Folks, it's not over. Yesterday, Joe Straus and his team held a sham Republican caucus vote for Speaker. Instead of a secret ballot, as had been discussed, Straus lieutenant, state Representative Larry Taylor, called for a show of hands. 70 raised their hands. No vote was officially recorded, no one had to put their name on the line and according to Straus and his team, that was it.
Not so fast.
In a press release late yesterday, Paxton said, “On the eve of tomorrow’s official vote for Speaker, I’m proud to have the support of my good friend Warren Chisum. He has waged a valiant and principled fight with honor and distinction. Texans who provided us with our historic governing mandate should be embraced and welcomed into the process. They deserve openness and transparency - including a public vote - and that is why I will remain a candidate for Speaker on the floor of the Texas House.”
This is a move that will force a lot of Republican state reps who tried to hide behind closed doors yesterday to record a vote either for Joe Straus or for Ken Paxton in public, on the floor of the Texas House, this afternoon. Knowing that every Democrat (all 49 of them that are left) will vote for Straus, this is going to be an uphill climb for Ken Paxton.
Yet this is what the conservative movement needs-a leader who will fight even when the establishment does what it did yesterday. A lot of folks would have folded up their tents and gone home after yesterday's caucus "vote."
So keep an eye on Texas this afternoon. If nothing else, the 2012 primary season is going to start early for a lot of Republican state reps.