Posts Tagged ‘Texas House of Representatives’

Dear Jason Villalba: Enjoy This Festive Holiday Primary Challenge

Monday, November 27th, 2017

With the retirements of Joe Straus and Byron Cook, Jason Villalba might be the least popular Republican in the Texas House. Which explains why Santa (in this case Texas conservatives) delivered a primary challenge as an early Christmas present.

With a disastrous record in the Texas House and recent calls for gun control, Texans won’t be surprised to learn that State Rep. Jason Villalba (R—Dallas) could face a tough reelection.

On Monday, Dallas business owner Lisa Luby Ryan, who operates an interior design firm and the antique home furnishings store Vintage Living in Dallas, validated earlier rumors she was considering a run and announced her campaign against Villalba in the Republican primary.

“I’m simply overwhelmed at the initial support we have already earned and grateful for the caliber of individuals joining this campaign,” said Ryan in a news release. “Today’s announcement sends a loud and clear message that this district believes that we can do better than our current representation. I am running to provide voters a clear choice, and with this great support I intend to win.”

In her campaign announcement, Ryan also released an impressive list of supporters who are already endorsing her campaign. The list includes a bevy of conservative mainstays and a substantial number of prominent community business owners including Brint Ryan (no relation), a prominent tax consultant and chairman of the University of North Texas Board of Regents, who will serve as Lisa Luby Ryan’s campaign treasurer.

While Ryan’s background certainly plays into the amount of support she’s receiving in the district, and it’s also true that Villalba’s record has declined even further this session compared to his last, it’s likely that the donor community is supporting his opponent because Villalba has exhausted his usefulness.

While Villalba was, admittedly, a clownish and useless member of House Speaker Joe Straus’ team, he was a part of the team. But now, that team won’t be taking the field.

Given Straus’ announcement that he will not seek re-election and conservative efforts to amend the Republican caucus bylaws to ensure a more conservative Speaker is elected, Villalba is likely to be left on the outside looking in regardless of who is elected to be the next Speaker of the Texas House.

And it’s not just Dallas donors who have made that observation.

Indeed, at a recent lobby meeting hosted by Straus’ chief strategist, Gordon Johnson, Villalba didn’t even make the list of lawmakers that the group would try to “protect” in the upcoming Republican primary elections.

Given that Straus’ allies in the lobby were forced to spend more than $500,000 to protect Villalba in the 2016 primary, Villalba will be in serious trouble if the Austin political establishment hangs him out to dry.

Or if his constituents take a look at his record.

You may remember Villalba from such hits as I’m A Thin-Skinned Twitter Blockhead, Let’s Make It illegal For Gun Owners and Bloggers To Photograph the Police and I Have A Whole Lot of Stupid Ideas.

Let’s hope Lisa Luby Ryan succeeds in retiring him in 2018.

Straus Re-Elected Speaker. And It Wasn’t Close.

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

Sadly, my previous analysis was right on the money. Straus maintained his hold on the Texas Speaker’s chair by a 127-19 margin over Scott Turner. For all the numerous Tea Party endorsements of House candidates (indeed, the North Texas Tea Party said that a vote for Straus for Speaker would preclude their endorsement), it seems that only a tiny minority of Tea Party-endorsed candidates are interested in challenging Straus’ iron grip.

I would be most interested in hearing behind-the-scenes information on how Straus has managed to continue to procure the votes of so many conservative Republicans despite widespread grassroots opposition to Straus’ Speakership…

Bryan Hughes Drops Out of Texas Speaker’s Race and Endorses David Simpson

Monday, December 10th, 2012

This is big news. Rep. Bryan Hughes has dropped his bid to be Speaker of the Texas house of Representatives and has endorsed Rep. David Simpson in his run against incumbent speaker Joe Straus.

While conservatives wanted to see Straus replaced, they was worry that Hughes’ background as a trial lawyer could work against him, and there was also worry that Simpson would split the anti-Straus vote. With Hughes out and endorsing Simpson, conservatives now have their best chance ever to oust Straus.

Expect to hear more about the Speaker’s race in the near future.

Dick Armey Aims to Unseat Speaker Joe Straus

Monday, September 24th, 2012

Well, this is very interesting:

FreedomWorks, which helped insurgent Ted Cruz snatch the GOP nod for U.S. Senate from Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, said Monday it will put its muscle behind toppling Texas House Speaker Joe Straus of San Antonio from his leadership post.

Armey’s one sharp cookie, and he plays hardball. Conservatives came up short when they challenged the moderate Straus before last session, but the incoming Texas House looks to be more conservative, and a lot of Straus’s committee chairs lost in the primary. But Straus is no pushover, and I imagine he still sits on a big pile of legislative IOUs, as well as lobbyist juice and gambling money. Will a disgruntled David Dewhurst throw his still-considerably clout behind his counterpart in the House?

This promises to be a very interesting fight…

Update: Here’s the Freedomworks press release, where Brendan Steinhauser says they’re supporting State Rep. Bryan Hughes for Speaker.

The Texas House Speaker’s Race Religion Kerfluffle

Monday, December 6th, 2010

Since the topic has gotten to Fark, I thought I would clear up the whole “Republicans oppose Straus because he’s Jewish” myth, a myth entirely based on one dumbass (or one plant) sending out email. (The truth is, Republicans oppose Straus because he’s not conservative enough.) In particular, I’d like to point out that those who say that Republicans haven’t condemned this religious bating are wrong:

Reps. Warren Chisum and Ken Paxton, conservative Republicans who’ve launched long-shot bids to unseat House Speaker Joe Straus, on Wednesday condemned campaign e-mails that have introduced candidates’ religions.

E-mails, some of unknown origin, have surfaced in recent days that mention Straus’ rabbi and underscore the Christian faith of his leading critics in the House Republican Caucus. One e-mail promises that “Straus is going down in Jesus’ name.”

“I repudiate that in the strongest terms,” Chisum, R-Pampa, said in an interview. “That is not what this is about.”

Chisum later issued a release saying, “No one working with me on my campaign for speaker has anything to do with such tactics,” which he called “deplorable.”

Paxton, R-McKinney, released a similar statement.

“There is absolutely no place for religious bigotry in the race for Texas speaker,” Paxton said. “It is just as shameful for anyone to imply that I would ever condone this type of behavior. My campaign is singularly focused on a message of providing proven, dependable conservative leadership to the Texas House.”

That was way back on November 18, people. If you’re going to repeat a liberal smear, how about one that wasn’t already debunked three weeks ago?

Incumbent Speaker Joe Straus Advertising…on Powerline?

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

You may have noticed that the race for Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives is getting hot and heavy. So it’s no surprise to see current Speaker Joe Straus campaigning to retain his role. However, I must say it was something of a surprise to see him advertising (via Google ads) on Powerline. Here’s a capture of the ad I saw there (no doubt triggered by the fact my IP address is inside Texas):

The irony is that there are numerous voices in the Texas conservative blogosphere complaining that Strauss isn’t conservative enough:

Ken Paxton seems to be the choice of most conservatives who have chimed in on the race.

I was going to say that I had not studied the issue enough to be for or against Strauss. But then I came across this Austin-American Statesman piece praising Strauss for being “nonpartisan” and “moderate,” which is pretty much the kiss of death as far as I’m concerned, and a solid reason to vote for someone else as speaker, advertising on Powerline not withstanding.