First, there is no pithy introduction to each of the featured articles.This intro will serve to cover them all. Next they are all the same topic, that of the recent dust-up over Texas Speaker Joe Straus. Just the fact that many are “publicly” dissatisfied with Joe Straus as Speaker is a big deal to some of us.
Many of us have, in previous sessions of the Texas Legislature, found bills we liked and supported. Many of us walked those marble and granite halls as “Citizen Lobbyists,” leaving literature, speaking with staff (occasionally the representative), and more, only to be disappointed to find that those bills never made it to the House floor for a vote.
Usually, this is simply just how it is. Of bills proposed, only about 3% become laws, and often only after being introduced in successive legislative sessions.
But after comparing notes with other Conservative groups (then with staff and with legislators themselves) across the state, a pattern emerged. Speaker Straus was the decision maker who blocked those bills. Over and over. His appointees refused to allow our bills into a key committee or to be voted out of committee. In the powerful Calendars Committee, he slid our bills to the end so that they could not be heard in time. His lieutenants were able to strong-arm members into pulling their support for bills. Etc, etc, etc…
Procedurally a vote for Speaker is very unlikely in this special session. However, over the next 30 days they will all be together. It’s when they are less distracted and get less calls and visits. It’s when they chat over breakfast. This 30-day period is when they might hear what we have to say.
Please call your Texas State Representative: CLICK HERE for contact information. Tell them politely, (please, please, ever so politely and gently) that you and your neighbors are dissatisfied with Speaker Straus and that you would like your representative to find a way to remove and replace Joe Straus.
Is it the proper time for them to act on your request? No. Is it time for them to get the idea? Yes. Is it time for them to begin kicking the idea around with their buddies? Yes, of course it is. Will they? If they collectively get a few thousand calls from South Texas, You Bet They Will!
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J. ALLEN THARP