Fed Up! David Simpson’s Open Letter to Rick Perry

An open letter from Texas State Representative, David Simpson, to Rick Perry

An Open Letter to Governor Rick Perry
Father’s Day, June 19, 2011

The Honorable Rick Perry
Governor of the State of Texas
P.O. Box 12428
Austin, Texas 78711-2428

Dear Governor Perry:

If you are willing, there is still time to enact legislation to protect the dignity of travelers in Texas. Egregious intrusive searches without probable cause continue every day by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Texans and indeed Americans around this nation are fed up with this out of control federal bureaucracy that has promulgated practices that violate the 4th Amendment and that treat grandmothers, the handicapped, Iraqi war veterans with prosthetic limbs, boys, girls and infants as criminal suspects—touching their private parts as a condition of travel.

You write in your book, Fed Up, that you want to “help foster a nationwide conversation about the role of government in our lives” (Fed Up, 187). I can think of no role less suitable for our federal government than that of routinely violating innocent citizens of this state and those of the entire country.

Even our state officials are being violated as they travel to conduct the business of this state. I am sure you have heard by now that last Tuesday TSA officials reached up the skirts of Representative Barbara Nash and another female member of the Texas House, touching their privates through their undergarments! And Chairman Barry Smitherman of the Public Utilities Commission told FOX News last Wednesday that he was so aggressively searched that he was “sore” for hours afterward in those same areas. On top of that, the TSA officials acknowledged that they were “punishing” him for opting out of the scanners by going through every item in his carry-on luggage one piece at a time, taking about 40 minutes to do so.

I agree with you that “we have let establishment politicians on both sides of the aisle empower Washington at the expense of states, and thus our liberty” (Fed Up, xviii). Republicans started the TSA and Democrats expanded its reach.

The establishment in Washington has shown that it cannot be trusted to run the economy. However, under your leadership Texas has stood strong despite bad federal policy because we took action in our state. The establishment in Washington has also shown that it cannot be trusted to protect the rights of our citizens as guaranteed by the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution and Article 1, Section 9 of the Texas Constitution. Now it is time for us to stand strong also for the privacy, dignity, and constitutional rights of our citizens.
This is the perfect opportunity for you to show that kind of leadership that is so needed right now—that kind of leadership that will “make Texas stronger while defending the Constitution and demonstrating the harm caused by excesses in Washington” (Fed Up, 187).

On June 8th in a public teleconference call you were asked about placing this legislation on the call and you stated that it was in your “policy shop” and that, if there were support to pass the bill in both houses, you would call the bill for the special session.

Texans overwhelmingly support this measure as I am sure your office can attest. And the Legislature is ready to pass it as soon as you call the bill:

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I’m not afraid

With an iron fist in a velvet glove
We are sheltered under the gun

In the glory game on the power change
Thy Kingdom’s will be done
And the things that we fear
Are a weapon to be held against us
-Neil Peart, Rush

I just got home from vacation. My mom and my sister live on Amelia Island, Fla., so I not only spent some time with my family, but also got in some much needed beach time – an occasional necessity for this exiled Floridian.

Our visit to the Sunshine State also provided an opportunity for a little breakthrough for my 8-year-old nephew.  With my kids frolicking in the ocean, he had the impetus to spend some extended time in the water.

You might not find an 8-year-old playing in the waves particularly unusual. But you see; my nephew generally won’t linger in the ocean for any extended amount of time.

Why?

He’s afraid of sharks.

Mind you, he’s never actually seen a shark in the wild. He doesn’t know anybody who has ever experienced a shark attack. And the odds of a shark actually attacking?  One in 11.5 million, according to the University of Florida’s International Shark Attack File.

But my nephew remains petrified of sharks none-the-less. As a result, he generally scurries to the perceived safety of the beach after mere minutes in the water.

It’s sad that a little boy would miss out on all the fun of playing in the ocean because of fear. But in truth, American society plays out my nephew’s reaction to sharks on a larger scale every day.

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PA Tenth Amendment Legislation Status – June 19

Updates

The list below contains the Tenth Amendment related legislation which we are currently tracking in the Pennsylvania legislature. This week’s updates include:

  • SB3 was approved by the Senate and introduced into the House Insurance Committee.
  • HB1653 was introduced.
  • SB354 was passed out of committee.
  • SB355 and SB356 were added to our tracking.  These also passed out of committee this week.

Also, we have been advised by Representative Metcalfe’s office that his staff is working with Representative Tallman on an amendment to HB852 and we have been advised by Senator McIlhinney that, “Senate Resolution 9 will be scheduled for a vote out of the State Government Committee in the near future.”

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