Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ball Hogger Or Team Player

(I can hear the rumbles now. What the heck is he rambling about now?)

I figure since we are at the peak of college basketball season I use this analogy to address some of the madness that has been going around this month.

In a post about a week ago my friend and colleague Jaime Abeytia decided to criticize State Representative Dee Margo for not filing a bill to get the third building for the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine. Margo had been critical of Joe Moody for not trying to secure funding for the third building during the last election that Dee Margo eventually won.

Careful, this might get a (little) technical.

First of all, Joe Moody was in office for two years and was not able to get funding for the third building. Dee Margo on the other hand has been in office for a whole three months. But even if Margo wanted to propose a bill for the third building, as a freshmen he couldn't for the first 60 days. So why didn't he propose one after the sixty days? asks the angry mob. Two reasons. The first is because Margo had said in several interviews that he would not be proposing many bills because he was going to step back and learn the process. And second, because there was already a bill proposed that addressed the issue. Senator Judith Zaffarini  filled SB272  on January 31, about a month before Margo's 60 days were up, that relates to authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds to fund capital projects at public institutions of higher learning. So to put it bluntly, why file a duplicate bill?

Jaime's blog lists and applauds the many bills proposed by the rest the El Paso delegation and at the bottom mentions the two bills that were proposed by Margo. In case you were wondering 5,205 bills were filed in the Texas house during the 82nd regular legislative session.That's a lot of paperwork if you ask me.We all know that the only bills that count are the bills that actually get passed. So giving the rest of the delegation so much credit is a little premature. You have to realize that some bills that are proposed will not even make it out of committee. Now back to the basketball analogy. Should someone keep putting up bricks or should they take a look down court and pass the rock to the player who has a better chance of taking it to the hole? For those who don't speak basketball jargon: Why shoot the ball over and over hoping that one goes in when you can pass the ball to the player who has a better shot at actually scoring. Margo's goal was to secure funding for the third building. His goal was never to take credit for the funding. By supporting SB272 Margo will give everyone in El Paso exactly what they wanted and deserved without having to file a duplicate bill saving both time and paperwork. So if you ask me, this was some pretty good ball handling by the former Vanderbilt football player who would rather get an assist than hog the ball.


  1. A socialist is a socialist and a marxist is a marxist. I don't think we have anyone who abides to the constitution and caters to the public for what the public wants. I believe Margo is a Republicrat. Basically a big spending Dem posed as a Republican. Joe Pickett and Eddie Holguin are currently the only reps who actually listen to and respect the voting public, in my opinion, with control of big government spending into bankruptcy.

  2. First of all, just in case you don't know, the lege. only meets once every 2 years for five months. That means Joe Moody only had 5 months AS A FRESHMAN to get that third building. After that there is no more hope till the next session.

    To correct another one of your errors, you can't pass a bill for 60 days (be it a freshman or the dean of the house unless its an emergency item) but that doesn't mean you can't file it. You can file it and start working behind the scenes (since he apparently knows everyone in Austin) to get support behind your bill.

    Now in all my years at the capitol I have not seen a freshman file the amount that margo has and continue to remain relevant. I have not seen him once at the front or back mic this entire session!!! (and I work at the capitol, I have to watch the floor everyday, and no I don't work for anyone in EP, their office staffs r pretty small so they already have their people when they go up. I just live in Austin and work for a rep from dallas but I grew up in EP, that's why I care) He's not proposing amendments, hell i think hes done 1 resolution. He needs to read a book or get a mentor because to learn on our time is a disgrace and bad for El Paso. For example, yesterday there were at least 10 freshman getting "hazed" for their first bill, one being Naomi Gonzalez. Ten freshmen now have bills that passed the house and are heading to the senate.

    Now I do agree with you that filing a ton of bills doesn't really matter (especially when republican chairman request 30 copies of a bill and bill analysis, imagine how much paper we use for a 20 page bill?!), its what gets passed in the end that ultimately matters. We can't judge the rest of the delegation till the end of session, or at least we should not give them praise just yet.

    You are right about SB 272, (an option Moody never had and could not author because it would have been a big bill and like you said freshman can't do much)if Margo can secure the funding with an amendment then he would have kept his 2nd campaign promise (His first being that since he knows the powerful people in Austin that he can get on powerful committees through friendships and not intelligence or seniority). My fear is, since he's not really doing anything, when he actually goes up to the front mic, the house is going to say, who is this guy? haven't seen him all session. I really hope Marquez offers the amendment instead because she actually works for her bills and as a sophomore knows the system really well (Though Pickett is probably THE best rep. on the delegation, but he's more concerned about transportation stuff).

    In the end I really hope your right and he can get that third funding. From this side of Texas however its not looking too good for Mr. Margo or El Paso and I'm sure I'll be saying I told you so come June.


Thank you for your comments.