South Steps chimes in on Straus and the gain in seats
Consider what Straus did for the freshmen who won a Dem seat: $0 in donations to any candidate who was challenging an incumbent Democrat. His PACs ranked 32nd and 46th in fundraising for Texas in 2010 (pathetic) and disbursed about $2.2 million. $1.5 million went to his officeholder account, and $0 went to a Republican challenger. **Disclaimer: double-check these numbers.
I would credit at least 25 organizations and far more individuals with helping build this majority more than Straus, arguably the second most powerful Republican in Texas, has.
Again, let me make clear that I do not care who wins speaker this session. I expect Straus to win, and I take him at his word when he promises better committee leadership.
I find it hard to judge whether I should care. Straus looks pretty likely to win. Most anti-Straus activism seems more noisy than effective. I wasn't terribly happy with the way Straus became speaker (on the other hand, from his perspective, "why not, if they're going to pick someone, why not me?"), but so far most of the anti-Straus groups seem more concerned with how he became speaker than in what he will do this session. Maybe they're right. Maybe they're not. I think the members themselves are likely to be a much better judge of what kind of speaker Joe Straus will be this session, and it looks like most Republicans are willing to give Straus another session.
Personally, I wish the more people would focus on procedural changes to Texas government that will still benefit us in a generation. It triggers less hot-button emotions, but it is substantive.
How do you figure? So likely to win that his team has to engage a dim witted fat man in Houston carry their water?
Straus is speaker because Democrats made him speaker. He will only be the speaker again if a few liberal Republicans side with Democrats to make him Speaker.
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