Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick accuses Senate Bill 7 critics of lying

It got hot under the Texas State Capitol dome on Tuesday when Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick called a news conference to defend Senate Bill 7.

"Nothing has changed for mail-in ballots, election day, or early voting, and anyone who says different, is lying to you," said Patrick.

Patrick made no effort to hide his anger at his political critics. "Senate Bill 7 is not voter suppression, it's voter security," he said.

During the news conference, Patrick was asked about comments recently made by Austin Mayor Steve Adler who has condemned legislation like SB 7 as an example of the state meddling with local affairs.

Patrick swung back. "That was the mayor of Austin, oh golly day. There's Mr. Credibility, I'm in Cabo, don't leave your house. Defund the police. Crime is up, people are getting killed, but Austin is safe. Another liberal who is clueless and who has probably not read the bill," he said.


Those who have not read the bill are another thing that has Patrick upset. He specifically called out officials with American Airlines, who he claims admitted they issued an opposition statement without reading the bill. 

"When they call you and tell you, don't take this personally, but they are opposing the bill, and they list out the reasons, which I think are borderline charges of racism from them, that's not acceptable," said Patrick.

SB 7 could be a ballot box issue in the 2022 election. Democrat Mike Collier is expecting that. "SB 7 has nothing to do with election integrity and Texans know that. SB 7 is all about corruption and accountability, and Texans know that too. Dan Patrick would attack democracy to retain power and Texans aren't going to tolerate it," he said.

Collier ran and lost against Patrick in the last election. He is rebooting his campaign and was designated Tuesday by the Democrats to respond to Patrick.

"I think that that bill is riddled with aspects that will keep people from voting which is exactly what it is intended to do. And we don't have a voter integrity problem," said Collier.


Collier admitted he has not read the bill in its entirety. He defended that when asked why not. "Oh, I think we know what's in it, and we know the reason for it," said Collier.

Collier did say he has been briefed on SB 7 and believes a section allowing poll workers to videotape voters receiving assistance is a form of harassment and intimidation. 

SB 7 is now awaiting debate in the Texas House.