West Texas is alight with anticipation that House Speaker Tom Craddick is going to be debating his November democratic party challenger, former Midland city council member Bill Dingus. Should be a good show. You gotta feel sorry for poor Dingus; a Democratic Party spokesman admitted to the Midland newspaper that Craddick has “accomplished several things for the Permian Basin region.”

Craddick won’t ever be confused for the warm teddy bear the media bubbleheads love these days. He’s a West Texas businessman of the old school. He’s also one of the most effective leaders in the state.

Under Craddick’s leadership, the Texas’ outlandish tort laws were updated with a dose of commonsense, and he ensured a $10 billion budget shortfall was fixed through spending restraint. Lately, Craddick’s been on the front lines of pushing for stronger spending limits and fixing a broken property tax system.

Granted, it hasn’t all been rosy, and I’ve certainly had my disagreements with Speaker Craddick on a number of issues (like the new business tax and some local funding projects), but he’s the best House speaker Texas has had in decades, and one of the Legislature’s most solidly conservative members.

For his part, Dingus is babbling along about wanting to increase spending. Oddly, he also wants to blame Craddick for “bills that have yet to pass concerning immigration” — maybe Dingus should talk to the members of his party (and leftist “republicans” like Delwin Jones and Charlie Geren) who have thwarted such efforts. What a doofus.

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."


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