Friday, March 16, 2012
In Defense of Wendy Davis
As a 2008 SD 10 delegate, I believe we have been justified in the election of Wendy Davis to represent State Senate District 10.
A Relationship with the Community Base
Wendy Davis is one of us, grew up on hard times, and clawed her way to high achievement. Her story is our story, in the 2008 election over the incumbent Kim Brimer.
Eddie Griffin had long dubbed Brimer one of those “good ole boys” in the state senate, surrounded by a conservative group of buddies known as the 21-Club, an legislative obstructionist group, contrary to the interest in urban districts.
When she made it to the state senate, Wendy Davis found herself in the midst of some pretty hostile good ole boys, who bullied more than legislated. They derided Wendy as “showboat” (an allusion to Little Shirley Temple) and “little girl”.
And yet, Wendy Davis stood her ground, and filibustered her way into a legacy as the champion of state education.
She step up at the 11th hour, our last hope of education funding increases, and she filibustered the legislature into special session, which angered GOP presidential hopeful Gov. Rick Perry.
They characterized Wendy’s filibuster as a “last stand”, after having her district was carved away through GOP redistricting. (Read “Wendy Davis’ Last Hurrah?”)
Davis, the Fort Worth Democrat, put on a memorable filibuster late Sunday night. She not only talked to death a key school finance and revenue bill, but in the process blew up the final night of the 82nd legislative session. Thanks to Davis, the Legislature likely will reconvene for a special session in the very near future to debate and pass a school finance plan...
It was a night few Capitol watchers will forget, a night when the best-laid plans of the governor and the legislative leadership were obliterated by a first-term Democrat who may not return next session
Standing under the dome lights with a glow on her face like an angel, Wendy Davis spoke. She was “the last chance” before the clock struck midnight on education funding.
When she rose to speak, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said “I think I know why, but Sen. Davis, for what purpose do you rise.”
Wendy Davis answered the bell and delivered. The 82nd Texas Legislature went into special session. Education did get a little more funding, but the school financing system was structurally broken. But odds were that Wendy Davis would not get a second term to fix the problem.
According to “Wendy Davis’ Last Hurrah?” by Dave Mann
The conventional political wisdom is that Davis can’t win reelection. When Republicans redrew the Senate district lines this session, they did Davis no favors. The new map will likely be the subject of a court battle. But if the proposed lines are upheld, Davis will find herself in a Republican district.
When the Western District Court looked at the redistricting complaints of Wendy Davis and the minority communities, it reached an immediate decision that the GOP bounds violated the Voting Rights Act, insofar as minorities were selectively and systematically carved out of Davis' SD 10.
The appeal, Perry v. Davis, went to the Supreme Court:
The Supreme Court on Friday unanimously overturned orders issued by a federal court in Texas that drew its own new maps for legislative districts, and ordered it to reconsider.
In an 11-page unsigned opinion, the Court said that the three-judge District Court in San Antonio may not have used the “appropriate standards,” which the Court spelled out in some detail. Justice Clarence Thomas, in a separate opinion, repeated his view that a key federal voting rights act implicated in the Texas case is unconstitutional. The decision is here.
Because of Justice Thomas’s view about Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, he would have ordered the San Antonio court to let Texas use its own maps without change for the 2012 elections. However, the other Justices did not accept that approach, instead ordering the court in Texas to start with the state’s plan but also to make some rulings about whether any parts of it are likely to be nullified in court.
Then the case went back to district court, where the Attorney General ceded back to Wendy Davis all of her minority communities.