Many have wondered (a) whether and (b) when religion would become an issue in the speaker’s race. The answers are, (a) yes and (b) now. The following is the online Peter Morrison Report, dated November 11: Summary of this week’s report: Joe Straus, the liberal Republican Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, is on the ropes, lashing out at the grassroots and bullying conservative Texas State House members in a desperate bid to hold onto power. Your representative needs to hear from you today, demanding they support a conservative like Rep. Warren Chisum or Rep. Ken Paxton for Speaker. Please go to this site and call or email your member today: [site omitted throughout the letter] In the history of The Peter Morrison Report, this may be the most important message I’ve ever sent you. After Election Day’s historic Republican gains in Texas, Republicans now hold 99 seats out of 150 in the Texas House. We can now push to remove Joe Straus, the liberal, pro-abortion Speaker of the House, and replace him with a true conservative. Just as a reminder, here’s why Joe Straus needs to go: * As Speaker, Straus appointed liberal committee chairs Burt Solomons and Brian McCall who effectively killed all immigration enforcement legislation in the 2009 session. Because the Legislature only meets every two years, this means the ongoing invasion of our state cannot be addressed until 2011 at the earliest. * Joe Straus is pro-abortion. In fact, his rabbi sits on the board of San Antonio Planned Parenthood. I can tell you what I would do if my pastor supported Planned Parenthood: I would find a new church. Joe Straus clearly lacks the moral compass to be Speaker, the third most powerful office in the state. * According to Heritage Alliance, in the last legislative session in which he voted, Joe Straus voted with conservatives only 52% of the time, which was the second worst voting record among Republicans. In fact, five Democrats were more conservative than Straus! His claim to be a conservative leader is laughable. He was elected in 2009 because of a coalition of turncoat Republicans and every Democrat in the Texas House. Both Rep. Warren Chisum and Rep. Ken Paxton, who are Christians and true conservatives, have risen to the occasion to challenge Joe Straus for leadership. Now I’m about to tell you breaking news about Joe Straus that should infuriate you. He just released a letter yesterday attacking Rep. Chisum. I’m going to share the last paragraph with you: [From Straus’s letter to Chisum]: “If you truly believe that the Texas House of Representatives should be protected from the kind of scorched earth campaign unleashed by your allies, then I call on you to put a stop to it for the sake of the membership. Stop the threatening letters, mean-spirited emails, and angry phone calls. Let each member of the House, elected to represent the views of their constituents, decide this election free of such divisive hostility.” [Morrison writes] Let me translate for you: the election’s over. The grassroots needs to sit down at the back of the bus while the insiders decide who’s in charge. Straus has nothing but contempt for the thousands of conservative Texans communicating with their legislator to try and elect a conservative speaker. You see, in Joe Straus’ world, legislators are supposed to represent their constituents’ views, but if a constituent actually shares their views then that’s “mean spirited.” Right now I believe the Republicans in the Texas House are ready for a new Speaker. However, they’re also scared. They know if they come out for a conservative Speaker and Straus somehow survives, they will be punished in the 2011 session. In fact, one of Straus’ bullying tactics just came to light as I write this. Rep. Brian Hughes released a letter saying he will not support Straus, and among his reasons why: Straus’ staff threatened him with redistricting if he didn’t cooperate. Think about this: a Republican Speaker, threatening a Republican member with the prospect of a gerrymandered district that would disenfranchise his conservative constituents. This tactic reveals that Straus is truly a traitor, a man who would hurt conservatives in order to hold on to power. I think there is great hope right now, but you need to take action. Joe Straus has played “Mr. Nice Guy” for the last two years, but cracks are starting to appear in that facade. His contemptuous dismissal of the grassroots and his bullying tactics reveal desperation in a man who feels threatened by the conservative victory of Election Day. Now is the time to apply pressure. Now is the time to demand your representative support a true conservative for Speaker. Your representative needs to hear from you today, demanding they support a conservative like Warren Chisum or Ken Paxton for Speaker. Please go to this site and call or email your member today…. [site omitted] To conclude this piece, here is what I was able to find out about Mr. Morrison from his Web site. This is what he posts about himself: My name is Peter Morrison, and I’m a conservative businessman living in Lumberton, Texas with my wife and four children. I currently serve on the Lumberton ISD School Board and as treasurer of the Hardin County Republican Party. I believe deeply in the principles of limited constitutional government, the sanctity of life and that our state and nation should be run under Thomas Jefferson’s principle of “Equal Rights for All, Special Privileges for None.” Further info: In a previous newsletter, Mr. Morrison was extremely critical of Rick Perry for saying that Texas did not need a border wall with Mexico. He is a political ally of Michael Quinn Sullivan’s and was the #6 signature on Sullivan’s letter of November 4 calling for a change to a more conservative speaker. * * * * It is not my intention here to characterize Morrison’s comments regarding religion and the speaker’s race. I leave it to readers to reach their own conclusions.