Perhaps you recall the arguments flying around over the concept of requiring people to show a photo ID when they go to the polls to cast their ballots on election day. Laws passed in various states to require this were blasted by Democrat Congressmen and Senators as well as by the Dem rank-and-file and literally challenged in courts up to and including the Supreme Court. The SCOTUS ruled on the Constitutionality of such laws in a case that brought the Indiana voter ID law to their chambers and held that such laws are not in violation of the Constitution. While that stopped the lawsuits, it sure didn’t stop the resistance to such laws by Dem elected officials.
One of those Dems is Rep. Gene Green (D-TX) who has voted against requiring ID’s when voting on each occasion that it’s come up. Interesting, then, that Congressman Green has seen fit to enact a requirement for people attending his town hall meetings that they must show a photo ID to be allowed in.
On his Web site, Green, a Democrat who represents working-class Houstonians, says that “due to a coordinated effort to disrupt our town hall meetings, we will be restricting further attendance to residents of the 29th congressional district and verifying residency by requiring photo identification.”
Green’s position isn’t wholly unreasonable, particularly when crowds are too big for the venues in which meetings are held. In that case, constituents should be given priority. But by requiring attendees to produce a photo ID, he has exposed himself as inconsistent at best and hypocritical at worst.
Thanks to Tom Blumer, from whose Newsbusters.org blog we learned about Green’s plan, we know that in 2005 and 2006 the congressman opposed legislation requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls.
Now, what’s more important to the current and future health of our republic? Trying to hold clean elections or excluding “outsiders” from public meetings?
I think it’s a slam dunk that securing our election process is considerably more important than controlling who shows up at a town hall meeting. Will Congressman Green and others who have opposed voter ID laws and yet want to restrict access to their town hall meetings admit their mistake and commit to casting a vote in favor of such legislation in the future? Don’t hold your breath, of course, but it would sure be nice.