Are the Democrats trying to control redistricting in Texas?
[Editor note: Joe Straus came to power as Texas House Speaker by lining up the infamous “gang of eleven” mostly Rino GOP members who then picked him as their Speaker, and then cut a legislative deal with the Democrats in the Texas House (the minority) to unite with the gang of eleven to vote Straus in. There are only 6 of the gang left, including Straus. A higher percentage of them were defeated than even the Democrats. Straus has been using strong-arm tactics behind the scenes to hang onto power—which ironically was what he ran on as something Speakers should NOT do. It now comes out that current GOP members (now a 99-51 majority), are being threatened WITH REDISTRICTING them out of the legislature if they don’t go along. We suggested this might happen last week in “Divide and Conquer”. At least one courageous representative, Rep. Bryan Hughes, has rightly objected. His press release today is below.]
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Bryan Hughes
November 10, 2010 903-569-8880
REP. BRYAN HUGHES WITHDRAWS SUPPORT FOR SPEAKER STRAUS Today after much prayer and counsel, I formally withdraw my support for Speaker Joe Straus. I do this with no malice toward the Speaker or any other member.
Over the past several days I have heard from an increasing number of my constituents and supporters. Their unanimous voice has called for me to withdraw my support of Speaker Straus. My decision, though not a light one, was made clearer after a phone call I received over the weekend from a member of Speaker Straus’s leadership team. This member brought up the subject of redistricting and explained to me how that process would be used to punish those members not on Speaker Straus’s list of supporters.
More specifically, this member told me that maps were already being drawn to get rid of Representative-Elect Erwin Cain (R-Sulphur Springs) and Representative Dan Flynn (R-Van), because they were not on the Speaker's list of supporters. I was then told that I had nothing to worry about in redistricting, so long as I stayed on the Speaker’s list. This conversation first saddened and then disgusted me. Using the redistricting process for retribution reminds us of all that is wrong with politics.
The Speaker's race should be decided not based on threats of punishment and not on promises of power, but on principle. The people of Texas have chosen us to speak for them. As we prepare to cast our first vote on their behalf, we should lay aside our ambition for powerful committees, stand against the threats, and support the Speaker candidate who best represents our conservative principles.
1400 CONGRESS AVENUE
AUSTIN, TEXAS 78701
102 WEST HOUSTON
MARSHALL, TEXAS 75670
STATE OF TEXAS
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES