"A fool vents all his feelings,
But a wise man holds them back."
The Dallas Morning-News throws a tantrum this morning:
In Texas politics, you dance with the one who brung you. And boy, did Dallas County’s two rookie state senators do the Tea Party Shuffle in Austin this year.Read the whole thing here.
In Huffines’ case, Senate leadership froze him out at one point because of perceived grandstanding in debating a tax bill. Huffines could boast back home that he was a righteous crusader against business taxes, but where did it get him in Austin? Every bill he authored went into the deep freeze.
The biggest wave Huffines made was with his hotly debated amendment to the open carry bill, a move to prohibit police officers from asking to see a person’s handgun permit. This came despite apoplexy from law enforcement representatives who hated the idea, for good reason. House and Senate negotiators stripped it out before sending the bill to the governor.
A Dallas developer, Huffines also endured the embarrassment of receiving a letter co-written by seven mayors who wondered why he was working against their cities in Austin. The mayors of Dallas and six suburbs questioned why he filed bills taking whacks at local control without first seeking input from his district’s city halls. Rep. Jason Villalba, a fellow Dallas Republican, even sent a letter to constituents urging them to testify against one Huffines bill that asserted state supremacy over cities. Like most Huffines legislation, the bill never got a hearing.
Huffines did help defeat efforts to kill the Dallas-Houston bullet train, a move we applaud.
In Hall’s case, his big moment came on his bill to outlaw red-light cameras to enforce traffic laws. Police chiefs and traffic engineers from across Texas testified that the ban would rob cities of a tool that makes busy intersections safer. Unmoved, Hall got his bill through the Senate — only after Huffines amended it to ban enforcement cameras on school buses, as well (catching Dallas County school board members by surprise). In the end, the House euthanized Hall’s bad legislation.
That’s plenty of time for both to refine their legislating skills and agendas. Dallas deserves state senators who have better things to do than fight the United Nations and cameras on school buses.