Speaking at a conference for proponents of cronyism, House Speaker Joe Straus derided the reforms championed by conservatives like Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

A left-leaning Austin gossip website devoted to protecting the Straus coalition of Democrats and liberal Republicans quoted Straus as describing conservative reforms as “side issues.” Straus went on to describe his interest in what the blog called “smart investment” — which is usually code for higher taxes and unreformed spending.

The kind of “side issues” derided by Straus can be found in what the Texas House under his speakership has refused to address:

  • Banning Sanctuary cities, which is polling over 50 percent in many areas;
  • State and local spending limits favored by 94 percent of primary voters;
  • Ethics reform promoted by Gov. Abbott;
  • Educational freedom measures found in the GOP platform; and,
  • Ending the government-union collusion, a priority for the Texas Republican party in 2015.

Straus and his coalition refused to include tax reduction in their budgets last year, and only did so after the Texas Senate led on the issue.

But, again, Straus considers all of those “side issues.”

It’s time for voters to sideline Straus and his cronies.

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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