Joe Straus

Failed Attempt to Rebuke Lawmakers Riles Texas GOP

Jun 14, 2015
Bob Daemmrich / The Texas Tribune

The Texas GOP has abandoned an effort to issue an official statement on the 84th legislative session, divided over a proposed resolution that initially would have accused individual lawmakers of standing in the way of gun rights legislation.  

The resolution that named legislators never made it out of a committee of the State Republican Executive Committee (SREC), and the full body never voted on a version of it with softer language.

But the very prospect of it riled some party leaders, sparking heated debate about the committee’s role in the Capitol and seriously complicating party fundraising in at least one instance.  

Straus Files for Another Term as Speaker

Jun 4, 2015
Bob Daemmrich / Courtesy: The Texas Tribune

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus is officially seeking another term wielding the gavel.  

The San Antonio Republican on Monday filed papers with the state Ethics Commission to run for speaker again, according to his office. If re-elected, he will bid for a fifth term at the helm of the lower chamber, rivaling Pete Laney and Gib Lewis as the longest-serving speakers.  Straus easily won a fourth term as speaker in January, earning the support of all but 19 House members. Rep. Scott Turner, R-Frisco, had challenged him.   

Ryan E. Poppe

The final bang of the gavel was followed by a unanimous cheer that the session had come to an end. For one San Antonio lawmaker, Monday was about saying goodbye. 

  Since 2007, Democratic Rep. Joe Farias has served in the House, making veterans’ affairs one of his number one issues.  This session, Farias said he was proud to have helped keep veterans’ tuition benefits intact.

Patrick Denies 2018 Plans, Says He Will ‘Never’ Run Against Abbott

Jun 2, 2015
Courtesy: Office of the Governor

AUSTIN — The first legislative session under Republican Gov. Greg Abbott ended Monday with Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, the powerful Senate leader and a Tea Party favorite, dousing rumors that he was already plotting to challenge Abbott in 2018.

Patrick embodied the rightward shift in Texas politics over the past 140 days. He also took the unusual step of assembling an advisory board of big-money donors whose support would be crucial if he sought higher office. “I love this job. I love working with Gov. Abbott,” Patrick said. “We are close friends. We formed a great partnership. I will never be running against Greg Abbott for governor.”

Texas Authorities Begin Questioning Lawmakers In Hidden Video Scandal

May 9, 2015
texasgopvote.com

AUSTIN — The Texas Department of Public Safety has quietly begun interviewing state lawmakers, asking about a conservative group that sent shockwaves through the Legislature when it said it had secretly videotaped elected officials to try to capture them in embarrassing situations.

Texas Rangers could be seen late Friday questioning representatives individually outside the House chamber; it was unclear how many had to answer questions.

Several lawmakers said they were aware that the officers were around to take statements but declined to provide details about what was asked.

Eastland Republican Rep. Jim Keffer confirmed that he had been questioned about people videotaping. He said he told investigators that he hadn’t been approached and secretly taped, as far as he knew.

Other lawmakers, including Denton Republican Rep. Myra Crownover, also confirmed that they had been interviewed.

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