SHOW: The Early Show (7:00 AM ET) - CBS
HEADLINE: Democrat state legislators head to Oklahoma to stop legislation aimed at redistricting in Texas
ANCHORS: JULIE CHEN
REPORTERS: BOB McNAMARA
JULIE CHEN, co-host:
And what the heck is going on in Texas? Dozens of state legislators there skipped town this week and say they're still not ready to come home, which has brought things to a total standstill at the state Capitol in Austin. CBS News correspondent Bob McNamara reports.
BOB McNAMARA reporting:
They were the Texas Capitol's missing in action.
Unidentified Man #1: Mr. Jones on the floor of the House...
McNAMARA: Jesse Jones and more than 50 other House Democrats were in revolt over a GOP redistricting plan to elect more Republicans to the US House.
Governor RICK PERRY (Republican, Texas): There are 53 members of the Legislature that are acting like children, taking their ball and going home.
McNAMARA: But they didn't go home. They ran for the border...
Unidentified Woman #1: This is for the runaways.
McNAMARA: ...a hotel just over the Oklahoma border, a sanctuary...
Unidentified Man #2: ...and the law of the Lord...
McNAMARA: ...beyond the reach of Texas law that could force them back to their chamber.
State Representative JIM DUNHAM (Democrat, Texas): We have a message for Tom DeLay. Don't mess with Texas.
State Representative MIKE VILLARREAL (Democrat, Texas): That's right.
McNAMARA: Democrats say House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's redistricting Texas power play is a power grab.
Rep. VILLARREAL: Is democracy going to win out over excessive greed, excessive political greed?
Unidentified Woman #2: I came escorted.
McNAMARA: The few Democrats rounded up by waiting posses of Texas troopers weren't enough for a vote. But already, there's a most-wanted Democrats deck of cards, and it wouldn't be Texas politics without name-calling.
State Representative TOM CRADDICK (Republican House Speaker): The Chicken Ds that did this ought to be ashamed of themselves today, and that's what they are, is a bunch of Chicken Ds.
Mr. CAL JILLSON (Political Analyst): It's entertaining to the rest of the country, but there's important business to be done here in Texas.
McNAMARA: Texas, where the capitol is one of the grandest and the politics the damnedest. Bob McNamara, CBS News, Dallas.