger with the violence seeping into the free world … and they never got anything heard on the floor. Why? Because too many pols (who weren’t specifically opposed to improving things for prison guards) were afraid of looking soft on crime.

The best EV in the eyes of the Legislature came from just not getting to the matter.

ALT HED: RE: Not-so-Super/System

UPDATE: Here’s the totally non-poker article on Texas’ prison woes, for those who happen to be interested in the potential for bad decision-making by elected officials.

9 Comments to “Re: More Important than Poker”

  1. Tim B.

    i dont want to sound like im deriding the effort put in to get this bill as far as it has come, because im not… im pretty amazed it made it this far… but..

    why is it that it took so long for this bill to be introduced? i mean, why wasnt it introduced earlier when it might have had a better chance at actually making it to a floor vote?

  2. Patrick The Longtime Lurker

    Don’t wave the white flag just yet, folks.

    Not to jinx it, but it seems that they’re starting to whip through them much quicker now since they’re up against the clock.

    If only the jail guy (Turner) would shut up.

  3. Jason

    Tim –
    I believe (and someone correct me if I’m wrong here) that the legislative calendar is set by one of the ranking members of the majority party in the House. So it isn’t enough just to get a bill written up. You have to find a way of making it a priority to the guys in charge, or they’ll push it back and make sure it never gets a shot at being passed.

    I’m disappointed. If this bill passed, I was ready to take the wife and dogs and move back to Texas.

  4. Hungerfan

    “If only the jail guy (Turner) would shut up.”

    I second the motion.

    (At least he is yielding here more than he probably does at a highway off ramp.)


  5. DanM

    Tim, the same reason the PPA is just getting started on the Federal level. Because there simply was no organized efforts on poker’s political behalf. Most Texans with major interests in poker were either off in Vegas making the big bucks, or running thriving illegal enterprises at home.

    Two years ago Menendez had a bill simply to legalize charity poker (in licensed bingo halls). It couldn’t have been a simpler, more sensible piece of legislation … and it didn’t even come close to making it out of committee. Why? Because I guess the regular poker-playing folks didn’t care enough about charity poker to get as charged up as we have about this one.

    So this go-round he went for it all … asking a lot … and we got further, but not all the way. Perhaps two years from now we will find something in between that goes even further.

  6. Fresh Princess

    Any chance if we don’t make it today we can be added to a special session?

  7. DanM

    There are a handful of political trickery possibilities. Lavigne says he will tell us about those tomorrow or early next week. But tonight he’s “probably gonna go get drunk.”

  8. G Squared

    Does trickery involve declaring that poker players are an ethnic minority and that poker is their religion of choice?

  9. DanM

    Praise Brunson!