Oh, what a surprise — the liberal-dominated Texas House Select Committee on Federal Porkulus invited only big-spending grow-government shills to speak. How could that have happened? Oh, because Chairman Jim Dunnam is using his committee as a cheerleading ground for far-left activism, rather than good public policy. Speaker Straus should end this charade now.

For example, on Thursday the “committee” voted to overturn Gov. Rick Perry’s decision to reject Unemployment Insurance Fund monies from the feds.

What’s wrong with the committee vote? To start with, they hadn’t posted for a vote — Dunnam broke the law. Second, they had nothing to vote on, just a shrill partisan whine that, gosh darn it, Jim Dunnam and his Republican puppet Jim Pitts, really, really, really want Texas to have the same disastrous policies foist upon it that California has.

Another example is the video played at the hearing on Saturday. It was a campaign ad for the ongoing Obama campaign. George Orwell couldn’t have written a better script, observers tell me.

Finally is the appearance last week of “economist” Ray Perryman of Waco — a man who never seems to find a problem with government spending, especially when the monied interests paying his “fee” stand to benefit. It’s unclear which Democrat was paying Perryman to shill for the benefits of big government and radical debt. But back to Saturday’s hearing…

A huge number of folks turned out in opposition to the federal package — but the committee leadership had clearly stacked the deck against them. Only a few were able to withstand the partisan cheerleading session long enough to have their voice heard.

This select committee, the hearing, and the others planned around the state, is a sham, pure and simple. It’s just a new way to grow government, encumber future legislatures, and burden all Texans with debt and higher taxes.

It’s time for conservatives to demand that Speaker Joe Straus at a minimum strip Dunnan of his chairmanship. More appropriately, Straus should abolish the select committee altogether.

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and an Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, and think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, a son-in-law, and a dog. Michael is the author of three books, including "Reflections on Life and Liberty."