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Tuesday | September 16, 2003

Having fun in the face of defeat (in TX)

We've probably lost the legislative battle over redistricting in Texas (though a sliver of hope remains), but Texas Dems are going down in style.

The formal convening of an unusual third special session on redistricting today and its adjournment until Tuesday was, by all accounts, a normal maneuver to prepare the remapping agenda in the chamber, where the Republicans' edge is 19 to 12. But in the highly charged climate it was seen as a slap at the Democrats who were just outside, preparing a triumphant re-entry.

When they did march in moments later behind their leader, Leticia R. Van de Putte of San Antonio, to a roaring welcome from the gallery, they took over the deserted floor, defying a ban on partisan rallies and denouncing the Republicans, using voice power after the Senate staff turned off the microphones.

"If they were so eager for us to come back to work, where are they?" demanded Senator Mario Gallegos Jr. of suburban Houston [...]

Perhaps the truest words were spoken by Senator Royce West of Dallas, who offered a paradoxical tribute to two Republicans, the majority leader of the United States House and a White House counselor, who he said were behind the redistricting push. "I want to thank Tom DeLay and Karl Rove for doing something that we couldn't do for ourselves and that is to unite this party," Mr. West said.

Posted September 16, 2003 10:53 AM | Comments (32)





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