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Saturday, May 14, 2005

Spirit of Freedom

Friday I attended a GOP women's group in Ft. Bend, called "Spirit of Freedom." Despite it being DeLay's wife's group, the ladies I saw were quite nice and friendly. A couple interesting things occurred.

A young man from DeLay's office was there. He had on a "DeLay" sticker so he stood out. He had brought a resolution that was read that basically said: "We support Tom DeLay 100% no matter what -- even if he shot the Pope." OK, they left out the part about shooting the pope, but it was close.

Then they passed around a petition, saying it was "required" to get x number of signatures. That was news to me. I sat in the back. When it came by, I noticed it was a "Petition in lieu of filing fee" - something I had done before to avoid paying the $3,000 filing fee. Why circulate it? It isn't really required unless you want to save $3,000 by turning in 500 signatures from voters int he district. But for a guy like DeLay with millions of donations in the bank, why bother with it?

My best guess is that it is a way of polling people. If so, the results should be of concern to the incumbent --what surprised me was how few signatures the petition had, despite passing through nearly everyone else in the room before I saw it. It had maybe four or five signatures. When I did my own petition drive in 2002, I usually got nine signatures for every 10 requests I made.

Some people were asked more than once to sign, and refused, according to a friend of mine who was there and saw it happen.

My focus during the meeting was not on the paper but on the speaker, a young mother who said she had been molested as a young girl and was trying to get a law passed in Texas to remove the statute of limitations on child abuse cases. I thought it was a "no brainer" that would pass easily, but not so. She said one GOP member in the Texas house was keeping it in committee and away from a vote. Why? That one baffled me. I told her to get GOP women calling the guy. He can ignore the young lady, but he can't ignore 50% of the population.


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