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March 18, 2005

The Real Reason Al Edwards Voted for HB 3

By Andrew Dobbs

So when HB 3- the bill that raises taxes on every Texan making less than $100,600- came up for a vote, only one Democrat managed to vote for the bill, Houston's Al Edwards. Edwards has not given a convincing reason for his vote, claiming that he felt that his vote would give him a seat on the conference committee. Anyone familiar with Craddick et. al knows that he wouldn't seat anyone not completely committed to his goals on the committee and even if Edwards was on it, he'd be voted down 5-1 on everything. Also, the leadership hasn't said anything about this, so it seems shady.

Turns out something far more ridiculous is behind the choice. From Quorum Report:

A member of the Texas Legislative Black Caucus tried to block funding for a planned Juneteenth Memorial Monument at the State Capitol because, she said, one of the sculpted figures looks like a caucus colleague.

During an House Appropriations Committee hearing Thursday, Rep. Dawnna Dukes (D-Austin) offered a rider to the budget that would stop any state funds going to monuments depicting a living person currently serving as an elected official. She later withdrew the rider.

Dukes' target was Rep. Al Edwards (D-Houston), who has, during a lengthy legislative career, carried legislation setting up both the Juneteenth State Holiday and the Texas Emancipation Juneteenth Cultural and Historical Commission.

"For years people have been tiptoeing around this for fear of offending African Americans or Al Edwards," Dukes said. "But the fact is that the face on the 'law maker' character on the monument is that of Al Edwards. There's no ifs, and, or buts about it."

Just for comparison's sake, here's the proposed monument and here's a picture of Edwards, a few years ago. Looks pretty similar to me...

Inside sources say that Edwards traded his vote for a commitment from the leadership to back this design and to put aside the money for the effort. And frankly, Dawnna Dukes isn't someone I distrust and she's not one to fight a monument to African Americans.

This is bizarre, to say the least, and further proves Al Edwards' uselessness in our party. Edwards might want to watch his back, and if he doubts he can be taken out Ron Wilson might offer a few words of advice...

Update: [Byron here - I second everything that Andrew says here, and wanted to add on a few links to the post].

From Greg's Opinion, here and here.

Posted by Andrew Dobbs at March 18, 2005 10:52 PM | TrackBack


I suppose one could argue that 40 years of civil rights and Democratic Party activism counts for nothing in light of one meaningless (actually, potentially positive -- if his gameplan works) vote, but I must ask ...

How the hell could Rev. Edwards be voted down 5-1 in conference. Does BOR know of some secret upcoming House Rules change??

Posted by: JW at March 19, 2005 05:53 PM
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