Did you know that for the last two years a Republican, with a 100% rating from the Texas chapter of NARAL, has served as Speaker of the House in Texas?
When a CatholicVote supporter from Texas brought this to my attention, I will be honest: I couldn’t believe it! But I looked it up and sure enough, Joe Straus has a 100% rating from NARAL Pro-Choice Texas. I wouldn’t be too surprised if I discovered this in Vermont, but Texas?? How did this happen?
Straus was able to get elected Speaker in January 2009 by getting 10 fellow Republicans to vote with a majority of the 74 Democrats in the House to vote him into the Speaker’s chair. And how did Strauss get so many votes from the minority party? Mark Jones blogging at the Baker Institute explains:
“The price he paid for this Democratic support was the distribution of key committee and leadership posts to Democrats, as well as the delegation of substantial control over the legislative agenda to the Democratic House leaders.”
Not surprisingly, Republicans were furious.
But now they have a chance to rectify this. Texas Republicans have expanded their majority to 99 seats to the Democrats 51. And in January, the election for Speaker comes up again. And some Republicans have already announced a challenge to Straus.
Republicans in Texas face a major test here. After all, the GOP made major gains in the Latino vote in Texas. Rick Perry was re-elected governor with 40% of the Latino vote. In addition, five Republican Latinos were elected to the State House and two Republican Latinos were elected to Congress.
It is precisely because of the Republican Party’s pro-life and pro-marriage platform that Latinos have begun to reconsider their allegiance to the Democratic Party. But re-electing a pro-abortion Republican to the top position in the Texas House would undermine that effort. The Texas GOP should jettison Straus from their leadership immediately.
If you live in Texas, you should call your state representative. The people of Texas elected a majority of pro-life state representatives. They deserve a pro-life Speaker.