This letter signed by House chairs supporting the reelection of Tom Craddick as speaker was sent to this Web site for posting as a response to the item, “The Final Days of Tom Craddick: Plan B.” However, because many readers do not check the comments by readers, I am posting it here in the main portion of the blog.
December 29, 2006
Dear Fellow House Members:
We want all members of the legislature to know that we firmly support Tom Craddick’s re-election as our Speaker. He is known for fairness and making tough decisions, qualities that are indispensable to the House of Representatives. His critics can’t attack his honesty, his character or his accomplishments. We know that without Tom’s unwavering focus the many accomplishments that we have achieved during the last two regular sessions and numerous special sessions would not have been possible. He has provided leadership when prioritizing the budget, working to bring the state from a $10 billion deficit to a $15 billion surplus. This allowed the state to absorb unexpected costs due to the hurricanes in 2005. This year it gave the Legislature the ability to put more money into our public schools, provide Texans much needed property tax relief, and give teachers a well deserved pay raise. Speaker Craddick has also shown leadership when it comes to our most vulnerable citizens by supporting serious reforms and restructuring of the agencies and institutions responsible for the protection and placement of abused and neglected children into foster care. Texas has also become a leader among the states by passing model tort reform legislation that could not have possible without his support. In an effort to better reflect the diverse and ever changing face of Texas , Speaker Craddick has reached out across party lines and has appointed more minority members into leadership positions than in any other time in the Legislature’s history. This diversity has helped build a spirit of bipartisanship and respect across the aisle. We, the undersigned committee chairs, want to see Tom Craddick returned as Speaker. We don’t want to lose Tom Craddick’s leadership. It is best for Texas and he has earned our support.
Sincerely, Chairman Rick Hardcastle, Committee on Agriculture and Livestock Chairwoman Norma Chavez, Committee on Border and International Affairs Chairwoman Helen Giddings, Committee on Business and Industry Chairwoman Beverly Woolley, Committee on Calendars Chairman Jerry Madden, Committee on Corrections Chairman Wayne Smith, Committee on County Affairs Chairman Harvey Hilderbran, Committee on Culture, Recreation and Tourism Chairman Frank Corte, Committee on Defense Affairs and State-Federal Relations Chairman Buddy West, Committee on Energy Resources Chairman Dennis Bonnen, Committee on Environmental Regulation Chairman Burt Solomons, Committee on Financial Institutions Chairman Kevin Bailey, Committee on General Investigating and Ethics Chairwoman Geanie Morrison, Committee on Higher Education Chairman John Smithee, Committee on Insurance Chairman Will Hartnett, Committee on Judiciary Chairman Harold Dutton, Committee on Juvenile Justice and Family Issues Chairwoman Anna Mowery, Committee on Land and Resource Management Chairman Joe Driver, Committee on Law Enforcement Chairman Kino Flores, Committee on Licensing and Administrative Procedures Chairman Fred Hill, Committee on Local Government Ways and Means Chairman Robert Puente, Committee on Natural Resources Chairwoman Dianne Delisi, Committee on Public Health Chairman Joe Crabb, Committee on Redistricting Chairman Phil King, Committee on Regulated Industries Chairman David Swinford, Committee on State Affairs Chairman Mike Krusee, Committee on Transportation Chairman Jim Keffer, Committee on Ways and Means.