Rep. Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, says he's got enough names to be the next House Speaker. (We have the list here and more stuff here and here.) Bloggers are also talking about the fall of Rep. Tom Craddick, R-Midland. There's more stuff on the House Speaker race in general and even a bit on unrelated matters, too.
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KVUE's Political Junkie shoots footage of Straus shortly after becoming the frontrunner for the speakership. And Straus sits down for a video interview and a podcast interview with Texas Politics, the Houston Chronicle's blog.
Off the Kuff is supporting Straus, and so is Rep.-elect Marisa Marquez, D-El Paso, according to the El Paso Times's Vaqueros & Wonkeros. Meanwhile, A Capitol Blog blogger Rep. Aaron Peña, D-Edinburg, calls Straus "a close friend" but doesn't say he'll be voting for him. (He's on Straus' list of supporters, published later.)
Another former Craddick Democrat, Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon of San Antonio, says she's backing Straus, according to Texas Politics. Rep. Dan Branch, R-Dallas, is with Straus, too, BurkaBlog says. And Junkie has video of Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, being coy about her speaker preference. But Dukes later tells Postcards from the Lege, the Austin American-Statesman's blog, that she's for Straus.
"He's from the Daddy Bush "elite" wing of the GOP," but is still better than Craddick, says Eye on Williamson. The Austin Chronicle's newsdesk talks with Rep. Tommy Merritt, R-Longview, and Rep. Pete Gallego, D-Alpine, about Straus and what they like about him. But Capitol Annex says, "Strauss [sic] as Speaker would be a complete and utter unmitigated disaster for Democrats."
Blue Dot Blues calls Straus a "Liberal Republican" for being pro-choice, pro-gambling and pro-spending, in their estimation. But Libertarian Republican says Straus is the "most libertarian" state representative. Straus himself tells Texas Politics, "I believe in the sanctity of life." And Annex relays an online "assault" on Straus by former Texas GOP vice chair David Barton.
Texas Politics looks at Straus' campaign finances, saying "there's a lot of lobby money in here." Musings digs up a bio of Straus from a (nonpolitical) speaker booking website. And Rep. Sid Miller, R-Stephenville, says Straus' list doesn't matter, and the race is wide open.
Headline of the Week award goes to A Capitol Blog for a post comprised entirely of this title: "The Next Speaker of the House - Rep. Joe Straus." The author, of course, is one of his supporters in the House.
Politex digs and finds Straus would not be the state's first Jewish speaker of the House, but he'd be the first Jewish speaker of the House since Texas became a state. David Kaufman was speaker of the House when Texas was a Republic and went on to serve in the U.S. Congress. He's got a city and a county named for him.
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Craddick's Last Dance
In a video taken by Junkie, Rep. Will Hartnett, R-Dallas, says the final blow to Craddick's reign was the withdrawal of support from so-called Craddick Ds. Hartnett says he and fellow former Craddick Republicans are now backing Rep. John Smithee, R-Amarillo. Rep. Dan Gattis, R-Georgetown, also says the defection of Craddick Democrats was the tipping point, according to Trail Blazers, the Dallas Morning News's blog. Postcards got a few seconds with Smithee and asked him some questions. (We spoke to Smithee here. And here's our report on Craddick dropping out of the speaker contest.)
Burka relays an email from a Republican informant describing Craddick as "worn out, tired, and despondent" in his last days as speaker. Craddick backer Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, slips up and tells PoliTex, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's blog, that Craddick had "50 to 53" votes. After being chastised, Chisum takes it back and says everyone supports Craddick except the ones who don't, according to Trail Blazers. [eds. note: If that seems like an old item, it's only because it's been a fast week.]
And Trail Blazers staked out the meeting of Craddick supporters Sunday night. The incumbent speaker showed up but managed to successfully avoid the scrum of reporters.
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Texas Watchdog profiles speaker candidates in an interactive map format. "The next speaker will be a Republican," Texas Politics says. Burka prognosticated before the weekend that the next speaker will be Gattis, Smithee or Rep. Burt Solomons, R-Carrollton. And here's a glossary of speaker's race acronyms by Junkie and a video primer by Empower Texans, via Trail Blazers.
Texas Politics chronicles efforts by Democrats to keep anti-Craddick pledge signers in line. Meanwhile, the El Paso Times's Vaqueros & Wonkeros posts on some minor conflicts among El Paso Dems.
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In Other News...
The Texas Progressive Alliance names a bunch of Texans as its Texan of the Year -- the Harris County Democratic Party Coordinated Campaign. Anti Corruption Republican writes about a case involving Christine DeLay, the wife of former U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay. And A Capitol Blog claims to be "the fifth longest running blog in this country by a state or federal legislator."
Eye on Williamson links to a state report on toll roads and a federal report on transportation infrastructure and says former Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle should run for governor.
Mike Falick's Blog links to several sites offering free college lectures. John Robert Behrman, a Democrat and an economist, makes "The Economic Case Against (and For) Nuclear Power in Texas" on Texas Kaos. Trail Blazers wonders why Gov. Rick Perry, who says he's not interested in federal politics, is making public statements on events in Gaza. And Old Soldier convinced his daughter to begin blogging.
Dos Centavos picks his top five posts of the year. The Houston Chronicle's Texas on the Potomac posts a variety of "top posts of the year" lists, including political cartoons, political videos, lists, posts and "Where are they now?" features. And here's the top 10 posts from Texas Watchdog.
This edition of Out There was compiled and written by Patrick Brendel, who hails from Victoria but is semi-settled in Austin. We cherry-pick the state's political blogs each week, looking for news, info, gossip, and new jokes. The opinions here belong (mostly) to the bloggers, and we're including their links so you can hunt them down if you wish. Our blogroll — the list of Texas blogs we watch — is on our links page, and if you know of a Texas political blog that ought to be on it, just shoot us a note. Please send comments, suggestions, gripes or retorts to Texas Weekly editor Ross Ramsey.