- Former governor Rick Perry among those to miss out on first GOP debate
- City Committee Kills BBQ Ordinance
- No Paxton Press Conference As Democrats Call For Resignation
- Texas AG Ken Paxton Booked On Criminal Charges
- Attack targets Donald Trump website as Gawker posts old cell number
- Trump dominates while Perry may not make debate cut
- Reports: Paxton Indicted by Collin County Grand Jury
- Scrutiny Of Latest Round Of Hillary Clinton Emails Begins
- DPS Director Hammered At Hearing On Bland Case
- Sandra Bland's Arrest, Death Takes Stage At Texas Capitol
- Planned Parenthood Skips 'Political' Texas Senate Hearing
- Court of appeals drops one charge against former Governor Rick Perry
- Trump Tours Texas-Mexico Border
- Kerry Defends Iran Nuclear Deal
- Trump Says Hispanics Love Him
- George Bush Senior Out Of ME. Hospital After Fall
- Abbott Accosted By Traveler Angered Over Gay-Marriage Stance
- Obama Challenges Critics Of Iran Nuclear Deal
- Abbott Orders Investigation Of Use Of Tissue From Abortions
- Local Opponents Of Gay Marriage Vow To Fight On
- Louisiana Gov. Jindal ready to jump into 2016 presidential race
- Abbott Signs Bill To Limit Pollution Lawsuits
- Young Protester Demands Veto Of Texas Budget Measure
- Commissioner To Leave HHSC As Deputy Takes Over
- Clinton: GOP Trying To Make It Difficult For People To Vote
- Perry Announces Presidential Run
- Travis County Gears Up To Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licenses
- Like Perry, Abbott Says He'll Leave Texas To Lure Businesses
- Texas Legislature Ends 2015 Session
- Abbott: Texas Won't Legalize Medicinal Or Recreational Pot
- Texas Legislature Ends 2015 Session
- 'Open Carry' Bill Heads To Gov. Abbott
- Austin's Top Cop Says Governor Needs To Step In On Open Carry
- Texas Senate Debating Major Open Carry Handgun Bill
- Texas House OKs Letting Clergy Refuse To Marry Gay Couples
- COA Spends $70K On Austin Code Ad Campaign
- Texas Senate Panel Passes Restrictions On Teen Abortions
- Perry Set To Announce Presidential Bid June 4 In Dallas
- Governor Abbott Signs Kari's Law for better 911 Access
- Texas Anti-Gay Marriage Bill In Limbo With Time Running Out
- House OKs Bill Restricting Minors Seeking Abortions
- Austin City Council Denounces Stereotypes In Training Session
- Supreme Court Rules Police Can't Extend Traffic Stops
- Senate Backs Allowing Pastors To Refuse To Marry Same-Sex Couples
- East Austin Could Get Luxury Golf Course
- Committee Votes Against Requiring Scrubbers For BBQ Food Trucks/Restaurants
- Waste Of Time: Texas House Votes To Keep Daylight Savings
- Senate Gives High Sign To Limited Medical Marijuana
- Pot Legalization Bill Clears House Panel
- School Shooting Victims, Families Voice Against Campus Carry
Wendy Davis Hits Cruz On Role In Shutdown
Updated: Monday, October 28 2013, 03:44 PM CDT
by Jay Root, Texas Tribune
FORT WORTH — State Sen. Wendy Davis, the Democratic candidate for Texas governor, criticized Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz on Monday for his role in the recent federal government shutdown, saying he harmed average citizens just to score political points.
"I think he demonstrated that being the loudest person in the room isn’t necessarily equivalent to being a leader,” Davis said. "I was disappointed to see that he was willing to put so many thousands of Texas families in harm’s way for purposes of making a political statement.”
Davis’ remarks, made outside an early voting location for the constitutional amendment election, amounted to her harshest assessment yet of the Tea Party-backed Republican. During her appearance at the Texas Tribune Festival last month, before the shutdown and debt ceiling brinkmanship roiled Washington, Davis noted that she and Cruz "agree on some things” and said politicians shouldn’t be afraid to say that.
Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier fired back, saying the senator's efforts to stop the Affordable Care Act were justified. She also favorably compared what Cruz did with Davis' summer filibuster of a restrictive abortion bill. The legislation, which eventually passed, includes a ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
"I think most Texans would agree that fighting to give them relief from a law that’s killing their health plans and hiking their insurance rates is a statement worth fighting for, as opposed to platforms centered on killing unborn babies after 20 weeks,” Frazier said.
Davis rejected comparisons between her actions and those of Cruz and other Republicans who tried to gain concessions on Obamacare by withholding funding for the government and opposing an extension of the nation’s debt limit.
"I was attempting to block a bill that would have harmed thousands of women across the state of Texas,” she said. "Never once, of course, did I threaten to literally shut down the state government for that purpose, and I certainly would never use the budget in the state of Texas for purposes of making a political statement.”
In the shutdown fight, Davis said thousands of Texans were harmed, and she called for a more bipartisan approach in budgetary negotiations.
"The concern is that we literally got to the brink of financial disaster. Political gamemanship overtook common sense,” she said.
Davis was asked about a pending ruling in the court case over the abortion law, which Republicans passed over Democratic objections in a second special session, after the filibuster had temporarily halted consideration of it.
She said she didn’t want to speculate on what the court would do, but she expressed concerns that if the law were implemented, abortion clinics would not be able to meet the new standards included in the law and that many would close.
"The fear of course is that women will be forced to explore other alternatives for care, alternatives that may endanger their safety,” she said. "The purpose of the bill was purportedly to make women safer. I firmly believe that it wasn’t the true purpose of the bill, and that in fact women will now be jeopardized, their health will be jeopardized as a consequence of the possible enforcement of that law.”
Davis spoke about the shutdown and abortion law after voting in the constitutional amendment at an early voting location in Fort Worth. Davis urged voters to support the propositions that give tax breaks to veterans and their families. She also spoke in favor of Proposition 6, the initiative that would provide some $2 billion for water infrastructure.
Davis said the funding was "a drop in the bucket” but called Prop 6 a "good start” toward generating the money needed to meet the water needs of a growing population.
Under the state’s new voter ID law, Davis was required to show a photo ID before voting. As it turned out, she was required to sign an affidavit attesting to the fact that she was, in fact, the person whose name appeared on the voter rolls.
That’s because the name on her driver’s license contains her maiden name. It says "Wendy Russell Davis,” whereas the name on the voter rolls just says "Wendy Davis,” the senator told reporters afterward.
In her case, Davis said it was "a simple procedure.” Under an amendment to the voter ID law that Davis offered in 2011, voters with "substantially similar” names can have their votes counted as long as they submit an affidavit, according to the office of the Texas secretary of state.
"I signed the affidavit and I was able to vote without any problem,” Davis said. But the senator said women whose names are not considered substantially similar, due to marriage or divorce, may not have their voices heard.
She said if the names are deemed to be different, women will have to show a certified copy or original of the certificate of divorce or marriage.
"For many women it will come as a surprise,” she said. "That’s my greatest concern, that women will show up to vote, they’ll be turned away because they don’t have that documentation.”
This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at texastribune.org/2013/10/28/davis-hits-cruz-shutdown/.