Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Why civil asset forfeiture reform might actually have a chance....


"Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need."
Ephesians 4:28

We attended Konni Burton's press conference on civil asset forfeiture this afternoon and learned something very interesting: Senfronia Thompson is on board!!!

For those who don't know her, Senfronia Thompson is a 22 term veteran and the dean of the Democrats in the Texas House.  As such, she's a very prominent Joe Straus lieutenant.  In this situation, that development is helpful.

We can justifiably bemoan the situation, but it doesn't change the fact that having a prominent Joe Straus lieutenant vocally supporting you on a particular bill helps given the current leadership structure.

FWIW, the kerfuffle with Trump last week might have actually helped this issue.  Given the issues involved, altering civil asset forfeiture was always going to require putting together a right/left coalition to surmount the "law enforcement" industrial complex at the Capitol.  And the past week gave Democrats a reason to prioritize this issue to stick it to Trump.

Similarly FWIW, this is probably good politics for Joe Straus: he can still kill almost every grassroots priority, but still point out that he passed a prominent Konni Burton bill.

Serendipity is funny.

Bottom Line: We have low expectations across the board this session, but on this issue circumstances might be lining up in a way we wouldn't have anticipated a month ago.

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View the full press conference:


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