Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Texas House votes to censor filming legislators

"Deliver my soul, O Lord, from lying lips
And from a deceitful tongue."
Psalm 120:2

One of the most egregious provisions of Byron Cook's re-written "ethics" bill currently being debated on the Texas House floor would open citizen journalists to lawsuits if they film a legislator without the legislator's knowledge.  Representative Matt Schaefer offered an amendment to strip that provision from the bill.  During the debate, Cook and Representative Jessica Farrar whined about how it was just so dadgum mean to do ambush interviews of legislators without knowing who signs their paychecks.

Schaefer, David Simpson, and Jonathan Stickland, meanwhile, explained how filming legislators is a tool for citizen journalists to hold elected officials accountable; Pat Fallon explained that, even if the elected officials don't like it, ambush interviews come with the territory.

The amendment failed 66-74:
RV# 1539 — Unofficial Totals66 Yeas, 74 Nays, 3 Present, not voting
Yeas - Anderson, C.; Anderson, R.; Ashby; Bell; Bohac; Bonnen, G.; Burns; Burrows; Canales; Craddick; Crownover; Cyrier; Dale; Davis, S.; Fallon; Fletcher; Flynn; Frank; Goldman; Gonzales; Guillen; Gutierrez; Huberty; Hughes; Keough; King, P.; King, S.; Klick; Koop; Krause; Landgraf; Larson; Laubenberg; Leach; Lozano; Metcalf; Meyer; Miles; Murphy; Murr; Paddie; Parker; Paul; Phelan; Price; Rinaldi; Rodriguez, E.; Sanford; Schaefer; Schofield; Shaheen; Simmons; Simpson; Smithee; Spitzer; Springer; Stickland; Thompson, E.; Tinderholt; Turner, E.S.; VanDeaver; White, J.; White, M.; Wray; Zedler; Zerwas
Nays - Allen; Alonzo; Alvarado; Anchia; Aycock; Bernal; Blanco; Bonnen, D.; Button; Clardy; Coleman; Collier; Cook; Darby; Davis, Y.; Deshotel; Dukes; Dutton; Elkins; Faircloth; Farias; Farrar; Frullo; Galindo; Geren; Giddings; González; Guerra; Harless; Hernandez; Herrero; Howard; Hunter; Isaac; Israel; Johnson; Kacal; King, K.; King, T.; Kuempel; Longoria; Lucio; Márquez; Martinez; Martinez Fischer; McClendon; Miller, D.; Miller, R.; Minjarez; Moody; Muñoz; Naishtat; Nevárez; Oliveira; Otto; Phillips; Pickett; Raney; Raymond; Reynolds; Riddle; Rodriguez, J.; Romero; Rose; Schubert; Sheffield; Smith; Thompson, S.; Turner, C.; Villalba; Vo; Walle; Workman; Wu
Present, not voting - Mr. Speaker; Sheets(C); Turner, S.
Absent - Burkett; Capriglione; Farney; Keffer; Morrison; Peña; Stephenson

1 comment:

  1. Criminalizing "60 Minutes" (If it were to catch on.) B|