Friday, December 14, 2012

Texas Speakers Race Part 2

Who will be the next Texas Speaker. Manny Conservatives claim that Texas House Speaker Joe Straus is not a true conservative. This is reminiscent of the Republican state convention in Fort Worth last summer. Where the shouts of oust Straus where very prevalent. But who is Joe Straus? Born Joseph R. Straus, III on September 1, 1959 After witnessing his fellow Republicans lose three House seats in the November 2008 elections, Straus decided to run against then Speaker Tom Craddick (born 1943) of Midland, the senior Republican in the Texas House. Dissent against Craddick had been brewing in the Texas House. The latest round of disappointing election results hurt Craddick's standing with his Republican colleagues. Shortly after New Year's Day, eleven House Republican members, including the late Edmund Kuempel of Seguin, met in the Austin home of Representative Byron Cook of Corsicana (ten in person and one via webcam). Each wanted an alternative to Craddick. After four rounds of secret balloting, with state and local media hanging around outside in the neighbors' lawns, Straus emerged as their challenger to unseat the Speaker. Over the next several days, the group, dubbed by the media as the "Gang of 11", set out to garner the required minimum of 76 votes (of the 150 members) to achieve their mission. After several days of phone calls, e-mails, pledge cards and signature gathering, Joe Straus announced on Sunday, January 4, 2009, he had enough votes to win the job. By the following evening remaining opposition to Straus conceded. After securing his position as House Speaker, Straus proceeded to appoint Democrats to 16 of the House's 34 chairmanship positions.
San Antonio Democrat Mike Villarreal said that Straus brought "the right temperament [to the Speakership]. After three sessions of Tom Craddick, the House was ready for a change."Frank Corte, Jr., a San Antonio Republican who had been committed to retaining Craddick as Speaker, said that Straus "has a different leadership style, there's no doubt about it. He has an indirect way of handling things. He doesn't weigh in heavily at first." Straus' rabbi, Barry H. Block, said "If people underestimated Joe, they'll stop now."
An aide said that Straus "doesn't like to label himself on social issues. . . . He considers himself pro-life, just not a proselytizing one. . . . He sees the big picture -- jobs, economy, education." Another Republican, Leo Berman from Tyler, had indicated an intention to run for Speaker, but has pulled out and is now endorsing Warren Chisum, a Republican from Pampa, who unsuccessfully challenged Straus for the Speaker's gavel. McKinney Republican Ken Paxton has also sought the position. Manny conservatives have found it difficult to file conservative legislation during the last session and there where two more candidates to file against Straus Bryan Hughes and David Simpson. however Hughes withdrew and through his support behind David Simpson. David is a seventh generation Texan. He was born in Lubbock and grew up in Dallas, spending summers and weekends in East Texas at the family’s home place in Avinger, where his family settled in the mid 1800s. David and his family have lived in Longview since 2000. David Simpson was elected State Representative of House District 7 in 2010, defeating a seven-term incumbent, by running on a platform of defending the Constitution, preserving our East Texas family values, and restoring government to its proper, limited role. He was re-elected in 2012 by a large margin. District 7 is comprised of Gregg County and northern Smith County and includes the cities of Longview, Kilgore, White Oak, Gladewater, Liberty City, Lindale, Hideaway and Winona. However, after redistricting, District 7 will be comprised of the entirety of both Gregg and Upshur Counties.
In only one session, Simpson earned the “Taxpayer Champion” award from Texans for Fiscal Responsibility and the “Freshman of the Year” award from Young Conservatives of Texas; he was also named “Co-MVP of the Freshman Class” by Capitol Inside for his effectiveness as a legislator. Rep. Simpson has been endorsed by many conservative leaders and is the TEA Party favorite for the Speakership. While Joe Straus is Supported by Democrats Like Lon Berman and moderate Republicans Like Jim Keffer of Eastland, or Rob Orr of Burleson.

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