I want to give you a heads up on a game “our” guys will soon be playing with you. By “our” guys, I’m referring to State Reps you think are one of us (and sometimes they are), but it is a mistake to truly trust any of them. As I told my high school government students, “I don’t care if it’s your dad who is your State Rep, don’t trust him. Hold him accountable.” That freaked my students out a bit, but I stand by it. Everyone needs accountability.
So, a few years back when we couldn’t get rid of a crappy Speaker, we demanded the Republican Caucus vote on who it would be in a private session WITHOUT the Dems present. The idea was that it would happen without Democrat influence. Didn’t work. The R speaker wanna-be still went to Dems to gather enough votes to make it to 76 votes (half + 1) and then proudly announced — BEFORE the caucus — the race is over. Nobody else would then even be nominated within the Republican Caucus. So yes, we got what we wanted technically (a vote in the Republican Caucus), but it did not achieve the actual goal of keeping the Dems out of the process.
This is why we currently have Dade Phelan as Speaker. Dade is running for re-election and is the presumed winner already. Since he has the power of appointing chairmanships, even our “good” guys don’t want to cross him. They are looking for excuses to vote for him. They know he is no good for Texas and will kill Republican legislation, but they value what he has to offer. They will try to tell you two things:
- If I’m going to have any influence or power to get good things done, I must vote for Phelan. This is how the game works. Trust me. I got him to promise to do such and such.
- We have to play by the rules. The rules say we vote in the Republican Caucus. I’m just doing what I’m supposed to do.
I’m here to tell you upfront and flat out before your Rep starts spinning things to you… If the rules of the game that WE came up with are not working, it’s time for new rules. We have the majority, remember? We tried it; it didn’t work. We aren’t married to it.
Tony Tinderholt put out an op-ed today in Texas Scorecard saying he will take the speaker vote to the floor. In other words, regardless of the private Republican Caucus vote, there will be a vote on the House floor with all Ds & Rs. A floor vote means everyone will be able to see who their State Rep supported. Did your Reps vote for Phelan who holds them hostage with his power and kills R bills… or Tony who will respect the wishes of the majority of voters (the Republicans who voted in a Republican majority in the House, Senate and all statewide offices for a reason!).
The “good” guys don’t like this. It will make them very uncomfortable. They want you to believe they are good guys, but they want to take a bad vote. Do they publicly vote for the bad speaker in order to hold onto the assumed power he gives them, or do they vote for what the voters want? What a dilemma! Their answer? Trick you into thinking voting for Phelan IS the right thing to do. What a joke. They still think we are all too stupid to understand their games.
Read Tony’s op-ed for further details. Ask me all the questions you want in order to make sure you understand how this game works. The best electorate is an educated one. I will get answers to your questions. Be smart. Hold your representative accountable… even if he’s your dad.