I wasn’t surprised to answer my cell phone yesterday and hear the words, “Can you speak to Governor Dewhurst?” I could guess what Lite Gov wanted to talk about: “A Cauldron is Brewing in the Senate,” an item I posted last Thursday about tensions in the Senate that threatened to derail the budget bill. The post reported that a group of conservative senators were unhappy about the as-yet-unannounced- but-widely-presumed makeup of the conference committee and also at Dewhurst’s using the budget to further his political ambition to be governor by feeding pork to South Texas. The item was based upon conversations with senators. I do not deal in gossip. What, never? Well, hardly ever. And not this time.
Our conversation went something like this:
Dewhurst: “I just wanted to thank you for helping me get the budget out of committee by a 15-0 vote. After your piece came out, several senators came into my office and wanted me to know that they weren’t unhappy about the budget at all.
Me: “I’m happy to have been of service, governor.
Dewhurst: “We need to have you in for lunch.”
I wanted to ask if I was to be the guest or the entree, but I suppose I’ll find out soon enough.
Now, to get to the point of this posting:
My report was accurate then. It is still accurate now. I stand by the story, every word of it. The budget bill is out of committee, but conservative senators are working actively to round up eleven votes to block the bill from coming to the floor under the 2/3 rule. They think they can get them. This comes directly from one of the senators involved and was confirmed by another Republican senator who is not on Finance but has been privvy to the conversations.