Charley Wilkinson, CLEAT's long-time lobbyist, claims his group owns the House Calendars Committee, declaring:
We turned the Calendars Committee into the killing fields because we had to. Here are some of the obituaries that I am proud to announce:Hmmmmm. Must be nice to have that kind of pull! Meanwhile, Charley says his group this year had unprecedented success influencing budget writers to attack pork barrel funding for a rival union group, the Texas Municipal Police Association:
· A House bill that would have given our friends at TCLEOSE a statewide CID unit to investigate officers bypassing the local District Attorney’s office and overriding the local law enforcement agency. (After surviving a shooting and clearing your name locally through arbitration an officer could wind up facing a TCLEOSE criminal investigation.) DEAD!
· A House bill that would have mandated using stun guns only in deadly force situations. DEAD!
· A House bill that would have taken away all stun guns in Texas for 12 months. DEAD!
· A House bill that would have required standardized state mandated training for stun guns. DEAD!
· A House bill that would have taken all law enforcement training dollars and sent them to the governor’s criminal justice division for further bureaucratic red tape and distribution. DEAD!
It has been on again and off again for the anti-grant riders that we placed in the omnibus appropriating act called HB 1. The massive spending bill contains the $154 billion of the state budget.So to summarize: CLEAT considers it a good legislative year because they killed an independent police misconduct investigator, avoided any restrictions on Taser use or even required training, and may still succeed with attacks on a rival union's funding source designed to weaken a competitor.
CLEAT has never played at this level of legislative gamesmanship before and no pattern for strategy exists. However, as one Senator focused on taking out our riders in conference committee last week another house member would get it stuck back on. These often secret meetings have been held in back hallways and empty corridors where no one can hear or see. As of Friday, May 11th the house heroes had stuck our riders back in the bill again.
If you ever wonder why Texas criminal laws are so bad, IMO it's mainly because the police unions (and also these guys) wield too much power "in back hallways and empty corridors where no one can hear or see."