Dickinson officials should pretty quickly seek clarification about whether a state law attempting to suppress political dissent and political action against the state of Israel actually does apply to the city’s disaster recovery grant applications.

The American Civil Liberties Union on Thursday criticized the application because it requires homeowners to “verify” that they won’t boycott the Middle-Eastern nation. The verification apparently is a condition of receiving the aid.

Dickinson’s disaster grant application states that by signing it, “the Applicant verifies that the Applicant: (1) does not boycott Israel; and (2) will not boycott Israel during the term of this Agreement.”

The clause is noteworthy just because it’s magnificently bizarre, but there’s a serious concern here for city officials to consider. What the ACLU very well may be warning is that it intends to make Dickinson a test case to litigate the constitutionality of a recently passed state law.

City officials said Thursday they added the clause in an effort to follow a law approved during the most recent session and signed by Gov. Greg Abbott in May, which banned any contractor who supports the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, or BDS, campaign from receiving state funds.

But the requirement is unconstitutional and a clear violation of the First Amendment, the ACLU said Thursday.

The ACLU filed a lawsuit earlier this month challenging a similar Kansas law on behalf of a high school math teacher who is being required by the state to certify that she won’t boycott Israel if she wants to take part in a teacher training program.

“The First Amendment protects Americans’ right to boycott, and the government cannot condition hurricane relief or any other public benefit on a commitment to refrain from protected political expression,” ACLU of Texas Legal Director Andre Segura said.

“Dickinson’s requirement is an egregious violation of the First Amendment, reminiscent of McCarthy-era loyalty oaths requiring Americans to disavow membership in the Communist party and other forms of ‘subversive’ activity.”

The city pointed to a state law known as the “Anti-Boycott, Divestments, and Sanctions” bill, which Dickinson has interpreted as a requirement for all city contracts.

The city opened the grant applications to Dickinson residents devastated by Hurricane Harvey. The grants are funded by donations to the Dickinson Harvey Relief Fund, the city said.

In May, Abbott signed into law House Bill 99, authored by Republican Texas House Rep. Phil King, prohibiting state agencies from contracting with, and certain public funds from investing in, companies that boycott Israel.

“As Israel’s No. 1 trading partner in the United States, Texas is proud to reaffirm its support for the people of Israel and we will continue to build on our historic partnership,” Abbott said on May 2.

“Anti-Israel policies are anti-Texas policies, and we will not tolerate such actions against an important ally.”

The Supreme Court ruled decades ago that political boycotts are protected by the First Amendment, the ACLU said. The ACLU has cited a 1982 Supreme Court ruling in NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware Co. The decision in that case said that while states can regulate economic activities they cannot prohibit political boycotts.

Dickinson’s requirement gets questionable long before the argument gets anywhere near the Constitution, however.

It’s a huge leap, for example, from government contractors who support the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign, to private citizens wanting to avail themselves of a benefit offered by their government.

So, it’s not at all clear the law even applies in this case, no matter whether the law is constitutional or not.

City officials ought to do themselves and the taxpayers a favor and remove that clause unless the state of Texas orders them to include it.

Short of that, they should get a pledge in writing that the state will pay 100 percent of the legal costs to fight the ACLU’s lawsuit.

• Michael A. Smith

Michael A. Smith: 409-683-5206; michael.smith@galvnews.com

(111) comments

Gary Scoggin

Reps Bonnen and a Faircloth and Sen. Taylor voted for this bill. Has the GDN invited them to explain the rationale behind their votes or if they believe this situation is what they envisioned when they cast their vote?

Staff
Marissa Barnett

Hi Gary,

Marissa here from The Daily News. I've put these questions out to our local lawmakers. I don't have a response yet, but we will get something in the paper ASAP.

As always, thanks for reading. Best,
Marissa

Gary Scoggin

Thanks, Marissa. We await their answers with baited breath!

Gary Scoggin

Marisa --- I am assuming there has been no reply. That shows their embarrassment over their votes.

JD Arnold

GDN is complicit in these types of legislation because they simply do not hold our representatives to account for themselves. You would think that would have been an integral part to their column. As much of the time, the elected officials get a pass from the paper. Here's an idea, have a political beat reporter following their every move on legislation to be voted on so your readers will know.

Carlos Ponce

ACLU is the neighborhood bully. Don't yield to them. Don't mess with Texas, ACLU!!!

Mark Aaron

Carlos: [ ACLU is the neighborhood bully. ]

They are OUR neighborhood bully when the government gets too big for its britches and tries to push us around. Thanks ACLU.

Carlos Ponce

The ACLU has a misinterpretation of our Constitution. Of course you would like them.[beam]

Mark Aaron

Carlos: [ The ACLU has a misinterpretation of our Constitution. Of course you would like them. ]

What misinterpretation are you talking about? Can you be more specific.

Carlos Ponce

Just about every time they take a stance, Little Marky.

Mark Aaron

Carlos: [ Just about every time they take a stance, Little Marky.]

Can you cite an example?

Carlos Ponce

Little Marky, go to the ACLU website, plenty of examples there.

Mark Aaron

Carlos: [ Little Marky, go to the ACLU website, plenty of examples there.]

Which specific example/examples are you referring to? Is this a difficult question for you Carlos?

Carlos Ponce

Little Marky, did you go to the ACLU website like I asked?

Carlos Ponce

If you want to demonstrate bias, bigotry, hatred against Israel then do so without public funding.

Gary Scoggin

It’s not like these funds are being directly used to Israel’s detriment.

Mark Aaron

Carlos: [ If you want to demonstrate bias, bigotry, hatred against Israel then do so without public funding. ]

So if anyone takes money for disaster relief they lose their right to protest whatever Austin decides you can't protest. And you are okay with that Carlos? Do you have any 1st Amendment concerns with that decision?

Carlos Ponce

No, boycotting Israel is hatred. The ACLU opening the door to these hate groups who detest Israel also opens the door to the KKK, neo-Nazis, etc. Do you really want to go there?

Mark Aaron

Carlos: [ The ACLU opening the door to these hate groups who detest Israel also opens the door to the KKK, neo-Nazis, etc. Do you really want to go there? ]

If the state can mandate that we can't protest Israel today it can mandate that we can't protest the KKK tomorrow.

Do you really want to go there Carlos?

Carlos Ponce

Little Marky posts: "If the state can mandate that we can't protest Israel today it can mandate that we can't protest the KKK tomorrow. Do you really want to go there Carlos?"
I don't but that's where the ACLU is heading. What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

Mark Aaron

"If the state can mandate that we can't protest Israel today it can mandate that we can't protest the KKK tomorrow."

Carlos: [ I don't but that's where the ACLU is heading. What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.]

Forget your red herring, Carlos. If the state can mandate that we can't protest Israel today why can't it mandate that we can't protest the KKK tomorrow? Will you support that if it does?

Carlos Ponce

Little Marky posts: " f the state can mandate that we can't protest Israel today why can't it mandate that we can't protest the KKK tomorrow?"
No one is saying that they cannot protest Israel. Hate Israel, hate Jews all you want. It's not good but if that's what you want....
What I'm saying, do it but like the KKK doesn't get public money, these groups shoudn't either.

Andy Brown

I think it’s safe to say the folks applying for these funds don’t give a rat’s rear end about Isresal or any boycott. Get a grip, Carlos.

Carlos Ponce

So Andy, if they don't give a (what you post) about Israel then the state's directive's DON'T APPLY. Get some common sense, Andy.

Andy Brown

You go ahead and be in favor of allowing our government to dictate how and when we protest. As long as it fits your narrative huh, Carlos. I’m done with this and you should be ashamed. Hypocrite.

Gary Scoggin

Carlos: "So Andy, if they don't give a (what you post) about Israel then the state's directive's DON'T APPLY" So caring about Israel is a prerequisite for getting disaster assistance. Carlos, don't you recognize the silliness of your statement? I know you're not a troll. Therefore, your crazy position here is causing me to worry about you.

Carlos Ponce

Gary, just think about those who despise Israel enough to boycott them. Are these nic people? Why hate Israel?

Jim Forsythe

The funding you are talking about was donated by people, to help people. If you know of any funds going to Israel , an investigation needs to happen?. What funds do you think is being used against Israel?
People need to get their houses repaired, and these fund were for that . How much of the building material's to make a house a house again , do you think come's from Israel?
Who do you think in Dickinson, demonstrates bias, bigotry, hatred against Israel

Jim Forsythe

The funding you are talking about was donated by people, to help people. If you know of any funds going to Israel , an investigation needs to happen?. What funds do you think is being used against Israel?
People need to get their houses repaired, and these fund were for that . How much of the building material's to make a house a house again , do you think come's from Israel?
Who do you think in Dickinson, demonstrates bias, bigotry, hatred against Israel

Diane Turski

Our elected representatives continue to prove that they only support selective protections of the First Amendment - only when it politically benefits them! Time to repeal and replace these "representatives" in my opinion!

Jim Forsythe

Are Texas teachers next?
The ACLU is currently representing a Mennonite school teacher in Kansas who was denied an employment opportunity after refusing to certify that she does not boycott Israeli products.

Several cities, including San Antonio, Galveston, and Austin, have inserted anti-BDS clauses in their contracting documents.

Dickinson applicants have to agree to act as an “independent contractor” in order to receive grant money from the city.

It would have been better to ask for a ruling first. 
David Olson, the city attorney in Dickinson
"Olson said Dickinson officials hope to have heard back from the state by next Tuesday's city council meeting so a decision can be made on whether to change the grant program's no boycott requirement."
"Dickinson is waiting to hear back from state officials on whether the law applies to the city's grant program and if it doesn't, "then there's no reason for us to have it in the agreement," Olson said."

Dickinson Mayor Julie Masters , waiting on state ruling.
"When Dickinson’s city attorney recommended in the Israel boycott clause, Masters thought, “God, this kind of feels like it’s infringing on free speech,” she said. But she said city officials also didn’t feel like they had much of a choice in the matter. "
"Masters said she spoke with officials in the Texas attorney general’s office on Friday about clarifying the language in the state law so that the anti-boycott provision would only apply to contracts on the state level. "

From the state of Texas web site .It talks about State, not city contracts.
The  bill, authored by Representative Phil King, prohibits the state of Texas from conducting business with companies involved in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. After the bill becomes law, it ensures that certain public funds are not invested in any entities participating in this movement. Additionally, state contracts will only be given to verified businesses to guarantee that Texas maintains a strong and supportive relationship with Israel.

Gary Scoggin

All that is good to know, but I get the impression that Carlos thinks that this is such a good idea that Dickinson should include it even if they don’t have to. Correct, Carlos?

Carlos Ponce

Fighting against anti-Israeli, anti-Jewish sentiment sounds good to me. Of course it's your right to hate Israel, hate Jews but I don't think you should get public money. Should the KKK get public money? I think not.

Jim Forsythe

Once we start dictating who we must do business with , what will be next!
The Amendments to the United States Constitution applies equal  !
If  someone try's to limit ones rights on one amendment, can they ask for protection under the Constitution, for only the amendments they agree with and reject the rest ?
If I own a Business, can I not do Business with the country of my choice?
If I do not want to use a countries (company's)  products , why would anyone force me too.
When the USA (Texas) favors one ally over another ally, we are going down the wrong path.

Carlos Ponce

Question: Why would anybody want to boycott Israel? How many Israel made, products are in your house you are unaware of? Unless you are a radical jihadist bent on the destruction of Israel and the death of every Jew in this world, it really doesn't bother any one.

Jim Forsythe

If one is "a radical jihadist bent on the destruction of Israel and the death of every Jew in this world" living in Dickinson, are they going to care what they sign! 

The people that are rebuilding and in need of funds, need to sign this pledge, why? Do you think they are going to boycott Israel? If they sign this, who is going to make sure they do not try and boycott Israel?
Who is going to pay for enforcement?

"How many Israel made, products are in your house you are unaware of?" I look at a list of products made in Israel, and did not see any  in my house. But if there is, I did not have sign a pledge to Israel, to own it. 

"it really doesn't bother any one." Yes, it's giving away your 1st amendment rights by being forced to sign a document to pledge about no Israel boycott, or you will not receiving the funds you need. 

Carlos Ponce

So Jim is posting that's it is okay to provide public funds to those who would hate. Interesting. There is much anti-Israel sentiment in Europe and it looks like it is spreading through the United States. Very reminiscent of the anti-Jewish sentiment found in 1930s Germany.
Is there a legitimate reason to boycott Israel? Only if you believe that nonsense from jihadist groups based on the destruction of Israel and the death of every Jew in the world. Read the Bible. It provides all the information you need.
Also interesting that the Left condemns the "free speech" of neo-Nazis in this country but defend the free speech of anti-Israel bigots. There is a big difference, however. Neo-Nazis are not provided public funds. But you would have them provided for like minded groups. So sad.[sad]

Jim Forsythe

Carlos.
 This try it a different way. I will list the question  and wait  for response from you.

1 If one is "a radical jihadist bent on the destruction of Israel and the death of every Jew in this world" living in Dickinson, are they going to care what they sign!  How does this pledge change anything, except more paper work. 

2 The people that are rebuilding and in need of funds, need to sign this pledge, why?

3 Who do you think is going to boycott Israel? The  Homeowner's in Dickinson?

4  If the Homeowner's sign this, who is going to make sure they do not try and boycott Israel?
    Who is going to pay for enforcement?
 
5  Does a person have a right to boycott a product, regardless of were it was made? 

6  Should a Company be forced to buy from a country, or can they choose with whom they do business with?

7 The funds for the Homeowners in Dickinson came from people wanting to help people.
When the City collected these funds, did the people who gave, know about the strings that was going to be attached , for the people in need of the funds?

8 Did they refuse any donations, from someone that might boycott Israel? If they did not check, did they not take funds under false pretense's?

9  What funds, do you think are being used against Israel, in Dickinson?

10 "So Jim is posting that's it is okay to provide public funds to those who would hate." these  funds came from private funds, not from the City or the State.
     No one has to signs a pledge for any other country, why is it needed for Israel ? 

11   What is sad, that you are trying to make the people of Dickinson Texas, look like they are trying to boycott Israel?
     You think that people knee deep in mud,are thinking about boycotting Israel? 

 12  Is it hate, to refuse to sign away a persons rights?

13  Is it not hate to refuse to help people in need , unless they sign a pledge to another country, Israel?
     By signing this document, they would be signing away their 1st amendment rights .

PD Hyatt

I wonder all of the progressives liberals are when they are shouting down peoples right to speak at colleges and elsewhere? If free speech is to be free then it has to be free every where not just where the progressive left says it is ok....

Gary Scoggin

Carlos, as often happens, you are letting your ideology cause you to miss the point completely. HB 89 was not about protecting Israel or anything like that. It was about offering red meat to the far right wing to keep them distracted from issues that really matter to the state. Enjoy your steak, Mr. Ponce!

Carlos Ponce

Gary I'm not distracted. No "red meat". Just scripture and common sense. But such are the end times.......

Mark Aaron

Carlos: [ But such are the end times.......]

What do you mean by end times?

Paula Flinn

Mark, Many religious people think that "The end is near..." The absolutely FINAL END!
Doesn't anyone think this "Don't protest against Israel" promise is a violation of the separation of Church & State? It imposes a religious decision on getting aid from the Federal Government for Hurricane damage. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not God. If he decided to displace and kill all of the Palestinians, would you feel the same way? This "Don't boycott Israel stuff, don't protest against Israel," is unconstitutional because in order to receive aid from our government. It imposes a religion on the people and takes away the people's freedom to boycott or protest.

Carlos Ponce

Paula posts: "Doesn't anyone think this 'Don't protest against Israel' promise is a violation of the separation of Church & State?"
Paula, look at the map. Israel is a COUNTRY, not a religion. It is composed of people of various faiths, Muslims, Jews, Christians, Sectarians. A boycott of Israel hurts all regardless of religion. Think about the idiots who support a boycott of SodaStream where Muslims and Jews work side by side. Normally people would look at the relationship between the groups as wonderful - but not the haters.

Mark Aaron

Paula: [Mark, Many religious people think that "The end is near..." The absolutely FINAL END! ]

So Carlos is a cultist?

Carlos Ponce

Little Marky posts: "So Carlos is a cultist?"
No, I am Catholic. We pray daily, "As it was in the beginning, is now and forever shall be a WORLD WITH END. Amen." The world will never end
End times means the END OF THE AGE. Look it up if you are unfamiliar with the concept. It does NOT mean the end of the world but once this age ends, a new beginning.

Mark Aaron

"So Carlos is a cultist?"

Carlos: [ Look it up if you are unfamiliar with the concept. It does NOT mean the end of the world but once this age ends, a new beginning. ]

Who told you the world was approaching the end times. Who specifically provided that date? What sect of end times do you subscribe to? Do you have a link to it? What do you expect to happen?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/End_time
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Profession_of_faith_(Catholic_Church)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eschatology

Gary Scoggin

I'm pretty sure that the First Amendment, which you seem to hate, prevents us from making public policy based on a narrow interpretation of scripture. And (and I know I'm going to regret bringing this up), with regard to end times, didn't Jesus say, "Nobody knows the day or the hour; not even the Son or the Angels in Heaven." End times theology seems a pretty thin reason to withold aid to homeowners who have been flooded.

Jim Forsythe

When you are on ice, thin is not good!

Jim Forsythe

Not you , Gary.

Carol Dean

Paula Finn, it is always interesting when people show their ignorance by quoting "separation of church and state"; having no idea what they are talking about. Is it possible you fall into this group of people? If not, please explain for others what "separation of church and state means".

Jim Forsythe

Carlos.
 This try it a different way. I will list the question  and wait  for response from you.
1 If one is "a radical jihadist bent on the destruction of Israel and the death of every Jew in this world" living in Dickinson, are they going to care what they sign!  How does this pledge change anything, except more paper work. 
2 The people that are rebuilding and in need of funds, need to sign this pledge, why?
3 Who do you think is going to boycott Israel? The  Homeowner's in Dickinson?
4  If the Homeowner's sign this, who is going to make sure they do not try and boycott Israel?
    Who is going to pay for enforcement?
 
5  Does a person have a right to boycott a product, regardless of were it was made? 
6  Should a Company be forced to buy from a country, or can they choose with whom they do business with?
7 The funds for the Homeowners in Dickinson came from people wanting to help people.
When the City collected these funds, did the people who gave, know about the strings that was going to be attached , for the people in need of the funds?
8 Did they refuse any donations, from someone that might boycott Israel? If they did not check, did they not take funds under false pretense's?
9  What funds, do you think are being used against Israel, in Dickinson?
10 "So Jim is posting that's it is okay to provide public funds to those who would hate." these  funds came from private funds, not from the City or the State.
     No one has to signs a pledge for any other country, why is it needed for Israel ? 
11   What is sad, that you are trying to make the people of Dickinson Texas, look like they are trying to boycott Israel?
     You think that people knee deep in mud,are thinking about boycotting Israel? 
 12  Is it hate, to refuse to sign away a persons rights?
13  Is it not hate to refuse to help people in need , unless they sign a pledge to another country, Israel?
     By signing this document, they would be signing away their 1st amendment rights .

Carol Dean

BJ, I live in Dickinson where a LOT of our local government members do not pay attention to the "fine print"!

Carlos Ponce

1. At least they have it on paper that hate will not be tolerated.
2. To get funding.
3. Jihadist and Lefties.
4. If they do it quietly no one will know. If they make a big production of it, we'll all know.
5. Sure but don't expect public funds.
6. No one is forcing anyone to buy anything. Just making a pledge not to hate.
7. If they read the paperwork, yes.
8. Check the paperwork.
9. Used against Israel? Doesn't matter as long as it's not public funds.
10. They gave the paperwork and they read the paperwork. They knew how the funds would be dispersed.
11. No, not at all.It is the ACLU doing this. We help you, you don't hate Israel. Simple.
12. NO PLEDGE TO SUPPORT ISRAEL!!!!!!!! Just saying you will not hate.
13. You want the money, live by the terms.

Mark Aaron

Carol: [ it is always interesting when people show their ignorance by quoting "separation of church and state"; having no idea what they are talking about. Is it possible you fall into this group of people? If not, please explain for others what "separation of church and state means".]

Better yet, Let Thomas Jefferson explain it to you:

https://www.loc.gov/loc/lcib/9806/danpre.html

Carlos Ponce

Little Marky, to understand the Letter to the Danbury Baptists you have to read the Letter FROM the Danbury Baptists sent to President Jefferson in the first place. The letter was sent concerning state intrusion into religion and of state sponsored religions. While the Federal government permitted the free exercise of religion, not all STATE governments did. Thomas Jefferson suggested a legislative approach to re-writing state laws, state constitutions.
Is Thomas Jefferson's phrase "separation of church and state" found in any LEGAL document? No, it is just found in a letter but it has been cited in court decisions as if it were law.
https://wallbuilders.com/letters-danbury-baptists-thomas-jefferson/

Mark Aaron

Carlos: [The letter was sent concerning state intrusion into religion and of state sponsored religions.]

From the Danbury Baptists letter to Jefferson: "we have reason
to believe that America’s God has raised you up to fill the Chair of State
out of that goodwill which he bears to the millions which you preside over."

Carlos Ponce

Little Marky read the rest of the letter.

Mark Aaron

Carlos: [ Little Marky read the rest of the letter.]

I did. Your denial of the wall of separation between church and state is just silly. The Baptists were asking that he take note of theirs and others perceived mistreatment by the states.Jefferson did not "suggest a legislative approach." He noted that the 1st Amendment already covered it. He believed that was enough.

"Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties." -TJ

Key word: supreme
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supremacy_Clause

Carlos Ponce

Little Marky, is "wall of separation of church and state" ANYWHERE in the Constitution????? It isn't. And it is in response to a STATE matter, specifically Connecticut. Connecticut had established the Congregational Church as the official STATE religion. It was not disestablished until 1818
The phrase is in a letter, albeit from a president. Now if President Trump were to write something you disagree with would you give it as much credibility?

Carol Dean

I know EXACTLY what it means and it is NOWHERE to be found in The Constitution of the United States of America. I'm still waiting to see if Paula knows what it means and where the comment came from. Maybe YOU should be the one to help her out since you "seem" to be proud of what you know about FACTS?

Mark Aaron

Carol: [ I know EXACTLY what it means ]

Please continue. What does "wall of separation between church and state" mean exactly?

Carol Dean

Marky and Paula...crickets.

Carlos Ponce

(Austin, TX -- April 20, 2017) StandWithUs applauds Texas for becoming the 18th U.S. state to pass bipartisan legislation targeting companies that participate in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.
House Bill (HB 89), which passed today unanimously (131-0), prohibits state investment in companies that engage in a political boycott of Israel and requires all entities contracting with the state to certify that they don't participate in such efforts. It previously moved successfully through the Texas Senate.
With this legislation, Texas protects its $500 billion economy from discrimination against Israel. For decades, Texas and Israel have worked as valuable partners in the areas of agriculture, medicine, technology, defense, water management, cyber-intelligence and many other areas. The important economic benefits that Texas receives from trade with Israel are materially harmed by the promotion of efforts to boycott and otherwise discriminate against entities and individuals in countries with whom states conduct business solely on the basis of discriminatory criteria, including nationality or ethnicity.
http://www.standwithus.com/news/article.asp?id=5232

Mark Aaron

"requires all entities contracting with the state to certify that they don't participate in [ the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign] efforts."

"requires all entities contracting with the state to certify that they don't participate in [ the Boycott, Divest and Sanction the NRA campaign] efforts."

"requires all entities contracting with the state to certify that they don't participate in [ the Boycott, Divest and Sanction the pro-life movement] efforts."

"requires all entities contracting with the state to certify that they don't participate in [ the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Iran campaign] efforts."

Carlos Ponce

So Little Marky is now making up his own laws. So sad.[sad]

Mark Aaron

Carlos: [ So Little Marky is now making up his own laws. So sad. ]

If we are playing a game of "stupid" I give up. I know when I am out classed.

Carlos Ponce

Little Marky, you won the game of "STUPID" months ago.

Carlos Ponce

Text of Law signed by Governor Abbott, May 2, 2017, passed Texas House 131-0, passed Texas Senate 26-5
Senate Yeas: Bettencourt(R), Birdwell(R), Buckingham(R), Burton(R), Campbell(R), Creighton(R), Estes(R), Hall(R), Hancock(R), Hinojosa(D), Huffines(R), Huffman(R), Hughes(R), Kolkhorst(R), Lucio(D), Mene ́ndez(D), Miles(D), Nelson(R), Perry(R), Schwertner(R), Seliger(R), Taylor of Galveston(R), Taylor of Collin(R), Uresti(D), West(D), Whitmire(D).
Nays: Garcia(D), Nichols(R), Rodrı ́guez(D), Watson(D), Zaffirini(D).
http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/85R/billtext/pdf/HB00089F.pdf#navpanes=0

Jim Forsythe

Carlos,I hope you do not talk for all!
To not give funds that were donated for people that are in need, unless they sign their 1st amendment rights away, is not why people  in Dickinson donated  money. They did not sign up to be in the middle of a debate about Israel.
All they wanted ,was to help ALL in need.  House Bill (HB 89), does not apply to a city's helping people with donated funds

My guess you receive funds from The Teacher Retirement System of Texas . If after you retired ,you receive a  notice that you could not get any of your retirement money, unless you sign a pledge, contract, that said you can not have any guns from now on, and if you did  you would not  receive any funds..Would you sign the pledge to get the funds you earned and  waving your 2ed amendment rights? This is what is being asked in Dickinson, to wave their 1st amendment rights .
 This is what you want the people in need in Dickinson to do , just sign, to get the money that was donated for them, and not for the city.

One question I asked you was "When the City collected these funds, did the people who gave, know about the strings that was going to be attached , for the people in need of the funds?" Your answer was  "If they read the paperwork, yes." Which is not true. No where in the pledge, contract  from the city of Dickinson does it say one word about Israel.  https://www.paypal.com/donate/?token=bdL58iEFma-5iXxU7e6W3eFV4x85-QGLvW78MLYpmLVtRYo-IhY1C0yMmvx56gWqsiVO_W&country.x=US&locale.x=US   I also asked "Did they refuse any donations, from someone that might boycott Israel? If they did not check, did they not take funds under false pretense'?" You answers was "Check the paperwork". Again nothing in the paper work.

 I asked "So Jim is posting that's it is okay to provide public funds to those who would hate." these  funds came from private funds, not from  the City or the State.  No one has to signs a pledge for any other country, why is it needed for Israel" ? Your answer was 
 "They gave the paperwork and they read the paperwork. They knew how the funds would be dispersed". Again not true.

As far as House Bill (HB 89), nowhere does it say a city needs to included, in any contract anything about Israel. It talks about state contracts , not city.

Gary Scoggin

Well said, Jim. I thought Carlos to be many things but never unpatriotic. But when he puts the perceived benefit of a foreign power over the Constitutional rights of Americans, that is what he is doing - intentionally or not. Maybe he knows he’s cornered and is too proud to admit a mistake. That’s the best we can hope for as the alternative is just too sad.

Carlos Ponce

Gary, patriotism involves supporting strong friends and allies of the United States. It is also Texas state law NOT to support groups that would boycott Israel. You do believe in the rule of law, or do you?

Jim Forsythe

Thanks Gary, and I hope so too.

Carlos Ponce

No mistake made, Gary and Jim. I believe in the rule of LAW.
Jim how would that sit with your former scouts? Scoutmaster Jim says it's okay to disobey the law. That, my friend, is VERY SAD.

Mark Aaron

Carlos: [Scoutmaster Jim says it's okay to disobey the law. That, my friend, is VERY SAD.]

Ever hear of the Nuremberg Trials Carlos?

Carlos Ponce

So now Little Marky is now comparing Jim Forsythe to a NAZI war criminal???
I taught his sons and don't believe he is one Little Marky.

Mark Aaron

Carlos: [ So now Little Marky is now comparing Jim Forsythe to a NAZI war criminal??? I taught his sons and don't believe he is one Little Marky.]

Are you trying to claim Mr. Forsythe taught his scouts that you can do anything imaginable if you are just following orders?

Carlos Ponce

Little Marky, your post is too insipid to respond to.

Carlos Ponce

Jim, when I started teaching I signed a pledge to uphold the Constitution and laws of the United States AND the state of Texas. The State of Texas says not to support groups who would boycott Israel. Are you selective in choosing which laws to obey?
The law states: A governmental entity may not enter into a contract with a company for goods or services unless the contract contains a written verification from the company that it: (1) does not boycott Israel; and
(2) will not boycott Israel during the term of the contract
"Governmental entity" means a state agency or political subdivision of this state.
Last I heard the City of Dickinson is a political subdivision of the state of Texas.
"nowhere does it say a city needs to included" Did you BOTHER to read the law?????? Link provided in an earlier post.

Carlos Ponce

Canada Legislative Assembly of Ontario
In 2016, in a bipartisan vote, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario passed a resolution that "calls on the legislature to stand against any movement that promotes hate, prejudice and racism" and "reject the 'differential treatment' of Israel by the BDS movement".

France
In France, the 2003 Lellouche law outlaws discrimination based on a variety of immutable characteristics, including national origin." That law and hate speech laws have been applied to BDS activities.

United States
In April 2015, Tennessee became the first state in the United States to pass a resolution condemning BDS. As of June 2017, a total of 21 states have passed anti-BDS legislation.
States now number 22 as of October 23, 2017. Tennessee, South Carolina, Illinois, Alabama, Colorado, Indiana, Florida, Virginia, Arizona, Georgia, Iowa, New York, New Jersey, California, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Texas, Nevada, Kansas, North Carolina, Maryland.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boycott,_Divestment_and_Sanctions#cite_note-JVL-61
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/anti-bds-legislation

Mark Aaron

From Wikipedia:

"The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (also known as BDS and the BDS Movement) is a global campaign attempting to increase economic and political pressure on Israel to end what it describes as violations of international law. The BDS campaign calls for "various forms of boycott against Israel until it meets its obligations under international law". The stated goals of BDS are: the end of Israel's occupation and settler colonization of Palestinian land and the Golan Heights, full equality for Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel, and acknowledgement of the right of return of Palestinian refugees."

Monty Weeks

House Bill 89 not 99

Jim Forsythe

It all come down to, do you believe it's ok to take fund's away from people in need , that are not a governmental entity.
The fund's were given, to help people in need. You can argue that Dickinson is a governmental entity, but the citizens of Dickinson are not.
Some how, it's been morphed into people working on flood damage, on their own house, come's under HB89.
The fund's came from citizens and not from the city. It's a good way of getting people not to donate, in future.

Carlos Ponce

Since they are dealing with the City of Dickinson that's a matter to be worked out. The ACLU should keep out. They're just taking advantage of a natural disaster to further their own political agenda.

Carol Dean

Beck wrote a book titled: Arguing With Idiots. I don't know about you, but I am moving on from this discussion because some people will NEVER "see the light". Those are also the ones who just don't have a clue about what they are talking about. If you want to...keep up the "good fight", but like I said...Arguing With...

Mark Aaron

Carol: [ I don't know about you, but I am moving on from this discussion because some people will NEVER "see the light". ]

Wait. I fulfilled your request for information about "the wall of separation between church and state" including a link to the original source of the phrase and went into further discussion about the language used. You said you knew exactly what the phrase meant. I was looking forward to hearing your take on it.

Carol Dean

Wait, Marky, I'm back. I seriously thought you knew about the "separation of church and state" comment came from. I guess I was wrong! LOL! I am going to guess you probably don't understand The Declaration of Independence either! Sad.

Mark Aaron

Carol: [Wait, Marky, I'm back. I seriously thought you knew about the "separation of church and state" comment came from. I guess I was wrong! LOL! I am going to guess you probably don't understand The Declaration of Independence either! Sad.]

I look forward to your instruction. Please begin.

Carol Dean

Marky, I'd rather you did your own research instead of being spoon fed. Sometimes when YOU put forth the effort, you retain the knowledge more efficiently. Besides, I can hardly wait to hear what YOU learn.

Mark Aaron

Carol: [Marky, I'd rather you did your own research instead of being spoon fed. Sometimes when YOU put forth the effort, you retain the knowledge more efficiently. Besides, I can hardly wait to hear what YOU learn.]

I have already spoken extensively to the point in this thread. Is there an error there you could cite?

Carol Dean

Please enlighten me...What does YOUR definition of Church and State mean and what was the core reason for us to declare our independence from England? Come on, Marky, I know you can do it! Paula still needs to know!

Mark Aaron

Carol: [Please enlighten me...What does YOUR definition of Church and State mean and what was the core reason for us to declare our independence from England? Come on, Marky, I know you can do it! Paula still needs to know!]

Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists is the genesis of the phrase "the wall of separation between church and state." I posted a link to that letter. Did you miss it? Or do you have a problem with citing the original source?

Since you claimed to know exactly what that phrase meant I was hoping you would share. I never made any claims about the phrase being written into the law, though it has been cited several times in court decisions interpreting the establishment clause.

To me the phrase defines the intent of the establishment clause. That all government stays out of the religion business. It helps no religion. Religions have to make it or break it on their own. No commingling between church and state. Don't expect the state to help you evangelize. Don't write laws that help any religion establish itself or promote itself. Don't write laws that prevent religions or their practices, within reason.

On the other side of the wall, if a religion engages in public politics, it is no longer a religion, it is a public political entity and should be regulated as such.

Do you see problems with that definition?

Gary Scoggin

It looks like Dickinson has recinded this requirement, for private citizens at least. Carlos, does this make the City Council and all who apply Godless, terrorist loving, un American freeloaders?

Carlos Ponce

I posted earlier: The law states: A governmental entity may not enter into a contract with a COMPANY for goods or services unless the contract contains a written verification from the company that it: (1) does not boycott Israel; and (2) will not boycott Israel during the term of the contract
But if you find anyone who would boycott Israel question their rationale. There's probably hate behind it.

Gary Scoggin

Carlos: As you point out "A governmental entity may not enter into a contract with a COMPANY". Therefore since the Dickinson requirement also applied to individuals, it was wrong. Can you at least admit that? Or are you incapbable of admitting a mistake?

Jim Forsythe

Of course he will not. What is sad , is he believes he right.
Carlos Ponce Oct 23, 2017 9:00pm
No mistake made, Gary and Jim. I believe in the rule of LAW.
Jim how would that sit with your former scouts? Scoutmaster Jim says it's okay to disobey the law. That, my friend, is VERY SAD.

Carlos Ponce

Gary, Jim, please read my posts. While I always questioned the motives of those who would boycott Israel I stated the law which said it referred to COMPANIES which entered into contracts with state entities.
Your imaginations led to otherwise. It was you who jumped to conclusions.

Carlos Ponce

Jim repeated my post: "No mistake made, Gary and Jim. I believe in the rule of LAW.
Jim how would that sit with your former scouts? Scoutmaster Jim says it's okay to disobey the law. That, my friend, is VERY SAD."
Now where in the post did I say the law applied to individuals?
Looks like Jim jumped to conclusions.

Mark Aaron

Jim: [Of course he will not. What is sad , is he believes he right.]

Reminds of a toddler that just has to win/be right, no matter what. I imagine him with furrowed brow and lower lip stuck out, arms crossed.

Carlos Ponce

No mistake Little Marky. The typical Liberal reads into the Constitution things that aren't there, Liberals will read something into my posts which are simply not there.

Jim Forsythe

The story is about citizens being forced to sign a document, pledging to support HB89. If in all of your many reply's, you thought that it was not for citizens to comply with, you would have said that it did not. Why all the reply's, if you had believed that it did not apply to the citizens , you would have just said so. 

Your stance on the donations   Question to Carlos
10 "So Jim is posting that's it is okay to provide public funds to those who would hate." these  funds came from private funds, not from the City or the State.!     No one has to signs a pledge for any other country, why is it needed for Israel 
Your answer to question.
10. They gave the paperwork and they read the paperwork. They knew how the funds would be dispersed.
Your answer, indicating that you were ok how the funds were being dispersed! This is you being ok with the public in Dickinson, being forced to sign paperwork about Israel or getting no funds .

Carlos Ponce

The story is about the ACLU making a test case out of Texas law so that they can go after the the other 21 states with BDS laws.
"What the ACLU very well may be warning is that it intends to make Dickinson a test case to litigate the constitutionality of a recently passed state law."

Carlos Ponce

Jim, I POSTED THE LAW which said it pertains to companies doing business wwith state entities. YOU read something into my posts which was NOT THERE.

Jim Forsythe


This is what the story is about. 
"Dickinson officials should pretty quickly seek clarification about whether a state law attempting to suppress political dissent and political action against the state of Israel actually does apply to the city’s disaster recovery grant applications."
You have yet to agree that the requirement that homeowners pledge to not boycott Israel was wrong. If it was not wrong , it would still be in the contract.

"these funds came from private funds, not from the City or the State"
is part of this question 
10 "So Jim is posting that's it is okay to provide public funds to those who would hate." these  funds came from private funds, not from the City or the State.!     No one has to signs a pledge for any other country, why is it needed for Israel 
Your answer to question.
"10. They gave the paperwork and they read the paperwork. They knew how the funds would be dispersed". Which means you were in favor of making homeowners sign a pledge. 
The hundreds of  lines you posted, was to agree that the law did not apply to Dickinson's Citizens in Dickinson? This is what you are saying in all that text?  Not once did you state that it does not apply to Citizen' of Dickinson's. 

As Gary said, " Carlos: As you point out "A governmental entity may not enter into a contract with a COMPANY". Therefore since the Dickinson requirement also applied to individuals, it was wrong. Can you at least admit that? Or are you incapable of admitting a mistake?"

Carlos Ponce

Jim, remember I AM THE ONE WHO PRESENTED THE LAW INVOLVED HERE.
"Which means you were in favor of making homeowners sign a pledge." NOT FROM ANY OF MY POSTS - YOUR MISINTERPRETATION. I NEVER WROTE NOR INTENDED THAT. FROM YOUR MIND, NOT MY POSTS.

Carol Dean

Marky, how about government not having any power to dictate WHICH religion we choose or WHERE we worship?

Mark Aaron

Carol: [ Marky, how about government not having any power to dictate WHICH religion we choose or WHERE we worship? ]

Religious freedom to worship is not absolute. One of the biggest no-no's is any religion that tries to use government resources to evangelize or 'establish' itself. Nope, can't do it unless you are prepared to give all religions the exact same access. See: 14th Amendment, Equal protection clause. Are you prepared to give radical Islam equal time? Wiccan, Paganism, Polytheism? Best the government stay out of the religion business, unless a religion oversteps its boundaries.

Carol Dean

Marky, you are still having a problem with our constitution, right? Have you read the Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause in the first amendment? You are missing the whole point...Government cannot dictate who, what, where, or when you worship. I NEVER said they were in the "religion business"!

Mark Aaron

Carol: [Government cannot dictate who, what, where, or when you worship.]

No constitutional rights are absolute Carol, including the free exercise of religion. You are not thinking this all of the way through. Would it be okay if a Sunni Muslim ayatollah shows up at your local elementary school to do a little membership drive?

Carol Dean

Marky, there are a lot of things we don't like, but if they are Constitutionally legal, not much we can do about it. The government canNOT dictate what religion you must follow.

Jack Cross

I am pro Israel and I am not a fan of the ACLU but occasionally they get it right.
Apparently the legislators was yielding to the lobby and thought this would be a political gain for them. Gary & Carol are right, government funds should not be politically used.

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