Along with all of the boring speeches, the only real business transacted by The Lege on the first day is to choose a a Speaker of the House. The Speaker is chosen by a vote of the membership and for the third straight time they picked Joe Straus.
Not before GOP state Rep. David Simpson aborted his run for Speaker with a personal privilege speech. He didn’t have the it in him to stick it out, do the full Ron Paul, and make members vote “on the record”. One conservative blogger went so far as to call Simpson chicken excrement.
In the end the candidate of the “middle of the road” business/corporate interests in Texas won, and there was never really any doubt.
Other than that Perry gave a speech. Which can be summed up blah, blah, blah, cut taxes, blah blah blah.. And Dewhurst broke the conservative’s hearts again. There was even a Santorum sighting. There’s only 139 days until it’s over.
What else was he going to say? Chance Dewhurst will run for re-election? ’101 percent’. If he doesn’t say that he’s a lame duck and has no power.
House freshman quickly learning that politics isn’t bean bag. House freshman: Simpson forcing floor vote he can’t win. A tea party’er that takes out an incumbent for supporting Straus is now whining becasue he will have to take a tough vote. Welcome to reality.
The Lege is thinking about more money for teachers….if they want weapons training. Senate leaders look at state funding for gun training for teachers.
Many new faces will be taking the oath on Tuesday, Texas House returns with largest contingent of new members in 40 years.
Williamson County loves giving away taxpayer money to corporations that would have come anyway, As population booms, Williamson County works to bring in businesses.
The 83rd legislature is likely to be much like the 82nd, but with different excuses because this time there will not be a shortfall, but likely a surplus – no matter what “fuzzy math” the Comptroller comes out with tomorrow.
Perry and the wing nuts will come up with every excuse imaginable not to put money back in public education, and the social safety net. All of this will likely make it a much more frustrating legislative session. And also should make it crystal clear to everyone that to change Texas to a more fair and equitable place we must change who we elect.
Stay here through Sine Die for coverage of the 83rd Legislative Session in Texas, aka The Lege.
From the Texas Observer, If It Were Up To Us…
Money is rolling into state coffers, Sales tax keeps outstripping Combs’ projections.
The bottom line: Last year, the first year of the state’s two-year budget cycle, saw revenue from all state taxes and investments soar some $5 billion above Combs’ revenue estimate.
Smart guys and gals expect another $3 billion overage this fiscal year. That leaves about $8 billion on the table.
And that would allow lawmakers early next year to fill a $4.7 billion hole they knowingly left in the current cycle’s Medicaid budget, plus reverse a planned delay of next August’s $2 billion state payment to public schools and pay for some wildfire-fighting expenses and other unexpected costs — all without tapping the state’s rainy day fund. It’s expected to have at least $8 billion lawmakers could tap if they wished, though the GOP majority is showing signs it’ll resist spending any, except on perhaps a new water and transportation infrastructure loan fund.
For more on this see previous post Incompetent or evil?
Who’s funding whom in the Speaker’s race, via TPJ, Primary Funding Differed for Speaker Straus’ Friends, Enemies.
Central Texas water wars, State senators fighting plan to release water to rice farmers during drought. Who knows what could be causing that?
Stuttering and death panels. Democratic state Rep. Mike Villarreal does a great job, but incoming GOP Sen. Donna Campbell goes full tea party in this video.
We’ve had this in Texas forever, Michigan’s New Corporate Servitude Law: It Takes Away Worker Rights.
I haven’t posted yet, on what has now become, the biennial pre-session Speaker’s race in the Texas House of Representatives. But the recent events, GOP Rep. Bryan Hughes getting out of the race and GOP Rep. David Simpson getting in the race, means it’s time to break the silence. These recent developments were foretold last week by a right wing blogger.
It is interesting to see David Simpson throwing his hat into the Speaker’s race, for a couple of reasons. He was recently seen at dinner in Austin with Trey Martinez Fischer, the self appointed spokesman for the Democrat [sic] Party of Texas. Was Simpson trying to make a deal with the Democrats? As you remember David followed Trey’s lead in trashing the redistricting process, that he was part of, that resulted in more conservative Members.
And Trey is largely funded by Trial Lawyers, maybe that is why he pick Bryan Hughes to run in the first place but saw that his candidacy was not gaining any traction so he tries to get Simpson to run. Who knows?
Simpson’s largest contributor happens to be Bryan Hughes. They same Bryan Hughes who is currently running for Speaker. The Ethics Commission shows that Bryan donated 28K to Simpson in 2012. Did they have a plan? I have said over and over that Bryan is running to increase his name ID to run against Senator Eltief, a major thorn in Michael Quinn Sullivan’s side.
Why would Simpson consider running for Speaker against a friend and someone he donated so much money to – it is not a common practice for Members to donate so much money to another colleague. Unless they had a plan – Bryan is to run for a while(gaining name ID, money and contacts ie: see Ken Paxton) and then drop out for David to run which was ultimately the objective. My only flaw in the scenario is that David is not well thought of and Members think he is kind of creepy. He has no chance at becoming Speaker.
This is interesting for a couple of reasons. The main reason for GOP challenges to Speaker Straus have been for selfish political reasons. To garner name ID to run for higher office. In 2011, one challenger Ken Paxton went on to run and win for Texas Senate, another Warren Chisum ran statewide for Railroad Commissioner, and lost to Christi Craddick, who had better name ID.
The other interesting part is that David Simpson, as opposed to Bryan Hughes, has more than a little Ron Paul, libertarian, damn-the-consequences in him. He will see this through and stay in until he loses (or wins), and force members to make a controversial vote on the first day of session. Unlike Paxton, Chisum and Leo Berman last session. And Simpson will also make a speech from the front mike as well.
Here’s Kuff’s take on the switch in the Speaker’s race.
You can read Simpson’s letter to his House colleagues, and Hughes’ endorsement, at the link above. Burka was skeptical of this when it looked like a dual challenge might be an attempt to oust Straus via divide-and-conquer. Simpson is a bit of an odd duck, a true-believer conservative who isn’t necessarily an orthodox Republican, for whatever value of “orthodox” is in play this week. It’s possible he could make a real run at this if he gets Democrats on his side, which would be ironic given how Straus ascended to the big chair in the first place. Democrats have every incentive to play hard to get, so a real race could work in their favor. But as was the case back in 2009 when Straus toppled Tom Craddick, none of this means anything until one person or the other can credibly claim to have pledges from a majority of the members. Basically, Straus is Speaker until he admits, or is forced to admit, that he’s not.
My only advice to Democrats would be for them to be as coy as possible in public, but to stir the pot as much as possible behind the scenes. And that looks like what they’re doing so far.
Some Democrats who helped Straus win election in 2009 felt a chill in the relationship after huge Republican gains in the 2010 elections gave the GOP a supermajority in the House. They’ve been shopping, openly, and criticizing Straus for his handling of redistricting and other issues. Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, accused Straus aides of “intentional discrimination” in the redistricting maps, and he released legal depositions to make his point. He’s still talking to the speaker, but has said openly and frequently that he and his fellow Democrats aren’t feeling the love they think they deserve. They want a place at the table they’re being asked to set.
“It behooves you to be skeptical and critical of anybody running for the speaker’s office,” Martinez Fischer said. “If we’re good enough to get you to the dance, we’re good enough to take part in the policy, too.”
“Democrats are going to be looking for what they can get out of this, but it’s been very transparent — everything I’ve seen and heard is about the changing of the rules for more fairness,” [Cathie Adams, leader of the Texas Eagle Forum] said. “That’s honorable. If the Democrats want to support that and the Republicans want to do that, then what’s going to bring about good government.”
Getting called “honorable” by Adams means the Democrats are doing something right in this fight. They appear to be up for grabs without them saying so, which is great.
What everyone needs to be aware of is that Straus, in reality, represents as Speaker the overwhelming majority of the “middle of the road” business/corporate interest in Texas, regardless of party. The grassroots and majority of GOP primary voters want him gone. But they don’t get to vote for Speaker. Their elected representatives do. But most of them overwhelmingly rely on the “middle of the road” business/corporate interest to finance their campaigns. Which is why Straus is still extremely likely to be back as Speaker.
But that’s no reason for the Democrats not to stir up as much animosity as possible between the “middle of the road” business/corporate and the base of the Texas GOP.
I remember someone saying a few years back, around 2004 or so, that Texas is usually a few election cycles behind national trends. Lets hope that explains what’s going on. That is why this report in the recent Round Rock Leader, on a post-election forum in Williamson County caught my eye, Republicans dissect Romney defeat. The day after the election “100 GOP faithful” and “a panel of journalists and consultants” discussed Romney’s defeat.
It’s a tricky riddle, for those who take their party affiliation seriously.
On the one hand, panelist Mike Hailey – editor of the Capitol Insider newsletter – had this to say: “The independent voters, they’re turned off by the extremes of both sides, the right or the left.”
But on the other hand, forum moderator Peggy Venable countered with this: “If the race is won in the middle, I think many of us in this room would think of Obama as being on the far left.”
That explains what’s going on in Texas and Williamson County pretty well. While most who are to the left of President Obama see him as a centrist Democrat, those on the far right see him as being on the extreme, far left. (Anyone who wants to see what someone on the “far left” really thinks of Obama’s reelection should read this, Once Again—Death of the Liberal Class.) What this shows is that when the far left is the center it skews everything, and what’s left of center gets ignored and left out of the conversation.
And that’s a big part of why Democrats are struggling in Texas and Williamson County. There is no serious discussion of how to try and lower the poverty rate in Texas, which is key to fixing our health and education problems. Instead these problems fester as our state leaders hoard billions of dollars that could be used to help many who are suffering in Texas.
The recent reporting on the race for Speaker in the Texas House of Representatives does a good job of showing where the discussion stands in Texas right now. A fight between a right-leaning Republican and a far right Republican. And it’s clear the Speaker’s race is a lesser of two evils choice for Democrats, and their issues will not be taken into account. Via the HChron, Straus faces tea party-backed challenge for Texas House speakership.
Unlike the governor and lieutenant governor, who are elected by Texas voters, the speaker of the Texas House of Representatives is chosen by members during the first day of each legislative session. It takes at least 76 votes to win the highly prized speakership.
The speaker appoints legislative committees and their leaders and also controls the flow of legislation.
Straus is counting on support from a solid chunk of the chamber’s 95 GOP members along with most Democrats, who have supported him in the past, particularly in 2009 when he upset incumbent Speaker Tom Craddick, R-Midland.
However, during a Democratic caucus meeting on Thursday, members decided to temporarily withhold support for anyone.
“We’re not in any hurry,” said Democratic Caucus Chair Jessica Farrar, D-Houston.
Farrar said Democrats, generally, could not back Hughes because his support from the most conservative Texans conflicts with the state’s need to invest in education, health care, water, transportation and other infrastructure.
“I don’t really have much of a choice, quite frankly. I am not excited about Joe Straus,” she said.
Straus’ standing among many minority lawmakers diminished during the 2011 legislative session following good reviews of his leadership two years earlier. Many remain upset with Straus’ handling of redistricting, voter ID, immigration and cuts to public education funding, including a $300 million cut to kill the state’s full-day pre-K program.
“Joe Straus seemed to be very uncaring when he cut public education by $5.4 billion for a statewide system that’s 51 percent Hispanic,” Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer said. “He had no problem trying to curtail and take away minority voting rights (voter ID), and he participated in a scheme to intentionally discriminate against minority voters when it came to redistricting.” [Emphasis added]
This is what the far right sees as “mainstream issues”.
“The issues that matter to voters are mainstream issues that Straus was unable to accomplish,” [Texas Eagle Forum President Cathie Adams] said, citing “balancing the budget without gimmicks and TSA (Transportation Security Administration) groping were two of them. Sanctuary cities were another.”
And Straus just wants the “same old, same old”, that hasn’t gotten accomplished in a decade.
The speaker said most legislators agree with him that Texas needs to focus on such priorities as education, water, energy, transportation and budget transparency and not get sidetracked with divisive speaker politics.
While Straus is the only choice between these two for House Democrats, no one should be left with the impression that he’s an ally of Texas Democrats. Texas cannot turn purple, much less blue, until there is much more push back from the left to get issues that aren’t being discussed back into the discussion. Changing the discussion and doing the much needed work is what will get Texas, and areas like Williamson County, “back to blue” sooner, rather than later.
Brains and Eggs thinks it’s all “kabuki theatre” and Straus is a shoo-in for relection, Texas House speaker politics begins.
And Texas Monitor on more crazy talk from the far right, Secession? Andale pues…
My first thought about the statewide results was, “Oh Crap!! We’re going to have to live through sixty more days of Dewhurst, Cruz, Dick Armey, and Koch money lies. Who wins this is anybody’s guess at this point. All we know right now is that the money will flow freely and the truth will be nowhere to be found.
The other disappointment was the results for Sean Hubbard on the Democratic side in the race to replace Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in the US Senate. And as Harold Cook pointed out in his analysis, Notes on the Texas primary elections, the results show that the debate “meant less-than-nothing”. It was a debate in which Hubbard performed very well, but his lack of name ID was too much to overcome. Hopefully he’ll run for office in the future. Paul Sadler is the best option to take on the eventual GOP nominee in November. Hubbard endorsed Sadler. Sadler will face Grady Yarbough in the runoff.
In the state Senate races they mostly went as planned, with the Senate becoming a less experienced and more right wing chamber. Via the Texas Tribune.
In Texas Senate races, it was a night for the conservatives. Four Republican senators are leaving of their own accord, and all four could be replaced by candidates more conservative than the incumbents. Replace Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, with Ken Paxton, R-McKinney; Mike Jackson, R-La Porte, with Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood; Chris Harris, R-Arlington, with Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills; and Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, with Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown.
In the Texas House races there were six GOP incubments that lost and several more are headed to primary run offs. The losers were Marva Beck, Leo Berman, Wayne Christian, Rob Eissler, Mike Hamilton, Barbara Nash, and Vicki Truitt. Four more incumbent Repubicans in the House are headeed to runoffs – Chuck Hopson, J. M. Lozano, Sid Miller, and Jim Landtroop. Kuff has more on the GOP races around the state, and how the Parent PAC slate fared (mixed results).
On the Democratic side there were no incumbents that lost in their primary. There will be three runoffs, none with an incumbnet, via Kuff.
HD40 – Terry Canales versus Auggie Hernandez
HD95 – Nicole Collier versus Jesse Gaines
HD117 – Phillip Cortez versus Tina Torres
The biggest story on the Democratic side was the loss of incumbent Congressman Sylvestre Reyes to challenger Beto O’Rourke in El Paso. Here’s more Congressional analysis from Kuff.
- The Campaign for Primary Accountability may have its scalp here. As of last report, Beto O’Rourke was leading Rep. Silvestre Reyes with 51.34% of the vote to Reyes’ 43.31%. (I’m going by Trib results here.) Rep. Eddie Berniece Johnson cruised in CD30 with over 70% of the vote, Rep. Ruben Hinojosa finished with 71% in CD15, and Rep. Lloyd Doggett won easily in CD35, with 73%. Reyes was the only Congressional casualty, but not necessarily the only interesting result. Former Rep. Ciro Rodriguez led the field in CD23 and will face former State Rep. Pete Gallego in the runoff. Rodriguez was above 50% for much of the night but Gallego caught up late to force overtime. Also going into overtime:
CD33 – Former State Rep. Marc Veasey (38%) versus former State Rep. Domingo Garcia (24%). I’m grimly pleased to note that the guy who spent over a million bucks of his own money, David Alameel, came in fourth.
CD34 – Filemon Vela, with 41%, most likely against Denise Saenz Blanchard, who led Ramiro Garza by about 140 votes with several precincts still out. Former Cameron County DA Armando Villalobos, who looked like the frontrunner at one point, came in fifth. I’m guessing those federal charges didn’t help his cause much.
CD27 – Jerry Trevino (40%) versus Rose Meza Harrison (32%). Ronnie McDonald was third with 26%. I hope he runs for something else in 2014, too.
Former Rep. Nick Lampson took over 80% of the vote in CD14. I’m pretty sure he’s happy that both of his potential opponents are from Pearland.
The biggest question and most talked about issue, that won’t be answered until January 2013, is who will be the Speaker or the Texas House. (Of course should Dewhurst win the US Senate seat in November, there will be one on the Senate side too). Many, and Straus himself don’t think he did too bad on Tuesday. While his main opponent, Michael Quinn Sullivan, thinks he did. I’m more with Sullivan, (Straus lost three committee chairs), and think he didn’t have a good day. Also we’re starting to get used to a Speaker’s race every two years in Texas, and the GOP will have more than the 76 votes needed to vote him out. So it’s possible, but not likely….yet.
No matter what we already know the turnover in the House is going to be massive. At this point there are 38 we know are not returning, and there’s the potential it could reach 50, 1/3rd of the membership. It’s going to be an even more inexperienced body then it was last session, as will the Senate, and there will again be very important issues on the agenda. And as long as members of the Lege are more concerned about phoney pledges, then they are about doing what’s right, we cannot expect good outcomes for the majority of working Texans and their families.
More Primary Analysis wrap ups:
Kuff, More reactions to the election results.
Emily Ramshaw, What Surprised Pundits and Pollsters on Primary Night.
TFN, Split Decision by Voters in Texas SBOE Primary Contests.
Brains and Eggs, Late last night (and more musings about election results).
Grits for Breakfast on Duty’s win over Bradley, Incumbent DAs ouster points to police union power.
Tx Trib, Looking at Perry’s and Combs’ Endorsements.
The run off will be on Tuesday, July 31st. And the Secretary of State has the Primary Run Off rules.
The Primary Run-Off will take place on July 31st. Registered voters who voted in the Primary can vote in the same Party Run-Off election. If a registered voter did not vote in the Primary they may vote in either party’s Run-Off election. Eligible Texans who are not registered to vote must register by July 2, 2012 to vote in the July 31st Run-Off election.
A full list of the Run-offs in Texas (via QR) below the fold:
Read the rest of this entry �
With redistricting making Congressional and state House safer for the incumbent party, more partisan, intra-party scuffles in the primaries will be more the norm. But as long as the GOP controls all the levers of power in Texas their infighting will be more intense. It’s been brewing for a while and sooner of later it was likely to come out, the battle between the moderate/old school GOP and the wing nuts. Therefore, in the lead up to the primary at the end of May, this kind of thing should not surprise anyone.
Lawmakers file ethics complaint against activists.
Two prominent Republican legislators filed state ethics complaints against one of the most influential conservative activist groups in Texas on Tuesday, alleging the organization and its president did not obey lobbying laws.
Rep. Jim Keffer, chairman of the powerful energy resources committee, and Rep. Vicki Truitt, chairwoman of the pensions committee, filed the complaint against Empower Texans, also known as Texans for Fiscal Responsibility. The lawmakers allege that the group’s president, Michael Quinn Sullivan, failed to register as a lobbyist and that the nonprofit failed to file a required campaign finance activity disclosure.
Such complaints by Republican lawmakers against a conservative organization, which routinely supports conservative policies in the Legislature, is highly unusual and demonstrates a schism between veteran politicians and new activists taking more conservative tea-party positions.
Empower Texans has repeatedly challenged long-serving Republicans who the group says are not conservative enough, including House Speaker Joe Straus. Straus appointed both Keffer and Truitt to chair their committees, and both are considered key allies.
“Sounds like its political grandstanding by some entrenched incumbents who tend to not like conservatives,” Sullivan said, adding that he had not seen the details of the complaints.
Keffer accused the group of trying to obscure the nature of the organization and who is behind it. The complaint alleges that the group is controlled by a wealthy conservative political donor in Texas and his family.
“Taken together, the ethics complaints filed against Empower Texans and Michael Quinn Sullivan reveal violations of important state ethics laws designed to let the public find out who’s lobbying and what they’re spending, and what special interests are spending money to help or hurt candidates,” Keffer said.
“When lobbyists don’t register and file reports, and when powerful organizations spend money on campaigns but don’t report it, they hide their true identities and conceal their activities from the public.”
Statesman and Texas Tribune have more. It’s quite humorous to hear anyone from the party of Citizens United talking about powerful organizations spending money and concealing activities from the public. The right wing of the Texas GOP has never liked Straus and never will. Sullivan is the equivalent of Grover Norquist in Texas. What this fight is about is that anyone who strays from what Sullivan demands will be hit with a well-financed opponent in the next primary. There is no safe place any longer for a GOP moderate in the Texas Legislature.
Texas House Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) weighed in today on last weeks federal court ruling on the Texas House redistricting plan that was passed last session. Better late than never, Speaker criticizes court redistrict map.
“As the panel of three federal judges prepares to issue its ruling on district lines for the Texas House of Representatives, I hope that the judges will take into account the will of the people of Texas as expressed by their elected representatives.
“I, along with many Members of the House, have strong concerns that the initial map released by the court last week goes much further than is necessary to correct any perceived legal defects in the recently-adopted redistricting plan.
“Members of the Texas House approved a redistricting plan that is fair and that the State’s lawyers have advised us is legal. Even if the panel of judges concludes that the new lines violate federal law in some respects, their role should be limited to making as few revisions as possible to cure those perceived defects, instead of making wholesale changes to the duly elected map.
The fact is, it’s because of his leadership that this illegal map passed last session. We are left to question whether he wanted an extreme, and legally challenged plan to pass, knowing it would likely be knocked down and made more moderate? Actually no one would be happier with a more moderate and Democratic Texas House then Speaker Straus. With his recent tax talk, having more moderate Republicans and more Democrats in the House would make his reelection more likely. At least he’s finally weighed-in.
Legler seeks stay; calls House members to action on Court map.
Joe Straus is admitting the obvious to the media that we have a budget problem in Texas. Via Zahira Torres in the El Paso Times, Texas House Speaker Joe Straus: We have to correct the deficit.
Texas lawmakers can no longer put off tackling the state’s built-in annual budget deficit, House Speaker Joe Straus said Thursday while in El Paso.
That “built-in annual budget deficit” is what many of us have been referring to as a “structural deficit” for years now. And The Lege knew about it when they voted on it. Straus goes on to talk about how in 2006 it was the “exact..right thing to do”. But acknowledging the structural deficit isn’t what’s going to cause him problems, this is.
He added that since the Rainy Day Fund, projected to have about $7 billion by January 2013, “will not be the crutch that it’s been to date,” lawmakers must act to find solutions for the underperforming Texas Franchise Tax, also known as the “margins tax.”
“We have no choice, unless we want to continue to try to grow our population and continue to shrink spending significantly,” Straus said. “I think at some point you can’t cut your way to prosperity.” [Emphasis added]
Saying that is one thing, getting that done is a whole ‘nother can of worms.
Let’s break that statement open. If we can’t “cut” our way to prosperity, does that mean that the opposite might be true, that we can spend our way to prosperity? At the least, in “GOP-speak”, that means that there will need to be new revenue added. Which sounds a lot like raising taxes, as Jason Embry points our referring to Straus’ statement, “And I think MQS’s head might have just exploded“. (MQS, for those who don’t know, is MIchael Quinn Sullivan, who runs a corporate-funded PAC that funds right-wing legislative candidates in Texas).
This will play into the theme that many on the far-right in the Texas GOP already have of Straus – that he’s a moderate. Of course in the Texas GOP there are no moderates anymore. Which points to other problems with what Straus said. To stop shirinking spending he must get a “new revenue”/tax bill through the House, through the Senate, and signed by the Governor. That means there will need to be a more moderate Texas House, a more moderate Texas Senate, and a more moderate Governor. That’s not going to happen in 2012. There may be some moderation in the House, but not in the Senate or Governor’s office.
What Straus’ motivations might be in saying this now is for others to ascertain. The political reality in Texas is that little is likely to change until the political leaders in our state change. And that will only change when the people of Texas decide to make that change. It would seem that if the Speaker is saying this then so are others inside the Texas GOP. And the proof might be that some of the more right-wing House members will be getting challenged from the left in the GOP Primary next year. And Straus may need those challengers from the left to win to keep the gavel in 2013.
The 68%: Polls Are Finding Support for a Millionaires Tax.
A few early thoughts on, what now, looks like a Speakers race in January, Rep. Warren Chisum Announces Run for Speaker.
As he was widely expected to do, state Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, officially threw his hat into the race for speaker of the House today.
Whether there actually is a race in January all depends on how many seats, if any, the GOP picks up in the house and who they new members are. If they pick up none or a few this challenge likely goes away. If there are significant GOP pickups, many of them will likely be wing-nuts, then Straus will be in trouble.
Also it’s likely, if Straus is not reelected, that someone other than Chisum will win. In the last two races there have been several candidates file once a real race seemed likely. Chisum could very well be a “stalking horse” for someone else, the proverbial compromise candidate.
Kuff and Burka have their takes on the race.
I have to admit I like the this new wrinkle in Texas politics where there is a real possibility of a Speakers each session. It’s brings accountability, a check and balance, to the system. This has been happening in recent years due to the closeness in the partisan make-up of the house. It’s likely if either party gets out to a big majority in the house, the job will once again be long-held. Then what will we do in December and January heading into a legislative session?
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