A selection of this week’s news items on the Texas House Speaker race:
Bud Kennedy asked [Jason] Villalba whether he’s concerned that someone in the Tea Party might run against him since Villalba supports Joe Straus for House Speaker rather than the Tea Party favorite and Frisco Republican Scott Turner. Villalba dismissed it and called several people, including Cathie Adams, president of the Texas Eagle Forum, “goons.” Adams appeared this week to respond to those allegations and explain how Turner still has a chance to beat Straus.
The vast majority of the Republicans who have endorsed Straus campaigned as pro-life candidates. The powerful Calendars Committee, which operates as a gatekeeper before bills can reach the floor for a debate and vote, is dominated by Straus allies, including its chair. The question remains whether the 84th Legislative Session under Straus’ control once again will allow pro-life bills to move forward or if pro-life advocates will continue to find the Members’ claims of dedication to conservative principles ringing hollow and false.
Continuing his pattern of undermining conservatives and deceiving voters, House Speaker Joe Straus is poised to unravel the state’s border security operations on Dec. 1, while giving Democrats a political tool to use against conservatives. Due to Straus’ opposition, the state’s celebrated “border surge” is set to end in March rather than receive full funding through the end of the fiscal year.
In a letter dated Monday, Turner, R-Frisco, asks Straus, R-San Antonio, to help him write to Secretary of State Nandita Berry requesting a floor vote in the speaker’s election. Turner has also reached out to Rep. Charlie Geren, a Straus ally who has expressed a desire for members to go on the record about whom they support.
Turner, reports Breitbart, has a stronger record on pro-life issues. The website reported earlier this month that Straus has not voted on any crucial abortion-regulation bills since he became speaker. He also, according to the report, did not allow any pro-life bills to come to the House floor during last year’s regular session.
Scott Turner is a former NFL player who now serves the people of Frisco and Rockwall as a state representative. At 5’9” and 180 pounds, not many believed Turner would ever walk onto an NFL football field, but he promised his mother he would, and he kept his promise. Keeping promises is a lesson Turner learned from his father who also taught him about discipline and humility. These are traits that would serve the people of Texas well, should he prevail in this next goal in his life.
“I think by running the speaker’s race and taking it to the floor and finishing it, liberation comes,” Turner said in a speech posted online last month. “Because now everyone is held accountable, everybody puts their name on who they would like to be the speaker and then we get to work for the people of Texas. Why do I say liberation? Because then all smoke and mirrors is sucked out of the room.”
These talking points are attacks from the right that claim Turner is insufficiently conservative. This is a strange choice considering everyone in Texas politics, including the writer of the Statesman story, admits Turner is by far the more conservative of the two Speaker candidates. If Turner isn’t conservative enough for the Statesman, they must consider Straus a communist by comparison.
One could say that our delegation of Texas State Representatives have been bought with a price, too. Not one as noble as the price that Christ paid for our sins. What I’m talking about here is their vote for the Texas Speaker of the House, bought and paid for by current Speaker of the House, Joe Straus. Follow the money, especially all the lobbyist money Straus distributes with strong strings attached.