Perry’s Odd Reasoning for Vetoing a Text Banning Bill

Texas Governor Rick Perry vetoed 23 bills last week and according to an article by Mike Ward on the Austin Statesman website “a statewide ban on texting while driving was among [them]”.  The state already has a ban on texting for people 18 or younger while driving.  It also bans texting for all age groups while driving through a school zone.  But Perry felt there was no need to ban texting people older than 18 in general.  According to Ward’s report, “Perry said that texting while driving ‘is reckless and irresponsible’ but that he saw the bill as ‘a government effort to micromanage the behavior of adults’.

Two Republicans, Rep. Tom Craddick of Midland and state Sen. Glenn Hegar from Katy, sponsored the bill but evidently they are not in line with the Tea Party philosophy of Perry’s that sees such restrictions as efforts to micromanage adults.  Perry seems to have no problem micromanaging adult women who choose to have an abortion by signing into law a bill that forces a women to either see a sonogram of the embryo before they have the abortion or at least be expected to listen to their doctor describe the image if the woman refuses to view it.

On the other hand, he seems to be in unison with most other Texans that want to restrict drinking alcohol while driving by adults or teens.  I’m sure he does so like the rest of us who see alcohol influencing a driver’ ability to react normally while operating a moving vehicle.  But why would he think adults are unable to drive safely drunk but will have no problem being distracted while reading and sending text messages?

Governments exist in part to enact laws that “micromanage” most people almost everyday.  We have speed limits and traffic ordinances in place, pedestrian and vehicular, for the public safety.  We restrict commercial establishments from selling alcohol after 2am with the intent of reducing drunk driving fatalities.  During droughts local governments impose restrictions on watering.  There are many restrictions on noise by businesses and party goers.  We don’t limit THESE necessary restrictions to minors; all ages are expected to endure this form of micromanaging.   But somehow Perry thinks that restricting adults from texting while driving is stepping over the line.

Vetoing this bill is an example of the extreme view held by many Tea Partiers who always  perceive government as some foreign entity rather than as an expression of concerned citizens.  I have no objection to people who don’t want to feel the oppressive weight of some distant government bureaucrat in their daily lives but we no longer live in isolated enclaves on the Texas prairies.

Our booming population creates conditions that warrant some measure of control so one person’s “liberty” doesn’t violate another’s.  Likewise, as our technology advances and creates new problems with old practices, we need to adapt new measures to fit this change.

It’s  amazing that Perry gets away with stuff like this since he really isn’t all that popular in the state.  Texas is one of several states that doesn’t have run-offs in state elections if there is no winner who has better than 50% of the vote.  In the 2006 race, Perry garnered less than 40% of the vote in a field of four.  With the aid of the white vote and the anti-Obama mood generated by the Tea Party in 2010, Perry did gain a 55% plurality over his Democratic and only opponent, Bill White.  But many saw it as the lesser of two evils choice rather than a strong mandate for the arrogant governor with recent polls showing his approval rating hovering only slightly above 50%.    It also says something when 61% of Texans don’t think he’ll be a good President.

Many within his own Party were angered when he attempted in 2007 to mandate “that Texas girls receive HPV vaccine that protects against some strains of the human papilloma virus, a cause of cervical cancer.”   In 2001 he also drew the ire of voters and property owners, especially with those in areas that ran parallel with I-35, where he proposed to build the Trans-Texas Corridor with partially private funding from Cintra, a Spanish-owned company, who would in turn then receive ALL toll proceeds, eliminating a source of revenue for future Texas infrastructure construction.

I know Governor Perry would rather travel around the country and the globe on the taxpayers’ dime promoting himself as the state’s champion to attract new businesses and also stop in at political gatherings to drop hints about a run for the Presidency. He would also rather have God fix whats broken in Texas, creating a warm and fuzzy feeling for the religious right rather than making the tough decisions needed to address a deficit he in part helped create by reducing property taxes needed to fund education in the state.  His claims about job creation in the state are also bogus as Texas leads the nation in minimum wage jobs rather than decent living-wage jobs where people can save and purchase affordable health care coverage.  “We’re all Wal-Mart greeters now!”

It doesn’t take courage to appease the anti-government crowd here in the state.  They are after all the one class of Texans that benefit from what bills Perry does approve as he allows big business to have its way with our resources, our health and wages.  Let’s just hope none of them get injured or killed by a hunter with a deer strapped across the hood of his Hummer as he’s texting his buddies about the ten-pointer he just bagged.


The Haunting of Rick Perry

Rick Perry’s Top Controversies

Perry’s Texas Has Highest Percentage Of Minimum Wage Jobs In The Nation 








6 responses to “Perry’s Odd Reasoning for Vetoing a Text Banning Bill

  1. Actually, I hate these bills. I hate over legislation. I like education and showing people why it’s wrong, but I hate knee-jerk response laws that say “look, someone got killed; there needs to be a law.” There was an idiot councilman in Chicago, who because someone got hit by a bus texting while crossing the street, tried to get a bill passed that said no texting and walking. What’s next, no texting and eating because one might choke? Yes, people are stupid and they are inconsiderate with their stupidity, but making things illegal does not stop stupidity. Education stops stupidity. Educate, educate, educate and not just make everything illegal. There is a lot of time wasted debating laws that prohibit stupidity instead of making laws that might actually benefit people. I don’t understand this guy though. He mandates young girls get this vaccine (which I admit is a good vaccine but should never be mandated), but doesn’t like the texting law. He has a weird view of what is an invasion of privacy and liberty and what isn’t.

    • You’re right Donna. We don’t need a law for everything people don’t like. In some cases though where certain behavior can cause the death of innocent people, like drunk driving and texting while driving, the law may not educate you but there will be a penalty for failure to educate yourself.

  2. It is understandable……Perry wanted to secede from the union…….so he is NOT that sure of the whole “United States” thing anyway…….sorry but he is another “bat shit crazy”…….

    • Actually lobo, Perry is quite capable of doing the right thing. He just chooses not to in order to win favor with those groups that ensure his re-election.

      He recently signed a bill, HR 2973 (one that he vetoed 10 years ago), that would inhibit, if not prevent meritless lawsuits filed in order to prevent free speech. They’re known as SLAPP lawsuits (strategic lawsuits against public participation) and are used by wealthy corporations to prevent comments from newspapers and individuals like you and I with our blogs to say negative things about them, even when they’re totally true. Should they try to do this now and the court, without going through the long and costly process of discovery is initiated, finds their claim meritless, they will reject the companies complaint and make them pay any legal expenses the defendant incurred.

      I wonder if Perry was aware that he reversed himself or if he simply failed to note this was one he meant to veto?

  3. I do not think Perry is a moron…just that he has his bat shit crazy ideas……his vaccine thing I think was a decision made because the shot would be cheaper than cancer treatment on medicaid….now that was fiscal responsible…if that is why he did it…..but you are right…even my gov, Barbour has done some right things……not many….but some…..

    • Actually the big stink about his mandate for the HPV vaccine was over the fact there were apparent financial connections between Merck, the drug manufacturer of the vaccine and Perry along with a $6,000 campaign contribution to Perry’s campaign. There was also Merck’s hiring of former Perry Chief of Staff Mike Toomey to handle its Texas lobbying work.

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