Image: Four dangerous criminals (???) protesting during the 86th Texas Legislature in front of disgraced former Speaker Dennis Bonnen’s home in Angleton after Bonnen (innocently?) blocked the passage of gun rights legislation. The four perps are, from left to right, Maureen Ball, Bob Bagley, Sandi Curtis, and Kelli Cox, all of Montgomery County.
The Golden Hammer Staff Reports
Austin, April 8 – Elitism won grandly in the Texas House of Representatives on Wednesday, April 7, 2021, in Austin. The House voted on an unanimous voice vote to allow all elected officials in the State of Texas to prevent the public from knowing their home addresses, specifically appraisal district data or voter records, supposedly for “safety and privacy.”
Specifically, the bill’s author, Phil King, Republican of Weatherford, bemoaned the plight of controversial ultraliberal Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson who had protesters at his home, after some of his decisions outraged Dallas residents. “Part of my concern is that we’re going to get people who don’t want to run for office, because of this,” King told the Texas House on Wednesday right before the unanimous passage of the elitist legislation.
In 2017, protesters leafletted former Speaker Dennis Bonnen’s neighborhood in Angleton to protest his anti-gun-rights positions in the Texas House.
House Bill 1082 specifically allows all elected officials – local and state – to protect themselves from allowing the public to see their appraisal district data. When appraisal districts give special favoritism to elected officials, the public will never know about it. For example, please see “Businessman Tibbs angers Montgomery County Commissioners Court members by telling the truth that they get favorable treatment on their property tax appraisals from the appraisal district,” The Golden Hammer, September 11, 2020 https://thegoldenhammer.net/businessman-tibbs-angers-montgomery-county-commissioners-court-members-by-telling-the-truth-that-they-get-favorable-treatment-on-their-property-tax-appraisals-from-the-appraisal-district/
Under House Bill 1082, for which every single member of the Texas House of Representatives voted in favor, all elected officials may avoid such scrutiny in the future.
Montgomery County conservative political activist Billy Graff commented, “If they would just pass some good legislation, they wouldn’t have to worry about the public.”
Greg Parker, a former Comal County Commissioner, noted, “The public has every right to know where elected officials live. Just because you’ve won an election doesn’t mean you deserve privacy. In fact, it’s the contrary. You deserve scrutiny, especially in how the appraisal districts treat your property tax appraisals.”
King and Democrat Chris Turner of Grand Prairie made clear that the actual purpose of the legislation is to prevent free political speech at the homes of public officials. Texas House and Senate members already have the elite privilege so to opt out, but they’ve extended this special privilege now to all elected officials, which would seem to include city officials, all county elected officials, school district boards, and even precinct chairs.
The analysis of the House State Affairs Committee, which passed the bill out of committee unanimously on March 18, said:
“It has been noted that, in recent years, it has become more common to see citizens confronting government officials in public, including at their homes. Current law allows only statewide elected officers and members of the legislature to elect to withhold certain personal information, such as their home address, from disclosure to the public while local officials are not afforded similar privacy protections. H.B. 1082 seeks to reduce harassment and ensure that public officers at all levels of government retain a degree of safety and privacy by extending these privacy protections to all elected public officers.
“H.B. 1082 amends the Government Code to extend the exception from the public availability requirement of state public information law for certain personal information of a statewide elected officer or member of the legislature to any elected public officer. The bill gives all elected public officers the option to restrict public access to certain related personal information under that law. H.B. 1082 amends the Tax Code to extend confidentiality protections of certain home address information in appraisal records for a statewide elected officer or member of the legislature to any elected public officer.”
The only individuals who testified for the legislation at the State Affairs Committee’s hearing were elected officials seeking to avoid public scrutiny: Fort Worth’s Betsy Price, Denton’s Kate Goodrich, Ender Reed of the Harris County Commissioners Court, Melissa Shannon of the Bexar County Commissioners Court, Julie Wheeler of the Travis County Commissioners Court, and Combined Law Enforcement Association of Texas’ Chris Jones.
Currently, members of the Texas Legislature may avoid this public scrutiny and public protest at their homes. King argued that he accepted the right of the public to protest at official offices or “even” places of business, but not at the homes of the elected almighty.
The Foundation for Applied Conservative Leadership, the Republican National Committee’s Concord School, and many other political activism schools have taught individual citizens that the most effective form of peaceful protest is at the home of elected officials who believe they are higher and mightier than the public at large. Phil King and the Texas House apparently believe in shutting down this important tool available for citizens to obtain redress of their grievances from their elected overlords.
In honor of the Texas House’s elitism, The Golden Hammer is publishing a companion article on Thursday, April 8, 2021, with the home address of every member of the Texas House of Representatives. House members may “opt out” of the addresses by selling their home and moving to an undisclosed location.