Train Wreck Ahead Courtesy of Joe Straus

train wreck

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.[1]

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.[2]  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:

Democrats                                            30%

Liberal Republicans                           30%

Ultra-Liberal Republicans                26%

Moderate Republicans                      15%

Conservative Republicans                  0%

(Characterization based upon Dr. Mark Jones’ Lib-Con Scores)[3]

The most conservative of Straus’ Committee Chairs is Representative David Bonnen who ranks as the 24th most conservative among House Republicans.[4] 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.[5] His last Republican opponent failed to reach 50% of Straus’ vote total.[6]  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.

Representative District Home Chair Appointments
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

Moderate Republicans
Agriculture  Democrat
Appropriations VI  Democrat
Business & Industry Democrat
County Affairs Democrat
Criminal Jurisprudence Democrat
Defense & Veterans  Democrat
Environmental  Democrat
Human Services   Democrat
Trade  Democrat
Juvenile Justice Democrat
Land & Resources Democrat
Local & Consent  Democrat
Rules & Resolutions  Democrat
Ports/Infrastructure 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)