Joe Straus Tricks at TX GOP Convention – Straus REJECTED from National Delegate List
by David Bellow on June 15, 2012 at 7:32 AM
Texas Speaker of the House Joe Straus had to play some dirty tricks at the State Convention in order to keep from being humiliated by the silent walkout that was planned against him. He wrongly used fellow State Reps as pawns and shields. Joe Straus did not leave the Convention without humiliation though, because Straus was rejected from being a National Delegate!
Straus Dirty Trick – Used State Reps as Pawns
Joe Straus is not a popular guy among conservative Republicans in Texas. At the last convention he was loudly booed when he was introduced and came on the stage. This year the opposition to Straus wanted to be more respectful so they planned to just get up and walk out when Straus was introduced. The 2012 Convention Schedule that was VOTED ON had Joe Straus coming on to the stage to speak before the rest of the Texas State Representatives all came on the stage. Joe Straus and his buddies in the Texas GOP did not want Straus to be embarrassed so they decided to change the schedule and use the State Reps from Texas as pawns and shields. Instead of Straus coming out and speaking first, the schedule was changed last second to have the State Reps come out first and stand behind Joe Straus as Straus gave a speech. This was downright dirty to use my State Rep as part of his trick. My State Rep, and all the State Reps, had to walk out to the stage while a pro Joe Straus political video was playing. If someone did want to boo the Joe Straus Video they would look like they were booing the State Reps walking out. These State Reps were treated like doormats. They did not get their introduction and were really just the backdrop for Straus. Once all of the State Reps were on the stage and the video ended, there was no introduction for Straus. Straus just stepped up and started talking with all the State Reps standing behind him to protect him from any possible backlash. Even with the change in schedule and the trick of using the Texas State Reps as pawns, there was still a group of well over 100 who realized what was going on and went into the hallways to start chanting OUST STRAUS and NO STRAUS.
Speaker Joe Straus removed from National Delegate List
The At-Large National Delegates are nominated by the Permanent Nominations Committee at the State Convention. In order to allow room for regular Republicans to be delegates to the National Convention, the only elected officials who get preferential treatment are the Statewide elected officials: people who are actually elected by the entire state of Texas (Governor, Attorney General, etc.)
This year, State Republican Executive Committeeman Eric Opiela was on the Permanent Nominations Committee. Eric tried to include Joe Straus into the list of statewide elected officials who get to be National Delegates.
Joe Straus is NOT a statewide elected official. Joe Straus IS NOT elected by the people of Texas and he probably WOULD NEVER BE. Joe Straus is only elected by the people of his San Antonio House District. He is no more a statewide elected official than my State Rep or any of the other 150 State Representatives. Joe Straus is given the title of Speaker and is not elected in a statewide vote to be Speaker.
One brave woman on the Nominations Committee, Kathy Haigler, made a motion to remove Joe Straus from the list of statewide elected officials because Joe Straus is not a statewide elected official and if you opened the door for State Reps to get preferential treatment then there would not be any room on the national delegate list for regular Republicans to be delegates. It was also brought up that the delegates at the State Convention would likely reject Joe Straus when the Nominations Committee presented the report to the Convention Delegates. Other members of the Nominations Committee, including Bill Eastland, also openly supported Haigler’s motion.
It was obvious that this was another one from the Joe Straus bag of tricks. It was planned beforehand to try to get Joe Straus on the list of National Delegates as a statewide office holder. Eric Opiela made his rounds and tried to get people to vote for Joe Straus, but the majority of the members on the Nominations Committee voted against Joe Straus and his name was removed from the National Delegate List. The people on the Nominations Committee are chosen to be on the committee by the delegates at the convention.
TX GOP Leaders are Attacking Kathy Haigler for Doing the Right Thing!
Sadly, Kathy Haigler is being attacked for doing the right thing and removing Straus from the list of statewide elected officials who get to be on the list of national delegates.
According to an article by Donna Garner on Voices Empower, on Monday, Michael Bergsma (who nominated Haigler), sent out an email accusing her of ambushing him, hurting him personally, hurting the CD27 Caucus, and hurting the State Republican Party. He said he has “egg on his face” and now suffers from reduced credibility. He attacked Haigler for striking Straus from the national delegate list and repeatedly stated his embarrassment. Bergsma said Haigler cannot be trusted and will never be given a position of trust again.
An hour later, SREC Committeewoman Becky Berger piggy-backed on Bergsma’s e-mail, expressing the same sentiment.
SREC Committeeman Bob Jones also jumped on the bandwagon in a reply to the distribution list.
Lee Brandon, a CD27 state delegate, told Haigler she will forever wear a scarlet letter of betrayal.
So let me get this right… Joe Straus is elected by Democrats and even campaigns for Democrats against Republicans, yet it is Haigler who is the bad guy and not Straus? Haigler did the right thing. Joe Straus is not a statewide elected official, and he should not get preferential treatment over other Republicans to be a delegate. Straus would not have even been voted by the delegates of the convention to be a delegate anyway, and he certainly does not represent the conservative Republicans in Texas. Kathy Haigler did the right thing.
Shame on these Republican leaders for attacking Haigler.
I guess I am not surprised though. Becky Berger is a nice lady and I get along with her. She is dead wrong sometimes though, and this is one of those issues. I was also shocked at some of her actions earlier this year. I send out my articles, like this article, via email. I actually got an email from Becky earlier this year asking me to not send any emails to ANY Republicans in her district. I was shocked! Not only does that go against the First Amendment, but it goes against transparency and, even worse, she is making the decision about what emails people in her district should or should not get! It is up to the individual Republicans in her district to make the decision of what emails they want to get. She does not speak for them and cannot make their decisions for them. I never got one complaint from anyone in her district and if any of them do not want to get emails from me, they just have to click a button at the bottom of my email to get off of my list.
Joe Straus is NOT Conservative. 2011 Texas Legislature Passed Conservative Bills IN SPITE of Straus.
Joe Straus is not stupid. He is a politician and a weak leader who will side with whatever will not stir up too much controversy among the State Reps. In 2010, the people of Texas overwhelmingly elected conservative Republicans to the State House. Part of the reason so many new conservative State Reps were elected was in an effort to Oust Straus. The 2011 session of the Texas Legislature had a supermajority of Republicans. Joe Straus knew that he would not be able to stop some of the big pro-life and voter ID bills from getting passed. This is why some good legislation was passed out of the 2011 State Legislature. It had nothing to do with Joe Straus. For all we know, Joe Straus is not even pro-life! When Straus was a regular State Rep, he certainly did not vote pro-life and Straus has not come out and said he has changed to pro-life. All Joe Straus did was not stand in the way of the pro-life bills in the Texas House. He did this because he knew it would be the nail in his coffin if he tried to get in the way. I guess we should be thankful to Straus because Straus could have tried to stand in the way. Thanking him for not standing in the way of pro-life bills does not mean that Straus was the reason or even wanted these conservative bills to pass. Truth be told, besides the big issues that we wanted to get passed, Straus actually did hurt many of the low key conservative bills that were presented by the new, conservative State Representatives.
Joe Straus is Hurting and Facing Many Challenges. Bryan Hughes is Running for Speaker.
Joe Straus is hurting. His favorability ratings are very low statewide. People just do not like him. The problem is that the people of Texas do not get to elect him. He is only elected by his district in San Antonio and he is given the Speaker of the House position by fellow State Representatives. If the people of Texas had the choice to determine who the Speaker was it would be very likely that he would not be Speaker for very long as there would be a massive grassroots effort to elect someone else. Joe Straus even had a challenger in his own district which is something that does not happen to the Speaker of the House.
So why is he still Speaker if people do not like him? Joe Straus was a left-leaning Republican. He even voted against pro-life bills and got money from Planned Parenthood. He first got in, not by a vote of Republicans but because Joe Straus teamed up with the DEMOCRATS and got all of the Democrats to vote for him. Joe Straus was elected by the Democrats to be Speaker. Once he became Speaker, it became very difficult to get anyone to try to beat the sitting Speaker. State Reps know that if they try to oppose Joe Straus, they can be greatly punished because of the power that the Speaker has. They could be hurt in redistricting (Joe Straus hurt good conservatives in redistricting last year) and they would be given bad committees where they would not be able to do anything. Most of Joe Straus’ Committee Chairmen have failing conservative ratings so we know which direction Joe Straus leans.
Many of the attacks Joe Straus made against conservative State Reps failed, thankfully. One such attack was when Joe Straus tried to get rid of super-conservative James White by putting him in a district with a Straus Chairman. White voted against Straus for Speaker of the House. Thankfully, Super-Conservative James White WON and defeated his Straus Chairmen opponent Mike Hamilton (who had some ethics problems revealed during the race). In fact, many of Chairmen and Leaders for Joe Straus were defeated! Once again, the grassroots Republicans are speaking but Straus does not and will not care.
Even under the threat of getting hurt by Straus, one State Representative Bryan Hughes has stood up to face the uphill battle for the Speaker of the House against Joe Straus. Putting pressure on Joe Straus all the time will help get the word out about Joe Straus, and it will also push Straus into a corner where he has to try to at least act conservative in order to fend off the attacks against him from conservatives. Eventually Straus will be beaten if we keep up the pressure.