Locals Respond to Democratic Walk Out - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/13/03

Locals Respond to Democratic Walk Out

Monday's Democratic walk out has raised eyebrows across the state, on top of stopping all legislative business and possibly jeopardizing deadlines. It's a decision the legislators believe is within their right, but the people who've elected them seem to disagree.

This walk out could effect people on all corners of Texas and the people we found seem disappointed with the decision. Either way, Republicans and Democrats alike say their message has been heard.

"I think it was probably a very courageous thing to do. It's funny how you have more power when your gone and I think that is the message they are trying to send, that even though they are the minority they do have some power," said Irma Guerrero, Democratic County Chair.

But Lubbock Mayor Marc McDougal, who is also a Republican, says the redistricting issue is not a forgone conclusion. "That's not the time to leave, that's the time to stay in Austin and argue for what you want to get done."

McDougal says there decision to stop the process effects all bills. "There are a number of bills that are unrelated to redistricting that have deadlines and hearings for first votes, and some of those bills would be very good for West Texas with tax cuts implications and all of those are now in jeopardy of dying for meeting deadlines and you hate to see partisan politics start effecting the entire state, but that's exactly what the democrats have done by leaving the state."

"I think they are sending a message and that is a message that the Republican party here in Texas is bipartisan, as you know Democrats all have a mind of their own, they aren't like the Republican party where you do as your told," said Guerrero.

But in the small town of Hale Center, where residents and businessmen have supported one of the democrats that walked out they feel the decision was childish. "Pete's always been a big part of this part of the country and to walk out when you aren't in charge anymore just because you aren't in charge is childish in my opinion," said Benny Durham of Hale County.

"I think it's sad and pretty indicative of the way the Democrats have been acting even nation wide, they've lost power and their struggling to get their power anyway they can," said Clifton Durham, of Hale County.

"I don't think it really matters what area their from, its the angle they are taking and it's sad that he's from this area and he's chosen this power struggle but whether he's from this area or anywhere else it's the situation that's not right," said Rhonda Bain, a Hale County resident.

There no doubt will be a price tag figured up for the delay in Austin, but, the Democrats point out that they are paying for this walkout entirely on their own. In other words, the cost of travel and hotel expenses is not being passed on to taxpayers.

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