The train wreck of the 85th Legislature is about to be eclipsed by the rail jumper of the FIRST 85th Special Session.
A Texas Senate that passed 18 of 19 of the Governor’s Call requests in the first two weeks cannot be the problem.
Clearly, the answer is the leadership of the Texas House of Representatives!
Speaker Joe Straus is one of the most powerful elected officials in Texas and is not reluctant to use that power. Straus was elected as Speaker in 2009 by combining the votes of all House Democrats and 11 Liberal House Republicans, overthrowing the more Conservative Tom Craddick. Straus obviously has a liberal bent! But how liberal?
Texans need look no farther than the Speaker’s Committee Chair appointments to verify his politics. (Remember that Committee Chairs are remarkably powerful, in that they can “kill” any bill referred to the committee simply by not calling a hearing on the measure.)
This chart reveals the Speaker’s Committee Chair appointments:
Liberal Republicans 30%
Ultra-Liberal Republicans 26%
Moderate Republicans 15%
Conservative Republicans 0%
(Characterization based upon Dr. Mark Jones’ Lib-Con Scores)
The most conservative of Straus’ Committee Chairs is Representative David Bonnen who ranks as the 24th most conservative among House Republicans. Bonnen is also the ONLY Committee Chair to fall ABOVE Mark Jones “Zero Line”, indicating that a Representative is neither Liberal nor Conservative.
Most Texas Conservatives hold Straus personally responsible for obstruction in the Legislature and cries of “vote him out” are aplenty. However, this heartfelt desire crashes on the obstacle of reality. Straus currently has a $10,000,000 war chest ($382 per vote) and has been the beneficiary of significant Democrat “crossover” voting in Republican primaries. His last Republican opponent failed to reach 50% of Straus’ vote total. It is reasonable to conclude that Straus cannot realistically be “voted out” in his home District. (although hope springs eternal!)
So what’s the answer to liberating the People of Texas from the tyranny of a Liberal Speaker?
Expecting the House of Representatives, as currently configured, to find enough backbone to free Texas of this tyrannical scalawag is nothing more than a fairytale!
But there is an answer! The Speaker is elected (not the unanimous “show vote” on the Floor, but in the Republican Caucus). If Joe Straus is robbed of his liberal support in the Republican Caucus AND if a viable, more conservative alternative presents herself or himself, Straus’ oppressive control can be ended.
This solution, however, requires work. The People of Texas, led by the true conservatives…..must do all within their power to vote out the Liberal Representatives on the following list and replace them with TRUE, rock-solid conservatives. These are the most Liberal Republicans and, as one can tell by committee Chair appointments, are among the strongest supporters of Joes Straus.
|Sheffield, JD||District 59||Gatesville|
|Clardy, Travis||District 11||Nacagdoches|
|King, Ken||District 88||Canadian||Chair, Educator Quality|
|Geren, Charlie||District 99||River Oaks||Chair, House Administration|
|Gooden, Lance||District 4||Forney|
|Kacal, Kyle||District 12||Bryan|
|Raney, John||District 14||Bryan|
|VanDeaver, Gary||District 1||New Boston|
|Huberty, Dan||District 127||Kingwood||Chair, Public Education|
|Shine, Hugh||District 55||Temple|
|Lambert, Stan||District 71||Abilene||Freshman|
|Darby, Drew||District 72||San Angelo||Chair, Energy Resources|
|Bailes, Ernest||District 18||Shepard|
|Zerwas, John||District 28||Katy||Chair, Appropriations I|
|Villalba, Jason||District 114||Dallas|
|Larson, Lyle||District 122||San Antonio||Chair, Natural Resources|
|Paddie, Chris||District 9||Marshall|
|Lozano, J.M.||District 43||Portland||Chair, Higher Education|
|Ashby, Trent||District 57||Lufkin||Chair, Appropriations III|
|Koop, Linda||District 102||Richardson|
|Wray, John||District 10||Waxahachie|
|Morrison, Geanie||District 30||Victoria||Chair, Transportation|
|Price, Four||District 87||Amarillo||Chair, Public Health|
|Gonzales, Larry||District 52||Round Rock||Chair, Appropriations VI|
|Kuempel, John||District 44||Seguin||Chair, Licensing|
|Cook, Byron||District 8||Corsicana||Chair, State Affairs|
Without his supporters, Speaker Joes Straus is nothing more than one lone voice in the Texas House of Representatives!
House Committee Chairs
Appropriations VI Democrat
Business & Industry Democrat
County Affairs Democrat
Criminal Jurisprudence Democrat
Defense & Veterans Democrat
Human Services Democrat
Juvenile Justice Democrat
Land & Resources Democrat
Local & Consent Democrat
Rules & Resolutions Democrat
Urban Affairs Democrat
50 Committee Chairs
15 Democrats 30%
15 Liberal Republicans 30%
7 Moderate Republicans 14%
13 Ultra Liberal Republicans 26%
Mr. John Dalton writes and blogs on Facebook from Whitney, Texas (Hill County)