Speaker Joe Straus

Speaker’s parting shot: Straus arms his House loyalists

Lame duck Speaker Joe Straus isn’t going quietly. The retiring House leader and his chief strategist, Gordon Johnson, are persuading deep-pocketed lobbyists to bankroll like-minded candidates in more than two-dozen legislative races next year, according to the Capitol Inside website. Straus’ initiative was unveiled after the conservative New Leadership PAC, announced $100,000 bounties for candidates to defeat the speaker’s allies. Straus’s battle plan and fundraising pitch reportedly were rolled out by Johnson, a longtime high-profile lobbyist to business establishment friends of the speaker. The objective: Maintain moderates control of the House, where Straus has blocked bills backed by Gov. Greg Abbott and which also…


“The Bathroom Bill and Responsible Republicans”

After Speaker Joe Straus announced Wednesday he was quitting a re-election bid for his home district in Bexar County (TX House District 121), Kelli Ann Busey, Editor of Planet Transgender, lamented, “We will dearly miss you, Joe Straus, you kept us sane, thank you for your service”. Why did Joseph Straus III quit? No, he didn’t resign from his current office but he’s done with the House. He is effectively quitting his post as Speaker and representative of House District 121 at the end of his term next year and will not run for re-election. Anyone who believes he could…


New PAC Aims to Topple Straus and his Lieutenants in ‘corrupt’ House

A new Texas political action committee is turning up the heat on Speaker Joe Straus and calling for a House cleaning from the top down, with campaign funds earmarked for key races. Formed by conservatives angry over the House’s failure to enact reform measures supported by Gov. Greg Abbott, the New Leadership PAC launched this week. “It has become clear that leaders in the Texas House have lost contact with the core principles of the majority of Texans,” said NLP treasurer Don Dyer. “It is time for a new force for change that will remove these barriers to progress.” During…


Censure of Speaker Straus Temporarily Blocked by Bexar GOP Chair

At the evening meeting on Monday, October 9th of the Bexar County Republican Executive Committee, Chairman Robert Stovall and his parliamentarian, Ron Stinson,  successfully blocked a motion to Censure Speaker Joe Straus, but blatantly violated parliamentary rules in doing so. In a standing-room-only meeting that overwhelmed the capacity of the air conditioning system, 130 precinct chairs, a record attendance level, endured the heat for over two hours as Stovall ignored motions and points of order by voting members. Present were at least 86 precinct chairs who had committed to voting for the Straus Censure – the required 2/3 necessary to…


“Bexar County Executive Committee Meeting was like a Bad Dream”

What happened at the Bexar County Republican Executive Committee meeting this past Monday night was, according to one precinct chair, “like a bad dream”. While many members of the committee expected a lively debate and greater than normal attendance, which there was, what was not envisioned was what appeared to be a carefully orchestrated effort to stifle and obstruct any possibility that committee members would hear a resolution to censure Speaker Joe Straus and be able to vote. The widespread dissatisfaction of the attendees towards Chairman Robert Stovall’s questionable rulings  culminated in a raucous, confrontational atmosphere throughout most of the…


Pattern of Obstruction and Political Chicanery

On October 9th, the Bexar County Republican Party Executive Committee will vote on the Rule 44 Censure resolution addressing Speaker Joe Straus. While county officials have attempted to construct a firewall to stop any deliberation let alone a vote by the whole committee through parliamentary tricks, it is highly doubtful that these tactics will prevail in stopping the democratic process that Texas Republicans in Bexar County prize and hold dear. Many precinct chairs are outraged by the artificial and arbitrary restrictions set up by County Chair, Robert Stovall, and his staff to silence and disenfranchise Straus’ critics. Popular support for…


Summer’s Gone – Legislature Adjourns Early – Results

Yes, summer’s gone as the Beach Boys’ mournful ode to the waning days of hot summer days reminds us (not yet in South Texas!) and so is the summer special season at the state capitol. “Sine die” adjournment was abruptly called by the Texas House leadership a day early last Tuesday, August 15th. By prematurely adjourning the Texas House without warning before the scheduled time and arrogantly ignoring the objections from the floor, denying members the right to vote on the early adjournment, Straus ensured the demise of the Governor’s priority legislation such as property tax reform, paycheck protection, privacy…


“The Veil Has Been Pulled Back”

Joe Straus ran for reelection to his House seat against me in 2016 as a pro-life, fiscal conservative who supposedly worked well with all sides, and was part of the Republican team working with the Governor and Lt. Governor.  He sent out mailers in his reelection effort directly connecting himself with Governor Abbott, almost suggesting an endorsement by Abbott (which was never given). But all of that has changed. It is now publicly obvious that the Speaker has no working relationship whatsoever with the Governor or Lt. Governor or Attorney General – the three leading Republican officials elected statewide —…


Pastors’ Rallying Cry: ‘Let the House Vote!’

Over a hundred pastors and concerned Texans – fathers, mothers, daughters, people of faith representing millions of conservative Texans  with  deeply held traditional values – came together from all over Texas last Thursday, a hot and muggy mid-morning,  on the steps of the Capitol to voice their unified support for the Texas Privacy Act (SB3) passed by the State Senate last month and currently languishing in the House under the leadership of Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) and State Affairs Committee Chairman Byron Cook (R-Corsicana).  The often repeated rallying cry led by the speakers was “Let the House Vote!” with…


Train Wreck Ahead Courtesy of Joe Straus

The train wreck of the 85th Legislature is about to be eclipsed by the rail jumper of the FIRST 85th Special Session. Why? 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…