Texas Liberal

All People Matter

I Asked Texas Democratic Party Chair Boyd Richie A Question And I Got A Lousy Answer

A few weeks back, Texas Democratic Party Boyd Richie held a so-called town hall meeting at the University of Houston. I attended this meeting and asked Mr. Richie a question. 

While I appreciated Mr. Richie making himself available, his answer to my question stunk.

I asked if the Texas Democratic Party had a position on a full-time Texas legislature. Mr. Richie said he thinks the legislature does enough damage in the limited time it does meet. He saw no reason for a full-time legislature.

I understand that feeling. However, I was hoping Mr. Richie might address the clear fact that a state the size of Texas needs a full-time legislature. This stuff about about bills dying at the end because the session is over is crazy.

It should not be like a football game where a game-closing drive falls short because the clock runs out.

I was also hoping Mr. Richie might offer some optimism about the prospect of a Democratic legislative majority in the next few years.

While I’ll admit to some doubts, I do think it is possible a Democratic legislative majority could make Texas at least a somewhat better place in the near future.

If we are looking for a Democratic legislature, would it not be best if it met full-time so it could do more good?

If things can’t get better, why should we bother with politics at all? If Mr. Richie can’t imagine a better future, what good is he?

May 30, 2007 - Posted by | Politics, Texas


  1. Initially, coming to Texas from California (via Hawaii), I was shocked that the lege met only for a few months every two years. But my feelings have evolved to an approximation of Boyd Richie’s response to you.

    Now I’ve only intermittently paid detailed attention to the lege’s doings, and only that since 2003. But my experience suggests that the bills that “die” were generally not going anywhere anyway. The leadership and the party in power get done what they want to get done. The opposition blocks bills that they have the power to block. Low priority bills wither on the vine. But since they are low priority, by the definition of the leadership, they probably wouldn’t be any more successful even if the lege hung around a few extra months.

    So I am no longer a supporter of a full-time legislature. The system here appear to work about as well as it would if it were full-time, at least as far as I can tell from a distance. Perhaps it would be an improvement to meet for a few months every year rather than every other year, but I don’t feel any need to go further than that.

    Comment by P.M.Bryant | May 30, 2007

  2. Thanks for the comment and for reading the blog.

    One thing we share is a sense of shock of how things operate here after coming from somewhere else.

    I believe that a full democracy in a state as diverse and as big as Texas requires a government able to respond to the needs of citizens. Even though you don’t fully agree with my point, you do see possible merit in the legislature meeting each year for some length of time.

    The structure here in Texas, to go beyond what I write in this post, works against the prospect of an active government improving the lives of citizens. The need for such an active goverment is at the core of what liberals assert. The very part-time legislature, the low pay for legislative service, the low number of Senators who can kill a bill and the backdoor deal-cutting way we elect a House Speaker are all anti-democratic in different ways.

    And then we have the absence of an income tax.

    Comment by neilaquino | May 30, 2007

  3. I think the only way to get the voters to react to these lame politicians is to take the tv’s and sports and the hooters away and make people talk about something else like health care,global warming, why men make more than women with the same job. why educations is last on the topics of the country and get the hate monger warheads out of office. i liked the republican debate they said the word terror a million times and not once said health care or educations. Its a sick lazy society and we all get stuck with the complacent ways of the avg. american,

    Comment by bill brady | June 2, 2007

  4. A measure of fault does lie with the average person. Yet this is not the full story. So-called leaders also help make the world.

    Comment by neilaquino | June 2, 2007

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