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It was definitely the Ds, or an affiliated group, who were behind the videotaping of arriving members at Craddick’s affair at the Austin Club Sunday night. The YouTube video of ten Democratic members arriving at the Craddick loyalty session can be seen on the Burnt Orange Report, edited by Karl-Thomas Musselman, or on YouTube itself. As most political junkies know, BOR is the work of a group of recent UT graduates and former students who were affiliated with the UT Young Democrats. The blog says of the House members who were videotaped, “If they follow through and vote for him [Craddick] tomorrow, expect primary challengers to find this footage available to them.”
The cast, in order of appearance:
Ryan Guillen/Aaron Pena
Ruth Jones McClendon
Patrick Rose (who is not shown but is described as “running into the building”)
I thought the ABCs had a chance to get Deshotel, but the support of the others for Craddick has always been solid.
Four other Democrats who did not attend (or were not videotaped) were on the December 28 list of Craddick pledges: Kevin Bailey, Harold Dutton, Tracy King, and Robert Puente. Only three of the 17 Ds originally pledged to Craddick defected to Pitts–Chuck Hopson, Armando Martinez, and Richard Raymond. If Craddick wins today, the Craddick Ds will be the firewall that saved his speakership. Craddick was extremely smart about the way he handled them. Unlike his Republican supporters, they were free to oppose him on the floor and to vote against Republican initiatives.
It’s pretty easy to do the math for the speakers race now. There are 69 Ds, 14 of whom will support Craddick. That leaves 55 Ds for Pitts. There are 12 known ABC Republicans. That’s 67. Pitts needs 8 more Republicans (20 in all) to win, or a last-minute change of heart by 8 Craddick Ds (when hell freezes over), or some combination thereof.