Joe Straus, Texas Speaker, Endorses Mitt Romney for President

February 21, 2012

See details here in the Texas Tribune.

The article discusses a recent poll showing Rick Santorum with a large lead in Texas for the GOP nomination, over Gingrich and Romney.

I can’t say this is a surprise to me.  If I had to guess before who Joe Straus might endorse, my first pick would be Romney as many people believe Romney is the more “moderate” of the three candidates leading the field and Joe Straus is often labeled as a moderate as well, particularly on social conservative issues.

Texas Special Session Update: Day 2-More Bills Filed, Congressional Redistricting Added to “Call”

June 1, 2011

Gov. Perry has added Congressional redistricting to the list of items to get done during this first Special Session, as expected.  See the propsed Solomons-Seliger (Plan C125) map here.

Speaker Straus announced this morning that there will be no “floor action” this week on legislation but three House committees will meet to consider bills: Appropriations, Public Education, and Redistricting.  House will briefly be on the floor tomorrow and will then adjourn until Monday.

Lt. Gov. Dewhurst announced yesterday that the Senate is adjourned until tomorrow, and two Senate Committees will meet tomorrow-Finance and Education to take up various bills.

More bills have been filed in the House and Senate.

Texas Sonogram Bill Receives Final Passage, Headed to Gov. Perry’s Desk for Signature

May 5, 2011

Today, the Texas House voted to “concur” with the Senate to pass the sonogram Bill.  That is the final legislative step.  The sonogram bill now will be sent to Gov. Perry who has already said he will sign it into law.  Because the sonogram bill passed with over 2/3rds support in both chambers, the bill will become effective immediately when Gov. Perry signs it.

Great thanks go to Sen. Dan Patrick and Rep. Sid Miller for leading this vital effort.  Thanks also goes to Gov. Perry, Lt. Gov. Dewhurst, and Speaker Joe Straus for making this effort a top priority; and so many Senate and House members for their support of this legislation.

Thank you so much to all the Texans around the state that called their elected officials, sent them letters and emails, and personally visited with them at the Capitol or in their districts.  Thanks also to so many of people that we have had the pleasure of working with everyday at the Capitol here in Austin, on this issue.

More information about the sonogram bill (HB 15), can be found here.

Liberty Institute’s Constitutional Scholars Confirm Legality of Texas House Republican Caucus Meeting

January 6, 2011

AUSTIN, Texas, January 6, 2010 – Today Libery Institute sent a , Letter to Chairman Taylor showing the detailed and independent legal analysis of Liberty Institute’s legal staff, supporting the conclusion also reached by Rep. Larry Taylor, that a Republican Caucus meeting is legal under the Texas Constitution and other rules. The meeting, which will address the selection of the Texas Speaker of the House, is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Monday, January 10, just one day before the Legislature convenes.

In regard to the letter, Kelly Shackelford, president/CEO for Liberty Institute, released the following statement:

“This letter makes it clear what everyone knew all along: that the House Republican Caucus is within its right to meet, and there are no legitimate legal concerns for their meeting. Any suggestion or conjecture to the contrary is merely a smokescreen. Anyone who does not attend will simply be doing so for their own political reasons.”

Liberty Institute is a nonprofit policy and legal organization with offices in Plano and Austin. In 2008, Liberty Institute, formerly Free Market Foundation, won a lawsuit which now gives citizens and groups the right to speak out on who serves as Texas Speaker of the House, which had been illegal (Free Market Foundation v. Reisman).  Kelly Shackelford was named one of the Top 25 Lawyers in the past 25 years, by Texas Lawyer magazine in 2010.

A RALLY IS SCHEDULED FOR 12:30 P.M. at the Texas Capitol on Monday, January 10, 2011.

Who does your Texas House member support for Speaker of the House.  Click here to find out-UpdatedJoeStrausforSpeakerPledgeList

More Opposition to Joe Straus for Texas Speaker; New Endorsements For Ken Paxton For Speaker-Add Texas Alliance for Life & Texas Republican Assembly to the List

December 29, 2010

Joe Straus for Speaker campaign looks weaker and weaker every day as more opposition to his  role as Texas Speaker of the House, grows.

Joe Straus was selected in 2009 by 65 Democrats and only 11 Republicans, giving him the 76 votes he needed to become Texas Speaker of the House, even though a huge majority of his Republican House members did not support him.  Republican Joe Straus was given victory by the Texas House Democrats.

Now, with 101 Republicans in the Texas House (there were 76 in 2009), many constituents and State Reps are saying-not this time.

The Joe Straus camp has deceptively tried to convince people that his is pro-life, even though he took money from Planned Parenthood.

Today, Ken Paxton, a conservative Republican House member picked up the endorsements of Texas Alliance for Life and the Texas Republican Assembly.  TAL goes into great detail to explain why Joe Straus is not pro-life and why Ken Paxton is pro-life.  It’s a pretty easy case to make.  See the release here. TAL-Paxton-Endorsement[1]

Hays County GOP: Vote Against Joe Straus

December 15, 2010

According to the Hays Free Press, the Hays County GOP has passed a resolution asking newly elected State Representative, Jason Isaac, to vote against Joe Straus for Speaker.

Speaker Joe Straus Defections Continue: Rep. Randy Weber Withdraws His Support From Straus

December 14, 2010

From Rep. Randy Weber’s Facebook page:  “Well, I have formally requested that Speaker Joe Straus take me off of his pledged list. My District has spoken & I have listened. Please pray that Texas will be strengthened and in GOD’s will, no matter who the Speaker is. We will be Stronger for it. rw”

Also, as of today, Texas House Republicans have a supermajority (101 of 150 seats) in the Texas House.  Why?  Because Rep. Aaron Pena and Rep. Alan Ritter switched parties, from Democrat to Republican.  Details here- 

“Pena said Texas Democrats have strayed too far from his conservative views” according to a story on the Houston Chronicle’s website.  We hope he’s ready to show his conservative side by supporting a conservative Speaker of the House.

Click here for details about current Speaker Joe Straus and nonconservative past. THE CASE AGAINST JOE STRAUS FOR TEXAS SPEAKER

Click here to contact you Texas House member and ask he/she to support a true conservative for Texas Speaker of the House and to oppose Joe Straus.

Rep. John Zerwas will have to explain his support tonight for Speaker Joe Straus. Constituents in his district are not happy about this.  They believe he should represent his district by following the overwhelming message that they want a conservative Texas Speaker of the House.

Deeper Joe Straus Ties to Planned Parenthood Shown By AAS PolitiFact Article

December 13, 2010

PolitiFact Texas, which writes articles for the Austin American-Statesman, has released its latest results of a “fact check”.  Seems that Donna Garner and Texas Eagle Forum really struck a cord with one of their recent statements.

This one article revolves around HB 1842(2007) a Planned Parenthood-backed sex education bill.  The article, presumably written by Ciara O’Rourke who contacted us about this story, tries to play “gotcha” with conservatives, but instead mainly provides more evidence of the strong ties between Joe Straus and Planned Parenthood.  Texas Speaker Joe Straus not only supported HB 1842 , he was a co-author of the bill.

Click here for link to article.

The article also confirms that Planned Parenthood helped with the drafting of this sex education changing legislation.  Rep. Mark Strama is a Democrat with a very strong relationship with Planned Parenthood.  See the excerpt below.

“One of the bill’s five authors, Rep. Mark Strama, D-Austin, told us that Planned Parenthood was supportive of the legislation and was among the groups the authors consulted in drafting it.”

Bingo. That’s exactly what we thought.  Planned Parenthood was working on the inside on HB 1842, making sure they got the sex education language they wanted.  Thankfully, this bill did not pass.

Click here to see Planned Parenthood’s support of HB 1842, the so-called “Prevention First” Act.

Texas Right to Life Blasts Joe Straus, Urges Opposition to Current Speaker

December 10, 2010

Texas Right to Life uses great details in their latest email to explain why Joe Straus is not pro-life and why he should not be supported for Texas Speaker of the House.  See details of email here. Say NO to Joe

The following statewide pro-life leaders oppose Joe Straus as Texas Speaker:

Texas Right to Life

Margaret Hotze, Life Advocates

Ann Hettinger, Concerned Women for America

Carol Everett, Heidi Group

Kelly Shackelford, Liberty Institute

Dave Welch, Texas Pastors Council

Cathie Adams, Former Republican Party of Texas Chairman

Pat Carlson, Texas Eagle Forum

Transgender Bill Filed by Texas Democrat: Will Joe Straus Support This Bill?

December 8, 2010

SB 245,a Texas bill filed by Democrat Sen. Wendy Davis, (D-Fort Worth), purports to address bullying and harassment in public schools. But it goes farther than that by allowing for a special category for protection for “gender identity and expression”(transgender) persons that are “actual or percieved” in public schools.  Are you confused? So will be school adminstrators and judges if this law passes and later is challenged in court.

The phrase “gender identity and expression” will find its way into Texas law for the first time that we know of, if SB 245 becomes law.

The LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community is already annoucing their support for the bill. A similar bill has been filed by Democrat Rep. Mark Strama (D-Austin), HB 224.  HB 224 does not yet contain special protection for “gender identity and expression”(transgender), yet, so the homosexual advocacy and lobbying group, Equality Texas, hasn’t endorsed this bill.  But I am certain Rep. Strama will add the transgender language at some point, like he did in HB 1323, last session.  HB 1323 did not pass.

The ACLU actually opposed HB 1323 because it trampled on the First Amendment.

See the homosexual community’s analysis and glowing support of SB 245, here.

Will/would Joe Straus, current Texas Speaker of the House support these bills?  We don’t know at this point nor do we know if he would say, if asked, as according to his staff he doesn’t answer questionnaires.  This was the form response given when asked why he refused to fill out the Texas Alliance for Life questionnaire recently.  Anyone that is trying so hard to convince other people that they are pro-life (i.e. Speaker Joe Straus)  should not be afraid to fill out a pro-life questionnaire.  Refusing to fill out the form just gives support to the belief held by almost every single pro-life person in Texas, that Joe Straus is not pr0-life.

Remember, Straus has the strong support of the LGBT community.  Details here.

Sign the letter today, asking  for a change from Speaker Straus, and asking your Texas House member to support a true conservative Speaker of the House.

NY Times: Democratic Tide in 2009 Led to Joe Straus Becoming Texas Speaker of the House

December 7, 2010

Below is an excerpt from a New York Times article written in January of 2009, just after President Obama was sworn into office and just after Joe Straus had become Texas Speaker of the House.  See full article here.

“AUSTIN, Tex. — On first blush, it is easy to think the Democratic tide that swept President Obama into office barely touched Texas. After all, Republicans still run the state and hold all the top offices and, if Texas voters had had their way, John McCain would be in the Oval Office.

Skip to next paragraph

Eric Gay/Associated Press

Joe Straus on his first day as speaker of the Texas House with his wife, Julie, and his daughters, Sara, right, and Robyn. His record and his short tenure made his rise something of a surprise.

But a recent coup by moderate Republicans against the speaker of the state’s House of Representatives suggests otherwise.”

Joe Straus Refuses To Answer Pro-Life Questionnaire, Chisum & Paxton Answers Here

December 6, 2010

From Texas Alliance for Life:

“Update on Texas House Speaker Race: Chisum and Paxton Answer Survey, Straus Does Not” 

“The Speaker of the House of Representatives is one of the three most powerful offices in state government, along with Governor and Lt. Governor. The Speaker controls the success or failure of bills by appointing chairs of all of the House committees and the complete membership of the powerful Calendars Committee, which must approve each bill before it can be considered by the full House. The Speaker will be elected by a majority vote of the Texas House on the first day of the next session, Tuesday, January 11.

“On November 15, we hand-delivered a candidate survey to the office of each of the three candidates for House Speaker. The survey has 10 short questions on issues important to pro-life Texans, including issues regarding overturning Roe v. Wade, partial-birth abortion, public funding for embryonic stem cell research, and public funding for Planned Parenthood. This is the same survey that was sent to all candidates for Texas Senate and Representatives in the Primary Election and General Election. Both Warren Chisum (R-Pampa) and Ken Paxton (R-McKinney) responded within a day and gave answers consistent with the positions of Texas Alliance for Life. The current Speaker, Joe Straus (R-San Antonio), did not respond.”

“To see the responses, click on the name:”

Texas Speaker Joe Straus & Planned Parenthood: Straus Recieved Money From Planned Parenthood in 2008: Documentation Here

December 2, 2010

See the document attached, page 12. StrausPlannedParenthoodPACcontribution

Have you called your State House member and asked he/she to vote for a true conservative speaker of the House? Click here for contact information.

Sometime between now and January 11, 2011,the 150 member Texas House of Representatives will select a Speaker of the House.  The vote for a Speaker is a vote by House members just like any other legislative vote during the legislative session.  Don’t let elected officials shut you out of the process.  You have the right and freedom as their constituents to let them know how that they can represent you best by selecting a true conservative for Texas Speaker of the House.

The current Speaker is Joe Straus, well known as a moderate Republican, from San Antonio. 

The Republican/Democrat split in the Texas House is 99-51, due to a dramatic increase of wins by Republicans in State House races in the Novermber 2010 elections.  The split in 2009 when Straus was elected was 76-74.

Winning for Women is a Planned Parenthood of San Antonio political action committee (PAC).  This is the Planned Parenthood PAC that gave money to Joe Straus.

How many other “pro-life” Republican Texas House members have received money from Planned Parenthood?  I would be very surprised if any other “pro-life” Texas House Republican has this distinction, other than Joe Straus.

Also, Joe Straus Supported Planned Parenthood Backed Sex Education Bill; HB 1842 (2007)

●             Joe Straus was a coauthor of the so-called “Texas Prevention First Act”, a Planned Parenthood backed bill that would have changed sex education and would have prevented schools from teaching about the actual failure rates for condoms and contraception with “human use reality rates” so students know that condoms can be more unreliable than advertised.   The main author of HB 1842 was Democrat Rep. Mark Strama, a very strong ally of Planned Parenthood.  Click here for details. HB 1842 was on of Planned Parenthood’s top priorities to pass in 2007. This bill was also supported by NARAL/Pro-Choice America, NOW, and the ACLU of Texas.

Also see the list of here of opposition to HB 1842 by pro-family/pro-life groups:

Planned Parenthood “Thanks” Joe Straus:  If  you are a true pro-life legislator, does Planned Parenthood ever thank you for your efforts.  No, they don’t.  Unless you’re Joe Straus.  below.

Have you called your State House member and asked he/she to vote for a true conservative speaker of the House? Click here for contact information.

Joe Straus Opposition Builds Among Freshmen; Van Taylor Endorses Ken Paxton For Texas Speaker

November 30, 2010

Rep. Van Taylor announced today that he is supporting Rep. Ken Paxton for Texas Speaker of the House.  The other person who have filed to become Texas Speaker are Rep. Warren Chisum, and the incumbent Texas Speaker, Joe Straus.

Click here for full release. Rep.VanTaylorEndorsesPaxtonforSpeaker

“The Speaker of the House of Representatives is one of the most powerful and influential political figures in the state, vested with the responsibility of overseeing the course of lawmaking in every area of possible interest to any Texan.”   Texas Federal Court Judge, Lee Yeakel.

What are the actual powers and duties of the Texas Speaker of the House?  Click here.

Sign the letter to support a conservative for Texas Speaker.

Straus Chairman Shuts Out Public From Speaker Race “Threats” Information at so-called “Public Hearing”

November 24, 2010

Here is the statement we released yesterday.

Public Hears Only Ten Minutes Following Three Hours in Closed Meeting

AUSTIN, Texas, November 23, 2010 – Today, Liberty Institute attended the Texas House Ethics Committee meeting in which the committee Chairman, Chuck Hopson (appointed by Straus) and the committee heard claims of political revenge in the Speaker of the House race and redisctricting process.  When the hearing began, Rep. Larry Phillips (R-Sherman) was named as the Texas House member who allegedly told Rep. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) that elected House members would be punished for not supporting current Speaker Joe Straus.  Specifically, Rep. Hughes claims that Rep. Phillips said that redistricting maps were already being drawn to get rid of newly elected Rep. Erwin Cain (R-Sulphur Springs) and Rep. Dan Flynn (R-Van). 

The hearing was officially posted as a public hearing, but Committee Chair Chuck Hopson (appointed by Straus) announced that he would close the hearing and ultimately only allowed the public to hear ten minutes of committee discussions that lasted more than three house behind closed doors.

In response to today’s developments, Jonathan Saenz, director of legislative affairs at Liberty Institute, released the following statement:

“It is outrageous that the public and media were effectively shut out from hearing important details about alleged threats related to the Texas Speaker of the House race made by an elected official and member of the Straus leadership team. “

“With Rep. Hopson’s anti-free speech letter last week and his near-shutout of the public today, the chairman appears dead set on hiding relevant information from Texas voters about speaker politics.”

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