State Sen. Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) said today that she is pulling from consideration SB 1950, a bill she filed yesterday which would have subjected political bloggers to certain disclosure requirements under the Texas Election Code.
Sen. Zaffirini said she would pull the bill as soon as she realized the impact it would have on Texas bloggers and citizen journalists. The bill would have adversely affected both progressive and conservative blogs and bloggers. Pulling the bill means it won't be set for a hearing or placed on any calendars; it is completely dead.
Word of Sen. Zaffirini's decision came less than 20 minutes after Texas bloggers initiated contact with her office to express concerns about the bill this afternoon through Harold Cook, a consultant for Senate Democrats.
"Senator Zaffirini was very understanding, and had no intention to harm bloggers with this bill," said Vince Leibowitz, chair of the Texas Progressive Alliance, the nation's largest association of state-level progressive bloggers. "She had a very bad experience in her last campaign with a website—I won't even give it the credibility of calling it a 'blog'—that went pretty low in the gutter, and I think this bill was a way to address that. As soon as she heard that this bill would harm mainstream bloggers and citizen journalists, which are so important to the flow of information in modern politics, she immediately offered to pull the bill," Leibowitz said.
"I join bloggers from across the political spectrum in thanking Senator Zaffirini for recognizing the importance of our medium, as well as recognizing that our medium must be financially viable if it is to thrive," he continued. “We appreciate her openness and willingness to communicate with us about such an important issue,” he concluded.
WhosPlayin is a member of the Texas Progressive Alliance.