Friday, January 1, 2010

Parker Griffith’s real position on illegal immigration | flashpoint

Parker Griffith’s real position on illegal immigration | flashpoint

Griffith Skips Committee Hearing

The Beason bill, SB426, (read it here) is modeled after the Oklahoma Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act of 2007. It was one of a handful of bills in the Alabama legislature pertaining to illegal immigration and was the most comprehensive. The first challenge that the bill faced in the Senate was getting through the Fiscal Responsibility and Accountability Committee (FRAC).

The FRAC is composed of eleven senators. Six members are required to be present in order for the committee to vote. On Wednesday, March 6th the Beason bill was on the committee’s agenda. When the meeting started there were only five senators present, not enough for the group to vote. The absences did not appear to be accidental and there were reports about pro-illegal immigrant lobbying interests warning certain senators before they entered the room. At one point a senator left the meeting and another promptly entered – they weren’t there simultaneously, so there was not a quorum. It was quite obvious that it was part of a conscious attempt to block the bill’s progress by not having enough members present to vote on it. (Read my previous post about this sham of a meeting here.)

One of the six senators on the committee who failed to show up was none other than Parker Griffith. He was in a meeting with business groups from Huntsville and said that he couldn’t leave to attend even a portion of the hour plus meeting. But Rep. Sue Schmitz was at the same meeting with Huntsville business leaders and said that she stepped out to attend to her legislative duties. If Griffith really supported Beason’s bill wouldn’t he have briefly left the glad handing session and gone to the FRAC meeting long enough for them to vote and move the bill along?

The next day a columnist from The Huntsville Times called Griffith to ask him about the situation. Griffith told the Times that he had “no position on the bill yet.” With co-sponsors like that who needs opponents?! Of course, all this happened the first week of March, more than a week before Bud Cramer announced his retirement and Parker Griffith opportunistically decided to pretend to be a conservative Republican with a “D” beside his name. After sharply negative feedback about the skipped meeting and Cramer’s retirement announcement Griffith abruptly decided he was going to support the bill and he voted to move it through the FRAC.

But the skipped FRAC meeting wasn’t Griffith’s only attempt to stand in the way of illegal immigration legislation.

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