Prop 1 opponents known by the company they keep

There’s been a lot of noise – and I do mean noise – against Prop 1 in Travis County Texas in recent days. The people making most of it would be hysterically funny, if the outcome of that ballot measure wasn’t so incredibly important to the quality of healthcare for Central Texas.

The proposition, which has incredibly broad support across the community, would help fund a central Texas medical school, in turn improving specialty care services, trauma services, and overall access and quality of health care in the area. Experts estimate that for every dollar invested now on this, $2.46 will be generated. It’s just a damn good deal all around.

That point is lost on the folks who oppose it. Who are those folks? I’m so glad you asked.

They’re led by people like Don Zimmerman. I tweeted about him yesterday. It’s time for a little context.

Don Zimmerman, leader of the White Noise Movement

Mr. Zimmerman, you may or may not recall, led efforts to sue to overturn Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act a few years ago. The Voting Rights Act is the federal law, passed in the 60′s and re-authorized under President George W. Bush, which has done more than anything to ensure that racial minorities can vote freely in elections. Section 5 of the Act is the part that ensures that areas that have historically discriminated against minority voting rights don’t weasel out. So Zimmerman wanted the U.S. Supreme Court to throw out Section 5. The Supreme Court subsequently and very courtiously invited Zimmerman to suck a nut. They didn’t give him what he wanted.

Fast forward to now, and Prop 1. See, Zimmerman is against Prop 1. Presumably because Zimmerman is against pretty much everything, except perhaps cheesy red shirts. But urging people to vote no on it wasn’t good enough for Zimmerman, so he has sued in Federal court to prevent voters from even having a say. The suit is currently pending.

Here’s where it gets good: he sued under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act – the very law he tried to get thrown out a few years ago. The hypocricy is stunning in its beauty and perfection.

But here’s where it gets even better: he realized that he made a mistake in filing the suit under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, and he has now amended his suit. He now claims that the proposition violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.

But here is where it gets the very best: here’s why, in his new and improved pleadings, he says it violates the Voting Rights Act:

The description has not been, as required by statute, limited to the statutory language, but expanded far beyond what is permitted, to promote the ballot proposition. This is a violation of the Voting Rights Act as such change will tend to have a discriminatory effect on minority voters based on historical date [sic] such as reading comprehension. [emphasis added]

Go back and read that key passage one more time – I double-dog dare ya.

Zimmerman just said that Prop 1 discriminates because minorities can’t read. Even more pathetically, Zimmerman’s sloppy writing skills, in explaining that minorities can’t read, only proved that Zimmerman can’t write.

So rest easy, Austin – the future quality and availability of your health care needs rests with the likes o’ Don Zimmerman and his buddies. Unless, of course, you ignore their way-too-white noise, and go vote for Prop 1.

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