Thursday, January 08, 2009

Texas Speaker of the House Tom Craddick To Step Down

Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives Tom Craddick has said he would not run for the office in the new session of the state legislature. If there is one thing he can do it is count votes and they just aint there for him now! This is good news for Texas. Craddick's rule as the most powerful politician in the state has been arrogant, autocratic and straight from the playbooks of such disgraced Republicans as Tom Delay, Karl Rove and Dick Cheney.

Below is an article from AP about the situation. (The layout is a bit screwed up for reasons I just don't quite understand. It's my computer or Blogger, I just don't know.)

Texas House speaker said to throw in the towel

By APRIL CASTRO and JAY ROOT – 2 days ago

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick, the longest serving Republican in state elective office, has apparently given up his hard-fought bid for a fourth term in the post, leaving the door open for a rival Republican who is a relative newcomer.
Craddick aides and allies said Sunday the Midland oilman, the first Republican to lead the House since the Civil War era, told his supporters that he did not have enough votes among his fellow members to remain in the powerful job.
"I talked to the speaker. He has dropped his candidacy and released his pledges," Rep. Will Hartnett, a longtime Craddick supporter, said Sunday. "He just decided it was getting too tight."
Craddick's dwindling support became insurmountable as Rep. Joe Straus, gained
strength. Shortly before word of Craddick's surrender spread, Straus, R-San Antonio,
released a list of 85 pledges of support, more than enough to win the election on Jan. 13.
"It is time for a new tone and an atmosphere of trust in the Texas House of
Representatives," Straus said, upon announcing that he had secured enough support to
win the race. "Having received the commitment of a strong majority of my colleagues, it is my goal to restore civility, fairness and transparency to the House of Representatives and its public-policy making process."
Republicans hold a 76-74 majority in the House. The narrow partisan split and divided GOP loyalties mean House Democrats will play a decisive role. All but four House Democrats endorsed Straus.
Most Republicans threw their support behind veteran Amarillo Republican Rep. John
Smithee, who entered the race Sunday.
"We're going to need a little bit of help from a higher power and that's where we're
looking," Smithee said after members of the Republican caucus meeting Sunday night
voted to support him.
At a downtown Austin steakhouse, where Craddick addressed the House Republican
caucus, Craddick rushed through a throng of reporters to get into the restaurant.
Republican Rep. Leo Berman, of Tyler, said the caucus members were not deterred by
Straus' hefty list of supporters. He said they would start calling them to bring them to their side. Berman said he wasn't worried that they were already pledged to Straus because he said they had previously been pledged to Craddick.
Craddick has been a lightning rod of controversy in Austin. He famously faced down a
rebellion at the end of the 2007 session after replacing his rules advisers and claiming "absolute" authority to brush aside challenges to his rule.

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