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The People and their House Print E-mail
by Paul D. Perry    Mon, Nov 15, 2010, 01:03 pm

Some in our State House of Representatives are already complaining. It seems the people: TEA Party Infused Republicans, some of the old social right types, and everyday voters, are weighing in on who they would like to serve as Speaker of that body. The legislative body that should be the closest to the people is facing some pressure from the public. I think that is the way it is supposed to be, by design.

It’s a sad day for many incumbents in the State Legislature, when the people start to weigh in on things that matter, like who leads that body.

Our State House of Representatives was designed much like our National House of Representatives, which was often referred to as the People’s House.

The People’s House is a term that has fallen out of use, but it refers to the fact that United States House of Representatives was the first body in our federal government to be elected directly by the people. The Senate only became elected directly by the people after the 17th Amendment was passed in 1913. The President, of course, is actually still elected by the Electoral College.

Our national House of Representatives is characterized by two-year terms. Therefore the People’s House is more directly responsive to the immediate will of the people than the Senate, with its staggered six-year terms, and the Presidency with four year terms. Every two years in the United States House of Representatives we can throw the bums out as it were. It is possible to have one hundred percent turnover.

The Texas State House can be changed wholesale as well. Like the United States House of Representatives our State House’s composition was changed by the recent elections. It became more Republican and also more conservative. Also, like the Federal body our entire State House is elected every two years.

Last session the State House seated almost as many Democrats(74) as Republicans(76). Republican Straus has to get elected in the general election in a very Republican District. However, he relied on more Democrat than Republican support to build the coalition that elected him Speaker of the House in the past session. In fact, only 12 Republicans supported his race for chairman last time. With the larger Democrat support that was enough. Therein lies his vulnerability. Will he retain the Speaker’s Chair?

In addition, a San Marcus activist reports that Straus hosted a fundraiser for Democratic member Patrick Rose. Rose lost to a Republican in the General Election. Few of the recently elected Republican members enjoyed his support.

More conservative Republicans can rightly ask where do the Speaker’s loyalties lie?. In the previous session his primary interest was being elected Speaker while walking the tight-rope of being re-elected in his Republican District.. The current session will be molded by the new 99 to 51 vote majority that the Republicans will try to wield like a big stick.

The members of our State House choose one of their own to serve as Speaker. In the Texas House the Speaker of the House appoints committee chairman and wields much influence and power. He controls the Calendar through the Calendar’s Committee . Since our State House only meets for limited terms, unless a special session is called by the governor, bills can die of inaction if they are set too far back on the Calendar. They will simply never be considered.

In fact that is just what happened in some cases, to bills favored by many conservatives.

No wonder the voters who turned out to put so many new faces in the State House are not satisfied with Speaker Straus. The Republican landslide may not be finished. Its momentum may now bury the Speakership of Joe Straus who may be too bipartisan for the new Republican majority . Left or Right "The People" will be heard.


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Comments (9)add comment
written by Martin Smith-Littleton , November 16, 2010

Earlier this evening, as I was checking my email here at home, I had a couple of emails asking me to contact my State Representative and urge them to elect a real Christian as House Speaker -- and to please forward the email along.

It wasn't until I was watching the news tonight that I learned this was an anti-semitic chain email to support Warren Chisum or Ken Paxton.

As a Christian and Republican, I couldn't be more angry at this moment; that Chisum and Paxton would stoop so low is shameful.

written by Ken Dickson , November 16, 2010

Paul, thanks for a very good article that explains the true makeup of our REPUBLIC! I would hope for Martin's sake that Chisum & Paxton are not parties to some anti-semitic movement, but have a very idealistic intent to not compromise our consertive ideals by electing a speaker that does not represent the overwhelming "flood" of GOP intent to place our government in the "right" hands through the election of someone who represents the "will of Texans". Democracts always want to be "bi=partisian" when they are in a minority which certainly is not the case in this meeting in the "peoples house"! Let us elect a speaker who represents the majority who was just elected, not a compromise!

written by Paul Perry , November 16, 2010

I have not seen any anti-semitic based emails, nor do I know that either man would initiate same or be that stupid. I think it would just as shameful to use that tactic to support Straus as part of some deception. It would also be possible for some third party to use such a horrible tactic to their own ends.I guess Straus is Jewish? I was not aware of that, nor should it matter either way.

written by henry4440 , November 17, 2010

Straus is a RINO regardless of his religion and should be replaced as Speaker. I have had several emails sent to me about the situation and NONE of them had any mention of anyone's religion, only their political position.

written by David Reynolds , November 17, 2010

That's not what happened on the Rose thing. Straus was invited and went. I don't even think he gave him any money, unlike Tom Craddick, the Speaker Straus deposed who caused us electoral losses every election he was Speaker.

I supported Jason Isaac and I don't have a problem with Straus. Straus was and is a true fiscal conservative and I trust him to get the budget balanced without new taxes. I don't have that confidence in Chisum who has shown a consistent history of behaving like the democrat he really is, nor do I have it in Ken Paxton. Paxton's a nice guy, but he's got lobbyists putting him up to this and I'm afraid he's a little gullible.

No, Straus is a man we can depend on.

written by John McIntyre , November 17, 2010

The anti-Baptist email is where RAbbi Block of Temple Beth El in San Antonio is reportedly the rabbi of Straus.In question 6 he fights the Republican Party from the hegemony of religous extremism.He says America is NOT A CHRISTIAN NATION.Sounds anti-Christian to me.Like Barak Obama why is Straus a member of Rev.Wrights' church/synagogue.Christian fundamentalist are equal to alQaeda muslim extremists.He attacked John Hagee for Christian Zionism.So much for freedom of association.He attacks the Souther Baptist Convention as intolerant.He denies the Book of Leviticus condemning homosexuality as the Divine Word of God merely human.Planned Parenthood abortion is okay but not the platform of the Republican party of Texas.Condoms protect and noncondom parents are people with "blood on their hands."If Chisum or Paxton had a kkk preacher it would be front page news.More education and healthcare to every person in our borders.If antisemitism is wrong the is antichristian fundamentalism the new whipping boy.Straus was elected by 11 rogue republicans.Five are gone.Twenty one of the democrats are gone.Straus killed by chubbing the voter id,sonograms before abortion,and by appointment to chair.He paid George Lavender of TExarkana via pac money and got a pledge signed.Legislative Bribery is a felony and is specifically for the crime of influencing the election of the Speaker of the House.Govt.Code301,302.

written by manny s , November 19, 2010

He denies the Book of Leviticus ... johnny why dont you follow ALL of leviticus dont just pick and chose what to follow after all this is the word of god right?,,, keep reading and follow all of it
In Leviticus 20:9-10 God commands death for cursing ones parents and for adultery

Handicapped people must never approach the altar: Leviticus 21:16-23. Leviticus 26:30: "And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat." God ordered human sacrifices and in Leviticus 27:28-29

written by Paul Perry , November 21, 2010

@ David Reynolds. that is sure not the way the DMN or my source regarded it. "Straus, though, is helping people he can't necessarily count on to vote with him when it's crunch time."

written by DAN COMSTOCK , November 21, 2010

Whether you like Straus or not, he was elected formerly by about 100% of the Democrats and a few Republicans. Given that, does it seem likely that he would be the choice of the now Republican and more conservative 2/3 majority?

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