How many Speaker candidates does it take to screw-in a light bulb?
At least 14?
The legislative reality is that 150 House Representatives vote for the Speaker of the House, so how many candidates are needed? Apparently, no less than 14 candidates have “thrown their hats into the ring” for a shot at beating long-time incumbent Speaker Tom Craddick, who has shown consistently that he “eats” turncoat representatives “for breakfast”.
Talk about a “house divided”, the Texas House of Representatives has been in chaos for the past 6 years. Urgent issues have gone without real resolutions. “Tyrant” Craddick has ruled the House with an iron fist and has shown that he is a survivor against legislative wimps who remain afraid of him. If ever “mice” ruled in a house, it is in the Texas House.
What exactly are House Representatives afraid of? Some sort of retribution from Craddick? Being chosen to chair a committee on sump pump release methods?
A case in point is Democrat Rep. Ismael “Kino” Flores who stated once that Craddick’s reputation for strong-arm tactics could be undeserved, but he wasn’t about to test it. Said Flores, “If you don’t put him in a corner and if you don’t punch him, he’ll work with you,” Flores said. “Now, has anyone opposed him and survived? I don’t know. If you’re asking me if I’m going to take that chance, (the answer is) no.” Flores believes that in making the concession he has done 4 times by voting for Craddick he can get the money his district needs to make positive changes [http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/5548423.html] . In going against his own party, Flores has sold his soul to the Devil.
Apparently, too many House Representatives have forgotten that they work for the people of Texas and NOT House Speaker Tom Craddick. Despite the loss of memory, these same legislators are reelected each year by their constituents and then they vote to reelect Craddick as Speaker.
One thing is certain. If Craddick perseveres and is reelected by a majority of Representatives, the status of the house will remain as a “do-nothing” special interest collection of lost souls. The problem is that once again Texans and their families will NOT find any financial relief coming [e.g., high property taxes], nor any positive resolutions on decade old urgent issues [e.g., public school finance].
The only way to create positive change is for Representatives to vote-out Craddick and elect a leader who will move to bring House members together in the best interests of the community at-large. Will it happen? It’s doubtful, but stranger things have happened. Maybe we’ll get lucky this time.