There are just some lists conservatives don’t want Texas to make. As the clock counted down on 2015, the conservative national news group Watchdog.org listed the 25 scariest people of the year.
At the top of that list was none other than the Republican Speaker of the Texas House, San Antonio’s Joe Straus. They noted his “bad governance and betrayal of conservative principles” for his inclusion on the list. (If your legislator is defending Straus, this is what they are defending…)
Despite Texas’ reputation as a red state, Straus fronts a powerful political machine blocking school choice, protecting public employee labor unions, and relegating conservatives to the back-benches.
There are a lot of things Texans want to be known for, but having a Republican leader who draws power from a left-wing base probably isn’t one of them.
Sadly, Straus wasn’t the only Texan on the list. Also included on the “annual parade of malfeasance and miscreants ” were the chancellor of the University of Texas, Bill McRaven, and Collin County District Judge Chris Oldner.
UT has been at the center of national controversy after financial corruption and an admissions scandal were uncovered (in which Straus was involved). As Watchdog reports, McRaven “formalized the corruption, making secret cash-for-admissions transactions actual university policy.”
Meanwhile, Oldner was singled out for his “dangerous absurdity.” Not something one wants in a judge. (Our own Tony McDonald has an extensive article about Oldner’s judicial abuses… and desires for higher office.)
For all that is right about Texas, we can never rest on our laurels or be satisfied with the status quo. That men like Straus, McRaven and Oldner hold power in the Lone Star State is a reminder of just how much more work each of us have to do.