Chad’s Morning Brief: Ted Cruz vs. Dianne Feinstein, Lubbock City Council Meeting, & More
Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of March 15, 2013. Give Chad your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11am.
1. Cruz vs Feinstein (link)
You just have to love that Senator Ted Cruz isn’t scared of taking on the folks in Washington. Yesterday, Senator Cruz found himself in a testy exchange at a gun hearing with Senator Dianne Feinstein. During the exchange Feinstein makes it clear that she isn’t a sixth grader (though the IQ might be about the same) and that the respects the Constitution. Here is how the conversation went according to the Weekly Standard:
“The question that I would pose to the senior senator from California is,” said Cruz to Feinstein, “Would she deem it consistent with the Bill of Rights for Congress to engage in the same endeavor that we are contemplating doing with the Second Amendment in the context of the First or Fourth Amendment, namely, would she consider it constitutional for Congress to specify that the First Amendment shall apply only to the following books and shall not apply to the books that Congress has deemed outside the protection of the Bill of Rights? Likewise, would she think that the Fourth Amendment’s protection against searches and seizures could properly apply only to the following specified individuals and not to the individuals that Congress has deemed outside the protection of the Bill of Rights?
“I’m not a sixth grader,” said Feinstein. “Senator, I’ve been on this committee for 20 years. I was a mayor for nine years. I walked in, I saw people shot. I’ve looked at bodies that have been shot with these weapons. I’ve seen the bullets that implode. In Sandy Hook, youngsters were dismembered. Look, there are other weapons. I’ve been up — I’m not a lawyer, but after 20 years I’ve been up close and personal to the Constitution. I have great respect for it. This doesn’t mean that weapons of war and the Heller decision clearly points out three exceptions, two of which are pertinent here. And so I — you know, it’s fine you want to lecture me on the Constitution. I appreciate it. Just know I’ve been here for a long time. I’ve passed on a number of bills. I’ve studied the Constitution myself. I am reasonably well educated, and I thank you for the lecture.”
Go Cruz Go!
2. Voting Rights Act (link)
When it comes to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, most Texans believe it’s time to get rid of it. According to the Texas Tribune, support for doing away with Section 5 has actually increased.
A result in the October 2012 University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll finding a razor thin majority supporting, at least in concept, the federal pre-clearance of changes to the electoral system in some states mandated by Section 5 the Voting Rights Act of 1965 raised a few eyebrows. We revisited the question in the February 2013 survey with an eye toward checking to see if intervening events might have had an impact on public opinion, and to see if asking our respondents to consider Texas’ position in the VRA regime more specifically might influence those responses.
The February results suggest that the answer to both of these inquiries is yes.
We gave the same question we asked in October 2012 to half the respondents (600) in the February 2013 UT/Tribune poll. We found that in the four intervening months, support for the substance of Section 5 had declined while opposition had increased. Overall support for the principle of pre-clearance fell from 51 percent to 44 percent, and opposition increased from 36 percent to 40 percent.
Though these changes are within the margins of error for the two samples, there are plausible reasons to expect a shift in public opinion. As I wrote in a post in the lead-up to the U.S. Supreme Court’s review of the pre-clearance provisions found in Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, the level of support in October conveyed a partisan distribution of support: Democrats strongly supported continued federal oversight (81 percent were in favor) and Republicans mostly opposed it, though less overwhelmingly (63 percent).
I do believe it’s time to do away with Section 5. Texas and other states that have to comply with this part of the Voting Rights Act are not inherently racist. To continue with Section 5 says otherwise. Is there still racism in the United States? Absolutely, but it’s not contained to the South or to just whites.
3. Lubbock City Council Meeting (link)
The Lubbock City Council met last night at City Hall and the big discussion was about libraries in Lubbock. According to KFYO News, the Mayor’s idea of forming a new committee was shot down last night.
The resolution to create a new citizen advisory committee was put on the agenda by Lubbock Mayor Glen Robertson. The City currently has a Libraries Board to advise the City Council on the wants and needs of the library system.
Robertson stated that he wanted a board to study possibilities for a new Godeke Library, which is currently located in a shopping center at 6707 Slide Road. The lease for the space is $25,000 per month, and is up for renewal in September.
The proposed committee would have also been charged to study the benefits and drawbacks of continuing the City’s current branch library system, or having one large central library.
“I’ve been frustrated that we’re not making any progress with our situation with the Godeke Library,” said Robertson. “I value their [libraries board] input. My concern though, is I’m only hearing one answer, and that is to build an approximately 20 to 22,000 square foot library in southwest Lubbock, which my estimates will be a five to seven million dollar facility.”
Robertson continued, saying that a 22,000 square foot facility might wind up being our main branch, and “that’s not the area where we have the greatest need for our finest library.”
District 2 Councilman Floyd Price weighed in, noting that the descriptions for the Libraries Board and the new committee were essentially the same.
“I think we’ve already got those experts in there. We just need to give them the charge to go forward,” said Price. “I think this Council just should utilize the Library Board they have, and charge them to go ahead and make studies on this concern that we have.”
District Five Councilwoman Karen Gibson came to the defense of the Libraries Board, saying that “We talked about it, but this Council did not give the Libraries Board any kind of a charge, so either we can appoint this committee and give them a charge, or give we can give the Libraries Board a charge, but one way or the other, we need to get on with it.”
Robertson discussed the issue further, saying “We have dropped the ball as a Council. I do not believe the Libraries Board has dropped the ball and I do not believe the Friends of the Library have dropped it. It’s us as a Council.”
Do you think Southwest Lubbock needs a library branch? Or does the City need to totally re-think its library strategy?
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These and many more topics coming up on today’s edition of The Chad Hasty Show. Tune in mornings 8:30-11am on News/Talk 790 KFYO, streaming online at kfyo.com, and now on your iPhone and Android device with the radioPup App. All guest interviews can be heard online in our podcast section after the show at kfyo.com.