petitions! and bonds! and voter ID! (oh my.)

concerning the local petition process PLANO EDITION

Plano did two things that some people who lived there don’t like so much. one was adding BLTs sexual orientation and gender identity to their nondiscrimination ordinance. the other was to have the gall to enact some city planning measures. can’t they just sit around not doing their jobs like Congress?

for the first, the city attorney got in touch with the petitioners who opposed being nice to the Ls, Gs, Bs, Ts and other letters (this is not a place that likes Sesame Street much) as soon as her office noticed that there were problems with the EWW GROSS group’s petition forms, but got only crickets for a response and so their petitions to overturn the Plano Equal Rights Ordinance were rejected because they didn’t follow the rules.

the second the city attorney’s office received a “thank you” from Plano Future, the campaign against the new city planning initiative (the Plano Tomorrow Comprehensive Plan), for the rules reminders (though they still didn’t have the line for county nor did they make sure that people weren’t putting their birthdays in the date of signature box) and a “GFY” for the part where the city attorney (who everyone thinks has the last name Simms, but really has the last name Mims) told them that she was pretty sure city planning fell outside the petition process–because it does. the petition was also rejected.

so what happened at the forum?

• Rep. Fallon made a funny about conspiracy theorists and referenced Sysiphus in the same breath. good show. can I get a golf clap here?

I was truly impressed.

• Rep. Schofield had a hard time this hearing because he wants LAW&ORDER, but not if it means RFRA happy constituents can’t defeat the icky LETTER PEOPLE. but can’t say that because…

• Rep. Israel did come today (yay! unicorns!), but Fmr. Rep. Maxey did not (boo, no rainbows!). here she is the day she was Speaker for a Day (which is a thing they do in the interim):

anyway, back to the hearing. Rep. Israel said, “It seems to me that you can’t legislate good communication.”

• Ms. Citizen Petitioner thinks that all this stuff constitutes a “grave injustice”. she said she should be able to overturn an ordinance any time she one displeases her without having to “raise an army of petition gatherers” because, according to her, there are 0 citizens organizations in Plano. she also doesn’t understand how she can attach a copy of the ballot measure to the petition because she seems to be unaware that paper has TWO SIDES. (yeah, I know, an evil commie environmentalist who has the hots for the Human Rights Campaign like I am would suggest they put something on the virgin backside of a petition.) she would also like to note that NO ONE EVER GOT EMAILS FROM MS. MIMS (except they did, but the emails went to their spam boxes which they didn’t notice until way after the fact).

• Mr. Citizen Petitioner said even though their forms were all wrong (and their attorney was a shirbird who said they were right), the city should have had to check EVERY. SINGLE. PAGE. to make sure they were all wrong. it’s not like city staff has anything better to do. and if they won’t do it, then the state should make a brand new agency to do it because we’re not facing a budget shortfall now, ARE WE?!

• TML and Rep. Israel made funny jokes about the Luber Proposition in Austin and how it was a complete failure.

• this is only about the 5th time I’ve heard that Andy “I defeated HERO” Taylor thinks that the city should pay him if he wins a lawsuit against them because “the citizens shouldn’t have to pay”. they will give a law degree to damn near anyone these days. he’d also please like 180 days or more to collect signatures AND if we could count all the ILLEGIBLE ones that are IN CRAYON, that would be MORE FREEDOMY!

• Peggy “I’m not with Americans for Prosperity even though I’m still on the Payroll” Venable always seems like she’s been hitting the sauce. today was no different. she would like to be able to correct the petitions if they’re done wrong. I get the part where they should be able to get the people that circulated them to go visit the notary on this one, but I don’t get the part where they should get extra time to gather petitions if they don’t have enough. like I said: ALWAYS SAUCED,

• Pastor “I will root out EROs wherever they may be!” Welch was back and he thinks that the Plano ERO should be overturned on grounds that it was passed by council IN DECEMBER, Y’ALL! and as we all know DECEMBER IS FOR THE CHURCHES! especially the ones who BELIEVE IN SANTA! no one works in December. except those heathens in Austin who passed regulations on the TNCs for Xmas last year.

• Pastor Welch also said that it is UNFAIR to count in-kind donations from the church under the “you’re tax exempt so you don’t get to do the politics” thing. it’s not like they spent money or anything (except for the part where they buy thinks like printing services and juice boxes for the block walkers). in fact, isn’t Citizens United about CHURCHES? that’s what Pastor Welch thinks. and both Rep. Schofield and Chair Laubenberg (who is the chair of the goddamn committee) agree that in-kind donations should not count. like I said, they’re not mean, they’re Dee You ‘Em Bees.

 

bonds, school bonds

no exposition necessary.

• this message is brought to you by TML:

we put the information in the papers, on the government buildings, in the polling locations, on the radios, on the teevees! there are only 100 words on the E-Slate ballots before you need a new page, could you please not fuck with us? pretty please?

• Rep. Fallon wants everything to be on the November ballot. because that’s a good way to pay for things? nope. it’ll just increase the use of certificates of obligation that the taxpayers won’t have a chance to sign off on. and then he said, “I’m all for local control unless the locals get out of control.” (could this be a reference to us trying to put in rainbow crosswalks at 4th & Lavaca? MAYBE. but it’s probably about paying for shit we need that he doesn’t want to pay for.)

• Georgetown ISD has a nice CFO for it being in Williamson Co. and he thinks it’s swell that they created the novel idea of letting people vote anywhere in the county on E-Day 2 years ago! (we started it 5 years ago in Travis.) but he is nice.

• there are people holding elections in their garages on cardboard boxes in Houston? is this really a thing anywhere? I have Dana, so I wouldn’t know whether this is true or not. it seems they are MUD elections and such because these people can’t get it together to have all their SPD elections coordinated through the county clerk’s office or because their county clerk is completely incompetent.

• Peggy showed back up like a sauced penny to say that voters are too stupid to understand what a bond is, so they should just call it a tax increase.

• Rep. Goldman talked about how bonds should be split up into needs and wants because he doesn’t really think it’s right that a jumbo-tron slipped into a needs bond in his district. I agree with this notion. Saucy Peggy DOES NOT because she keeps losing her purse under the stands. I’m pretty sure that keeping track of your purse is one of those things that the AFP should file under PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY, but I guess you have to have priorities and those priorities include taxpayer funded jumbo-trons so she doesn’t lose her purse.

• oh my, TPPF*. they said the people voting for bonds in Austin are pricing themselves out of their homes by voting for schools, parks, libraries and roads. but the manipulation of the “equal and fair” principal by large business interest times our inability to evaluate that because you guys scream PROPRIETARY INFORMATION when we ask to see what you paid for a property has artificially increased property values in an area where the values are already increasing because we are freakin’ cool so everyone wants to live here. that’s what’s pricing people out of their homes. things that TPPF supports.

*TPPF =  Texas Public Policy Foundation which is a right wing think tank run by Talmadge Heflin (who is like what would happen if you took Trump’s current body and squished it in a vice so that it was only 5 ft. tall) and they redid the front of their building so that it looked like the Austin Club.

rise and shine, Keith! it’s time to talk about Voter ID!

I thought the committee wasn’t going to talk about this. it wasn’t on the agenda. the last part was to monitor bills passed last year, but they talked about voter ID instead.

here’s the down low on voter ID:

let’s clear up the affidavit thing ONE MORE TIME: we all sign an affidavit when we go vote. ALL OF US. not just in TX (where it’s that 8X11 yellow sheet). when you walk into the polls and they say, please sing here next to the sticker with your name or you sign the bottom of your VBM ballot? that is the affidavit. we all sign it. otherwise they ask us to leave. when they’re talking about signing an affidavit, they’re saying you get to color in an extra box on that form. that’s it.

the new affidavit has a line next to the box that you fill out if you have a reasonable impediment to having an ID. the election judge cannot question or qualify your reason. they have to let you vote with whatever you brought with you that is not one of the IDs passed by law unless you say that you don’t have a reasonable impediment. yes, trying to go across town to get it out of the jeans you wore yesterday during rush hour on E-Day counts as a reasonable impediment if you say you have one. if you say that, you can provide any other form of ID like a student ID or a utility bill or the GD Voter Registration Card you got that seems to be useless (it’s not, bring it with you, it makes it easier to look you up in the system).

if you screw up and say you have the ID, but it’s not with you at the moment? you can cast a provisional ballot and have until the 6th day after the election to take one of the IDs specified by down to your county clerk’s office to get your ballot county as a regular ballot.

the photo IDs that are accepted can now be expired by as much as 4 years as opposed to 60 days.

but how do we know if all the election judges got the memo? inspired by Rep. Israel earlier, Keith says, “Now you see why I don’t sleep much these days because we can send out the materials, but we can’t make sure they’re read.” but, yes, they have changed all their materials to reflect the judge’s language and will never listen to Ken Paxton about anything ever again, thank you!

BU-BU-BU-BUUUUT! Schofield wants to know how we’re going to be able to cancel out bogus votes. answer: you can’t unless the election is close enough to trigger a recall. BBBBBBBUUUUUUUUUTTTTT! how will they know which ones to ban next time? and Keith, who really knows how to end a hearing on a funny note, is all, “oh, YOU WILL KNOW! we already did 2 special elections and someone put down as their reasonable impediment ‘FASCIST LAW’.” so, pro-tip: don’t write that in as your reasonable impediment.

in conclusion

did you really think I wasn’t going to subject you to a photo of Heflin? THOUGHT WRONG!

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