Speaker's race

Takeaways From the GOP Convention

Jun 13, 2012 By Paul Burka

In reading the last couple of days of convention coverage, I found two key takeaways that have been overlooked: (1) Rick Perry is still very strong with the base of his party. He still connects with the rank and file when he makes a rousing speech, as he did at the…

The race within the race

Feb 25, 2010 By Paul Burka

The reference is to the speaker’s race. What speaker’s race? The story that is going around is that Chisum has been inviting members to his ranch. He has emerged as the most likely candidate of the hardline conservatives, if they decide to put up a fight, but the problem is…

A Suggestion for Straus

Jan 8, 2009 By Paul Burka

Before election day, when it still seemed as if Tom Craddick might win reelection as speaker, Terral Smith told me about what he hoped to do with committee assignments. Rather than use vice-chairmanships as a reward for loyal team members, Smith wanted to replicate the relationship between Rob Eissler and…

Did the Democrats make a mistake? UPDATE

Jan 8, 2009 By Paul Burka

Note to readers: This original post (scroll down below the asterisks) noting the ironies for both parties surrounding the presumed election of Straus as speaker, has kicked up a bit of a furor. I unwittingly blundered into a fierce debate among Democrats. Party people such as Matt Angle think that…

Sore Winners

Jan 6, 2009 By Paul Burka

The worst mistake that the Straus regime can make is to be sore winners. Doesn’t anybody learn anything around here? Craddick was a sore winner. He rubbed the Democrats’ and the ABCs’ noses in the dirt for three sessions. Laney once said, jokingly, that Craddick had done what he could…

The speaker jinx

Jan 5, 2009 By Paul Burka

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…

Smithee’s prospects

Jan 4, 2009 By Paul Burka

The frustrating thing about John Smithee is that he has chosen all his career to perform at 60% of his ability. He has never wanted to get out front, or draw upon all the respect he has earned over the years. One “Dear Colleague” letter from him in the past…

Straus vs. Smithee?

Jan 4, 2009 By Paul Burka

Here’s where I think the speaker’s race is headed. I should credit a commenter to my previous post with a similar analysis. If Straus gets to 80+ by Sunday afternoon and lays out the names, he’s going to be the next speaker. If he hasn’t proved up his 76 votes…

Straus in the wind: claims 76 votes

Jan 3, 2009 By Paul Burka

Gary Scharrer has posted a story in the San Antonio Express-News quoting Joe Straus as saying that he has the votes to be speaker. Here are the first three paragraphs: Republican lawmaker Joe Straus said he has collected enough pledges from House colleagues Saturday to oust incumbent House…

Can Straus hold the votes?

Jan 2, 2009 By Paul Burka

I think Straus is an honorable member, and he certainly deserves the credit for being among the first to speak out against Craddick, but speaker seems like a stretch. I’ve said before that it isn’t rocket science to preside in a fair manner, but the ABCs also needed to consider…

For Auld Lang Speaker

Dec 31, 2008 By Eileen Smith

The final video of 2008. (You can thank me later.) Stick a fork in Craddick? Is he really done? Really? Honorably Mentioned: Gattis, Smithee, Solomons, Kolkhorst, Chisum, Straus, Hamilton, McCall, Dunnam, and just about every other House Member you can think of And who was that anonymous Republican source?…

Conversations with Craddick

Dec 30, 2008 By Paul Burka

A noncombatant Republican, not a member, sent me this e-mail about several conversations Craddick had over the weekend with supporters, which were duly reported to my source: Over the weekend, there were some telephone calls made by Tom Craddick in which (according to the report from one of the people…

The Next Speaker

Dec 30, 2008 By Paul Burka

It will be Dan Gattis, John Smithee, or Burt Solomons. Gattis has to build some momentum. The test, in a speaker’s race, is not whether a candidate can reach out to other members. It’s whether other members, believing that a candidate is for real, reach out to him. These next…

No Time for Tom

Dec 29, 2008 By Paul Burka

Everyone wants to attend Craddick’s funeral, but the corpse is still breathing—barely. One more nail in the awaiting coffin: The Democrats  published their names. It’s vital, as January 13 approaches, that the insurgents do everything possible to bolster their credibility, and the best way to do that was lay out…

The speaker’s race: Update

Dec 28, 2008 By Paul Burka

The long Christmas weekend is about over. Keep an eye on the Ethics Commission tomorrow (Monday) for new filings for speaker. Gattis is a possibility. McCall is a possibility. It was this time last year that he filed. I talked to one of the ABC’s on Saturday. He said that…

More on the ABCs meeting

Dec 26, 2008 By Paul Burka

I had a conversation with one of the ABCs. His comment: “It didn’t look like they were close to an agreement.” This does not come from an attendee, but from the proverbial “knowledgeable source”: The statement following the meeting  said that eleven people attended. What it didn’t say was that…

The Kuempel Kandidacy

Dec 14, 2008 By Paul Burka

Of the various permutations that could produce a governing coalition in the House, the two most likely are the Craddick loyalists plus the Craddick D’s, and the 64 Democratic loyalists plus the ABCs. The problem for the first group is the perception, right or wrong, that Craddick has stalled, and…

The Speaker’s Race: Shock and Awful

Dec 1, 2008 By Paul Burka

Things are about to get ugly in the speaker’s race. The Craddick forces, led by several longtime loyalists (I want to run another check on the names), are trying to stir up a coordinated campaign to put pressure on wavering colleagues to vote for Craddick. According to credible reports I…

Smaller Talk

Nov 19, 2008 By Eileen Smith

Honorably Mentioned: Burt Solomons, Jim Keffer, Craig Eiland, Brian McCall, Rafael Anchia, Charlie Geren, Warren Chisum, Phil King, and Rob Junell (naturally). If you do not see your name on the list, you have given us no reason to talk about you. (Go watch it on our homepage so I…

Wisdom of Solomons

Nov 18, 2008 By Eileen Smith

Putting on my best faux-reporter voice, I called Rep. Solomons to find out why he would be so crazy as to run for Speaker. I wanted to give him the opportunity that we gave to the other 140 candidates to send along an Official Declaration of Intent. Solomons noted that…

You’re Nobody ‘Til Somebody Loves You

Nov 14, 2008 By Eileen Smith

So find yourself a Speaker to love. FAIR WARNING. This is a video. It is not required viewing. It may take eight minutes to watch. I only push play to increase traffic, and to improve my broadcast media skills. It’s not working. (And you try looking good at the end…

The Speaker’s Race: Burnt Orange says Craddick can’t win

Nov 14, 2008 By Paul Burka

Very good work here [“Speaker’s race: Not Craddick — 74, Craddick Ceiling — 63”], a member-by-member analysis of where the House stands on the speaker’s race. The methodology is to look at members’ public statements and votes. They did a great job. But they’re wrong. The problem with…

The Speaker’s Race: The McHaig letter

Oct 25, 2008 By Paul Burka

With Election Day quickly approaching, it has become clear to many conservatives that a Democratic takeover of the Texas House of Representatives is a very real possibility. What was once a 26-seat Republican majority in 2003 has dwindled to an eight-seat majority today, and that number will almost certainly shrink…