The Peter Morrison Report, By Peter Morrison
I have to admit, despite the re-election of Joe Straus, I had high hopes for the 2011 Legislature. With Republicans controlling a 2/3 majority of the House, surely good legislation would pass dealing forthrightly with the immigration issue. The Senate's arcane 2/3 rule might allow the Democrats to kill good legislation there, but at least all Republicans could unite in 2012 against a common enemy.
Sadly, this appears to not be the case this year. While the House has passed Voter ID legislation and is likely to pass anti-sanctuary-city legislation, they have done nothing on the core issue, which is E-Verify to remove the jobs magnet that creates the illegal immigration problem to begin with.
Worse than that, one recently converted Republican, Aaron Pena, has introduced a guest worker bill at the behest of the Cheap Labor Lobby. While the E-Verify bill, HB 296, has not yet had a hearing, Rep. Byron Cook fast-tracked Pena's traitor bill to a hearing this week.
What the heck is wrong with the Republican Party? They won't hold hearings for good bills, but they have plenty of time to consider a guest worker program. We've seen this movie twice before, first with sellout Republican David Swinford in the 2007 session and then again with Burt Solomons as chair of the State Affairs Committee in the 2009 session. Now it appears that Rep. Byron Cook is going to do a repeat.
Rep. Cook desperately needs calls telling him this is unacceptable behavior for someone who is supposed to be looking out for Republican interests.
All over the nation, the Republican Party is failing us. In Arizona, 60 Cheap Labor Lobby CEO's wrote a joint letter to the Republican leadership and derailed all of the immigration legislation there, including a bill to challenge birthright citizenship. [CEOs on Immigration Letter, Phoenix Chamber of Commerce (Email the President of the Phoenix Chamber, Todd Sanders)] In Utah, Republicans spit in the face of the Tea Party by passing a guest worker program run by the state: a proposal now gaining traction among sellout Republicans in North Dakota and Texas.
The media, of course, is heaping praise on these Republicans who betray their base. But here's the real tragedy: they still haven't learned anything. They think they can get away with passing this legislation and nothing will happen to them. They think the Tea Party will be mollified with symbolic legislation instead of real immigration action to eliminate the jobs magnet.
My friends, I'm afraid we have much work left to do in the 2012 primaries. If Rep. Cook keeps it up, he's the natural one to go on the chopping block. If you are in his district and have an interest in being your next state representative, or know someone who does, please get in contact with me. The time to plan a campaign is coming soon. We'll wait and see what these spineless Republicans do, but we have to be ready if they betray us.
Peter Morrison (email him) is a businessman living in Lumberton, Texas with his wife and four children. He currently serves on the Lumberton ISD School Board and as treasurer of the Hardin County Republican Party. He says "I believe deeply in the principles of limited constitutional government, the sanctity of life and that our state and nation should be run under Thomas Jefferson's principle of 'Equal Rights for All, Special Privileges for None.'" This article is from his free newsletter, which features commentary about current events of interest to Texans—sign up here.