Wednesday, April 15, 2009

No one reports Drew Darby's threat.

During the hearing yesterday, Rep. Drew Darby (San Angelo) "got tired" of hearing Willie Jessop characterize the San Angelo Colosseum as a "Hay Barn/Stable." Willie apologized and stated that he really meant Fort Concho. Be that as it may, Drew Darby's threat, that elicited Willie's apology was that he and Willie would "Come to Blows" if Willie kept saying that.
Ok, it's all a little jostling by a couple of big country boys, right? Not really. I had a couple of email exchanges by email with one of those few people who is fair enough to act as a lens to both sides of the issue and ended up saying this:
"But (Drew) did mean something by it. It was a dominance gesture, and a successful one. He said 'I can threaten you with violence allegorically and get away with it.' If Willie had said the same thing in the same tone, he would have been arrested. It's like one dog walking up and peeing on the other dog. All Willie can do is lie down and whimper, because if he doesn't, they'll literally tear him apart."
And the effect indeed was immediate, because Willie went right to an apology. Again, going back to the dog illustration, I'm sure you've seen one growl and the other roll over and expose themselves in a gesture of submission and this in fact is precisely what happened.

I'm not impugning Willie's manliness or courage by observing this. I am pointing out that this was a form of public abuse that Willie had little choice but to accept if he wanted to remain a free man. Drew Darby knows this, he's both a lawyer, and a politician. In the WHOLE WORLD of media with access to the event, only your Modern Pharisee reported on this aspect of the hearings. I know of no other video or story reflecting this shameless exercise of pure power.

This should make you think about EVERY aspect of packaged news that you hear or read. It's not what your reporter tells you, it's just as much what they won't tell you.

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TxBlogger said...

So, just curious.... if Darby threw the first punch would Willie go to jail for defending himself? Rather, for pounding the coward into the ground?

The Pharisee said...

So you think Darby WOULD throw a punch instead jawboning Willie to death?

WC said...

I could see Willie smacking that bottle of salad dressing over Darby's head- the irony being, the penalty probably not being as stiff for not reporting child abuse in the new bill.

Carol said...

Brooke has a link to "Motion to Suppress" on her blog.
Very interesting reading!

Jeanann said...

no one else reported it because it wasn't important to them. darby was basically telling willie to stop slandering his town with his "hay barn" description and you know what, if willie had kept doing it, nothing would have happened. darby wasn't going to physically come to blows with him. willie's inability to tell why he had authority to speak for the YFZ and FLDS did more to willie than anything darby said.

The Pharisee said...

It is still unseemly for a member of an esteemed body like the Texas Legislature to even figuratively threaten a witness like that.

TxBlogger said...

The Hildebran/Darby One-Two Punch

Deseret News
Published: Monday, June 2, 2008 12:40 a.m. MDT

Texas Rep. Drew Darby, R-San Angelo, a real estate attorney who helped create the YFZ Land LLC to purchase the ranch, said he originally was led to believe the land would be used for a corporate hunting retreat....

And when local residents learned in 2004 of the sect's intent to build a religious compound, there were sufficient concerns to catch the attention of Texas State Rep. Harvey Hilderbran, R-Kerrville, who began looking for ways to rein in his FLDS neighbors.
"I wanted to make it unappealing to them," Hilderbran said. "I hoped they wouldn't stay."
As the compound population grew, Hilderbran wrote HB3006 in 2005 to copy Utah laws targeting polygamous groups. He wanted to amend Texas' marriage laws to protect minors and prevent polygamy, bigamy and interfamily marriage. But he also wanted to make sure FLDS children were receiving minimum standards of education and that the FLDS couldn't vote as a bloc to take over rural county and city governments. Schleicher County has a few more than 3,000 residents.
But his bill stalled in committee. Folks in east Texas complained the bill would prevent marriage between second cousins; home-schooling advocates didn't want more state intervention in curriculum; minority rights advocates worried about how the voting measures would affect other minorities elsewhere, Hilderbran said.
Before the session ended, he successfully attached the marriage amendments to a Child Protective Services bill that also contained certain family law matters and was less controversial. (The bill received no opposition in committee and passed the House with about 85 percent of the vote.) His amendment raised the minimum marriage age from 14 to 16 and made violation of the law a first-degree felony. It also reaffirmed the state's prohibition of bigamy and polygamy and made clear that ceremonies performed in place of legal marriage would not be exempted....

Later, while preparing new legislation, Hilderbran sought to increase his watchdog role by "energizing" local agencies to make sure they "did their job" in monitoring the compound — particularly regarding the environment.
"You can't control who comes, but you can enforce and update laws," he said. "Because our hands were tied, we needed to use the laws we had."

Hilderbran expressed a little chagrin that the city decided to make money off the FLDS by processing the ranch's waste. Miller said he thought it was a little unusual that Hilderbran got involved in the way he did. A professional politician, Hilderbran usually comes down on the side of privacy rights both in family and property situations. That said, Miller explained, Hilderbran is also someone one might describe as a stereotypical Texan who occasionally likes to play a wild card and do his own thing.

Both Hilderbran and Darby said they are planning to bring new bills targeting the FLDS residents again in the next legislative session, which begins in January. Darby said he is expecting other legislators will do the same now that the compound is under public scrutiny.