I have removed this post from the blog. It consisted of a letter “reporting” a phone conversation among major Republican donors in which they agreed to raise $10 million to use against members who had failed to support Speaker Craddick. I normally post submissions from readers in the comments section of the blog. This one raised issues that I wished to respond to, so I posted the letter in the main section of the blog and gave my own response.

Subsequently, I have heard from a representative of Bob Perry, who said, “Mr. Perry does not operate this way”; from Dr. James Leininger (“I was not aware of any telephone calls last night and I have not pledged any money to defeat any candidate in the next election cycle”), and from Alexis DeLee in the speaker’s office (“Jim Leininger and Bob Perry have both called the speaker to let him know that they are irate about the posting on your blog. They have said that talk of a meeting was fabricated in order to influence the outcome of the speaker’s race. I want to reiterate that the Speaker has not worked to recruit candidates for incumbent House members, nor has he directed or condoned such behavior. Speaker Craddick has never campaigned against any incumbent member of the Texas House of Representatives. In fact, whenever asked, he has traveled to members’ districts to assist with their campaign efforts.”)

I have said before that my policy on the blog is to publish any comment that is not demeaning or defamatory. That said, I realize that the decision to post this particular comment in the main part of the blog, rather in the section reserved for readers’ comments, was a mistake. It gave the submission more credence than it deserved. In fact, I took issue with the premise in my response. Well, live and learn about this blogging business. I will continue to post all readers’ comments, but I will not publish comments in the main portion of the blog unless they are particularly insightful and do not contain unfounded allegations. My apologies to all.

Added, 2:10 p.m. This comment is signed by Republican political consultant Craig Murphy:

Murphy Turner & Associates has many clients. Among them are many of the Speaker’s strongest supporters. When you represent a lot of office holders, you naturally end up with candidates on all sides of various issues. We are political consultants not a political party. We work for our clients, not the other way around.

November, 2006 was a tough month for Republicans but MTA helped win elections for 100% of our Texas Legislative clients and 100% of our non-legislative clients. That , after all, is the reason candidates hire us. It has been my experience that NO candidate hires a political consultant for a campaign because they want him or her to tell him what to do after the election. And, frankly, we do not offer that service.

I have no idea who anonymous is but if I had to guess, I would say it is a political consultant who had something far short of 100% victories in November and would like to get clients next year in spite of his record by raising a little dust.