She's finally done it. After spending countless hours and plenty of oxygen politicking for patently ridiculous things, state Sen. Donna Campbell has finally come up with a bill we can actually support. She's saving the Alamo, y'all!
Well, sort of.
See, last summer the Alamo, the site of the 13 Days of Glory, that quintessential symbol of all that is Texas -- a certain disregard for orders and the ability to fight against a much larger and better equipped army and hang on for longer than anyone would have bet -- became a World Heritage Site through the United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organization (yeah, we're talking UNESCO.)
The process, which encompassed all of San Antonio's ancient missions and took six years to complete, was overseen by Jerry Patterson, then-Texas General Land Commissioner. The deal is supposed to bring in more money (more than $100 million) and more jobs (more than 1,000) by 2025, according to a report from the Harbinger Consulting Group. Otherwise, the official word goes that nothing is supposed to change.
However, our favorite New Braunfels state representative wasn't so easily tricked by all of those reassurances. Somehow Campbell saw the hole in this plot of designation. Maybe she's noticed how the London Bridge ended up in Arizona, or how Egyptian artifacts seem to have landed everywhere in the world except for Egypt. That was why she filed a bill designed to lay out a few ground rules for the whole UN thing. The Protect the Alamo Act, filed in December, will ban any foreign entity from owning, controlling or managing the Alamo complex.
After all, we have to keep one of our most sacred and beloved landmarks out of nefarious foreign clutches, as she has pointed out. (This probably isn't the time to point out that most of the Alamo was knocked down ages ago and at one point it was abandoned and at another point it was, you know, a barn.) "It's already one of the most recognizable landmarks on the planet," Campbell told the Texas Tribune. "The Alamo is the story of Texas. It was there that Texas first stood her ground to be free, and the U.N. doesn't have any business there."
Now, we get protecting the Alamo from foreign forces. But honestly we feel that Campbell is, for once, being a little too lax in her legislative mambo to ensure that all of the nasty non-Texans keep their covetous mitts off our Alamo. Where is the line in her act about Phil Collins? After all, Collins is known for his fascination with all things Alamo and he has been caught checking out the remaining walls with just a little too much of an acquisitive gleam in his eye. And Ozzy Osbourne should definitely be explicitly legislated against even approaching the building considering that whole public-urination thing. Heck, Campbell should make it difficult for people from outside of Texas to even get into the thing, let alone potentially own or control it. We all know that Iowans don't really get why it's such a big deal to us anyway.
Of course, Patterson says that the whole World Heritage designation has not and will not change anything about who actually owns and manages the Alamo, as he pointed out to the Trib. Short of the Texas Legislature getting a collective brain malfunction and voting to let someone else -- someone from Iowa or France or the U.N. or wherever -- take over the place, it is totally in Texas hands.
Still, comforting as that thought is, this is the Alamo we're talking about. Campbell is fighting the good fight on this one and we have absolute confidence that she will get this legislation through lickety split, thus saving the Alamo from whatever it is exactly that is supposed to be coming after it. After all, the British didn't make it a rule to never sell the London Bridge and look what happened.
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