UPDATE: Earlier this afternoon, Representative Hughes called me to say that his statements during the conference call last night “bore no resemblance” to the summary I posted below from another blog. After I wrote about Mr. Hughes, Empower Texans posted the audio of the conversation, which I subsequently listened to. Mr. Hughes is correct—the actual conversation in no way reflected what had been attributed to him. I apologize to Mr. Hughes and to Empower Texans for the error, and I regret any confusion my post caused.
For the record, here is a quick summary of what Mr. Hughes did say:
–I was elected in 2002. I unseated a twelve-term Democrat. I’m a conservative. I believe government should do a few things, do them well, and get out of the way.
–We have a conservative House, and we should have a conservative speaker. It is important to have leadership in the House that reflects those conservative ideas.
–[in response to a caller's question]: The people that sent us are frustrated. Conservative bills get filed, they never see the light of day, such as that state government cannot grow faster than population growth plus the rate of inflation. Bills never come up for a hearing.
–Don’t let bills languish in committee. So much time is wasted, lots of hurry up and wait, it wastes taxpayers’ money.
–If a bill has broad support on the floor, it should get a hearing on the floor of the House.
–Why is it important to have a conservative speaker? The speaker sets the agenda. If we want bold leadership, it starts in the speaker’s office.
A couple of readers have e-mailed me a digest of the tele-town hall conversation featuring Hughes and Michael Quinn Sullivan. I am not going to publish the piece verbatim because much of it is gratuitously disrespectful about Hughes, but click HERE for a link.
Here’s the short version of what a Hughes speakership would look like:
1. No Democratic chairs
2. No Calendars committee
3. The speaker may bring up bills he favors directly to the floor
4. He will support the agenda of Empower Texans 100%
5. All current committee chairs are incompetent and will be replaced
6. All chairs would be conservatives
7. Members would lose the ability to raise points of order
8. All student testing would be ended
9. Hughes will urge Republicans to contact their state representatives repeatedly until they agree to support Hughes for speaker
* * * *
The first thing that this achieves is the reelection of Straus, because I doubt that even Martinez-Fischer would align himself with the far right. Straus will get all the Democratic votes.