This is Michael Quinn Sullivan’s latest ploy in the speaker’s race: Good morning, More than 1,700 Texas voters have joined 120 tea party organizers, Republican leaders and conservative activists in calling for a conservative speaker of the Texas House. And the list is growing daily. The letter, copied below, is not an endorsement for any candidate; it is instead a call for strong conservative leadership. [bold face is original] Signers include organizers of tea party groups from around the state, members of the State Republican Executive Committee, county Republican Party chairs, and other grassroots activist leaders. Organization representatives can sign the letter by contacting any existing signer. Individuals are free to sign the letter at ConservativeSpeakerMandate.com, a website we will begin actively promoting today. We will update the list of signers daily on our websites. Respectfully, Michael Quinn Sullivan Empower Texans / Texans for Fiscal Responsibility * * * * The most important part of this message is the bold-faced language: The letter, copied below, is not an endorsement for any candidate; it is instead a call for strong conservative leadership. This paragraph, combined with the absence of a single word from the entire piece — the word being “Straus” — leads me to believe that Sullivan and the hard right have figured out that the Chisum challenge has failed. There is always another possibility, that this is a rope-a-dope strategy, hoping to lull Straus into a false sense of security. If so, I may be the dope, because it looks to me as if the anti-Straus group has abandoned, for now, the argument that Straus is not a real conservative.