Numerous reports came in last week and over the weekend from activists saying that the calcium-challenged supporters of Joe Straus — knowing their man has been categorically rejected by GOP and conservative activists around the state — are now actually telling constituents that there is “no sunlight” between Joe Straus and Rick Perry on the matter of whistleblowing UT regent Wallace Hall.

That might be funny… if it weren’t so disturbingly detached from reality.

While Gov. Perry has been steadfast in supporting Wallace Hall, the Straus Team has been using the full weight of the Texas House of Representatives to impugn Hall’s character and (attempt to) silence him.

Remember: it was Straus himself who impaneled the committee designed to attack and silence Hall… and records uncovered by Watchdog.org demonstrate that Straus’ cronies were the ones abusing their clout. Indeed, the closer people stand to Joe Straus, the more ethically challenged they tend to be.

(Meanwhile, Wallace Hall’s persistent dedication to uncovering abuse by the powerful and connected has earned him a top-10 finalist spot for the Dallas Morning News’ “Texan of the Year“.)

The most recent nonsense from Straus wing of the GOP is indicative of their “I hope no one is really paying attention because all the lobbyists tell me no one is” mindset. To suggest Straus has not been orchestrating the attacks on Hall is delusional at best and deceitful at worst.

Consider the simple question of whether or not Straus offered to make the whole investigation “go away” if Wallace Hall would just resign and stop asking questions (recounted here by Hall).

Perry’s Chief of Staff, Kathy Walt, has confirmed the story, on the record.

Straus’ office has ‘flatly denied‘ what Hall said and Walt told the press. The quote from Straus’ office: “Her story is untrue. No offer was made.”

Meanwhile, Perry himself says his staff’s report (and therefore Hall’s) is accurate.

(Indeed, the dispute on the matter between the Straus Team and Perry is so substantively great that even the Hall-hating, Perry-hating Austin American Statesman felt compelled to put it on the front page.)

So we have the NARAL-supported Speaker of the Texas House Joe Straus telling the Texas Tribune he doesn’t care if Wallace Hall “hangs from tree” and then offering to make the witch-hunt investigation he initiated “go away” if Hall would just resign. Sounds a lot like a protection racket to me.

For now, the sycophantic wing of the “conservative-when-convenient” caucus — wanting to keep their campaign coffers filled with lobby money — have taken to just flat-out denying the whole thing… let alone that it has been widely reported.

The degree of their self-delusion would be mildly humorous were it not so sadly destructive.

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, and a dog. Check out his podcast, Reflections on Life and Liberty.

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