Texas Tea Party Caucus


Will the Texas Tea party Caucus Fail Its First Test?
by Dale Huls - January 7, 2011

Texas Tea Party Caucus
Texas Tea Party

Can the Texas Tea Party Caucus (TTPC) be relevant during the 82nd Legislative session?  Sen. Patrick, along with 48 other Texas legislators, established the TTPC days after the November midterm elections that saw extraordinary Republican gains as the result of the tea party movement.  Many Texas tea parties immediately viewed this suspiciously as an attempt by Republican politicians to co-opt the Texas tea party movement.  The Texas tea party movement treasures it’s fiercely independent character and casts a jaundiced eye when any group purports to speak for the movement as a whole.  Assuming that the TTPC is a good faith effort by Texas legislators, a “wait and see” position has been adopted by the tea parties.

However, just days before the vote for Texas House Speaker, the TTPC has been missing in action.  The week after the midterms, incumbent Speaker Joe Straus declared the race for Speaker over and that he would remain Speaker during the 82nd Legislature.  The fight to replace Straus with a true conservative Speaker has been the tea parties signature issue since the November elections.  Ironically, Ken Paxton, a TTPC Board Member is the primary challenger to Speaker Straus.  Yet, a majority of Representatives in the caucus continue to support Straus. 

With the advent of a historic 101 Republican majority in the House, the grassroots conservative movement has decided that a strong conservative leader should be placed in the Speaker position.  Pat Carlson, President of the Texas Eagle Forum, has stated that "We at Texas Eagle Forum believe the vote for speaker of the Texas House is so important we will be weighing this one vote as 50% of the total score."   For the Texas tea parties, this is a bellwether vote of conservative principle over politics as usual.

As a result, tea parties across Texas sprang into action!  Instead of taking a victory lap after the elections, tea parties began a grassroots campaign to oust the current Speaker.  Their elevation of the issue has inspired grassroots Republican Party organizations to pass resolutions and demand that Republicans – not Democrats – ultimately select their Speaker.  Consequently, the pressure applied by the Texas tea party movement has taken what was once a done deal and caused previously committed legislators to revoke their pledges to Straus and resulted in recalcitrant Republican House Caucus leader, Larry Taylor to call for a caucus vote for a Republican Speaker candidate. 

This has been a long, hard fight by the tea parties across Texas.  This has not been a quiet or behind the scenes fight.  The Straus camp has hurled charges of anti-Semitism, outside influence, and ignorance of how the system should work at the tea parties.  The tea parties have been equally vocal in exposing massive campaign contributions to legislators, exposing big money sources, and a coalition of political consultants working for Straus.   Therefore, it is confusing and upsetting that the TTPC has remained silent on this issue.  How can members who proclaim to listen to the tea parties still continue to support Straus for Speaker?  Did they not hear the tea parties AFTER the election?  Do they think that by merely joining this caucus they will be immune from tea party pressure and retribution?  When the members of the TTPC cast their vote in the 82nd Texas Legislature for House Speaker, it may be the end of Senator Patrick’s legislator/tea party initiative.  Will the Texas Tea Party Caucus fail its first test?

Joe Straus vs. Matt Beebe

We lost the battle of getting Ken Paxton elected as the Texas Speaker of the House for the 82nd legislature, but that does not mean we have given up.

We now are working to not only prevent Joe Straus from becoming the Texas Speaker of the House for the 83rd legislature, but to prevent his re-election to the Texas House of Representatives.
TEAParty911.com founder, Michael Kinzie has endorsed Matt Beebe in HD-121 and we are all working hard to get Beebe elected to rid the House of Representatives of Joe Straus.

To see how you can help, please go to Matt Beebe's page on our site.

Oust Joe Straus Rally RSVP HereRSVP on Facebook!

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