Speaker Joe Straus – “The Texas Spooky Dude”?

Posted on July 15, 2011. Filed under: Conservative, Elections, Politics, Republican, Texas, Texas | Tags: , , , , , , |

People across Texas and the United States know the Straus family enterprises are focused on gambling.  There are as many people for gambling in Texas as there are against it.  The pros and cons of gambling are for another time and place.  There are far more important aspects to the role of this particular Speaker of the House in the Texas 82nd legislature.  Some of you are familiar with this information, while others are not.  Over the coming months, information will be shared that shine a light on the manipulations and machinations which occurred during this legislative session.

The Speaker of the House position is one of two key leadership positions in active legislative sessions of Texas.   This year was particularly challenging due to unfunded Federal Mandates, Redistricting Maps and a budget to balance for the biennium.  There was a shortfall in the revenue looming large. The question of the hour was whether there had been a miraculous move toward a more conservative leadership since the last session led by Speaker Straus in 2009. Sadly, this was not to be.

The battle to be “crowned” Speaker again, was contentious at best.  There was a challenge to his leadership by two strong conservatives.  They could not get enough votes challenge Mr. Straus.  Why?  Joe Straus had people sign “pledge cards” to indicate their vote of support for him in the elections.  His group of confidantes assisted by cajoling and coercing people to the inevitable conclusions of a pledge of support.   Why is this important now?   The story of this session and this Speaker begins with a brave Representative named Bryan Hughes who came forward with information about the whole intimidation process.  Did you hear the rest of the story, as the late Paul Harvey was so fond of saying in his broadcasts.

A June 2nd article by John Alaniz, revealed Speaker Straus and his crew made good on the redistricting threats to those who would not pledge their vote for the his re-election as Speaker.  In November of 2010, several months before the 2011 Texas Legislative Session began; Texas State Rep. Bryan Hughes issued a press release stating that he had withdrawn his support from Rep. Joe Straus as Speaker (Bryan Hughes Press Release, 11/2010).  Rep. Hughes explained a member of Straus’ leadership team had called and had “ brought up the subject of redistricting and explained to me how that process would be used to punish those members not on Speaker Straus’s list of supporters.”    There was an ethics investigation, which raises more alarm bells than brings resolution to the matter.  The chairman of the ethics committee gave Representative Hughes and Representative Phillips the option of whether to provide testimony under oath!  Representative Hughes voluntarily took the oath and gave his testimony. Representative Phillips who allegedly made these veiled threats on behalf of Straus, did not testify under oath.  This raises an important point. Perjury under oath could cause the loss of a license to practice law.

The Texas Tribune provided this golden nugget of testimony from Representative Phillips: “Representative Hughes statement is unequivocally false,” Phillips said in response. ”I did not tell Representative Hughes that maps were already being drawn to get rid of Representative-elect [Erwin] Cain or Representative Flynn. I also did not tell Representative Hughes that there was a plan to use redistricting to punish those who were not on Speaker Straus’ support list.”

The House map was finalized and signed into law.  The new map was exactly what Representative Hughes had indicated was in “the warning”.  The facts now vindicate the elected officials who earnestly tried to warn the people and the legislators of the power that was being wielded to re-elect Joe Straus. 

The House Redistricting map was a carefully orchestrated event, utilizing powerful lobbyists, legal resources, and some expert negotiation with various legislators.  The map that emerged as the winner, punished the strongest conservatives who had stood together to vote for an alternative leader of this session.   Somehow, it was voted through by the House legislators, despite what had been done to their colleagues.  Read what actually happened beginning with a point of order by Calendars Chairman Todd Hunter which was specific to this bill (this timetable forced work on Good Friday and the Easter Weekend): http://www.journals.house.state.tx.us/hjrnl/82r/pdf/82RDAY60FINAL.PDF#page=4

This map was expedited much like the notorious Obamacare, presenting many obstacles to people who would like to have a voice for their constituents.  Speaker Joe Straus presided over final proceedings for the House Bill.  Representative Hunter and Solomans indicated this was an “emergency” that must be finalized and moved to the Senate.  Who uses the same strategy in Washington that everything is a crisis and must be rushed through prior to people having input?   In the above link, please read through a few pages, when Representative Hunter (Calendars Chair), and Representative Solomons (Redistricting Chair) explain their rule which would cause Christians to be working on Good Friday and Easter Weekend to accommodate the point of order.

Redistricting maps are always difficult, is the mantra of every person in the House and Senate.   There is difficult, and there is contrived.  I draw your attention to a speech given by Representative Cain in the House Journal when this map (which punished those who opposed Straus) was coming up for the final vote:  http://www.journals.house.state.tx.us/hjrnl/82r/pdf/82RDAY64FINAL.PDF#page=37

The people of Texas got exactly what they feared with the re-election of Joe Straus. This session reflected a liberal leadership from day one.  Speaker Straus had a far reach and was able to “convince” many people to overlook things that were glaring throughout the session.  A conservative majority was elected, and great hopes were pinned on this session.  There were a limited number of conservative bills that were passed which kept the public from noticing many of the appalling decisions/actions in this session.   Think for a moment about what is being said by the politicians.  Over 10,000 bills were filed.  More than 1400 were passed, including resolutions.  Yet, the representatives boast about the same 5-6 bills in speeches across the state.  Odd.  Not to worry, over the coming months, many of the passed bills will be discussed with the public.  You may find it illuminating.  Texas may have a spooky dude…


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6 Responses to “Speaker Joe Straus – “The Texas Spooky Dude”?”

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If Joe Straus had been a man of honor and integrity last January, he would have: 1) fully respected the outcome of the Nov. 2, 2010, election that swept in a Republican super-majority…including a number of “TEA-party conservatives;” and, 2) respected his collegues in the House enough to allow them to represent the will of those who elected them. How, you ask? Simple, by permitting each of them to toss their pledge cards in the shredder without fear the retribution that they knew would came to pass if they lost. The 17 conservative Republicans who stood up against the Speaker may well pay a price due to his deliberately-adverse redistricting ploys; but I say that each of those representatives deserve our upmost respect for their courage…and our support for their re-election in 2012. Oh, and the Party needs to select and support a strong candidate to run against Joe Straus in the next Republican primary!

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[…] learning the truth of what has been happening in Texas you will want to keep up with a site called TexasFor56.com and follow what will be coming out over the next several months. In Texas the most important 2012 […]

REF: The Corrupt “Pledge Card” System
Sec. 302.034 PENALTY (Felony)

I am calling on ALL Texas House of Representatives (incumbents and challengers) to read the Texas Government Code, specifically those areas which address the duties and RESTRICTIONS of your activities.

The Rule of Law shall be applied to every Texan; elected officials and constituents alike.

Much drama was played out in the light of day leading up to and during the most recent 82nd Legislative session in Austin. This drama was openly demonstrated through the popular press, well known watch-dog groups, and through individual activist groups; all representing both conservative and liberal ideas. The drama was over the “Pledge Card” system, a.k.a. the good ole boy system of selecting the reportedly third most powerful position in Austin: the Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives (Joe Straus).

Let the light of day shine on this UN-reported fact:

A person commits an offense if, with the intent to influence a member of or candidate for the house of representatives in casting a vote for speaker of the house of representatives, the person:
promises or agrees to cause:
(1) (A) the appointment of a person to a chairmanship or vice-chairmanship of a house committee or subcommittee;
(B) the appointment of a person to a particular house committee or subcommittee, the Legislative Budget Board, the Texas Legislative Council, the Legislative Library Board, the Legislative Audit Committee, or any other position the speaker appoints;
(C) preferential treatment on any legislation or appropriation;
(D) the employment of a person; or
(E) economic benefit to a person; or
(2) threatens to cause:
(A) the failure to appoint a person to a chairmanship or vice-chairmanship of a house committee or subcommittee;
(B) the failure to appoint a person to a particular house committee or subcommittee, the Legislative Budget Board, the Texas Legislative Council, the Legislative Library Board, the Legislative Audit Committee, or any other position the speaker appoints;
(C) unfavorable treatment on any legislation or appropriation;
(D) the refusal of or removal from employment of a person; or
(E) the withholding of economic benefit from a person.

A member of or candidate for the house of representatives commits an offense if, on the representation or understanding that the member or candidate will cast a vote for a particular person for speaker of the house of representatives, the member or candidate solicits, accepts, or agrees to accept:
(1) the appointment of or refusal to appoint a person to a chairmanship or vice-chairmanship of a house committee or subcommittee;
(2) the appointment of or refusal to appoint a person to a particular house committee or subcommittee, the Legislative Budget Board, the Texas Legislative Council, the Legislative Library Board, the Legislative Audit Committee, or any other position the speaker appoints;
(3) preferential or unfavorable treatment on any legislation or appropriation;
(4) the employment of, refusal of employment of, or removal from employment of a person; or
(5) economic benefit to or withholding of economic benefit from a person.

Sec. 302.034. PENALTY.
An offense under this subchapter is a felony punishable by imprisonment for not less than two years nor more than five years.

I call upon every official incumbent office holder, challenger, activist and watchdog group, member of the media, and especially the Texas judicial system, to enforce the laws of Texas as written.

I call upon all the “lawyers” sitting in one of the 150 seats in our elected Texas House of Representatives to use your professional attributes to take pro-bono action and file the necessary legal complaints against those fellow elected House Reps that have violated the Texas Government Code 302.032 and 302.033, and enforce Texas Government Code 302.034 to prosecute the violators according to the same.

Texans elect 181 legislators, Governor, Lt. Governor, and State Attorney General, not mention the hundreds of judges from the county, state, district and the federal level to uphold the Rule of Law. While these officials pass legislation and rule on restricting most activity of Texans, these legislators MUST be held to the same level of accountability to the laws and Texas Government Code as their constituents.

Sections 302.032 – 302.034 have been part of Texas Government Code since Sept 1, 1985. Exactly when does the Legislature plan to follow the very rules that they themselves created?

Barbara Harless

42 / 150 House Reps are Lawyers (28%)

1.(R) Aliseda, Jose
(Aida Aliseda)
Attorney and Rancher University of Texas Austin –
B.A., J.D.

2.(D) Alonzo, Roberto
12/25/1956 Attorney BA, UT Austin
JD, Texas Southern University

3.(D) Anchia, Rafael
09/26/1968 Attorney BA, SMU
JD, Tulane Law

4.(R) Branch, Dan
03/05/1958 Attorney BA and BS, OCU

5.(R) Cain, Erwin
03/15/1960 Attorney/Businessman Kilgore Jr. College – Associate
Texas A&M Texarkana – B.A.
University of Arkansas – J.D.

6.(R) Carter, Stefani 02/15/1978 Attorney University of Texas Austin –
B.A., B.J.
Harvard – J.D., M.P.P.

7.(D) Castro, Joaquin 09/16/1974 Attorney BA, Stanford
JD, Harvard Law

8.(R) Creighton, Brandon
08/05/1970 Attorney and Developer BA, Government – UT Austin
JD, Oklahoma City University
School of Law

9.(R) Darby, Drew
02/22/1947 Attorney and
BBA and JD, Finance – UT

10.(R) Davis, Sarah
(Kent Adams)
05/18/1976 Attorney Baylor – BA
University of Houston – J.D.

11.(D) Deshotel, Joe
12/03/1951 Attorney and Contractor BS, Political Science – Lamar
JD, Texas Southern University

12.(D) Dutton, Jr., Harold 02/17/1945 Attorney BBA, Texas Southern University
JD, Thurgood Marshall School of

13.(D) Eiland, Craig
04/04/1962 Attorney BBA and JD, Baylor University

14.(D) Gallego, Pete
(Maria Elena Ramon)
12/02/1961 Attorney BA, Sul Ross State University
JD, UT Austin

15.(D) Gonzales, Veronica 06/19/1964 Attorney BA, Texas State University
JD, UT Austin

16.(D) Gonzalez, Naomi 06/04/1978 Attorney Our Lady of the Lake University
– B.B.A
St. Mary’s – J.D.

17.(D) Gutierrez, Roland
09/01/1970 Attorney BA, UT San Antonio
JD, St. Mary’s University School
of Law

18.(R) Hartnett, Will
06/03/1956 Attorney BA, Harvard University
JD, UT Austin

19.(D) Hernandez Luna, Ana
(Greg Luna)
08/25/1978 Attorney BA, Political Science/Psychology
JD, UT Austin

20.(R) Hughes, Bryan 07/21/1969 Attorney BBA, Economics – UT Tyler
JD, Baylor University

21.(R) Hunter, Todd
08/26/1953 Attorney BA, University of Kansas

22.(D) Johnson, Eric
10/10/1975 Attorney BA – Cum Laude, Harvard
MPA, Princeton University
JD, University of Pennsylvania

23.(R) King, Phil
02/29/1956 Attorney BA and MBA, Dallas Baptist
JD, Texas Weslyan University

24.(R) Kleinschmidt, Tim
11/15/1956 Attorney and Rancher BS, Texas A&M University
JD, Baylor University

25.(R) Lewis, Tryon
09/29/1947 Attorney BA, UT Austin
JD, Baylor University

26.(D) Lucio III, Eddie
12/19/1978 Attorney BBA and JD, UT Austin

27.(D) Martinez Fischer, Trey
06/05/1970 Attorney BA, UT San Antonio
MPA, Baruch College of Public
JD, UT Austin

28.(D) Muñoz, Jr., Sergio 03/05/1982 Attorney University of Texas-Austin, BBA
Texas Southern University-
Thurgood Marshall School of
Law, J.D.

29. (D) Naishtat, Elliott 02/15/1945 Attorney BA, Queens College, City
University of New York
MSSW and JD, UT Austin

30.(D) Oliveira, Rene 03/14/1955 Attorney BA and JD, UT Austin

31.(R) Paxton, Ken
12/23/1962 Attorney BA and MBA, Baylor University
JD, University of Virginia

32.(R) Peña, Aaron
06/08/1959 Attorney BA, UT Austin
JD, Texas Southern University

33.(R) Phillips, Larry
04/05/1966 Attorney BBA, Baylor University
JD, University of Houston

34.(R) Pitts, Jim 01/01/1947 Attorney BBA, MBA and JD, SMU

35.(R) Price, Four
(Karen Mayfield)
10/08/1967 Attorney University of Texas Austin –
B.B.A. Finance
St. Mary’s University – J.D.

36.(D) Reynolds, Ron
(Dr. Jonita Wallace Reynolds)
09/18/1973 Attorney Texas Southern University – B.S.
Texas Tech University – J.D.

37.(R) Sheets, Kenneth
11/06/1976 Attorney B.S., Political Science – U.T.
J.D. – Southern Methodist

38.(R) Smith, Todd
03/23/1963 Attorney BA, SMU
JD, UT Austin

39.(R) Smithee, John
09/07/1951 Attorney BBA, West Texas A&M
JD, Texas Tech University

40.(R) Solomons, Burt
10/31/1950 Attorney BA, Texas Tech University
JD, University of Tulsa

41.(D) Thompson, Senfronia 01/01/1939 Attorney BS, Biology – Texas Southern
M.Ed., Prairie View A&M
JD, Texas Southern University
LLM, University of Houston

42.(D) Turner, Sylvester 09/27/1954 Attorney BA, University of Houston
JD, Harvard Law

TX 82nd – Senate_ Lawyers 14 / 31 (46%)

1. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa
2. Jeff Wentworth
3. Chris Harris
4. John Whitmire
5. Joan Huffman
6. Carlos I. Uresti
7. Robert Duncan
8. Rodney Ellis
9. Craig Estes
10. Kirk Watson
11. Wendy Davis
12. Rodney Ellis
13. José Rodríguez
14. Royce West

Barbara, do you know if the Texas Attorney General would be authorized to file suit in this matter? If so, I know a LOT of people that would write him personally and request that he do so immediately..before it happens again in 2013.

Way back when all of this went down before the last legislative session, I made the statement that if Joe Straus had any personal integrity, he would have respected the results of the Nov., 2010, election by permitting each House member to vote the will of his/her constituents…by releasing ALL members from any pledge of support to anyone for the Speakership.

The legislative “results” of Straus’s failure to demonstate such integrity and his subsequent Chairmanship appointments to various important House Committees are obvious to everyone who was paying attention.


I’m not an attorney and do not have a strong knowledge of all the angles used in the corrupt judicial system but I feel sure that no one will have success in prosecuting those guilty of violating the Texas Government Code. Why? I don’t see any legislators taking action against their peers (good ole boy club – girls too). They are the ones with the evidence and without it there is no case. Even Rep. Ken Paxton (ran against Straus for the Speaker’s seat) is an attorney. I think we should start with him and ask him to use his expertise pro-bono (attorney) and evidence to file the proper charges against his peers that violate the very laws that they create; in 1985 in this instance. If the People file an action on this I can accurately predict that the courts will just exhaust the effort until the pockets of the People are empty. You see, the state has bottomless resources – the taxes paid by the People!

The short answer to your question; I think the Travis County DA’s office would be the place to start.

BUT, the better answer would be to join the newly forming Constitution Lobby in Texas. There are lobbyists for the “special interests”, for industries, and for corporations. Where is America’s Constitution Lobby? Who is lobbying for the U.S. Constitution, the Texas Constitution, and the hundreds of city charters?

Please look into the Constitution Lobby – http://www.GiveMeLiberty.org – click on CONSTITUTION LOBBY. I’m helping to start a CL in Texas. If you are interested in finding out more, please drop me a note at harless1@verizon.net .

“The People are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our Liberty.” – Thomas Jefferson

We are using Mahatma Gandhi’s 3 part formula:
1.) Pro-active participation
2.) Non-violent actions
3.) Critical mass movement

Our website is http://www.WeThePeopleOfTX.org

The DC legislature is comprised of similar percentages of lawyers:
35% of the House:

55% in the Senate:

Now couple that with the judicial being 100% lawyers AND a lawyer as POTUS – well do we wonder why there are not even any dotted lines between the 3 branches of government? Most of them went to the same law schools.
There are a lot of very nice people that practice law. I just don’t want anymore of them sitting in a legislative position. ….For fun, search “the original 13th Amendment”.

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