I saw in the Midland Reporter-Telegram that Tom Craddick spoke to the home folks–the Permian Basin Petroleum Association–a few days ago. Here’s what he had to say:

When the next session of the Texas Legislature opens in January, “it will be about money,” said State Rep. Tom Craddick, who has represented the Midland area since taking office in 1969. “Money will be a big challenge — where to put it, where to not put it, will there be enough or will we have to cut spending.”

He said that cuts made during the last session in 2011 will not be restored.

He said that? That’s interesting. Did I miss something? Is Craddick back on the LBB? Is he going to be vice-chair of Appropriations? How does he know the cuts are not going to be restored?

The story goes on to say, Beyond money matters, other issues will be roads, especially in the Permian Basin, where traffic has risen substantially because of oilfield activity and population growth, Craddick said….

I don’t doubt that roads/transportation will be an issue, but not “especially” in the Permian Basin. There are higher priorities. Dallas/Fort Worth. The north side of San Antonio. Interstate 35. Central Texas. There is growth in the Permian Basin, to be sure, but it shouldn’t be the first thing on the list.

The interesting thing about this article is that Craddick never changes. He still wants to cut the budget despite rising state revenues and a bulging rainy day fund, he still wants to set state policy despite the lack of a portfolio, and he still regards Midland as the center of the universe. And, I bet, he’s still trying to figure out how to regain the speakership.