Joe Straus, Reestablishing Conservatism

The past week I have received a barrage of emails, phone calls and news updates indicating of a released letter by "conservatives" asking for more conservative leadership for our Speaker of the House position. Fair enough, we should always aim to push forward the conservative cause. I know what conservative means, but something in this letter has led to me to believe that our "conservative leaders" have again lost their way. In the letter, the most revealing sentence is the one that says "The victory of nearly two dozen new conservative Republican legislators reflects the mood of Texas voters on the state’s critical issues. It was a clarion call for conservative leadership in the Texas House – leadership that has been absent the past two years." Two years ago we had Speaker Craddick. Sorry, but that was not the conservatism that Americans overwhelmingly voted for this election cycle. Americans made it clear at the ballot box that we should be focused and united on the size of government, the deficit and spending. This is how Russ Feingold was overthrown by Ron Johnson, how Chris Christie beat Corzine, and how Republicans across the nation once again convinced fed up Americans to trust us one more time to lead. Straus has proven in leadership that we could go against the grain and actually cut our spending by $1.6 billion ending with a balanced budget. This being done for the very first time since World War II in Texas. This would include any previous "conservative" class of representatives in Texas who had every opportunity to lead and exemplify their definition of conservatism.

Am I saying that Speaker Straus should be given a pass, that we should never speak against the "Lord's anointed"? No. All of our leaders should be held accountable and measured, it is our duty to remain vigilant at all levels of representation. Still we have to also be careful when others attempt to define what conservatism is. Blue Dog Democrats, oh they are very "conservative", but look where that led us. Have you checked how many so called "conservative" Republicans have signed on to the federal "No earmark pledge"? It is sad to say this, but still not every GOP "conservative" representative has signed on. This is where it hurts the most and where one's bonafides is tested, it's in the arena of fiscal conservatism. Under Straus' leadership we were able to commit $9 billion dollars to a Rainy day Fund. Listening to Governor Rick Perry beat on Bill White about how Houston's budget is loaded with debt, but Texas itself having a Rainy day Fund was the perfect message for Texans this election.

To read across national publications, how the Texas economy is number one, while still being able to save 40,000 small businesses from paying the business margins tax is something to be very proud of. Just ask California who is burdened with $83.5 billion in long term debt if they wish they could be in our position. It took leadership to get to this point. Of course this was not all attributed to Joe Straus, but it was a serious team effort, and nothing says team more than Joe Straus, when he raised close to $1 million dollars for fellow conservative Republicans to be able to win their races. This historic takeover of our State House in part happened because we had the financial weaponry to promote fiscally conservative Republicans and challenge blue areas thought to be Democratic strongholds. This is the true definition of a team effort. To throw this all away, to discount these achievements with claims that we need someone "more conservative" is ridiculous. Nothing is more of a conservative victory than having the power in your hands to spend someone else's money but instead you are able to guide all 150 House members, Democrats included to vote for a spending decrease, and without raising taxes, giving your citizenry more of their own money to do as they please.

We must be aware that conservatism at this point in time, has the opportunity to take hold as a powerful and lasting American ideology all across our nation. It will be our collective fiscal behavior, however that our neighbors will be watching to see if we truly mean what we say. I don't think it is too much to ask of fellow Conservatives to finally listen to the voices of our neighbors.

Here is a link that debunks the claim that Straus is not willing to fight for pro-life causes.

Here is the link that shows Joe Straus is one of only 17 legislators to receive the "Americans for Prosperity Defenders of the American Dream" Award.


Make sure to check out the comments on Facebook.

Mr. Straus was elected by ALL Democrats and 11 moderate Republicans last time.  His appointments to chairmanships created the stalemate on legislation that Texas voters wanted and expected to pass (ie:  voter id).  I am deeply disturbed that "establishment" Republicans aren't getting it!!!  Straus has no place as Speaker of the House.  He supported several incumbent Democrats (ie:  Patrick Rose) instead of good, conservative Republicans (ie:  Jason Isaac), attended fundraisers and spoke at their events.  We are tired of politics as usual!!!!!!  He was elected to represent the people and he has shown he chose politics over his constituents.  He had his chance. 

Straus was elected by the House, period. Craddick, just for the record, never could have been elected if not for the Democrats he coerced to join him. As a result of that, we had mountains of pork spending coming out of Austin, all happily approved by Rep. Chisum.

Straus didn't support Rose. That's just BS. Straus has been  a Republican since he could vote.

Straus did what had to be done to save the party from Tom Craddick. As a result we have 22 new members. It wasn't because of the mommy state social conservatives on this letter, it was because of desire to return this state to fiscal conservative leadership.

And I want that preacher to stay in the church where he belongs. When I want to hear what he thinks, I'll come by one Sunday. I get nervous when  preachers sign on to things like this because I know they're about to hit folks up for money.

When Joe Straus ran for speaker last time Tom Craddick had Joe's pledge to vote for Tom in his pocket when he ran against him. So it does not make a hill of beans who pledged what to Straus since pledges are worthless from Straus so he can't expect pledges to him to be any better!

After Joe Straus became speaker he appointed a number (i have seen 16 or 22) Democrats to committee chairmanships which pretty much makes them his lieutenants.  Then his lieutenants chubbed over voter ID. Now I can respect a person that disagrees with me on some issues. You might think raising taxes is good I think it is bad, you might want more government I want less, but I have no respect none at all for anyone that does not want to have fair and honest elections. Every Democrat that chubbed voter ID did it so their party could cheat at the polls. These are crooks and Joe Straus had them as his lieutenants!

I am looking for (although I may never find it and it sure is not Joe Straus) for a Speaker of the house that is not power hungry. One that will vow to let every bill that comes out of a committee go to the floor and not use his power to stop bills in the calendar committee. Why after a committee sits and hammers out a bill and passes it out of committee should the speakers handpicked people kill it in calendars?  Why should a representative of the people be afraid that the speaker will appoint him to a bad committee out of retribution for voting his conscious and the will of his constituents ?

To those of you that say that is how it has always been done, or the Tom Craddick did it and Pete Laney did it in the past so why condemn Joe for it, I tell you, WE THE PEOPLE do not want business as usual, we do not want back room deals. We were blind or to absorbed in our own thing when Laney and Craddick played politics with our lives we are not going to let that happen anymore!

In the words of Forrest Gump, That is what I have to say about that!


John McCain, 2008 showed the result of allowing the Dem's & the media to pick our Presidential nominee; let's not make this mistake again with our next Speaker of the TX House. GOP now has 99/51 seats, almost 2/3. GOP needs to caucus to select their new leader, based on what is best, period. The old reasons why Straus was chosen last time (in days of 77/73) are the  reasons why he may not be best choice now. When situations change, we need to change with them. The people demand results, and for 2011, that means redistricting, fixing budget shortfall, standing up for Texas State Rights and securing our border. It must start by choosing a strong GOP leader, followed by enacting strong rules that will prevent Dem's from obstructing all progress. I dispute the claim that Straus deserves credit for GOP wins, since the GOP won nationwide, as the people demanded a swing back to the right, towards conservatism. Texans didn't vote FOR the GOP as much as they voted AGAINST the Dem's.Lastly, forget the false choice of "fiscal" vs "social" conservatives. I believe Texans demand both and can have both. It's time to select our new leader of the House!

TJ - Check the record.  When the D's left the state over redistricting in 2003Craddick had appointed 18 Democrats as Chairman or Vice Charmian of important committees.  Get you facts straight  - this is all driven by special interest and their money.

*  Straus ignored SREC and Hays REC rules forbidding a Republican to campaign for a Democrat.  Joe Straus was THE headline speaker at a Democratic Patrick Rose fundraiser in May that raise close to $10,000 for Rose. He drove right past those asking him to not speak.  He drove right past on the way out, not even looking up from his blackberry.  I have photos of his license plate.  He was there.  He only appologized to Jason Isaac when he was getting booed, about to go on the stage at the Republican convention in June.  To this day he has never addressed the people of Hays who were working hard for our Republican candidate.  To this day he has never acknowledged that he knowingly violated Republican rules.  He could have not shown up, but he did.*  I am not asking for support for Chisum.  This should not be made into a history lesson for the transgressions of Craddick.  I am asking for support of the resolution that the Republican Caucus chose their own leadership.  The people have spoken, and the leaders of the Republican party need to understand that principles and character matter greatly.  "Politics as usual" has changed.  The people want to see a new direction in the Republican party, or they will go another direction in two years.   

Here we go again, politicians claiming credit for wins.  VOTERS are the ONLY reason anyone won.  My guess is they had no clue who Joe Straus is or was unless they lived in his district.  But, what they should know, whether intentional or not, is JOE STRAUS KILLED A LOT OF LEGISTLATION THAT WAS OF UTMOST IMPORTANCE TO VOTERS.  If voters want it, and committees prepare it VOTE ON THE DAMN LEGISLATION!!!!

Voters have had enough.  That is why there are new "republicans" all over the place.  Get a clue, or get ready to get out.

This side-show over whether Straus is a real conservative is a distraction we don't need in Texas right now. We all know that Joe Straus has been and is both a conservative and republican. He's worked for Ronald Regan, Lamar Smith and others. Let's not get distracted by former democrats like Warren Chisum and a handful of others that are sowing seeds of discontent rather than working with the new republican majority.



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