Riverside, California 2021-07-16 11:48:46 –
This is not Chris Turner’s first quorum bust. Or his second.
Turner, the sixth-term state representative of the Dallas / Fort Worth region, led more than 50 Democratic colleagues from Texas to Washington, DC on Monday, a ballot box for people of color.
As chairman of the Texas House Democratic Caucus with Republicans above 83-67, Turner took most of the party’s state legislators from Austin to the state’s capital and striked a difficult battle to break the deadlock. Emerged as the face of. US Senate on national law to protect voting rights.
But in 2003, Turner was sent to Ardmore, Oklahoma, as an aide to then-U.S. Congressman Chet Edwards, D-Wako, and a Texas legislator who fled Austin blocked a Republican-backed parliamentary border redraw plan. Helped to do.
House Democrats returned to Austin and efforts to change constituencies died during regular sessions. And then-Gov. Rick Perry called for a special session to resume efforts, Democrats in the State Senate abstained from New Mexico, and Turner joined them due to a six-week absence to suspend operations in Congress.
Matt Angle, a longtime friend and associate of Turners, a veteran Texas Democratic political consultant, said: ..
“Our goal is … to kill the bill.”
In an interview from Washington on Thursday, Turner said his experience as a staff member 18 years ago was to focus House Democrats on their mission and manage what became a remote operation. Said that he was making a profit.
“There are only one million logistics to consider, it’s always a kind of controlled mess, and sometimes it’s just trying to move six hours ahead at a time,” Turner said.
As in 2003, Texas Democrats are focusing on delivering a message to a public audience in the hope of forming public opinion, which could force parliamentary action. Said Turner, 48, who owns and operates the communications. North Texas consulting firm.
“Our goal is pretty simple,” he said. “It’s about breaking the bill for this particular special session, but (again) to use this platform, we need to ask the US Senate to pass the federal voting bill.”
No matter how frank, Turner’s goals remain stubbornly elusive. He and other Texas Democrats spent time in Washington to make the pitch, rounding the 50-50 Senate to major players who could join the Democrats in passing the federal bill.
Several Democrats wanted to meet with West Virginia Conservative Democratic Senator Joe Manchin on Thursday and take him to their side. Manchin supports efforts to protect voting rights nationwide, but does not promise to vote to break the Senate filibuster, which requires 60 votes to submit a bill for voting. I told them.
The Senate seems to be stuck in voting as the Republicans are united in opposition. Republican Governor of Texas Greg Abbott has vowed to keep lawmakers in Austin until the GOP election bill is passed, and state Democrats face a longer chance of winning.
Both Ingres and Edwards, Democrats representing the district fixed by Waco for 20 years before losing their re-election bid in 2010, Turner has his own qualifications to manage the diverse and sometimes painstaking House Democratic Caucus. Said. They acknowledge his experience as a behind-the-scenes political agent in his twenties and thirties, and more recently, his knowledge of the internal workings of Congress as an elected civil servant.
Edwards said he has come to rely on Turner for both organizational strength and the ability to think of three advances on the political chess board.
“Chris is one of the most talented civil servants I’ve ever known — at the state or national level,” Edwards said. “This makes him so unique. It’s a rare combination of being a powerful and strategic thinker and a good organizer.”
When Edwards was in Congress, he planned a centrist course that would bridge local and military-oriented Conservatives from the Fort Hood region with more liberal-leaning members in some of the district’s urban pockets. Turner was comfortable and competent in both camps, Edwards said.
Raised in Dallas and earning a bachelor’s degree in government from the University of Texas, Turner is an Edwards campaign manager and senior legislative aide who joined the Texas state legislature after being hired by Angle to run the Tarrant County Democratic Party. I was also one of them. ..
Settled in the densely populated areas of Fort Worth and Arlington, surrounded by a fast-growing suburban community, Tarrant County was the Republican hub at the time.
Election victory and defeat
Turner first sought an election office when he dismissed a Republican in the Swing district of Tarrant County in 2008. Backed by democratic excitement for Barack Obama’s winning presidential election, his winning margin was 4.8 percentage points.
Two years later, in the midterm elections, after Obama’s star power in Texas declined significantly, Turner lost a bid for re-election to the same Republican opponent with the same 4.8-point spread.
After the state’s political map was redrawn for the 2012 election cycle, Turner returned to his district’s home, which has remained overwhelmingly democratic ever since. He won his sixth term last year without objection.
Former Democrat Martin Frost, who represented part of Dallas Fort Worth from 1979 to 2003, left behind a district that couldn’t beat the Democrat, Turner said he had steadily strengthened the party’s power. He said it was commendable. Texas House.
When Turner was first elected chairman of the Democratic Party during the 2017 legislative session, his party dominated only 55 of the 150 seats. Currently, the Democratic Party has 67 members. Recent electoral parties have consistently espoused strong challengers in what has long been considered a Republican base on the outskirts of Texas.
“Republicans are playing baseball in our state. There is no reason why Democrats shouldn’t play baseball,” Frost said. “Politics is a Texas contact sport, as we’ve said over the years.”
on His campaign websiteTurner raises over $ 120 million for Texas veterans through a special lottery scratch-off game and drafts a state constitutional amendment that gives 100% to the surviving spouses of military personnel who died on duty. It is on the list of legislative achievements that will help you create it. Property tax exemption.
“Hard-working wise man”
In 2019, then Republican Speaker Dennis Bonnen said he tapped Turner to chair the Higher Education Commission while chairing the opposition caucuses.
“I put him in place for diligence, intelligence, and his desire to make higher education the best possible in Texas,” Bonnen said. “I knew there was no political game out there, so I trusted him to do it. I didn’t expect him to do it. It was a serious problem. He was diligent. A wise man who knows how to tackle these problems and succeed. “
Mr. Bonnen, who was a member of the House of Representatives when the Democratic Party left in 2003, said quorum invalidation should not be used as a legislative tactic. But he added that it was the job of the Caucus chair to guide the members of the Caucus in the direction they wanted to go.
“There is a move to reach a turning point within the caucuses, and I think his job is to follow the wishes of his colleagues, but he is wrong,” said Bonnen, who did not seek re-election to the House of Representatives in 2020. It was. But he has to stick to where his caucuses are heading, and I think that’s what he did. “
North Texas Republican Tan Parker, who chaired the House Republican Caucus during the first two terms of Democratic Turner, said he agreed with Bonnen’s assessment of Turner.
“Historically, he takes his work seriously,” said Parker, who plans to run for the Texas Senate next year. “I want to see him take his work seriously now and come back to Texas.”
Turner is working with the party’s liberals, but Edwards said he has taken a comprehensive approach to governance.
“He’s a progressive Democrat who treats others with respect,” Edwards said. “But he has a firm determination on basic values such as voting rights and inequality, so Chris will underestimate at his own risk.”
John C. Moritz is responsible for Texas Government and Politics at the USA Today Network in Austin. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @JohnnieMo..
What you need to know about Chris Turner, leader of TX House Democrats Source link What you need to know about Chris Turner, leader of TX House Democrats