Tea Party Fires At Fox News Over Texas House Speaker Race

Racists! no that one won’t work. Homophobes! no that one doesn’t fit either. Anti-Semites! that’s it! Let’s call them anti-Semitic and we’ll make them all look crazy. Sorry RINO Joe, we’ve read that playbook too and the lame attempts to discredit the Tea Party are getting rather boring and transparent.
Texas House Speaker candidate Joe Straus is living up to his RINO (Republican in name only) reputation by breaking out the liberal playbook in an effort to diminish his detractors. Stories have surfaced that the Tea Party Movement is against Joe Straus because he is Jewish. Newspapers and local media outlets in Texas have been running the stories and now they have even reached Fox News. I did not personally see the story, so I’ll let you hear it from someone who did. The following letter was written to multiple personalities on Fox News by Dale Huls who sits on the Executive Board of the Clear Lake Tea Party.

Last night while watching Fox News, I saw a news banner being run at the bottom of the screen that addressed the Texas House Speaker’s race. The text of the banner made it appear that conservatives were objecting to the re-election of House Speaker Joe Straus because he was a Jew and the opposition was demanding a “Christian” conservative as Speaker.

This is extremely lazy reporting and would expect more out of Fox News. Speaker Straus’ Judaism was first brought out by allies of the Speaker in the local Texas press. These articles tried to portray the Texas Tea Parties, who at the time were the main organizations actively opposing the re-election of Straus as anti-Semitic. Now, where have we heard that before? This is the standard salvo aimed at tea parties which is to level charges of racism against tea party members. Whether Straus is a Republican rather than a Progressive makes no difference when the tea parties stand up to corruption and power. I have hundreds of emails from tea party leaders across the State and none of them reflect any anti-Semitic thought or bias. We didn’t even realize that the Speaker was Jewish before his allies tried to make an issue out of it!

However, I do admit that a few members have called for a “Christian” conservative to be elected as Speaker. But those few individuals were not making this a religious issue out of the race. This is how they talk. We do not censor these folks, they are entitled to their opinions and freedom of expression. However, had the Fox reporter done a thorough job of investigating the issue, he or she would have found no basis for the implied charge that was made last night. Unfortunately, had they dug a little deeper, they would have found that the real story is even better than just another charge of conservative racism.

The real story is that in the week that followed the mid-term elections, it was a done deal that Joe Straus would return as Speaker. Well, somebody forgot to tell the Texas Tea Parties! The Tea Parties have been promising its membership and politicians that starting November 3 we would be entering Phase 2 of our conservative tea party movement. The first issue that the Tea Party leadership across Texas coalesced around was the election of Speaker for the Texas House of Representatives.

Joe Straus, the current Speaker, engineered a coup against the last conservative Republican Speaker by getting 65 Democrats to support him and 11 other liberal Republicans in electing himself Speaker. He rewarded that democratic support with key committee assignments and significantly blocking the conservative agenda for items such as voter ID and State sovereignty bills. At the end of the 2009 legislative session, before the election of the new Republican Representatives, Straus had members sign pledge cards to support his Speakership in the 2011 session. Furthermore, Joe Straus took the position in the 2010 elections of not opposing ANY incumbent. This included Democrats that the Republicans were trying to unseat. In fact, he even actively campaigned for one Democrat during the election. The Speaker has used his position and dubious fund-raising sources to spread incredibly large amounts of campaign cash to his supporters, has promised desirable committee assignments, and used the threat of redistricting and retributive committee assignments to intimidate and threaten other State Representatives (refer Bryan Hughes ethics charges).

The Texas Tea Parties are not against a Jewish Speaker, we are against a corrupt Speaker. And we do not stand alone. A majority of Texas primary voters (89%) want a more conservative Speaker. Harris County, the largest voting County in Texas and third largest in the Nation, this week passed a Harris County Republican Party Executive Committee resolution calling for a Republican caucus to have Republicans only elect the next Speaker for their 99 to 51 majority by secret ballot and for Straus to release all previous pledges. Similar resolutions have been passed by the Johnson and Galveston County Republican Parties. Conservative watchdog groups like the Heritage Alliance and Empower Texas have weighed in to the race. Alternative media such as REDSTATE and the Resolute Media Group have been active in the discussion. No, the tea parties are not alone in opposing Straus for Speaker and it has nothing to do with his religion.

If you are truly interested in what the Tea Parties have been doing after the mid-term elections (at least in Texas), I ask you to send someone to investigate this race and do some honest reporting of the real situation. This is a battle over old school, good ol’ boy, establishment politics versus the politics of principle that the newly awakened citizenry is demanding. While the citizens of Texas may be voicing our direction to our Representatives, many are not listening, are avoiding the issue, or sitting on the fence seeing which way the wind will blow and come down on the winner’s side at the last minute. This is not acceptable. Tea Parties have promised that We the People will be heard and our representatives shall be brought to heel. Already, because of this race folks across Texas are starting to look for candidates to replace the ones we just got re-elected or in some case elected for the first time.

Dale Huls
Clear Lake Tea Party Executive Board

Be it Fox News or the New York Times, to lend credibility to the idea that the Tea Party is against Joe Straus because he is Jewish is beyond ridiculous. It is simply another attempt to paint the Tea Party movement into something it is not. I’ve been to many Tea Party rallies in the last two years and have seen lot of signs at these events. One of my favorites was, “It’s not the economy, stupid!” Well Joe, it’s not that you’re Jewish