Rumblings of GOP discontent
Wed May 6, 2009 11:30 am

The following is an e-mail dated April 22. It was sent by SREC member John Cook [Senate District 2] to Matt Hayes, also an SREC member [Senate District 10] and others, which I have obtained from a Republican legislator. "Jason," mentioned in the e-mail, is SREC member Jason Moore [Senate District 31]. The e-mail is an indication that the activists have not accepted Joe Straus as speaker.

Dear ones and fellow members of the most Christian, Conservative group I have ever belonged to except my church:

Don't get excited the rest won't be as long as the opening ... or maybe it well. I have been equally labored by many areas as Jason has and had not previously been in the debate. But several issues mentioned are on my radar and felt obligated to respond. First I want to openly disagree with a stand Jason took, as well as members in leadership took about chastening the gang of eleven, that say their [sic] Republicans, and then vote with Democrats to remove Tom Craddick. It was to be ABC's, which was completely not the case. There was a good conservative in position to be speaker, but they picked the least experienced and most easily swayed to be the next speaker. Filling his head with promise after promise of what he could and would receive for his diligent efforts to run the House in a manner that would let them be in control. And in control they are. Have you examined the Committee Chair assignments? And if this isn't going to help the demise of the Republican Party in Texas, nothing else will. My problem with Jason, et. al., [sic] is that, we didn't take an early stand against this as a party and as a group of leaders in the party. I was told we need to take a wait and see approach, which greater minds convinced me was true. This wait and see has gotten no quality legislation out of the House. Unless you think a pork filled budget is success. Why did we take the stimulus money, any of it? Why did the senate pass a bill that stripped the Governor of a stance that kept us from strings that would be forever in the budget? Has anybody tried to remove a government program. We are going to be short in our unemployment fund in October!!!! Do you feel the tears rolling down their cheeks? Perry needs to veto that SB 1569 and veto the budget. And start all over with money from our state not the federal government, because we are in critical economic times and things like teachers getting raises might need to be held off for awhile. Government employees are the least likely to lose their jobs. ironic, isn't it? Anyway thats why I disagree with Jason on that particular point? Lets see how Jason handles it!

[Short paragraph addressed to Craddick critic and SREC member Mark McCaig, Senate District 18, omitted]

Now, personally, if I find it to be true that TLR helped Mark Homer, I will not support them again, thats my district.

* * * *

I'm not going to make a lot of comments, just the obvious ones:

(1) The person responsible for Tom Craddick's losing the speakership was Tom Craddick. Everything that brought him down he did to himself. He could not bring himself to admit a mistake or to consult others. When the rebellion came last May, it was led not by Democrats but by his own lieutenants--Fred Hill, Dan Gattis, Mike Krusee, Jim Keffer. Because he centralized power in himself, Craddick failed to inspire loyalty from his own committee chairs. (2) The ABC's did not vote with the Democrats to remove Craddick; the Democrats voted with the ABC's. The ABC's chose Straus. The Democrats just voted for him. (3) The reason that no "quality" legislation is getting out of the House is that the House is divided 76-74, and you can't pass legislation without votes from both sides of the aisle. Even the school children in the gallery know that. (4) Why did the Legislature take the stimulus money? Same answer as (3).

What I can't understand about the SREC and the activists who pine for Craddick's return is that they are betting on a losing horse. Because he is a conservative, Craddick's other sins are forgiven--among them, the loss of twelve legislative seats during his tenure as speaker. And, don't forget, Craddick supervised those campaigns himself. He can't distance himself from the results. Doesn't Cook understand that Craddick threw his own members--Tony Goolsby, Pat Haggerty--under the bus? Doesn't he realize how much Craddick had to give his Democratic supporters in order to stay in power? Apparently not. Perhaps he ought to poll Republican House members about whether they want Craddick back as speaker. Some will. Most won't.

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