Republican lawmakers heading into the special session called by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott are facing what should be an easy choice: side with obstructionist House Speaker Joe Straus, or advance the agenda of the state GOP and their party’s governor.
Those same lawmakers should notice that even as Straus’ home county GOP was taking a vote of “no confidence” on his leadership and fidelity to the party platform, Gov. Abbott was raising more than $10 million pushing a conservative reform agenda.
That’s the reform agenda Straus compared to “horse manure” a few weeks ago.
Abbott now boasts a campaign war chest in excess of $40 million with no viable re-election opponent in sight. House members should be wondering how he might use some of that money should they decide to side with Straus.
If any are in a reflective mood, House Republicans might remember that Straus has spent extravagantly on campaigns… for himself. What he has not done is help even his own crony-lieutenants (just ask Doug Miller and Wayne Smith).
On public policy, the special session will give lawmakers plenty opportunities to buck Straus. And Abbott’s fundraising ups the ante.
UPDATE: At a policy event in Austin on Monday, Abbott said that he’ll be watching who opposes the conservative agenda. “No one gets to hide.”