As the dust settles on Joe Straus’ tenure as Speaker of the Texas House, one thing is very clear: The grassroots were right about him all along.

Establishment forces within the state spent a decade trying to convince us of the conservative bona fides of Straus, who is a self-described moderate. But observing the company he is keeping post-speakership shows those voices were nothing but hot air.

The Center for Public Policy Priorities is a far-left think tank that seeks to impose anti-prosperity policies on the state of Texas. It is staffed head-to-toe with left wing activists, including alumni of Planned Parenthood, the Obama Administration, the ACLU, the City of Austin bureaucracy, and more. The first line of their CEO Ann Beeson’s bio says it all—“[Ann is] a renowned social justice lawyer.”

Surely an institution with such avowed left-wing credentials would be anathema to Texas’ longest-serving Republican speaker.

Well, no. Not only did one of Joe Straus’ top lieutenants, State Rep. Jim Keffer, join CPPP’s board after leaving office, but now Joe Straus is being awarded CPPP’s “Texas Legacy Award” for “his belief in data and facts, passion for public education, and commitment for civil discourse.”

To translate: “His total support of CPPP’s policy prescriptions, his service to the Educrat lobby, and his opposition to any conservative reform.”

Straus will join the ranks of notable leftists who have received the award. In just the last few years, recipients have included:

  • Cecilia Boone, the former chairman of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America
  • Senator Lloyd Bentsen, Michael Dukakis’ running mate
  • Ron Kirk, President Obama’s U.S. trade representative and John Cornyn’s opponent in 2002
  • Luci B.J. Turpin, President Lyndon Baines Johnson’s daughter
  • Henry Cisneros, President Bill Clinton’s disgraced HUD Secretary

Has CPPP taken a sharp right turn, or is Straus simply joining his true ideological bedfellows? The Texas grassroots know all too well the answer to that question.

Saurabh Sharma

Saurabh Sharma served as a Capitol Correspondent for Texas Scorecard. He was a Biochemistry and Government student at the University of Texas at Austin. He was also the State Chairman of Young Conservatives of Texas. In his free time, you can find him writing with fountain pens, learning graphic design, experimenting with unique nutrition regimens, and studying men’s fashion.