Facing overwhelming enemy numbers and with no hope for help Colonel William Barret Travis took out his sword and drew a line in the sand before his battle-weary men. In a voice trembling with emotion he described the hopelessness of their plight and said, “those prepared to give their lives in freedom’s cause, come over to me.”
Without hesitation, all but one man crossed the line. Even Colonel James Bowie, stricken with pneumonia, asked that his cot be carried over.
It is time that we do the same to our Texas Representatives. We must demand that they quit kowtowing to a man who has used Obama-like tactics to keep conservatives under his thumb and who has continuously thwarted true conservative legislation and initiatives.
ATTENTION: Texas Conservative Activists
We elected Ted Cruz despite heavy opposition from the Texas GOP Establishment. We block walked. We worked the polls. We put up the yard signs. We chose principle and performance over party rhetoric. We got the job done.
It’s again time for us to take on the party establishment and draw a line in the sand at the feet of each of our Texas State Reps. “Those prepared to stand on conservative and constitutional principles, cross the line and vote against Joe Straus for House Speaker. We will honor your courage and support you in the weeks and years ahead.”
“Those of you who do not cross the line know this: We will call you out for the moral cowards you are. We will find and support more ‘Ted Cruzes’ in each of our state districts. We will find honorable men like the heroes of the Alamo. We will block walk for THEM. We will work the polls for THEM. We will put up the yard signs for THEM. We will make sure this is YOUR last term in office. So help us God.”
Joe Straus—a Tyrant RINO Embarrassment
After signing a pledge to support former Speaker Tom Craddick, Joe Straus betrayed his ally in 2005, leveraging a coalition of House Democrats and 11 RINOs to steal the Speaker’s position. He appointed Democrats as chairs of 16 of the 34 House committees. Since that time he has single handedly thwarted conservative legislation including the 2009 tabling of the photo voter ID bill (passed in 2011) and the 2011 death of the anti-sanctuary-cities bill (to pay back his debt to the Butt family).
Joe Straus is the embodiment of the worst of politics. At the 2012 GOP State Convention the meeting organizers were too embarrassed to even introduce him by name when he took the podium for a short speech. Hundreds of elected delegates poured out of the Fort Worth arena in protest as soon as they recognized Straus’ evil face.
Straus “buys” the support of GOP state reps by funneling money to their campaigns through a network of PACs designed to hide the source of funding. Further, he forces them so sign pledges of support (like the one he signed for Tom Craddick and later broke) under threat that they will NOT receive valuable committee appointments and won’t see their bills leave committee, if they dare to oppose him.
The men of Alamo would know how to deal with the tyrant of the Texas House. Sadly, it appears that the moral courage of Texas GOP State Reps does not approach that of the men of Alamo.
GOP State Platform
Page 6 of Texas GOP Platform reads:
Texas House Leadership Town Hall – We call for the Republican members of the Texas House of Representatives after the November election, leading up to the Legislative session, to hold public town hall meetings in which the voters can express their wishes and thoughts about the leadership for the 83rd Session.
Texas House Leadership Caucus – We call for the Republican members of the Texas House of Representatives to convene in caucus after each November general election to determine by secret ballot their candidate for Speaker of the House, and that rules be instituted to ensure the integrity and security of the secret ballot so that members may vote without risk of retribution by the prevailing party. We also call for the Republican members of the Texas House to vote as a unified body for their selected speaker candidate when the Legislature convenes in regular session and a vote for speaker is called on the House Floor.
Enforcing the Platform - Every Republican is responsible for implementing this platform. Party candidates should indicate their positions on platform planks before their acceptance on the ticket and such information should be available on the Party website.
Not surprisingly, most GOP State Reps have chosen to ignore this plank in the platform. When contacted about supporting Bryan Hughes in his challenge to Straus, most of the Reps parade out the long standing list of excuses for why they “must” support Joe Straus. “If I don’t support Joe I won’t get the committee assignments I want.”
FOOLS! Joe Straus will give the chairs of half the House committees to Democrats anyway. He always does.
Time to Call Out the Cowards
It appears that GOP State Reps are afraid. They’re afraid of Joe Straus, and they’re afraid to face their constituents on this critical issue. Unfortunately, they’re currently MORE afraid of Joe Straus than they are of their constituents. IT’S TIME TO CHANGE THAT.
It’s time to emphatically remind the GOP State Reps that they work for us, not for Joe Straus.
Please take the following steps ASAP.
1. Call or fax the office of your GOP State Rep.
2. Demand to know WHEN he/she will hold town hall meetings to discuss the House Speaker issue as called for by the GOP state platform.
3. Inform the office staffer that if he/she does not contact you within 5 days with the schedule of town hall meetings to discuss the House Speaker issue there will be consequences.
4. Inform them that working with new Tea Party groups you will help identify and support a conservative candidate to replace the incumbent in the next primary.
5. If he/she actually schedules a town hall meeting, get the word out. Attend the meeting and INSIST that your Rep vote for Bryan Hughes for Speaker of the Texas House.
6. After the meeting start sending a stream of postcards to your Rep reminding him/her that you EXPECT him/her to vote for Bryan Hughes.
7. If you have time make frequent phone calls to reinforce your intent.
It’s again time for us to take on the weak party establishment and draw a line in the sand at the feet of each of our Texas State Reps. “Those prepared to stand on conservative and constitutional principles, cross the line and vote against Joe Straus for House Speaker. We will honor your courage and support you in the weeks and years ahead.”
“Those of you who do not cross the line know this: We will call you out for the moral cowards you are. We will find and support more ‘Ted Cruzes’ at the state level. We will make sure this is your last term in office. So help us God.”
- Alan Vera
2012 Conservative Legislation Killed by Straus’ Committee Chairs:
By Natalie Genco posted on Voices Empower
- Exempting school districts from certain state unfunded mandates, HB 458 by James White & Wayne Christian
- Requiring school districts to post their check registers online, HB1236 by Bill Zedler
- Requiring public universities to post their check registers online, HB 1237 by Bill Zedler
- Uncapping total number of charters given to schools by the SBOE, HB 1603 by Bill Zedler,
- Replacing longevity pay with merit pay for state employees, HB2954 by Erwin Cain
- 10% reduction on paperwork for state unfunded mandates on public schools, HB 3463 by Erwin Cain
- Spending limits, HB 756 by Ken Paxton
- Ending In-state tuition for illegal immigrants, HB 1387 by Erwin Cain
- Ending State Unfunded Mandates, HJR 46 by James White
- Prohibiting state or other political subdivisions from forcing you to buy health insurance, HJR 51 by Wayne Christian
- Prohibiting the state from punishing direct payment for healthcare or non-participation, HB 203 by Bryan Hughes
- Prohibiting hospitals from using tax dollars on abortions, HB 561 by Wayne Christian
Small Business Tax Relief
- Allowing businesses to subtract payments to contractors in addition to employee salary from their taxable margin of the franchise tax, HB 817 by Bryan Hughes and Dwayne Bohac
- Businesses posting a loss wouldn’t pay the franchise tax, HB 932 by Ken Paxton
- Requiring franchise tax increases to pass by 2/3 majority, HJR 25 by Ken Paxton
Relieving the tax burden
- Constitutional amendment requiring 2/3 majority to raise taxes, HJR 37 by Bryan Hughes et. al.
- Requiring a 4/5 vote by House of Representatives to raise taxes, HJR 124 by Jim Landtroop and Jodie Laubenberg
- Phases out property taxes for senior citizens by 2021, HB 1104 by Ken Paxton
- Requires all other taxing units to ratify a tax increase instead of relying petitions to rollback tax rates, HB 3186 by Ken Paxton
- Requiring a 2/3 vote to create an entity with taxing power, HJR 105 by Zedler
- TSA Groping bill, HB 1937 by David Simpson
- TSA Body Scanner bill, HB 1938 by David Simpson
Other important facts
- Joe Straus refuses to sign the Texas Budget Compact (Press Release, 4/16/2012, Statement on Texas Budget Compact)
- Refuses to sign the Taxpayer Pledge (www.taxpayerpledge.com)
- Despite a supermajority of Republicans, the House failed to pass spending limits.
- Straus told the El Paso Times “We have no choice… you can’t cut your way to prosperity,” This was also said by President Obama in a radio address in 2011
- Joe Straus’ Redistricting plan punished conservatives (RedState.com, 4/22/2011, Texas Redistricting Plan Punishes Texas Conservatives)
- Hispanic conservatives were drawn out of GOP-friendly House districts, including Raul Torres of Corpus Christi, Aaron Pena of Edinburg and Jose Aliseda.
- The first House redistricting map had 7 GOP vs. GOP incumbent pairings. This would ensure that we lose 7 GOP house members. It forces a Republican to run against another Republican instead of a Democrat.