Saturday, March 19, 2005

A cheer for Al Edwards

Though I don't condone it, I tried to avoid jumping on the bandwagon criticizing state Rep. Al Edwards, D-Houston after his vote in favor of HB 3, the Republican tax bill. It's not really my bailiwick, and this explanation is plausible, even if this unhappy allegation turns out to be true.

I also wasn't thrilled to see Edwards co-sponsoring Phil King's proposed ban on muni wireless, but others have ably handled that story.

Then I nearly blogged something when I saw Edwards' ridiculous bill banning sexually suggestive cheerleader routines. (How do you define that? When I was in high school, I considered the very existence of cheerleaders sexually suggestive.) But I took a look at his other bills and decided to cut him some slack: Edwards co-sponsored the Naishtat/Keel medical marijuana bill I've discussed previously, and he has a good child custody bill creating a rebuttable presumption that children should stay with their families. I've been around long enough to know everybody won't always agree with me, and those are pretty good bills.

But the need for a Grits blog post on Al Edwards grew to critical mass when this caught my eye in a Fort Worth Startlegram piece:
In 1989, [Edwards] proposed allowing the state to amputate the fingers of drug dealers.

And in 1991, he introduced a bill calling for a statewide vote on allowing corporal punishment of inmates in state prisons, saying that such disciplinary measures as flogging would help rehabilitate prisoners.

Okay, with flogging and cutting off fingers (a theme this morning, huh?!) we've now officially rocketed into outer space. That's the kind of approach you'd expect under the Taliban, in Saudi Arabia, or under the most extremist types of totalitarian states, who come to think of it also don't like to see their women shaking their booties in public. We seem to have identified another theme, here. It's almost enough to make a fellow break out into a cheer:

One, two, three, four,

Prude state reps are such a bore.

Five, six, seven, eight,

Don't grandstand and legislate.

And I mean it, or we'll chop your fingers off.

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