Here you'll find the Petition In Support Of A House Censure For Representative Leo Berman and be able to "join the movement" -- which, truthfully, could be stronger. Despite a week's worth of news coverage concerning one man's efforts to reprimand the Tyler state representative for remarks made during a verbal altercation with Dallas immigration attorney Harry Joe, only 195 folks have signed the online petition. That means 51 more people have signed the petition to Bring Back Movin' 107.5, which went all-Spanish the day before Berman and Joe got into it down in Austin.
So, OK, maybe it's a fringe movement. Capitol Annex's Vince Leibowitz started CensureLeo.com in response to the February 18 showdown between the Republican state representative and Joe after an immigration panel discussion. Joe was incensed about a bill Berman introduced last year that would confine all undocumented immigrants in Texas to "sanctuary cities." Joe acknowledges referring to Berman as "despicable" and "an evil man"; Berman told Joe, who's of Chinese descent, to "Go home!" and "Kiss my ass!"
Joe has since apologized; Berman refuses.
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"His bill is tantamount to what the Nazis would have passed," Joe tells Unfair Park. But what got him especially riled up was Berman's hint that he wouldn't attempt to push the bill through, which prompted Joe to accuse him of pandering for votes. That's when things got heated -- and when East Texas's Leibowitz got involved.
"I'm very familiar with his district, and the rank and file people are not as radical as [Berman] is," says the former editor of the Van Zandt News and Canton Herald and former County Chairman of the Democratic Party of Van Zandt County. "They realize the socio-economic consequences [of the bill], and they're smart enough to realize that the state of Texas doesn't have the authority to do some of those things. I guess [Berman] is talking about a small, vocal minority."
Small indeed: Berman's Facebook support group consists of two members, one of whom lives in Mississippi. The CensureLeo.com fan club has 43 members, though, which isn't exactly whopping.
Berman's response to the Censure Leo rallying cry? "It's a badge of honor," he told Tyler news outlet KLTV last week. "I'm doing my job."