Patterico's Pontifications

5/30/2017

Texas: Altercation On House Floor Over Sanctuary City Bill

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:57 pm

[guest post by Dana]

It wasn’t just raucous protesters in the Texas House gallery making the news yesterday. After quelling the protesters, who chanted and blew whistles in disapproval of Senate Bill 4 (addressing sanctuary cities), which compels officials to enforce federal immigration laws and impose penalties on sanctuary cities, a scuffle unfolded on the floor.

Apparently, when Texas Republican Rep. Matt Rinaldi called ICE to report the protesters in the gallery wearing signs that claimed illegal status, and let Democrats on the floor know, it didn’t go over too well. Especially with Hispanic lawmakers:

Rinaldi and his Democratic colleagues traded accusations of death threats on the last day of the 85th Legislature’s regular session after he said he called federal immigration authorities on people in the gallery protesting the state’s new “sanctuary cities” law. Rinaldi said state Rep. Poncho Nevárez, D-Eagle Pass, “threatened my life on the House floor,” in a statement Monday. Nevárez said Rinaldi was lying, and state Rep. Justin Rodriguez, D-San Antonio, said Rinaldi had threatened to “put a bullet in one of my colleagues’ heads.”

Also:

The normally ceremonial last day of the legislative session briefly descended into chaos on Monday, as proceedings in the House were disrupted by large protests and at least one Republican lawmaker called immigration authorities on the protesters.

State Rep. Matt Rinaldi, R-Irving, said he called U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement while hundreds of people dressed in red T-shirts unfurled banners and chanted in opposition to the state’s new sanctuary cities law. His action enraged Hispanic legislators nearby, leading to a tussle in which each side accused the other of threats and violence.

Rinaldi published a statement on Facebook yesterday, defending himself, and explaining the alleged threat of gun violence:

Today, Representative Poncho Nevarez threatened my life on the House floor after I called ICE on several illegal immigrants who held signs in the gallery which said “I am illegal and here to stay.” Several Democrats encouraged the protestors to disobey law enforcement. When I told the Democrats I called ICE, Representative Ramon Romero physically assaulted me, and other Democrats were held back by colleagues. During that time Poncho told me that he would “get me on the way to my car.” He later approached me and reiterated that “I had to leave at some point, and he would get me.” I made it clear that if he attempted to, in his words, “get me,” I would shoot him in self defense. I am currently under DPS protection. Several of my colleagues heard the threats made and witnessed Ramon assaulting me.

Romero’s account* of the event was posted on his Facebook page. He made it very personal:

The true intentions of SB4 came to light today on the floor of the Texas House of Representatives. Matt Rinaldi looked into a House gallery full of Americans exercising their first amendment rights against SB4 — Americans of all ages and all ethnicities — and he only saw “illegals.”

As Reps. Cesar Blanco, Phil Cortez, and myself celebrated the enthusiasm for civic engagement being shown, Rep. Rinaldi felt the need to break up our appreciation by telling us he had called ICE to deport the protestors in the gallery. Our reactions were honest. Our reactions were of disgust. His use of profanity to emphasize his point that all he saw was a bunch of “illegals” that deserve to be deported had the intention of anger.

Let me be clear, this was a personal attack on me as a son of Mexican immigrants. I voiced my feelings, as did Reps. Blanco and Cortez, and Rep. Rinaldi replied by saying the people in the gallery did not love this country. Members of his own party came to pull him away, making his accusation of being assaulted completely baseless. Countless members witnessed “the scuffle,” and they will all tell you no assault occurred.

Nevarez responded to Rinaldi’s claims in a tweet yesterday:

He’s a liar and hateful man. Got no use for him. God bless him.

The same Nevarez, however, admitted today that he had in fact laid hands on the Republican:

“I did shove him around a little bit, I pushed him, because he needed to get out of there,” Nevarez said.

“I got in his face and I put my hands on the guy,” he also said. “In another exchange, I said, ‘we need to take this outside because it shouldn’t get resolved here in front of all these people.’”

Nevarez justified his actions thusly:

“He’s a racist. He’s a bad person,” Nevarez asserted. “We’re not going to allow people like that to get away with saying comments like that because they think nothing’s gonna happen to ’em.”

(Video of Nevarez’s statement at the link.) Seriously??

As of today, there has not been a report of any charges filed in the matter.

[Oh, FFS! I guess assault is now considered okay, if it’s your side that felt provoked. Like, Oh, we didn’t have a choice, we had to shove, hit, grab by the neck, whatever. WE HAD NO CHOICE! Whether it’s an annoying reporter provoking a politician, or a politician provoking a colleagues on the other side of the aisle, it’s unacceptable to react in this manner. Can we just dispense with making excuses for any of them: Gianforte’s assault on Ben Jacobs was simply how Montanans settle things. Nevarez shoving Rinaldi is just how Texans (or Hispanic males) settle things. We should be irate as hell that our elected officials in the seats of power believe the rules don’t apply to them, and condeming their noxious weasel-like rationalizations. As if those should smooth over very bad decision making. No one looks noble, just pathetic. And for Godsake, let’s stop assessing whether the story fits our particular point of political view before condemning it. That sort of thinking only widens the Left/Right chasm, and further exacerbates an already contentious situation. Somebody must be the grown up. Yet, amusingly, here I am condemning the laying on of hands by anyone without a personal invitation, and CNN is correcting me: What happened on the Texas House floor yesterday was simply “democracy in action”. Got it.]

Here is a video of yesterday’s “democracy in action”:

Here are photos of Rinaldi and Nevarez and Romero to help identify them in the video:

Untitled2
(Poncho Nevarez)

Untitled1
(Matt Rinaldi)

Untitled3
(Ramon Romero Jr.)

*In the Dallas Morning News, there is an interesting op-ed about the scuffle and the politics involved. Writer Mark Davis observes:

Rinaldi says Rep. Ramon Romero of Fort Worth “physically assaulted” him, which Romero denies, admitting only to “honest” reactions filled with “disgust.” He is entitled to describe his own feelings however he wishes.

But in his own post, he is not permitted to falsely characterize the views of others. His claim that Rinaldi took in the spectacle of chaos in the gallery and “saw only illegals” is part of the campaign of lies so often deployed against conservatives amid policy differences on immigration.

Seeking to concoct a personal affront, Romero called this “a personal attack on me as a son of Mexican immigrants.” It was, of course, nothing of the kind. Rinaldi’s focus, which is the same as mine and the same as President Donald Trump’s, is on immigrants who are breaking our laws.
But since admitting to siding with lawbreakers can be a tricky pursuit, the familiar liberal attack is to demonize opponents with the baseless suggestion that they are motivated by racism. This shameful charge is leveled on TV news segments, in slanderous op-eds, and in various legislative chambers.

A mightily offended chorus of Hispanic lawmakers gathered quickly to publicly malign Rinaldi’s well-earned good name. Their hate speech toward him is the product of one thing: he dares to fight for strong immigration laws.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

43 Responses to “Texas: Altercation On House Floor Over Sanctuary City Bill”

  1. Texas is so unlike California. The odds of the Golden State passing a bill like SB4 are non-existent in today’s political climate.

    Dana (023079)

  2. A Texas Republican is accused of threatening to ‘put a bullet in one of my colleagues’ heads’

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/05/29/a-texas-republican-called-ice-on-protesters-then-lawmakers-started-to-scuffle/?utm_term=.f22999730420

    “Heyyyyyy Abbott!!!” – catch phrase, Lou Costello, Abbott & Costello comedy team

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  3. Oh. I was going to mention too that if you google the story, it’s clear to see what aspect of the altercation we are supposed to be focusing upon.

    Dana (023079)

  4. The Cold Civil War heats up apace.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  5. So, did the INS show up? Were the alleged illegals illegal, or was it just theater?

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  6. hispanics! i’ve heard tell that they’re a passionate, fiery people

    the men especially, they’re quick to anger!

    they’re fearless

    they do not back down not ever

    and they’re not afraid to settle a dispute with violence

    this is the way of their people

    as the great taxipatchahoochltoot bade his son on the slopes of the spouting volcano amid the fields of maize

    do not back down my son he said

    and so it is today

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  7. Wow, these Democrats are pretty tough. You Republicans better back off. They can kick your ass pretty handily it seems. Become more tolerant of the illegal invaders and you won’t have to nurse so many bruises.

    jcurtis (c93d1a)

  8. many of the protesters were from out of state. they all wore the same t-shirt. who paid for this?

    Peterk (ded1e4)

  9. “Oh, Pancho!”

    The Cisco Kid

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  10. Ok, I know some of you guys have read Lone Star Planet by H. Beam Piper.

    For those who haven’t, it’s “a planet for Texans” where “political crime” is a defense to violence perpetrated against politicians.

    nk (dbc370)

  11. They should show Apocalypto on the side of the capitol.

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  12. Texas state government is prescribed by the Texas Constitution of 1876, as adopted at the end of Reconstruction, and as subsequently amended no fewer than 491 times.

    Despite all the amendments, we Texans are painfully reminded at times like these of the most famous and consequential typographical errors enshrined in the Texas Constitution of 1876. It provides that the Texas Legislature is to meet for no more than 140 days every two years, when we clearly intended that it meet for no more than two days every 140 years.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  13. The same Nevarez, however, admitted today that he had in fact laid hands on the Republican:

    “I did shove him around a little bit, I pushed him, because he needed to get out of there,” Nevarez said.

    “I got in his face and I put my hands on the guy,” he also said. “In another exchange, I said, ‘we need to take this outside because it shouldn’t get resolved here in front of all these people.’”

    Nevarez justified his actions thusly:


    He’s a racist. He’s a bad person,” Nevarez asserted. “We’re not going to allow people like that to get away with saying comments like that because they think nothing’s gonna happen to ’em.”

    This is how concentration camp/gulag guards are created.

    The become convinced that their political opponents are subhuman and evil. And then they can feel okay by committing any act of violence against them. They’re doing god’s work.

    See Kathy Griffin holding the head of Donald Trump if you have any questions.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  14. nk, Google took me to a free e-book version of that book (#10), so I’ve downloaded it and will take it up next in my reading queue. I’m again in your debt, thanks!

    Beldar (fa637a)

  15. You know if you don’t provide the names below the photos, Rinaldi could pass for a Mexican pol and the Romero guy could be the nerdy pol brother of an east coast paisan goomba. I know how close it is on the bathroom bill, but whatever Venn diagram of Republican, hispanic, and veteran exists in the Lege should make their separate bathroom vote contingent on an single-comment (Italian immigrant) addressing apology from Rinaldi. I have no problem with his other chain of actions; ICE probably had more urgent holiday weekend DUI sifting to do (although they claim they did not receive a call from Rinaldi).

    urbanleftbehind (847a06)

  16. What a wonderful and informative post. Thank you, Dana.

    ThOR (c9324e)

  17. You’re welcome, Beldar.

    nk (dbc370)

  18. Thanks Dana.

    Waiting for jcurtis to be suspended for threatening violence against people who don’t support the criminal alien invasion.

    NJRob (520017)

  19. Matt Rinaldi looked into a House gallery full of Americans exercising their first amendment rights against SB4 — Americans of all ages and all ethnicities — and he only saw “illegals.”

    I think he saw signs proclaiming the wearer as illegal.

    I would also like to know if ICE ever showed up.

    Mike K (f469ea)

  20. Yes this was a Soros performing arts piece.

    narciso (d1f714)

  21. Since I was on campus fifty years ago, the left hasn’t had much luck recruiting mesomorphs. Still the case. Unless the dems hire some cartel gunmen, they’re going to be physically outmatched. But, then,Texas high school football teams likely lean right.

    Richard Aubrey (a09608)

  22. If one is going to, ahem, “self-identify” as a mal agent via a t-shirt, I prefer one of these:

    http://swag.somethinginked.com/1045thezone/Gold-Instrument_of_Crime/SKU-MD180-G500-FISH/1001039-1003220

    Is it irony if a Yinzer (native Pittsburgher) or just as likely a West Virginian berates a Nashville Preds fan as a redneck or hillbilly?

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  23. I have no idea what that is urban. No clue.

    Rev.Hoagie® (630eca)

  24. Some things best left unexplored rev.

    narciso (d1f714)

  25. CNN is truly a vile place of scum and depravity. Without the good music.

    NJRob (520017)

  26. I don’t see how a catfish can be an instrument of crime if a fish isn’t even a tangible object.

    Leviticus (efada1)

  27. The Nashville Predators are in the Nat’l Hockey League’s Stanley Cup Finals and their fans have co-opted the Detroit Red Wing’s octopus tossing onto an ice after a hat-trick. A Preds fan from Nashville snuck in a catfish into Pittsburgh’s arena, tossed the fish unto the ice and was promptly arrested, where one of the charges was “possession of an instrument of crime”. A little bit of background – http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2017/05/30/report-predators-fan-who-threw-catfish-ice-charged-pittsburgh/354356001/

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  28. Lev, I would love to see Pit Bulls be reclassified as the same. In fact, if any one group got out of line, I would commence the Pit Bull pogrom as a the “cross me twice” example.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  29. With a lemon, I guess you had to be there.

    narciso (d1f714)

  30. Is there immunity for things that happen in the Texas Legislature or could Rinaldi file charges?

    DRJ (d18ca6)

  31. I wondered about that too, DRJ.

    Also, for those wondering if Rinaldi really did call ICE, yes, he did.

    Dana (023079)

  32. Rinaldi has been standing up for his beliefs since he was in college.

    DRJ (d18ca6)

  33. And, yes, it is the same Matt Rinaldi.

    DRJ (d18ca6)

  34. Rinaldi – yep, always been a di@k

    Spartacvs (2db708)

  35. You stand up for what you think. Should we call you names for doing that, or should we compliment you for standing up?

    DRJ (d18ca6)

  36. Texas legislators have immunity from defamation claims but not other criminal charges.

    DRJ (d18ca6)

  37. DRJ, I compliment him on being a dic@k.

    Spartacvs (2db708)

  38. Perhaps if he was burning a flag,
    The UK has a similar problem

    http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/2017/05/the-uks-libyan-jihadist-problem.html?m=1

    narciso (d1f714)

  39. attention america here’s a spirograph world map for everyone who did not already have one

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  40. Weird… I saw it reported on Bret B.’s show yesterday that ICE claimed not to have received this call (not refuted by Rinaldi) and when asked why he’d done what he’d done, Rinaldi said “to get a reaction”. Also that Rinaldi threatened to “put a bullet” in someone’s head. Totally had turned it around from the way it was initially reported.

    Colonel Haiku (0aee87)

  41. 22… ah, yes… a time of racoon coats, flasks and teh Charleston…

    Colonel Haiku (0aee87)


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