In the first conversation of a new interview series called "Out of Office," the former Speaker of the House and the former lieutenant governor discuss their years in the Lege, how the Capitol has changed, and what to expect this session.
… Pete Laney. He appeals to Democrats on the left and on the right. He can win votes in rural Texas, where Democrats are weakest. He has friends throughout the state. He knows the issues backwards and forwards. His personality oozes authenticity. He was a state leader in the days
The first day of a legislative session always has the festive atmosphere of a high school reunion, but this one had something extra. It was also Bastille Day—the moment that the masses stormed the battlements and freed the prisoners. I have never seen so many members look so happy. Charlie
When Tom Craddick became speaker, Pete Laney remained in the Legislature for two sessions. Craddick believed, rightly or wrongly, that Laney orchestrated the Democratic resistance to his leadership, and he deeply resented it. Is history going to repeat itself? Is Craddick going to take his seat on the floor and
Add Tom Craddick to the list of speakers whose careers ended for reasons other than their own choosing. Byron Tunnel, 1963, had his sights set on a second term, but was forced out of office by Governor John Connally, who gave him the choice of a soft landing of a
In the last legislative session, George W. Bush’s moderate program won over Bob Bullock, Pete Laney, and other top Democrats. But this time, Bush’s agenda is more partisan, and Republicans are measuring his presidential potential—so Texas politics is going to get ugly.