Breaking News - Speaker's Race Ethics Charge - Source of Threat Revealed
Earlier this month TexasGOPVote reported that State Rep. Bryan Hughes was told member's opposing Joe Straus would be "Redistricted out of existence". Speaker Straus denied the charges and demanded to know the source of the threats.
Mr. Hughes sent a message to the Speaker directly, revealing the name only to him. The name, which remained secret until today, was allegedly that of Republican Texas State Representative Larry Phillips of Sherman, Texas.
The name was revealed today at a hearing of the House General Investigating and Ethics Committee. Mr. Phillips is the vice chairman of that committee and allegedly had to step down for the purposes of this particular hearing. The hearing was chaired by Rep. Chuck Hopson (R-Jacksonville).
TexasWatchdog.org reported yesterday that Chairman Hopson and Rep. Phillips both received substantial donations to their campaigns despite the fact that neither was facing a serious challenger and both won their elections by very wide margins.
Mr. Hughes related the following in a story by the Houston Chronicle today.
"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," Hughes said at the time. "More specifically, this member told me that maps were already being drawn to get rid of Representative-Elect Erwin Cain, R-Sulphur Springs and Rep. 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."
Mr. Hughes has agreed to do an interview with me tomorrow morning. I will bring you updated information at that time.
Ten members of the Republican State House Caucus are needed to call a Caucus hearing to pick the new speaker. Contact your rep and demand a Caucus meeting to pick the new speaker. Whoever the new speaker of the Texas House is, he or she should be selected by the Republican Caucus and not by a "coalition government". We elected 99 Republican reps for a reason!
Speaker Straus has been asked to provide an interview with TexasGOPVote to tell his side of the story. To date there has been no response from the Speaker's office.