"For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known."
At the beginning of the last #TXLEGE session, there was a modest kerfuffle that was politically useful to the business as usual crowd. On the first day of the session, anti-Second Amendment Democrat Poncho Nevarez got into an excessively heated policy discussion with a libertarian leaning activist from Tarrant County. While the actions of the activist in question were counterproductive, at the end of the day they were also harmless and irrelevant.
But when you're the business as usual crowd looking for excuses to run out the clock on a 140-day legislative session, any excuse to waste time works. Following the above incident, the House held a hand wringing 'debate' about whether or not to allow members to install 'panic buttons' in offices (Sidenote: Poncho Nevarez never did.) This was accompanied by the embarrassing spectacle of Republicans wearing "I'm Poncho" stickers on the floor of the House.
As the Trib explained at the time:
“I think when somebody threatens a representative because he doesn’t vote, it’s everything we don’t stand for in this state,” said state Rep. Phil Stephenson, R-Wharton. “You can fire us, but you don’t get to shoot us because you disagree.”[Author's Note: We told Stickland privately at the time that he shouldn't go along with that farce but, let the record state, that Jonathan Stickland was far more magnanimous in that situation than we would have been.]
A Republican, Drew Springer of Muenster, was behind the gesture. He said he came up with the idea after Nevárez joked that he should hand out “I’m Not Poncho” stickers to fellow lawmakers so that they would not be targets.
“Immediately I thought just the opposite — we need to show support for him, that we aren’t going to let people threaten us,” he said. “We’re not going to let people, in some cases from out of state, threaten us physically and try to get their way. That’s just not the way democracy works. It’s not the way Texas works.”
Springer said he gave out name tags to about 70 House members, from both parties, before he ran out.
Marsha Farney of Georgetown was among the Republicans donning the name tags. Others included Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, the author of a bill to lift state handgun licensing requirements.
“We’re showing support for Poncho to show that we stand with him as far as, not necessarily a policy position, but for safety issues,” said Farney.
Fast forward two years and that self-same Jonathan Stickland receives deeply chilling anti-Second Amendment threats at his home. This isn't a policy discussion in an elected official's office with some (admittedly counterproductive) heated rhetoric, this is an active threat from a deranged anti-Second Amendment sadist. So, naturally, the Republicans who ran around last session with "I'm Poncho"stickers were falling over themselves in 'solidarity' with Jonathan Stickland...right?!?
Drew Springer's Facebook Page (as of 12:11 pm on 12/23/2016): Nothing.
Phil Stephenson's Facebook Page (as of 12:13 pm): Nada.
Marsha "Felicia" Farney (as of 12:15): Negative.
Bottom Line: That the average Republican in the Texas House will go along with an anti-Second Amendment Democrat's politically expedient exaggeration, while remaining silent on an actual threat to the family of a pro-Second Amendment Republican, speaks volumes.