GOP California Lawmaker Opposes Texting And Driving Fine Because It’s Not What ‘The Founders Intended’


George Washington, who probably didn’t have much of an opinion at all about cell phones

It’s past ‘silly season’ on the current political calendar but a lot of GOP politicians didn’t get the memo.  I’m now wondering if these people even know that what they’re saying is hilarious?

Think Progress

A California state legislator railed against a proposed $10 “texting and driving” fine increase in an appropriations committee hearing Wednesday, arguing that “policing ourselves” is “what the founders intended.” If passed, the bill wouldincrease the base fine for texting and driving from $20 to $30, with the $10 increase to be used for a public awareness program. Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (R-59), however, warned that such an increase would cause George Washington to roll over in his grave:

DONNELLY: And I think the fact that you might cause a death, someone else’s death or your own, is such a powerful prohibiter of that, that we really don’t need to be increasing the fine. And I don’t think we need to have the cops pulling people over and giving them texting tickets. I see the cops driving down the street texting. So when a cop is driving down the street texting, and then he’s going to give me a ticket for texting, I think it’s wrong. And I think ultimately, there’s a great consequence to that kind of behavior. And as intelligent, rational human beings who live in a free society, is it too much to ask that we just police ourselves? It just seems that’s what the founders intended. And I feel like this is just more of a nanny state government that costs us a lot of money, and ultimately abridges more and more liberties to the point that – is the government going to tell me where I can go next? Or how many miles I can drive?

Watch it:

For the record, drivers distracted by their cellphones killed an estimated 16,000 people from 2001 to 2007. So this law has nothing to do with some kind of “nanny state” effort to protect people from themselves, and everything to do with eliminating a dangerous activity that kills thousands of innocents every year.

Donnelly is right in one respect, however. There can be no doubt that the founders did not foresee liberty-squashing texting and driving laws, for the same reason their vision of American government says nothing about the Internet, space shuttles, automatic dishwashers, the Industrial Revolution, iPads or the short-lived professional baseball career of Michael Jordan.

Assemblyman Donnelly, for his part, has not yet explained how he thinks Thomas Jefferson would have regulated the nuclear power industry.


6 thoughts on “GOP California Lawmaker Opposes Texting And Driving Fine Because It’s Not What ‘The Founders Intended’

  1. “Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (R-59)” = older white male GOPper, dumber than a shoebox full of dryer lint.
    I’m old (80) white (English ancestry) and definitely male, but anything that causes the accidents that texting has caused should have a mimimun fine of at least 150 bucks. 20 dollars is pocket change to the average 16 year old with a license, to say nothing about older youngsters.


    1. Ted, Assemblyman Donnelly is way off the mark on this one. The problem is his sort of logic seems to be happening en masse within the GOP these days. Common sense and rational reasoning have gone and its place is irrational reasoning and downright stupidity.


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