Byron Cook was appointed by Straus to chair the Environmental Regulation Committee and also Vice Chair of the Local and Consent Calendars Committee which is responsible for the determination of priorities for floor consideration of bills and resolutions. Cook was also one of only 11 Republicans who teamed up with all the Democrats in a back room deal to get Joe Straus originally elected to the position of Speaker.
Chuck Hopson is another Straus appointee to Chair the "Ethics" Committee. Unfortunately, he knows little about ethics. Rep. Bryan Hughes requested to be sworn in before giving his testimony before the House Ethics Committee; however Larry Phillips did NOT request to be sworn in when giving his testimony. The following is an excerpt from the Texas Government Code regarding sworn testimony:
Sec. 301.022. TESTIMONY UNDER OATH. (a) All legislative committees shall require witnesses to give testimony under oath, subject to the penalties of perjury.
(b) The oath required by this section may be waived by any committee except a general investigating committee.
Mr. Phillips while not under oath basically called Bryan Hughes a liar by claiming that the statements by Hughes were “unequivocally false.” The Chair of the House Ethics Committee, Chuck Hopson, chose to believe the statements of the man who was not under oath, Larry Phillips. Mr. Hopson claimed there was “insufficient evidence” and that no action is to be taken against Larry Phillips or Joe Straus. Oh, and did I mention that Hopson received $42,000 in campaign contributions from Straus in the last election where Hopson did not face a serious challenger? This one reminds me of the United Nations' appointment of Iran to the Women's Rights Commission. Really? More on this story & Phone Interview with Bryan Hughes on the Straus - Phillips scandal
Rep. Pitts is an avid Straus supporter which leads one to wonder why a supposed “conservative” would support RINO Joe. As it turns out, Pitts is one of the gang of 11 Republicans who teamed up with the Democrats to get RINO Joe elected as Speaker in the first place. Straus rewarded his loyal lapdog by awarding him the Chair of the powerful House Appropriations Committee. Did I mention that Pitts is also on the Redistricting Committee? Redistricting is a hammer to be used against those who oppose Straus according to allegations brought forth by Rep Bryan Hughes of Mineola. Rep Hughes requested to be placed under oath when giving his testimony before the Ethics Committee while Mr. Phillips who called Mr. Hughes a lair by stating his allegations were “unequivocally false”, was strangely not under oath when giving his testimony.
Let’s look at Rep Pitts’ conservative credentials… sorry, still looking. In 2009, the Heritage Alliance scored Rep. Pitts an overall 31% conservative which broke down as 29% on economic issues, 33% on “other” issues, and 50% conservative on social issues. Texans for Fiscal Responsibility scored Pitts a whopping 53% conservative. When I was in school, a 64% was considered failing. Mr. Pitts, I would like to offer you a little advise – 2012 is right around the corner, so you might want to think about bringing up your grades a bit. I think Texans have had enough of your style of “conservatism”.
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