TURNCOATS among us?

TURNCOATS among us?

 Part I in a series leading up to the most important vote Texas House members will cast this Legislative Session 
 

 

 
 As the 83rd Texas Legislative Session looms on the horizon, the Showdown for the Texas House Speaker begins to take form.

The 2011 session gave Texas Tea Party conservatives a glimpse of the past.   A time when elected leaders were actually guided by moral clarity and PRINCIPLE – what a concept!

On January 11, 2011,  15 Texas Representatives were guided more by their heart than by their campaign coffers OR their egos.   For that conviction they were honored by their fellow conservatives and Texas Tea Party supporters.    How refreshing it was that day to believe that at least in the Great State of Texas, 15 elected Representatives took a stand for what was BEST for future generations of Texans and not their own personal gain.

The “Texas 15 – Hall Courage” was launched by WomenOnTheWall.Org in 2011 to signify a step towards ending the corruption in the Texas House.    Many true conservatives were proud to honor those who took a stand.     That day – that vote,  showed Texans  that there were still men and women in office who believed in Judeo-Christian principles, the Constitution, LIFE,  the rule-of-law, and  responsible/accountable/transparent government.   With their votes, the “Texas 15” were no longer just politicians.   On that day, they represented the fighting spirit of the Texas Tea Party by taking a stand to draw a line in the sand against power and corruption. 

The “Texas 15” and the rest of the Republican House members (a/k/a  RINOS) who cast those memorable votes for Texas House Speaker in 2011 will live on for decades in the history of the Texas Legislature.

Odd,  what a difference a few years can have on one’s view of reality.   How quickly people in  power forget how they got where they are OR where their loyalty should rest!  How easily they lose sight of the fact that their constituents elected them to do what will keep Texas strong and prosperous  for future generations and not what might make THEM more important for the moment.

Straus will NEVER forgive  anyone who voted against him in 2011 – EVER!   Sure, he may “make nice” by granting coveted committee appointments to some but that is as far as it will go.  

As we now know, talk is cheap – especially the talk of  Texas House Speaker Joe Straus!   Given the recent Texas redistricting retribution against key Texas conservative Representatives (like Rep.  Wayne Christian, Rep. Jim Landtroop, and Rep. Erwin Cain) it is hard to understand why ANY of the 2011 “Texas 15” would ever even entertain the thought of supporting a man like Straus.   

Amazing how the Speaker referenced retribution as unacceptable behavior as he took to the microphone to gloat about his re-election in 2011.    It appears retribution is only unacceptable behavior when it comes from the grassroots who oppose him.  Emails prove that different rules seem to apply to the Speaker’s team and his cronies.   The recent article in The Dallas Morning News by Bob Garrett, stated that three (3) of the “Texas 15”  were defeated which is not entirely accurate.  All of the referenced defeats were  due to REDISTRICTING RETRIBUTION by Joe Straus – payback for their votes against him in 2011.   Specifically, Rep. Erin Cain decided not to run against his fellow House member Dan Flynn once they were paired in redistricting.

Speaking of redistricting retribution (and don’t forget legislation woes) – it seems the Democrats have a similar tunes they are singing about their old friend Joe.   Texans from both sides of the aisle seem to desire reform and transparency in the people’s House.

Even if  Straus attempted to lure his 2011 defectors back to his camp with key committee chair positions, could any of the “Texas 15” possibly believe for one moment that he would allow them to successfully pass ANY vital conservative legislation that they truly care about?   To simplify things, the answer is NO and if any think otherwise they should be booted out of office.

While many will hold up the 2011 Sonogram legislation passage as an example of how far Straus has come in his “pro-life walk,” The Texas Tribune a few days ago referenced his response when he was asked about the passage of a “fetal pain measure” Gov. Perry has been touting.  The Tribune reported,  “… Straus declined to say whether he would support it, but strongly implied that he doesn’t view the proposal as a priority.”   REALLY – not a priority!!   Legislation which would ban abortions after 20 weeks isn’t considered a “priority” by our “pro-life” Speaker who was endorsed by the main pro-life groups in Texas?  Something doesn’t pass the smell test here folks.  On that note, for all of the other members of  the Texas House who ran as pro-life candidates – a serious gut check best be in order before casting a vote for Joe as House Speaker.  Much more on this subject in the Part 2 so check back for more exciting examples.  

I suppose some will speculate as to how Straus might treat any “Turncoat” of  the “Texas 15” who cast their vote for him as Speaker in 2013.   There is no speculation as to how the Texas Tea Party nation and true conservatives across Texas would react to any such “Turncoat” – rest assured they would move to a priority position in the list of legislators to unseat in 2014.

You see, it is really pretty simple!    A candidate can’t claim to be a true conservative one year while electioneering and then decide after they are elected that everything they professed was ingrained in their heart (and ours) was really not important or worth fighting for after all.

The Texas Legislature did not arrive at its current state of corruption in one session … or two – it will not be corrected in one or two.    It will be a long slug fest but well worth the fight and Texas Representatives have been given a real warrior to lead the troops in 2013.  Voting for Straus clearly is not an option for any of the “Texas 15.”

Again, Texas Representatives are faced with the 2011 battle cry, “Conservative Speaker OR Your Seat.”   They should  seriously take that promise to heart.

Frankly speaking, to true conservatives – “Turncoats” are far worse that RINOS could ever be!

(Updated: 12/14/12)

 

Texas House Representatives Are On The Take……..

First let me say thank you to my friend Kevin Jackson with The Black Sphere for that line “They are on the Take”. I just got off the phone with him and if you don’t know who he is you are missing out. He’s a great guy and doing wonderful work at the boots on the ground level.

Let me just say it is lucky for Speaker Joe Struas that Kevin Jackson is not living in Texas. He would really be in big trouble. I am hoping at some point I can get Kevin to Texas so he can work a little Comedic magic and really bring out the issue of our State Reps. having their hands deep in Straus’ pockets.

OK here is the deal, it is actually pretty simple. First watch this video and then just think about it.

 

 

Basically what we have in Texas is a bunch of elected officials who are on ” The Take”  and are putting their name on the list as willing to be funded for their reelection campaign by the Speaker of the Texas House.

Question, is there something wrong with this picture?

Here is how the Pledge Card System works.

Pledge Cards: Nullifying the Electorate

For some background: the Texas Speaker of the House is a powerful position, elected from among the 150 State Representatives as the first act of any incoming legislature.  However, there has been a long-standing ‘tradition’ of pledge cards that has made this nothing but a sham in the case of a seated speaker.  The real backroom process is about as democratic as a mugging and is a tradition than needs to go the way of  the Chicken Ranch.

Here’s how it really works.  A seated Speaker has hordes of special interests slavering to do favors for the one individual that controls ALL legislation- and tens of billions in State spending. And they have VERY deep pockets for donating vasts sums for campaigns.  toward the end of the session, the Speaker will approach each representative and ask for them to sign a pledge card, promising to support the Speaker for re-election in the NEXT session.  And everyone KNOWS that donations and future committee assignments are tied to this decision.  This last session, redistricting was also a weapon to be used and it apparently was, resulting in a kangaroo court version of an ethics investigation.  Normally, a seated Speaker can get nearly all of his own party’s cards; they ALSO can get many for the opposing party, based on favorable committee assignments and- you can be assured- assistance at killing selective majority party legislation by letting it die in the committees controlled by the Speaker.

And in open seats, candidates parade down to Austin looking for donations for their runs.  They are judged by the ‘powers that be’, on whether they are willing to ‘play the game’.  In the majority party, that very often involves a willingness to sign a pre-election pledge card.  Sign a pledge, and doors are opened and donations made.

The major problem with the raw exercise of political power is there is ZERO input by the electorate in this.  They don’t wait for the office holder or candidates are validated by the voters; they don’t brook any input from the electorate after.  This is the power of the ‘Austin machine’ and it is time to challenge that when it matters- BEFORE the session is out, BEFORE the election.

 

 

NEW .30 “Speaker Showdown” TV Ad to Air During Holiday Season!

Take a look a the newest version of the TREMENDOUS .30 second Texas House “Speaker’s Showdown” ad which will be aired over the holiday season leading up to the January 11, 2011 vote for Speaker. 

Be sure and share this link with your contacts and ask them to view the link, comment on the ad and most importantly — FORWARD it to their friends!!

This fight is NOT over and we are certain we will have a “true” conservative as House leader in 2011.   Now is the time to STAND!

The Texas Race for LIFE

There are so many reasons why conservative activists in Texas refuse to accept Joe Straus as Texas House Speaker during the 2011 Texas legislative session.    The man simply does not have the fighting spirit and goes to extremes to avoid conflict.  Not a very good combination given the HUGE battles facing the Texas legislature on issues most true conservatives consider worthy of all out war.     

If you doubt me, consider Straus’ quotes from several Evan Smith interviews (Texas Monthly & Texas Tribune) concerning the the 2009 “do nothing” legislative session. 

In the January 16, 2009 Texas Monthly interview, Smith pressed Straus on important issues to the “right” saying, “On abortion you are often described as a pro-choice Republican — True or False?”  Straus responded with what I consider a truly astonishing statement: 

“Oh, I kinda get tired of the pro-choice / pro-life thing.  I take issues one at a time. … What I do reject though is this intense negative campaigning over wedge issues and I really — I’m a pass the budget and go home conservative (not to label myself again).  I really don’t enjoy the endless debate over things that are meant for campaign fodder.” 

WHAT —  did he really just equate important LIFE issues (abortion in particular) to “campaign fodder”? 

While most of us are not surprised that candidates are often deceptive while campaigning, it amazes me that he continues to try to convince true pro-life conservatives that he’s on our side AFTER receiving a 100% NARAL rating.   

Then there is the clever way Straus tries to cover this tail by praising Planned Parenthood for all the great work they do on “women’s health issues” while TOTALLY discounting the fact that a big part of their “family planning” services result in aborting babies.   Excuse me … are there really not other organizations that Straus and his wife could support that provide health services to women WITHOUT providing abortions? 

Straus really puts the “Mac” in Machiavelli!

Texas finally has a super majority of Republicans serving in the House and many of those Republicans campaigned as pro-life conservatives.  This session may well be our last chance to get an ultrasound bill passed in Texas and true conservatives simply are not willing to take a chance on Joe Straus based on his own words and his disturbing nature to avoid conflict. 

MILLIONS of lives can be saved with the passage of a good Texas ultrasound bill.  While we truly are NOW THE MAJORITY in the Texas House, we need someone who will be a strong leader and fight for us. 

If history repeats itself (and it will) Republicans will manage to mess up the overwhelming victory they’ve been given and in all likihood the margins will shift again in 2012.    Time is not on our side and we don’t have the luxury of HOPING for CHANGE in the Straus style of leadership. 

Texans are DEMANDING a true conservative who understands the stakes and is willing to take risks to deliver victories on the most imporant issues of our time. 

Time to say goodbye to the “good ‘old boy”  backroom deals in Austin and the Speaker bribes of sessions past!   If House members are smart, they will take the path of Rep. Randy Weber and survive the next Republican primary season.   Based on this past election, I think all members would be wise to reconsider the nonsense about “honoring their pledge to the Speaker” and remember the people who brought them to the dance in the first place!

Why the Texas House Speaker’s Race Should Concern You!

by Rebecca Forest

11/21/10

Texas politics is interesting to say the least!

If you are one of the many women in Texas who worked hard to get “true” conservatives elected during the 2010 election, the Texas House Speaker’s race is another election you need to pay attention to and weigh in on.

In 2009, Rep. Joe Straus [R – San Antonio] was elected to serve as Texas House Speaker – an EXTREMELY powerful position in the Texas Legislature.

It only takes 76 votes to be elected as House Speaker and unless you keep up with the inner workings of the Texas Legislature, you probably don’t know that Rep. Straus rose to power because he initially got the support of 65 DEMOCRATS and 11 RINOs (Republican in Name Only).

Straus showed his true colors during the 2009 session!

After getting the early support of 65 Democrats, it was no surprise when he appointed liberal Democrats & flaming RINOs to chair key committees such as Ways & Means, Border & Intergovernmental Affairs, Business & Industry, State Affairs, Elections … the list goes on and on!

It is no wonder vitally important bills dealing with immigration, voter ID, and pro-life issues never saw the light of day because they died in committee.  Shame, shame, shame on Joe Straus and his minions!

During a Texas Tribune interview, Joe Straus said (over and over) that he had NO REGRETS about the 2009 (do nothing) session!

Joe may not have any regrets but conservatives across Texas are FURIOUS that he spent more time worrying about the “mood, tone, and working conditions” of the legislature rather than working to make sure important legislation made it to the House floor for our elected Representatives to vote on.

Activists across Texas are networking  to make sure this session a “true” conservative is elected as Texas House Speaker.  The Texas Tea Parties did a GREAT job helping to deliver some real conservatives to the Texas Legislature BUT if Joe Straus remains speaker, all of that hard work will be in vain.

Those of us at Women on the Wall will be working overtime during the holidays to help educate Texans on this important issue and make sure the failures of last session are not repeated in 2011.

The vote for Texas House Speaker is the first vote of the session which occurs on January 11, 2011.

Please make sure our recent election gains are not lost!  Contact your Representative TODAY and tell him/her you want a “true” conservative as House Speaker in 2011 and to do their part to deliver one on January 11, 2011.  There will be a price to pay for not doing so!

Stay tuned,  check back soon and help spread the word.