Yesterday, the nomination of Dr. Bryan Shaw came up, to continue as one of three commissioners over the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.The Senate Nominations Committee will consider Perkins' nomination at a meeting this aftenoon at 1 pm. or 30 minutes after the Senate adjourns in the Senate chamber.
Most of the Senate Democrats opposed the confirmation, based on the silly notion that the state agency charged with protecting the environment should...well, you know...do a little of that from time to time.
During the course of that debate, Republican Senator Mike Jackson, who chairs the Senate Nominations Committee, the first stop for all these appointees, remarked in defense of Dr. Shaw that the Senate needs to look beyond policy differences, and instead cast their votes based on a particular appointee's qualifications, experience, and expertise.
Fair enough, Chairman Jackson. Let's talk about Shanda Perkins . Ms. Perkins is pending in Jackson 's Nominations Committee, as a Perry appointee to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles. Her committee hearing is today.
What are Shanda Perkins' qualifications? Well, she led a revolt against sex toys .
Her holy quest to rid Planet Earth of the scourge of people doing whatever they want in the privacy of their own homes landed one woman in jail, and the whole mess ended up in Federal Court. The courts eventually ruled that Ms. Perkins' goal, and the law that goes with it, is unconstitutionally illegal.
Perkins' only other qualification for appointment by Perry seems to be that she was caught passing out anonymous fliers attacking Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison at Republican events.
So what's it gonna be, Mr. Chairman? Is the talent bar in Texas so low these days that we're going to entrust decisions, regarding who remains in prison and who is set free, to a political hack anti sex toy crusader who is unconcerned with the U.S. Constitution?
The appointment is an embarrassment .
UPDATE: The Senate Nominations Committee approved Perkins' nomination on a 4-1 vote, with Sen. Elliott Shapleigh the lone opponent. Unfair Park broke the news of the committee vote; see also brief coverage from AP.
MORE (5/7): From the Dallas News' Trail Blazers Blog:
When Shapleigh quizzed Perkins and three other Perry appointees to the board about their credentials, the other three cited advanced degrees, years of prison work and experience in state and local government. Perkins cited her experience as a Sunday school teacher and a church youth counselor.AND MORE: Best coverage yet of the hearing from Jim Vertuno at AP who reports:
The ACLU sent Perry's office a letter Wednesday saying Perkins' has "no relevant qualifications for the position and no identifiable experience in the area of corrections policy" and her nomination should be withdrawn.
Perkins' approval "will fail to promote fairness on the parole board or confidence in the criminal justice system," the letter said.
and also this tidbit:
Shapleigh also asked how she would vote if there was new evidence that could show a death row inmate may be mentally disabled, which would prevent them from being executed.
"I would vote against," execution, Perkins said.