Texas Insider Report: AUSTIN, Texas – Around 6 p.m. on Monday evening, Governor Perry added the issue regarding intrusive TSA airport pat downs to the special session. I want to thank the Governor, who has been supportive throughout, for adding this legislation to the special session call. Most importantly I want to thank all of the thousands, and I mean that literally, thousands of citizens from all across the state who contacted the Governor and my fellow legislators. Our citizens simply want Texas to stand up for our liberty and freedom from unreasonable searches.
JoAnn Fleming and an army of Tea Party folks across the state contacted the Governor. Republicans, Conservatives, Independents and, yes, Democrats all joined with Rep. David Simpson, the Lt. Governor, and me to urge the Governor to add this issue to the call. Thank you, Governor Perry.
There is another person I want to thank. A person I do not know named Wesley [editor’s note: this Texan named Wesley produced the You Tube video of his conversation with Governor Perry over the weekend at a book-signing in New Orleans. It was this video that sent GAWTP’s leader JoAnn Fleming over the edge! She began sending out alerts across the state Sunday afternoon, rallying conservative activists to start calling Governor Perry’s office Monday morning. Mrs. Fleming also contacted Governor Perry’s key staffers with a message for the Governor in support of Representative Simpson’s and Senator Patrick’s legislation. She heard from the Governor’s office early Monday evening that conservatives had been heard!]
I had sent a short personal letter to the Governor last Wednesday morning, followed by a call to his office, that I had the votes to pass the bill in the Senate once again. The Governor was traveling all week and was not aware that we had regained the votes in the Senate. One person can make a difference.
Rep. David Simpson deserves so much credit for keeping this issue alive. He passed the bill out of committee last week even though it was not on the call. We both had filed the same bill so we would be ready in hopes it would be added at some point. We knew the Governor supported the issue.
David came to me on Monday of last week and asked me to once again see if I could rally the votes. I went back to Senate members one by one and by the end of that day I had 17 “yes” votes (we only need 16 in special, not 21). I believe we will add more yes votes by the time the bill comes to the floor later in the week.
Let me be very clear. All of us who support the bill want to keep our skies safe for the flying public. However, in our view, that does not give the Federal Government the right to invade our privacy, encroach on our liberty, embarrass our citizens, and subject us to unreasonable searches. We teach our children not to let any adult touch them in certain areas of their body. Yet at the airport, parents have to watch as their children are searched in ways we would not accept anywhere else by any government official or law enforcement officer. Just in the past few weeks, legislators, government officials, and citizens all across our country have been groped beyond reason without any probable cause whatsoever that they might possibly be a terrorist.
The bills do permit the TSA to perform an invasive search with probable cause. But, to simply select people at random from the line (the TSA told me they select less than 2% of all passengers and subject them to being touched in private areas of their body) without probable cause is not acceptable. Lastly, for those who ask how can a state pass a law that trumps federal law, there is no federal law requiring these invasive searches. It is simply TSA policy. As a legislator I have a right and a duty to protect our citizens’ liberty. We should not be threatened or bullied by the Federal Government simply because we choose to stand up for our rights.
“The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then. It is like a storm in the atmosphere.” – Thomas Jefferson
This is a “Come and Take It” moment once again for Texas. The “Come and Take It” flag pictured above comes from the Texas Revolution when a band of Texas volunteers in Gonzales refused to give up a small cannon to the Mexican army. The Texans prevailed.
Once again, Texas can lead the way and be a symbol of freedom and liberty for the rest of the nation. And like the Texas Revolution, it was our citizens rising up to make their voices heard. It just makes us remember why we love Texas. I’m proud to stand with you and to serve you.
Senator Dan Patrick
JoAnn Fleming, Executive Director (volunteer)
Grassroots America – We the People www.gawtp.com
(903) 894-7204 home office or (903) 360-2858 cell
“I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.” –Thomas Paine, The Crisis, 1776
Who is John Galt?