Yesterday, the Republican Representative elect met and caucused to select the Speaker of the House, Today they meet to have the actual vote.
With all but one of the 101 Republicans in the House present, 70 stood up to show their support for Straus in the closed meeting, according to legisaltors who were inside. With that done, there was no reason to check the support for the other two candidates.
The forces within the party have aligned as either the for Joe Strauss or against. The fight has been hard fought and nasty. Going as fat to attack Joe Strauss’ religious roots which is Jewish. The pro Paxton gang got someout of state endorsements like Mike Huckleberry and John Bolton. The problem from Paxton was “Who cares?”
Who cares if Mike Huckabee was for Paxton, or Josh Bolton, or Dick Armey? Who cares that RedState.com endorsed Paxton? I’m sure all of Georgia was agog.
Strauss managed to get arguably the most important endorsement of Debra Medina, Last years Gubenatorial Candidate . She is likely the most well known of the Texas Tea Party. Her endorsement isn’t just a nod but a well reasoned essay on why we can’t return to the heavy handed and failed Cradick style of leadership.
• Republicans had lost seats in the Texas House in each session since Tom Craddick was chosen speaker in 2003. With Speaker Straus at the helm, the Republican Party majority grew from 76 seats to the unprecedented supermajority of 101 seats. Republicans originally achieved a majority in the Texas
House after districts were redrawn following the last census. This was the first time since Reconstruction, in other words, since 1873 that Republicans had a majority in the Texas House and they then chose Tom Craddick as their speaker. Republicans held 88 of the 150 seats during that 2003 session.
• During the ensuing sessions, Texas Republicans lost seats in the House; giving up two seats and holding 86 for the 2005 session, losing 6 additional seats for the 2007 session and finally losing an additional 4 seats leaving a very slim majority of 76-74 for the 2009 session.
During that same time, the Texas budget more than doubled far exceeding growth in the Texas population and inflation. Ironically we saw this spending hike under the guidance of the same self appointed “conservative leaders” now attacking Speaker Straus.
• Texas debt also saw phenomenal growth and now knocks on our constitutional debt limit ceiling at a whopping $38 billion (Texas will not be debt-free until 2049).
• Republicans in the Texas Legislature have a long road ahead to realize the expectations of TEA Party activists and Texas citizens, who sent a huge majority to the Texas House for the 2011 session. Red shirts are no guarantee of limited
The TEA party movement isn’t/wasn’t about being anti Democrat, or even about moving more blindly conservative. It was about shrinking budgets, shrinking taxes, and listening to the voters. Strauss took over because Cradick was failing, he was losing the house and losing the budget wars.
I just hope Strauss doesn’t prove his supporters wrong and appoint leftist for the any committee chairs again.