Sid Miller will be the author of HB 15, with co-authors Callegari, Geren, Kolkhorst, and Dianne Patrick. One might well ask, Why is there another sonogram bill? The answer is that the Straus forces have been through a venomous speaker’s race, and they are not inclined to let their enemies take credit for legislation that the Republican base considers important. That legislation will be controlled by the leadership. Thus, HB 201, a sonogram bill by Paxton supporter Geanie Morrison, is unlikely to see the light of day, and Miller’s HB 15 is likely to sail through. If this strikes some readers as an echo of the way the game was played during the Craddick years (and it strikes me that way), so be it. Nobody in the Straus camp thinks that the gentle folk who insisted that he wasn’t a real conservative have buried the hatchet. The new sonogram bill is evidence that the 2011 speaker’s race has not yet ended, and that the 2013 speaker’s race has already begun. The Straus forces, it appears, are prepared to ensure that any litmus-test legislation that passes the House this session will be championed by the speaker and his allies. Is this heavy-handed? I have to say that it is. But it is also self-preservation. The Straus team didn’t turn the speaker’s race into total war. Their enemies did.
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