From EmpowerTexans.com, by Michael Quinn Sullivan, February 26, 2012 –
Even as Texans move more solidly to the commonsense right this election season, Republican House Speaker Joe Straus is betting against conservatives in the Lone Star State.
Back in 2010, Joe Straus campaigned against a Republican super-majority, preferring to keep liberal Democratic incumbents like Patrick Rose and Jim McReynolds in office. Too bad they lost big to conservatives Jason Isaac and James White, respectively.
In fact, 23 Democrats lost in the general election of 2010. Mr. Straus held on to the speakership thanks to the purse-power of the lobby, pressure on new legislators from establishment donors, and the lack of an early, organized challenge.
This go-round, Mr. Straus began his attack on conservatives through the legislative redistricting process.
Few, though, have been targeted for destruction by Joe Straus more directly than James White, a retired African-American Army officer and school teacher-turned-rancher. But not only did the Straus-team radically redraw the district of the conservative Rep. White, a Straus committee chairman (Tuffy Hamilton) moved counties and switched districts to mount a lobby-funded challenge.
Mr. Hamilton has been the speaker’s go-to-crony to push gambling plans that would put money in the pockets of the Straus family and friends.
Topping it off, this Wednesday, Feb. 29, the Texas Association of Realtors (motto: “working to be the most influential political action committee in Texas”) are hosting an Austin-establishment event — headlined by Speaker Straus — to fund Lackey Hamilton’s race against James White.
It’s interesting to note that by raising money for Hamilton, Speaker Straus is now publicly engaged in a full-out campaign against tort reform powerhouse Texans for Lawsuit Reform.TLR endorsed the conservative Mr. White, and criticized Mr. Hamilton.
In fact, there are many primary races around the state where Mr. Straus’ consiglieres, advisors, lackeys and consultants are running just-below-the-radar races against tort-reform champions and tea party heroes.
Of course, it was assumed (hoped?) by the ruling-class establishmentarians that the tea party would have been gone by now. Instead, the tea party in Texas is brewing stronger and stronger; shifting from rallies to influencing politics and policy.
Austin’s power-brokers are nervously watching their good-ol’ boy system be exposed – and even fall apart – under the energy of tea-powered activists.
And that’s a very good thing for Texas!
Michael Quinn Sullivan
& the EmpowerTexans.com team
Empower Texans / Texans for Fiscal Responsibility
PO Box 200248, Austin, TX 78720