Last week EOW linked to a post about Rep. Mike Krusee getting fundraising help from House Speaker Tom Craddick and Gov. Perry, who’s extremely toxic in HD-52 because of his TTC scheme. Craddick will help him with his right flank but Perry won’t help him with any flank. With the likelihood of Krusee keeping his seat diminishing by the day I guess he needs to build up his
retirement campaign fund to a very substantial figure. And if the governor can at least help on that front then so be it, it seems.
But yesterday lame duck Speaker Tom Craddick announced his house member picks for a joint “study committee” on trasnportation and Krusee was not on it. Ben Wear has the story, Committee missing a notable name.
Absent from the trio: state Rep. Mike Krusee, R-Williamson County, who since 2003 has been chairman of the House Transportation Committee. That would seem to make him more than a bystander on this issue, which roiled the Legislature this spring and is at the core of the evolving transportation funding debate.
But Krusee said today he understands the logic of why Craddick named others, and that his feelings arenâ€™t hurt.
â€œNot at all,â€ Krusee said. â€œFor the obectives weâ€™re trying to reach, for the public to perceive the process as far and open, I thikn these are good appointeesâ€¦ . Many people do not regard me as objective because Iâ€™ve been at it for so long.â€
Wrong! The reason people don’t regard you as objective is because you’re not objective. You’re for tolling everything, no matter what. It’s the right thing to do to leave Krusee off of this is this committee. It will at least look like, without him on the committee, that there may be a chance to study this issue from a different approach. It’s doubtful that much will change because the house members on this committee are two Republicans and a Craddick D. Meaning there’s little chance they’ll talk much about the neglect and defunding of our transportation infrastructure in Texas and using the gas tax as any part of a solution.
But back to Krusee. Having his vice chair, Rep. Larry Phillips, R-Sherman, on the committee is probably a foreshadowing of who’d be chairing this committee if lame duck Craddick is somehow able to cling to the gavel for another session. Krusee has absolutely no credibility left on the transportation issue due to his single vote against the toll moratorium bill in the house last session and his being owned by construction and transportation interests. Another reason for his credibility problem is the aforementioned “toll everything” stance. But Krusee’s main problem is he’s just become too toxic on this, his signature issue.
If Krusee were to somehow survive it seems pretty clear, from these recent occurrences, that his influence has already diminished considerably. If Craddick is back as Speaker, Krusee won’t be as chair of Transportation. It’s also doubtful he’d get that chair back with a new Speaker, who’d probably want someone with much less political baggage on this issue than Krusee. Of course if, and it’s becoming more and more likely, the House changes back to Democratic control he won’t be around anyway so that wouldn’t be a concern. It’s clear from all of this that it’s time to start over in HD-52 and that means it’s time for Diana Maldonado to become our new representative.Â Much more on that in the near future.