GOVERNOR PERRY PUTS TSA BILL ON THE CALL:
Around 6 p.m. on Monday evening Governor Perry added the TSA issue to the special session. I want to thank the Governor, who has been supportive throughout, for adding this legislation to the special session call.
Most importantly I want to thank all of the thousands, and I mean that literally, thousands of citizens from all across the state who contacted the Governor and my fellow legislators. Our citizens simply want Texas to stand up for our liberty, and freedom from unreasonable search. JoAnn Fleming and an army of Tea Party folks across the state contacted the Governor. Republicans, conservatives, independents and yes ,Democrats, all joined with Rep David Simpson, the Lt Governor, and me to urge the Governor to add this issue to the call. Thank you Governor Perry.
There is another person I want to thank. A person I do not know named Wesley. I had sent a short personal letter to the Governor last Wednesday morning and followed up with a call to his office that I once again had the votes to pass the bill in the Senate. He was traveling all week and was not aware that we once again had the votes in the Senate. The following is a short clip of Wesley asking the Governor in New Orleans Saturday about the bill. One person can make a difference. Thanks Wesley.
Rep. David Simpson deserves so much credit for keeping this issue alive. He passed the bill out of committee last week even though it was not on the call. We both had filed the same bill so we would be ready in hopes it would be added at some point. We knew the Governor supported the issue. David came to me on Monday of last week and asked me to once again see if I could rally the votes. I went back to members one by one and by the end of that day I had 17 yes votes. (we only need 16 in special, not 21) I believe we will add more yes votes by the time the bill comes to the floor later in the week.
Let me be very clear. All of us who support the bill want to keep our skies safe for the flying public. However, in our view that does not give the Federal Government the right to invade our privacy, encroach on our liberty, embarrass our citizens, and subject us to unreasonable searches. We teach our children not to let any adult touch them in certain areas of their body. Yet at the airport parents have had to watch as their children are searched in ways we would not accept anywhere else by any government official or law enforcement officer. Just in the past few weeks legislators, government officials, and citizens all across our country, have been groped beyond reason without any probable cause whatsoever that they might be a terrorist. Our bills do permit the TSA to perform and invasive search with probable cause. But, to simply select people at random from the line, the TSA told me they select less than 2% of all passengers, and subject them to being touched in private areas of their body without probable cause is not acceptable.
Lastly, for those who ask how can a state pass a law that trumps federal law, there is no federal law requiring these invasive searches. It is simply TSA policy. As a legislator I have a right and a duty to protect our citizens’ liberty. We should not be threatened or bullied by the Federal Government simply because we choose to stand up for our rights.
“The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then. It is like a storm in the atmosphere.” – Thomas Jefferson
This is a “Come and Take It” moment once again for Texas. The “Come and Take It” flag comes from the Texas Revolution when a band of Texas volunteers in Gonzales refused to give up a small cannon to the Mexican army. The Texans prevailed.
Once again Texas can lead the way and be a symbol of freedom and liberty for the rest of the nation. And like the Texas Revolution it was our citizens rising up to make their voice heard. It just makes us remember why we love Texas. I’m proud to stand with you and to serve you.