Sen. Hutchinson Vs. TX Repubs on Gitmo

Matt Lewis

2/12/2009 10:26:00 AM - Matt Lewis


Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson is now battling her fellow Texas Republicans, at a time when she is fighting criticism from social conservatives…well sort of.

Rep. Lamar Smith has spearheaded an effort to organize Texas Republicans to push the White House and Barack Obama for assurances that none of the prisoners will be transferred to Texas facilities.

All but two Texas Republicans joined Smith in drafting a letter to keep the transfer of terrorists from Gitmo to Texas prisons. The most notable exception came from Sen. Hutchinson, who is considering a run for Governor.

"Any such detention facility in the continental United States would instantly become a target for terrorists, who would likely seek to free the terrorist detainees, destroy the facility, or both," wrote the Texas Republican in their letter to Barack Obama.

Instead of signing-off on the Republican effort to keep detainees out of Texas (and joining every other Texas Republican except Ron Paul), Hutchinson crafted her own letter asking Barack Obama not to close Gitmo.

Missing, though, was any reference to keeping them out of Texas.

The Dallas Morning News reports on the letter from TX Republicans:
Allowing detainees onto U.S. soil could bestow rights under the U.S. Constitution and assorted immigration laws, the Republicans argue, and "granting such rights to these dangerous enemy combatants could potentially lead to their release into the towns and cities of Texas. We refuse to accept that outcome, which would put innocent Texans in great danger, and we will do everything we can to prevent it from happening."
So why did KBH release her own letter?

Her spokesman, Jeff Sadosky, says she's been thinking about this for a while. Her letter came together "in the last 48 hours."

She apparently wanted to make a point larger than keep-em-out-of-Texas.  She also apparently was spurred to make that point now by the Smith effort.

... In any event, the timing of her letter is quite questionable, considering her recent battle with social conservatives.  Why pick a fight with fellow Republicans at a time when you are already upsetting the conservative base?