Late last week, House Speaker Dade Phelan took the extraordinary step of forbidding State Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R-Arlington) from asking questions of the chair during legislative business. Phelan has never stripped Democrats of their ability to use parlimentary rules to suit their own purposes. In issuing his ruling, Phelan cited as precedent former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi using her authority to silence Republican members of Congress.

Yesterday, we asked readers if the speaker of the Texas House should be allowed to silence a lawmaker. Just

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Here is a sampling of the comments we received from our readers after they voted in the survey.


“Time for Phelan to be silenced!” – Arthur McLean 
    
“Phelan shouldn’t be allowed to do anything. He’s done enough damage. He needs to be removed.” – Mary Philio 
    
“Small minded tyrants like Phelan always shoot the messenger.” – Spencer Siino
   
“Tony Tenderholt IS my representative in the house. This is yet another retaliation against another official for going against him.” – Dianna Allen
   
“Not only being a cowardly act, silencing a fellow Republican using Nancy Pelosi’s acts as precedent removes all doubt about Mr. Phelan’s party loyalty—he is truly a Democrat.” – Arthur Potter
   
“When is Phelan going to be booted out of the legislature? He isn’t there for any constructive reasons!” – Ann Cole
   
“When I confronted my own representative last year about the issue of giving chairmanships to democrats, he responded that he and speaker Phelan didn’t want to follow the Washington DC model of partisan gridlock. Now, on this issue he wants to invoke Pelosi’s precedent. How desperate must one be to want to follow the example of Nancy Pelosi?” – Charlie Crowell
    
“How much longer will Texas voters put up with the actions of Phelan and others that go along with his actions?” – Carol Knight
    
“Phelan has silenced every voter in Texas by not putting the Texas House to work on the special session. Not only should he be fired, they need to dock the pay of every House member. A complete waste of tax payer money.” – Thomas Camardo
    
“Wondering why the Texas Lawmakers CANNOT seem to get rid of the Speaker of the House?  There seems to never be any consequences for any actions.  Where’s the TEETH? ” – Manuel Blanco
    
“It is very telling that Dade Phelan says he doesn’t want the Texas House run like the U.S. house when it benefits Democrats who want chairmanships, but he does want to run the Texas House like the U.S. House, when it comes to shutting up conservative Republicans.” – Erika Metzger
    
“Drunk Dade needs to resign. He is not an effective leader if all he can do in the special session is silence a duly elected representative. This just shows what lengths he’ll go to just to avoid passing Republican priorities.” – Rick Perry
    
“Phelan did not like the questions Tinderholt was going to ask, so he silenced him.” – Joy Kunkel
    
“The only boss these representatives should be worried about are the voters of their district.” – Steve Abernathy
    
“We need to remove Dade Phelan and replace him with a conservative speaker who respects the rights and values of Texas citizens.” – Sandra Crawford
    
“Call me crazy but didn’t he say in January he didn’t want the Texas House to be like Congress?  Up until now his defiance has been covert. Now he’s just moonin’ all of us.” – Rick Goncher
    
“By silencing Mr. Tenderholt, it makes one wonder what Phelan is afraid might be asked. Silencing a fellow legislator speaks volumes about his failure as Speaker of the House.” – Hamila Hobson
    
“(Rino) Phelan is using typical democrat tactics, silencing the opposition. Hopefully his district voters will silence his political career!” – David Roberts
    
“Phelan is power hungry and acting more and more like a dictator.  He needs to go!” – George McClure 
     
“Republicans still don’t get it A majority of Texas Republicans want Phelan gone and he’s still there! Why haven’t Republicans started removing him as Speaker?” – Judy Henson
    
“Democrat Dade does not want debate he only wants compliance.” – Jim Hughes
    
“Phelan continues to follow Pelosi’s despicable actions. His actions continue to show his contempt for the Republican Party and his Republican fellow House members. He is an embarrassment to Texas and I will certainly campaign against his return to the House.” – Pamela Millisor
    
“Phelan needs to be kicked out of office along with his minion lieutenants.” – Lane Burgess
     
“Phelan has no right to silence those with opposing views to his own. These communists tactics are merely confirmation that Phelan is a RINO and not working for the citizens of Texas.” – Steve Crevier

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