Is It Murphy's Law to Support Joe Straus?
"If you aren't willing to fight for what you believe, do not cry about what you will lose."
I have no idea who this quote is from, but I love it. I think it's fitting of the upcoming Speaker's race for the Texas House. What do I mean? I mean that if you aren't willing to fight for a new, conservative Speaker of the House, then don't cry about what you will lose. What will we lose? The conservative stronghold that we have maintained here in Texas, despite the current speaker's liberal influence.
Let's introduce the players, shall we? We have incumbent Joe Straus, with known ties to Democrats and a history of stalling conservative legislation. We now thankfully also have Scott Turner, a staunch conservative who has vowed to his family and his supporters to see this race through to the bitter end. Not only that, he has promised to make the vote for speaker an 'on the record' vote for all of the state representatives so that their constituents can see. No more closed door, back room deals on Speaker of the House.
This race also has a history of pitting conservative activists against each other about whether or not to even 'pick this fight'. Some say it's not worth the time and energy to help one candidate for speaker over another. Some say that it doesn't matter who the speaker is, followed by those who say that we're wasting our time because our voice won't be heard with our representatives on this issue. I used to be in one or a few of those camps, but I've changed my mind, and I hope after reading this, you might decide to get involved, too.
What I hear you saying is, how can we make a difference in this particular race, seeing as how it's perceived as such inside baseball, if you will. Here's my answer: talk to your representatives. Call their offices and chat with them about making Scott Turner their choice for Speaker. Send them a note via e-mail or snail mail asking them to vote for Scott Turner. Better yet, find out when they might be having a town hall meeting and show up to let them know how important their choice is for Speaker and how much you would like for them to vote for Scott Turner.
Not being one to ask others to do something I wouldn't do, I thought I'd start us off with a town hall that one of the state representatives was holding here in Houston, Texas. State representative Jim Murphy hosted a town hall this past weekend to a crowd of about seventy-five people. He took us through the past session and what he sees on the horizon for the upcoming 84th legislative session, but that's another blog for another day.
Lo and behold, it was time for the question and answer session. Oooh, pick me! Pick me! I raised my hand and after a few questions, he got to me. With video camera rolling, I asked him about the speaker's race. I wanted to know if I could get a commitment from him on whether or not he would be supporting Scott Turner for Speaker of the House. He did the typical political song and dance and never really committed to make a decision. You can watch the video here.
So, that wasn't a total loss. This just proves my point that we need to keep the pressure on our representatives to ensure that Scott Turner is elected our new Speaker of the House. As Ronald Reagan once said, "When you can't make them see the light, make them feel the heat."