It is no secret that Joe Straus tried to hurt conservatives in redistricting who voted against him for Texas Speaker of the House. Did you know that Straus also bent over backwards to make sure almost NONE of the GOOD conservative legislation got passed if the legislation was authored by one of the State Reps who voted against him. (See list of killed legislation below) Does that sound like the kind of leader we want for Texas? The kind of leader who says that if you do not vote for him then he will intentionally kill your good legislation to get back at you. The kind of leader who says that if you don't vote for him then he will hurt you in redistricting?
Thankfully, There was a super-majority of Republicans in the 2011 Texas House of Representatives and so Joe Straus did allow the body to pass conservative legislation. He just made sure that good conservative legislation from people who opposed him did not make it out. Straus is not a man who will lead conservative legislation though. He is a populist who just goes with the flow to try to make the majority happy. He allowed the body to pass conservative legislation because he knew he could not stop it with a super majority of Republicans so he went along with it. If the House was split between Democrats and Republicans then you better believe he would try to play both sides and not stand for conservative legislation. He would play both sides because he knows that in a split house he would need to please the Democrats to stay in power.
2012 Conservative Legislation Killed by Straus’ Committee Chairs:
By Natalie Genco posted on Voices Empower
- Exempting school districts from certain state unfunded mandates, HB 458 by James White & Wayne Christian
- Requiring school districts to post their check registers online, HB1236 by Bill Zedler
- Requiring public universities to post their check registers online, HB 1237 by Bill Zedler
- Uncapping total number of charters given to schools by the SBOE, HB 1603 by Bill Zedler,
- Replacing longevity pay with merit pay for state employees, HB2954 by Erwin Cain
- 10% reduction on paperwork for state unfunded mandates on public schools, HB 3463 by Erwin Cain
- Spending limits, HB 756 by Ken Paxton
- Ending In-state tuition for illegal immigrants, HB 1387 by Erwin Cain
- Ending State Unfunded Mandates, HJR 46 by James White
- Prohibiting state or other political subdivisions from forcing you to buy health insurance, HJR 51 by Wayne Christian
- Prohibiting the state from punishing direct payment for healthcare or non-participation, HB 203 by Bryan Hughes
- Prohibiting hospitals from using tax dollars on abortions, HB 561 by Wayne Christian
Small Business Tax Relief
- Allowing businesses to subtract payments to contractors in addition to employee salary from their taxable margin of the franchise tax, HB 817 by Bryan Hughes and Dwayne Bohac
- Businesses posting a loss wouldn’t pay the franchise tax, HB 932 by Ken Paxton
- Requiring franchise tax increases to pass by 2/3 majority, HJR 25 by Ken Paxton
Relieving the tax burden
- Constitutional amendment requiring 2/3 majority to raise taxes, HJR 37 by Bryan Hughes et. al.
- Requiring a 4/5 vote by House of Representatives to raise taxes, HJR 124 by Jim Landtroop and Jodie Laubenberg
- Phases out property taxes for senior citizens by 2021, HB 1104 by Ken Paxton
- Requires all other taxing units to ratify a tax increase instead of relying petitions to rollback tax rates, HB 3186 by Ken Paxton
- Requiring a 2/3 vote to create an entity with taxing power, HJR 105 by Zedler
- TSA Groping bill, HB 1937 by David Simpson
- TSA Body Scanner bill, HB 1938 by David Simpson
Other important facts
- Joe Straus refuses to sign the Texas Budget Compact (Press Release, 4/16/2012, Statement on Texas Budget Compact)
- Refuses to sign the Taxpayer Pledge (www.taxpayerpledge.com)
- Despite a supermajority of Republicans, the House failed to pass spending limits.
- Straus told the El Paso Times “We have no choice… you can’t cut your way to prosperity,” This was also said by President Obama in a radio address in 2011
- Joe Straus’ Redistricting plan punished conservatives (RedState.com, 4/22/2011, Texas Redistricting Plan Punishes Texas Conservatives)
- Hispanic conservatives were drawn out of GOP-friendly House districts, including Raul Torres of Corpus Christi, Aaron Pena of Edinburg and Jose Aliseda.
- The first House redistricting map had 7 GOP vs. GOP incumbent pairings. This would ensure that we lose 7 GOP house members. It forces a Republican to run against another Republican instead of a Democrat.