THE BIG CONVERSATION:
It wouldn't be a tsunami without a little aftershock.
And Tuesday's deep-red tide — which, defying even generous expectations for the GOP, swept 22 Republicans into the Texas House, handing them a 99-51 majority — left in its wake the rumblings of a potentially contentious fight for House speaker.
On Wednesday, incumbent Joe Straus claimed the support of 130 members, more than enough votes for re-election as speaker. But state Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, said he wasn't giving up the fight against Straus, whom he's attacked for working with Democrats. Chisum, pushing for more conservative legislation in the next session, said the House's Republican caucus should elect the speaker, and he cast doubt on Straus' number of pledges.
That conservative legislation, though, as the Tribune's Elise Hu reports today, could be both a blessing and a curse for the emboldened House Republicans, who may have an easier time, for instance, cutting education spending and social services but will receive the blame for any hard decisions.
They may have better luck with immigration, an issue that now has Democrats sweating. “What’s different next session is that this substantially larger majority of people who ran specifically on the [immigration] issue will want to satisfy their base. I think it’s coming," says state Rep. Rafael Anchia, D-Dallas. "I think it’s coming with a vengeance."
(Check out the House's fresh faces here.)
- With Gov. Rick Perry set to appear today on The Today Show, Fox and Friends and Glenn Beck's radio show to promote his new book, talk of the governor's possible presidential aspirations has never been louder. And, if you didn't already hear, that rumored Daily Show appearance? It's happening. Monday.
- Despite his resounding defeat Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Chet Edwards, like the governor, has observers wondering what's in store for his political future, with many looking to Kay Bailey Hutchison's U.S. Senate seat, for which she might not seek re-election in 2012. "I think my wife and sons would strangle me if I even talked about another race at this point," Edwards told the Trib's Morgan Smith on Wednesday.
- U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, the Minnesota Republican and Tea Party favorite, could be facing off against a Texas congressman, Jeb Hensarling of Dallas, for a leadership post in the U.S. House, in which Texas now stands to gain considerable influence after Tuesday's realignment.
- Houston voters nixed red-light cameras Tuesday, but recording will continue as the city looks to end its contract with the company operating the cameras. Meanwhile, in El Paso, a legal challenge could block the voter-approved initiative to revoke health benefits for domestic partners of city employees from taking effect.
"This has to be the best of the best. Never has there been such a rejection of a president's agenda. It's just amazing." — Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who's currently on trial for money laundering charges, on Tuesday's election results. He said Wednesday that he wished he was still in politics so he could have savored the Republican win, and he didn't miss the chance to zing his political oppoents, who suffered huge losses in the Texas House: "[Redistricting] ought to be easy this time. Let the Democrats run to Oklahoma. They're not needed for a quorum."
- 2 UTEP students slain in Juárez, El Paso Times
- Two Texas congressmen praised for leading GOP wave, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
- Democrats give Dallas County Commissioners Court a new, civil look and feel, The Dallas Morning News
- Collin County vote method under scrutiny after long delays at polls, The Dallas Morning News
- Texas Democratic Trust Fails to Reach Its Goals, The Texas Tribune
- On the TribCast this week: post-election analysis