TX state rep. backs privacy - for his own office

Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Bob Kellogg, Billy Davis (OneNewsNow.com)

TX Rep. Byron CookAn influential state representative in Texas is literally hiding from constituents after refusing to bring up a bill supported by Republicans.  

Texas legislators have been meeting in special session to debate the Texas Privacy Act, a so-called "bathroom bill" that addresses the left-wing trend of pro-transgender public restrooms.

The legislation is predictably opposed by liberals and homosexual rights groups, who have organized to fight it. But conservatives are also fighting one of their own, Rep. Byron Cook (pictured above), who is expected to let the bill die in his committee this week.

Cook, who represents the counties of Anderson, Freestone, Hill and Navarro in District 8, chairs the State Affairs Committee. He has refused to allow the legislation to go to the House floor for a vote after it passed in the Senate.

Nicole Hudgens of Texas Values calls it "shocking" that Cook is opposing his own party's bill that is supported by a vast majority of Texas families.

"I mean, this issue polls well with Texas. They've got the Republican Party backing them," she tells OneNewsNow. "But yet they still refuse to even hear the bill."

A poll released by Texas Values Action shows 80 percent of those surveyed back the Texas Privacy Act and 79 percent said they would not vote to re-elect a legislator opposing it.

The legislature passed a bathroom bill during the regular session but that version has been criticized for watering down the issue in order for passage by legislators who didn't want to anger the business community.  

Hudgens also points out that Cook and his staff locked the door to his office in early August when hundreds attended a rally to support the bill.

Video of the scene (see video below) shows the crowd chanting "Let the House vote!" in front of the state representative's office door.

"When you get it to the floor, it might lose. That's okay. That’s the way our system works," Rep. Ron Simmons told reporters on Monday. "But we deserve an up or down vote on that."

Asked by the press for his view of the bathroom bill, Cook chose the political talking point that it's a distraction from more pressing issues, such as property taxes and a school choice bill that he also opposed. 

The irony of such as stance, however, is that left-wing groups organize to fight such legislation which is obviously not a distraction to their cause.

"The one thing we all need the most," said a spokesman for Equality Texas in June, "is stamina." 

The June story described how the left-wing groups met and discussed strategy during the spring of this year; recruited people to testify against the bill in a 13-hour Senate hearing; and were seeking $30,000 to maintain their hired staff to fight the bathroom bill during the summer.

Cook, meanwhile, complained to a Texas newspaper about "duplicitous grandstanding" over what he called "discriminatory legislation." 


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