In a voice vote that took no longer than fifteen minutes, the Travis County GOP voted with well over 90% support to censure Texas House Speaker Joe Straus.
Patrick McGuinness, newly elected Executive Vice Chairman of the Travis GOP, spoke in favor of the measure to censure the Speaker. Joe Pojman, Executive Director for Texas Alliance for Life, a fake pro-life group that exists solely to provide political cover for Straus and his allies, predictably spoke up against the measure.
With the addition of Travis County, home of the city of Austin, the third largest city in Texas, nearly 50% of the state’s population is represented by counties whose GOP groups have decided to censure the Speaker, with many more expected to follow.
While the vote by the Travis County GOP is a referendum on the Speaker, it is also a referendum on State Rep. Paul Workman, a long-time ally of Straus, who faces an electoral battle against conservative challenger Jay Wiley. Workman is currently the only Republican representative from Travis County in the Texas Capitol.
Though many other counties across the state have taken steps to censure Speaker Straus, Travis County’s inclusion is a major development given its necessary inclusion of various political insiders and bureaucrats. Travis County’s rebuke truly underscores Straus’ complete alienation from the ideals of the Republican Party.
The most recent legislative session, including the additional special session, illustrated for Texans exactly how Straus governs on the issues important to Republicans in Texas, and how far his cronies in House leadership will go to defeat those conservative reforms. Republicans across the state are drawing a line in the sand, and quite possibly foreshadowing the upcoming primary elections.
As GOP county chapters across the state continue to pass these resolutions against the current leadership in the Texas House, those elected officials who have joined that cabal will continue to face tough questions from their constituents.