Mailer Rebuttals

HB 1010

  • This bill as presented on the Texas House floor was too vague in nature. As written it could have led to the imprisonment of an innocent individual based solely on an accusation/interpretation of another and not on actual evidence.
  • The penal code should be clear and not up to interpretation as this bill would have done.
  • The following is from the official Texas House journal and was printed for legislative intent:

“Rep. Wu: So your bill is talking about conduct that is not necessarily sexual in nature, but is a prelude to something that is sexual in nature?

Rep. Susan King: That is correct.

Rep. Wu: Okay, so we cannot simply define it as a sexual contact?

Rep. Susan King: It would be, you know, again, I think it would have to be in the interpretation of the person who was receiving the conduct, and the intent of the person delivering the activities to that person.”

  • If this piece of legislation became law it could lead to a situation where simply patting a child on the back or a hug and the accusation that it was “sexual grooming” would put someone in jail.
  • The issues that this bill sought to fix already currently exist in statute when a crime is committed against a child.
  • This bill was so poorly written that the Texas Senate never even gave it a hearing in committee and it died.

HB 189

  • This is an example of a bill with good intentions that was poorly written.
  • The bill eliminates due process in cases with no physical evidence increasing the likelihood of false convictions and frivolous lawsuit abuse.
  • Under current law there is no statute of limitations for rape cases where physical evidence exists, or a minor is involved. It only would remove the statute of limitations in a “he said she said” situation.
  • This law removes the 10 year statute of limitations where there is no physical evidence.
  • This opens the door for an accusation 40 years later, with no physical evidence, producing a wrongful conviction.
  • No individual should be expected to recall details of an event that took place 10 years prior or more and it is unfair for them to be able to mount a defense in a “he said she said” situation.

HB 777

  • Current statute makes indecent exposure punishable by 6 months in prison and/or a $2000 fine.
  • The measure would have changed current statute for someone who was convicted of indecent exposure more than once, to a year in prison and a $4,000 fine. This is a huge jump.
  • This is an example where juvenile hijinks could cause someone to spend up to a year in jail.
  • This bill was not crafted narrowly enough to preclude a disproportionate punishment in some situations.
  • For instance current statute states that a pimp would face the same penalty as someone who was convicted of indecent exposure. I don’t think these crimes are equal and should not be punished equally.
  • If the bill would have been narrower in scope to target more serious instances of the crime, I would have voted for it.

HB 603

  • Some of the definitions are so broad that common situations could be captured under the crime
  • For example: “exposed intimate parts” means clothed in a manner that leaves any portion of someone’s intimate parts uncovered or visible through less than fully opaque clothing, and this could describe commonly seen street attire that might appear in visual images.
  • The state should be cautious about creating new crimes for nonviolent behaviors. Making such actions a state jail felony is too punitive given the nonviolent nature of these actions.
  • SB 1135 was a much better solution (which I voted for) to the problem than this bill and has been signed by the Governor into law.
  • Making kids who make dumb mistakes felons is not a good solution to this problem. I supported reform in this area of the law and made my intentions clear in my vote for SB 1135, which creates a new liability within the penal code of “unlawful disclosure or promotion of certain intimate visual material.”
  • This is a content based restriction on free speech which would be presumptively unconstitutional

HB 1168

  • This bill DOES NOT prevent prosecution for resisting arrest.
  • This bill allows a defense to prosecution in instances of unlawful arrest and unlawful (warrantless) search.
  • We have the right under the 4th amendment preventing illegal search without probable cause and a warrant.
  • This bill would have simply given someone who had been unlawfully searched or arrested a defense to prosecution. This is the same standard that existed at common law.

HB 773

  • To imply that I am against the pledge of allegiance is absolutely false.
  • I voted in favor of an amendment that was offered that would have made this bill constitutional. I cannot vote for a bill that has already been ruled as unconstitutional.
  • This was a political stunt instead of good policy. Local school districts should have more control over their own policy instead of top down mandates from the federal government and Austin.
  • No evidence was ever provided that our schools are not already reciting the pledges on a daily basis or that this bill solved any real problem.

HB 910 – Rinaldi amendment

  • This amendment only codified what exists in common law – there should be no “stop and search” of innocent civilians.
  • This amendment would have prevented police from stopping and demanding the ID of a law abiding citizen who was open carrying. Again, this is the current case law.
  • This is a common sense amendment that would have protected the rights of lawful gun owners exercising their right to bear arms.
  • The amendment was adopted, with only ten democrats voting against it.
  • It was later stripped out in conference through underhanded means by house leadership.
  • Voting against this amendment (as my opponent has said he would have) was scored as an anti-gun vote by pro-2nd amendment groups.

SB 97

  • This bill regulates e-cigarettes the same way that cigarettes and cigars are regulated.
  • Electronic cigarettes are a proven method of smoking cessation and have helped millions of people help quit cigarettes. It is not at all clear they have the same negative health effects as smoking.
  • For this reason they should not be regulated in the same way as cigarettes which is why I voted against this bill.

SB 236

  • This lengthens an already substantial punishment for a non-violent crime.
  • There is also a problem with basing the sentencing of a crime on geographical location. Geographic-based laws lead to arbitrary and unfair enforcement.

HB 3916

  • This bill was a creative way to stop the warrantless search and collection of personal information from innocent Texans by the NSA.
  • This issue was resolved at the federal level this year when congress put a stop to the NSA’s unlawful search of innocent Americans after an outcry from the American people.
  • This bill sought to cut off water and electric utilities to the NSA facility in San Antonio that effectively would have stopped the data collection in Texans.
  • I am thankful this issue was resolved at the federal level, stopping 4th amendment violations on millions of innocent Americans. This bill was a way for Texas to use its sovereign powers under the 10th Amendment to push back against federal overreach.