News Top Tens

Robert Talton
Robert Talton (Photo By Jana Birchum)

Top 10 Lege Moments

1) Tomball Rep. Debbie Riddle succinctly summarizes the Republican position: "Where did this idea come from that everybody deserves free education? Free medical care? Free whatever? It comes from Moscow. From Russia. It comes straight out of the pit of hell."

2) El Paso Rep. Paul Moreno -- Quorum-Buster No. 51 -- arrives at the Ardmore Holiday Inn and tells his colleagues, "You've made my political life!"

3) Reps. Moreno, Lon Burnam of Fort Worth, and Austin's Eddie Rodriguez defy war hysteria and vote against the House endorsement of the Bush war against Iraq.

4) Tyler Republican Leo Berman solemnly informs the House that the "extreme left" is no longer in charge.

5) Pasadena's Robert Talton waxes philosophic on the Court of Criminal Appeals' refusal to repair the inadequate capital defense system: "I'm a little disappointed that the Court of Criminal Appeals hasn't done a better job, but that's how it goes."

6) Dawnna Dukes and Houston's Jessica Farrar take the floor against the anti-abortion bill: "Why don't you just put a burqua over my head?!" demands Dukes.

7) Houston's inimitable Senfronia Thompson shouts "Viagra!" to get the attention of her feckless male colleagues ignoring the adult diaper she holds up to illustrate nursing home cuts.

8) Faced with a dozen uppity Dems in an almost-empty House who wanted to sine die the special session into oblivion, Speaker Tom Craddick ignores the motions, quick-gavels, and runs.

9) Defending the death penalty needle at all costs, Terry Keel plays Joe McCarthy as committee chair, attacking a committee witness: "You are under oath to this committee. ... Are you or are you not an abolitionist?"

10) When Sen. Steve Ogden and Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn jump nasty in a hearing over the comptroller's authority, Sen. Teel Bivins of Amarillo tells the GOP adversaries to "just chill."

Got something to say? The Chronicle welcomes opinion pieces on any topic from the community. Submit yours now at

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle