The Musings of the PlotShot

Welcome to my blog! The primary goal of my blog is to get off my thoughts on Texas politics and other political issues out there. I hope you enjoy my journey into the world of politics and that you contribute through comments or suggestions!

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Location: Houston, Texas, United States

Welcome to my blog! My name is Jason Plotkin and I have an interests in Texas politics. During the current session of the Texas Legislature and for the forseeable future, I will post my political commentary on this web site for you to view. I encourage discussion, suggestions and comments to my blog postings. Thanks and take care.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

HB 1476 - Sexually Suggestive Dancing Gets Initial Approval

They busted out the pom-poms in what turned out to be a close vote in favor of House Bill 1476, the sexually suggestive dancing bill that I've talked about before in this blog. The bill has now passed the House once and needs one more vote in the House before sending it over to the Senate. If you do not recall, the bill reads, "(b) If the commissioner determines that a performance group described by Subsection (a) has performed in an overtly sexually suggestive manner, the commissioner shall inform the appropriate school district and the district shall take appropriate action against the performance group and the group's sponsor, as determined by the district."

The vote was 65 to 56. Seems more Democrats were opposed than in favor on this one, though it was a Democrat sponsor. In Houston, most Dems went against while most Republicans were for, with folks on both sides.

How can you fight against suggestive dancing when the bill does not specifically define the prohibited behavior or set any penalty for violations?

They brought up my favorite ammendment, the cupcake issue which you can read about in this blog and how they, in the Texas House, have done some crazy bills in the past. They brought up the amputation of the fingers of drug dealers bill that Representative Al Edwards (D-Houston) has presented in the past.

What was funny is how they also had the song "shake, shake, shake, shake, shake your booty" in the background at one point, I'm assuming, someone in the gallery played it.

Rep. Edwards said "you know it, when you see it" in terms of what is sexually suggestive and what is not. I sure as hell can't tell what is sexual when I see it. Rep. Edwards also said it doesn't matter what they wear and the Texas Education Agency will handle who defines what is sexually suggestive. Do they know what is sexually suggestive? Is it defined in a dictionary that I have not seen?

Rep. Edwards was also questioned if he had anything that proves that sexually suggestive dancing leads to HIV, AIDS, herpes or other STDs. This question coming from Rep. Marc Veasey (D-Fort Worth) and really was interesting as Rep. Edwards copped out of that question, but said no.

Rep. Kent Grussendorf (R-Arlington) asked what Jon Stewart thought of the bill and Edwards responded that he didn't know how the piece would come out as it hadn't aired.

"This is a ridiculous bill. I don't know how it got to the floor," said Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston in a Chronicle article. "We don't have any business mandating anything. We are spending time on '2-3-4, we can't shake it anymore.' It's an embarrassment."

Rep. Thompson was downright hillarious. She was saying it was insulting and that Rep. Edwards' family gave the land to Rep. Thompson's elementary school. She went out of her way to compliment him, but said that he's on the wrong agenda and that this is a local issue. She was screaming into the mic and getting all emotional. She also said the TEA has enough to do to rework schools and make our kids better educated.

"Sometimes as adults, we should say there are proper ways to behave. It's time we send a message and say we are going to expect certain behavior," Rep. Carter Casteel, R-New Braunfels, who agree legislators should not be legislating morality or telling people what to do, but she voted for the bill.

Rep Rene Oliveria (D-Brownsville) said that Rep. Edwards was bringing up a good point, but he did not agree with it. He defended Rep. Edwards' right to file a billbut said it was taking precious legislative time when the House was not working on the Governor's major issue. Several mentions, including Oliveria about Hamlet or Romeo and Juliet possibly being sexually suggestive. "When I was 15, anything a cheerleader did was interesting to me. When I was 17, I knew better" said Oliveria. Oliveria brought up how President George W. Bush, Governor Rick Perry and Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson were cheerleaders and we should recognize them to vote no.

Yes, this bill passed. However, we were all amused in the process. This is a terrible problem with our government. We have people. It should be noted that state Rep. Corbin Van Arsdale (D-Houston) signed on as a co-sponsor. Rep. Joe Crabb (R-Kingwood) and Rep. Debbie Riddle (R-Houston) were the Republican co-sponsors.

And no one has yet defined "overtly sexually suggested" though we still don't know what it is, if you don't know it, how can you see it?