You have to give State Rep. Todd Smith credit for saying what too many incumbents believe: some voters are just “too stupid to realize it” when doing what he knows is best for them. In this case, Smith was delaying to death legislation dealing with Voter ID. Worse, he refused to sign on to stronger legislation supported by 71 of 76 Republican House members. And his voters weren’t happy about it.
An exclusive story at TexasWatchDog.org reveals Smith made these comments in a voicemail he left for Tarrant County Republican Party chairwoman Stephanie Klick.
In the message, he tried to justify his actions, saying he was seeking compromises that would get a bill passed. He makes curious reference to doing “the work of” the lieutenant governor — which is curious considering just how hard Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and the Senate Republicans worked to move voter ID legislation out of that body very early in the Session.
“I’m doing the work of the League of the Republican Women and some of them are too stupid to realize it and it’s p—ing me off, so bye.”
UPDATE: The Fort Worth Star Telegram reports this morning (Feb. 10) that when asked by them about the incident, Mr. Smith “made no apologies for the voice mail or his approach to voter ID last year.”
As the timeline we published a week ago demonstrates, Smith sat on the legislation for months — not holding hearings that could have moved the legislation through the legislative process.
The Tarrant County GOP had organized voters to call legislative offices about the Voter ID, and specifically pushing Smith to support a stronger piece of legislation.
Here’s the audio of voicemail:
In the voicemail, Smith said his desire to support a four-year hold on implementation “wasn’t even a concession.” He then says it will take two years to impose voter ID. So adding two years is a… concession.
It’s funny that he mentions “the people that matter to” him don’t care what the Tarrant County GOP says, or apparently “some” Republican women. That raises the question of what he left out: who does matter to Todd Smith, if not the voters calling from his district? Certainly the trial lawyers. Certainly the big-tax crowd. And the Democratic leadership that opposed Voter ID. Anyone else?
Mr. Smith fails to mention that he was being pushed to adopt stronger legislation that was endorsed by 71 House Republicans — of 76 Republicans in the House. He also fails to mention the numerous House Democrats would have had to support any voter ID legislation — if only for political reasons.
But, again, even when he is dead-out wrong, it is nice to see — if even for a moment — a politician come clean about how he feels about the people for whom he allegedly works.