Tom Craddick

Austin |
January 23, 2013

A Capital Time

Midland's Tom Craddick shares a few memories from his forty-plus years in the Legislature.

Politics & Policy |
October 30, 2012

Will cuts be restored? Craddick says no

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

Politics & Policy |
June 22, 2011

Craddick seeking Railroad Commission post

Not Tom. His daughter Christi. Rick Perry has a vacancy to fill, following the resignation of Michael Williams in April. (Williams, through his consultant, had previously insisted to me that he was unequivocally running for the U.S. Senate; he now has his sights set on one of the 17 or

Politics & Policy |
February 11, 2011

MVP: Most vulnerable player (in redistricting)

[I have recovered some material I lost from the original post] It’s Jim Landtroop. 1. He’s a freshman. 2. He supported Paxton for speaker. 3. He cast one of the fifteen votes against Straus for speaker 4. He represents a part of the state that is hemorrhaging population. 5. He

Politics & Policy |
February 10, 2011

House committee assignments, at long last

The Joe Straus who put together these committee assignments was a different Joe Straus from the one who made the appointments in 2009. Straus 2.0 is a much more skilled politician. For those who had labeled him a RINO, he spiked that attack by appointing 27 Republican chairs to only 11

Politics & Policy |
September 30, 2009

Craddick criticizes the use of stimulus funds

An unsigned editorial in today’s Midland Reporter-Telegram expresses concern that the $12 billion in stimulus funds that were used to balance the budget “might some day come back to haunt us.” The paper was alerted to the danger by “a recent report to Midlanders from Tom Craddick, our

Politics & Policy |
May 26, 2009

Whither Straus?

On the night that the House debated the Appropriations bill on the floor in 2007, Democrats were able to add amendments for a teacher pay raise and against school vouchers. Craddick lieutenants went onto the floor to try to turn the votes but were unable to do so. The next

Politics & Policy |
April 5, 2009

The Vacuum: Who will run the GOP races in 2010?

The conventional wisdom is that Republicans will pick up House seats in 2010, for two reasons. One is that the president's party seldom does well in the first off-year election (George W. Bush in 2002 being a notable exception). Another reason is that Democrats have to defend their recent gains

Politics & Policy |
February 20, 2009

Is Straus more powerful than Craddick?

This may have been the point that Dutton was trying to make: that the logic of the new rules makes the speaker virtually invulnerable to removal. Craddick’s critics argued that the congressional precedents and other authorities (such as Mason’s) empowered the members to remove the speaker at any time by

Politics & Policy |
January 23, 2009

PROPOSED NEW HOUSE RULES

The highlights: 1. A process is established for removal of the speaker following the refusal to recognize a member for a question of privilege. (The Tom Craddick Rule) This had to be done. The Craddick/Keel/Wilson ruling that the speaker was an officer of the state and could not be removed

Politics & Policy |
January 23, 2009

House rules will address removing the speaker

The rules debate will probably take place on Wednesday, one day after the governor’s State of the State address. Last session it took 8 hours and 48 minutes for the House to adopt its rules. Democrats raised legitimate concerns about confidentiality and attorney-client privilege, due to former Republican operative Milton

Politics & Policy |
January 15, 2009

Dunnam’s empty threat

Sometimes the Democratic leader can be really smart, as when he pinned down Tom Craddick with parliamentary inquiries over the past three sessions, and sometimes he can be way off base. Yesterday he was way off base when he intervened in the Senate dispute over the voter I.D. bill. He

Politics & Policy |
January 11, 2009

Can Craddick come back?

Sure, there are circumstances under which he could regain the speakership. He has $3 million and a loyal core of conservative members who support him. He has time on his hands–nothing to do but make oil deals, raise money, and recruit candidates for 2010. The speaker’s statute is no longer

Politics & Policy |
January 8, 2009

A Suggestion for Straus

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

Politics & Policy |
January 8, 2009

Did the Democrats make a mistake? UPDATE

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

Politics & Policy |
January 7, 2009

The Liberation

I have covered the Texas House of Representatives since 1975. What I love about the place is that, traditionally, it is has been an open shop. The culture of the House is that you can do what you are big enough to do, whether you are on the team or

Politics & Policy |
January 6, 2009

Sore Winners

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

Politics & Policy |
January 5, 2009

Ich bin ein Speaker!

Burka and Eileen discuss probable Speaker Joe Straus, Craddick’s exit, horse racing, and whether bridge qualifies as gambling. Honorably mentioned: John Smithee, Burt Solomons, Dan Gattis, Jim Keffer, and playing the ponies. (And yes, I am wearing a scarf over my turtleneck. My space heater gave out, and I can’t

Politics & Policy |
January 5, 2009

Will Craddick stay?

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

Politics & Policy |
January 5, 2009

The speaker jinx

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

Politics & Policy |
January 4, 2009

Straus vs. Smithee?

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

Politics & Policy |
January 2, 2009

Can Straus hold the votes?

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

Politics & Policy |
December 30, 2008

79 and counting…make that 80

That is how many members appear to be committed to a course to elect a new speaker. It’s the 64 Democrats plus the 11 members of the ABC coalition (some of whom are not hardcore ABCs) plus the Gattis 4. It’s time to count Smithee in this camp, judging from

Politics & Policy |
December 30, 2008

Conversations with Craddick

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

Politics & Policy |
December 30, 2008

The Next Speaker

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

Politics & Policy |
December 29, 2008

No Time for Tom

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

Politics & Policy |
December 26, 2008

More on the ABCs meeting

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

Politics & Policy |
December 16, 2008

Math 101 in the speaker’s race

A lot of readers have been commenting about my post, “The Kuempel Kandidacy,” saying that Kuempel can’t win because he doesn’t have, as one commenter put it, “gravity.” I think he means “gravitas.” My response was, You don’t need gravity—or gravitas—to be speaker. All you need is 76 votes. The

Politics & Policy |
December 7, 2008

More on Saturday’s SREC meeting

I was in touch yesterday with two people who were watching the SREC meeting–in particular, the discussion of the resolution concerning the speaker’s race. The advocates of the resolution were careful to present it as a neutral action that did not take sides in the speaker’s race. However, two pro-Craddick

Politics & Policy |
December 3, 2008

The First Battle

Friday, December 5, is going to be an important day—the first meeting of the working group on the House rules. This will be the first opportunity for members to learn what Tom Craddick and Terry Keel have cooked up for the next session. Will they attempt to limit parliamentary inquiries,

Politics & Policy |
December 3, 2008

About That Survey We Got Skunked On…

Referring to the poll from Hill Country Consultants (no one honored the embargo but us because we have things like “ethics” and “I’m kidding”), Burka says that the Republicans in Texas have blown it. (So, apparently, do the voters who said R’s are more arrogant, racist, and corrupt. Is that

Politics & Policy |
December 1, 2008

The Speaker’s Race: Shock and Awful

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

Politics & Policy |
November 14, 2008

You’re Nobody ‘Til Somebody Loves You

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

Politics & Policy |
November 13, 2008

Everyone’s a Speaker!

11/14 Update: Peer Pressure works again! Now we have eight of the nine. (Delwin Jones, please report to me.) So who’s your favorite? Naturally, in the interest of bipartisanship and journalistic ethics, I will not be revealing my choice. 11/14 Update #2: Delwin Jones’s statement was lost in Evan Smith’s

Politics & Policy |
November 12, 2008

Show the Speaker Voting Me

Eileen and Paul talk about if the Speaker even matters, Craddicks and Anti-Craddicks, and whether Tom was popular in high school. Honorably Mentioned: Dan Branch, Lois Kolkhorst, Pete Gallego, Jim Dunnam, and, of course, Speaker Craddick

Politics & Policy |
November 10, 2008

Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Place in Line

Latest video: Burka on the Speaker’s race, naming names, the “Craddick Effect” (copyright pending), and broken pledges. For the first time, Paul wonders if Craddick can keep his post. Honorably Mentioned: the candidates, the Conservative Coalition, Plan B, and Warren Chisum. (Note: If you are having trouble viewing

Politics & Policy |
November 7, 2008

Bringing Down the House

Eileen talks with Burka about the cantankerous Speaker’s race, a House divided, Craddick D’s, ABC’s, and 2010 with KBH. Honorable video mentions include: Reps. Tommy Merritt; Jim Keffer; Pete Gallego; Craig Eiland; Dan Gattis; Alan Ritter; and Sylvester Turner.

Politics & Policy |
November 4, 2008

The Democratic Pledge: why it won’t work

Why is it that the Democrats insist on trying to act bossy? Is it genetic? Can’t they help themselves? The demand upon party discipline before they have won a majority is foolish. My last post on this subject was, I have to admit, a bit on the hysterical side, and

Politics & Policy |
October 29, 2008

The Speaker’s Race: The Craddick-Dingus Debate

On Sunday, October 19, the two candidates for district 82, incumbent Republican Tom Craddick and Democratic challenger Bill Dingus met in a debate in Midland. The complete debate may be viewed online here. The online version has separate segments for each question that was asked and for

Politics & Policy |
October 25, 2008

The Speaker’s Race: The McHaig letter

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

Politics & Policy |
September 29, 2008

Where is Tom Craddick when you need him?

Note to President Bush: If you want to pass the bailout bill, I suggest that you call Tom Craddick. He knows how to pass bills. The first thing he’ll do is tell all the Republicans that if they don’t vote for the bill, they won’t get another dime in election