Joe Straus, Reestablishing Conservatism | Texas GOP Vote

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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.

at Nov 9, 2010 12:52 PM


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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.

Please name one piece of legislation Joe Straus "killed."

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.

*  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.   

Let's all take a moment to remember that Craddick needed members of the democrat caucus to be speaker. One of those was Patrick Rose, whom he supported and even directed funding to.

Straus did what needed to be done to save the Republican Party and the FISCAL Conservative cause. He also spent more than one million dollars of his campaign money to help elect conservative Republicans this year.

This session is going to be a much different story. Now he doesn't have to facilitate or cooperate. Now Speaker Straus can lead this state back to it's constitutional foundation.

We don't need to go back to the bad old days of Craddick and losing elections. I like winning better and with Straus we have a leader we can take pride in!

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!


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.

Mr or Ms Anonymous.

You are sounding like Lloyd Doggett saying I was bussed in to his event last year from out of district or that I was working for some special intrest group!

When Craddick appointed Dems and they all went to Ardmore it just showed that the Dems can not be trusted to do their jobs! Craddick was wrong to appoint them!

Just because Craddick was wrong does not mean Straus should be allowed to be as wrong as Craddick was!

Which part of WE THE PEOPLE don't want business as usual didn't you understand?

Speaker Straus never pledged to Craddick in 2009.  He's a man of his word and expects others to be as well.  
You have found a Speaker of the House that is not power hungry in Joe Straus.  He vowed to let every measure that had majority support to come to the floor for a vote and he kept his word.  

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!

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.

Distracted by what?  Killing unborn babies?  Anyone who supports abortion, especially the hideous late-term abortions, is no conservative.  Planned Parenthood, the world's largest abortion-providers, does not hand out such glowing endorsements to just anyone.
Here are some of the bills which Joe Straus supported:

  • Making it easier to perform late-term, third-trimester abortions (SB 419, vote 672, 2005). And in the 2007 session, he received a 100 percent voting record from the radical pro-abortion group NARAL, and the pro-abortion group Planned Parenthood contributed to his reelection campaign
  • Homosexuals as foster parents (SB 6, vote 327, 2005)

    If we do not have right to be born, no other rights matter.  There can be NO compromise on this.  If you think the voters are not very concerned about this, you are kidding yourselves. 

  • We played the socon game for years and it almost gave the democrats a majority.

    You may care. Some of your friends may care. Most voters just want lower taxes and less spending and a Constitutionally based government. That's Joe Straus.

    I'm done fighting your stupid culture war. I want REAL conservatives, not people who are overly concerned with what the gays are doing.

    Speaker Straus does not support abortion; he is pro-life, consistent with former President Reagan's position on the issue. His public statement on abortion is "As you know I believe in the sanctity of life. I am consistent with existing restrictions on abortion including parental notification/parental consent. I believe exceptions should exist for rape, incest and harm to the life of the Mother. That said, I fervently hope abortion is the rarest medical procedure conducted in 2009 and beyond." (
    Here's the facts:
    "Making it easier to perform late-term, third-trimester abortions" --SB 419, vote 672, 2005--  Vote 672 is a vote on a motion to table an amendment to an amendment to SB 419.  Take a look at vote 676, Rep. Straus voted for the amendment that vote 672 cited was related to which actually strengthened prohibitions on doctors performing third trimester abortions.  
    "Homosexuals as foster parents" --SB 6, vote 327, 2005-- Again, a vote on an amendment to an amendment.  The amendment had a fiscal note of $7-8 million and would have required HHSC to investigate whether a foster parent was homosexual and removed the child if their investigation showed that the parent was homosexual.  In this case, then Representative Straus voted for an amendment to this amendment which would have eliminated the investigation requirement (and the $7-8 million cost associated therewith) and merely required the foster parent applicant to indicate his or her sexual orientation on the application. 

    Temo it really hurts to know that you and I talked, I explained why your number were misguided and why much of what Straus is claiming credit for would have happened no matter what. 
    But you didn't listen.