Joe Straus Vs. Stefani Carter

Stefani Carter is one of us. Joe Straus is not. As the race for Speaker of the Texas House heats up, Stefani now has to choose whether she will support a man who almost single-handedly blocked the people’s conservative mandate last sessions or whether she will honor her promises to us.

Throughout her campaign for Texas state representative, Stefani made clear that she is committed to same conservative principles that we are. She promised to work to create new jobs, be tough on crime, oppose more government spending, opposed tax increases, and protect the sanctity of human life. That’s why we elected her.

Joe Straus is not one of us. Throughout his entire tenure as speaker of the Texas House, he has consistently shown himself to be a political insider, not a man of principle. Straus rose to power in early 2009 through the support of house Democrats and a handful of liberal Republicans. Not surprisingly Straus immediately proceeded to appoint Democrats to 16 of the House’s 34 chairmanships—the most powerful positions in the House. Since then, Straus and his liberal colleagues have blocked Republican attempts to enact tax reform, voter ID, and pro-life measures.

Stefani vs. Straus

Let’s take a look at the promises Stefani has made during her campaign. Can she really honor her promises and still vote for Joe Straus?

Stefani promised to support voter ID in order to protect the integrity and reliability of our electoral process.[1] Joe Straus on the other hand deliberately appointed noted liberal Rep. Todd Smith to chair the House Committee on Elections where Smith prevented a highly popular voter ID reform bill from passing.

Stefani promised to be pro-life and protect the unborn. Joe Straus on the other hand was publicly thanked by Planned Parenthood for his efforts in the Texas House.

Stefani promised to oppose any tax increases, any time. In fact, she signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge and posted it on her website, signaling her commitment to remain accountable to her constituents for her votes on taxes. Joe Straus, however, is not opposed to new taxes. For instance, he has stated that he would be open to “indexing” the current gasoline tax. He has also quite noticeably refused to sign the Taxpayer Pledge.

Stefani ran as a conservative, and her life story makes abundantly clear that she is every inch the strong conservative she claims to be. Joe Straus? Not hardly. To begin with Joe Straus’ appointments in 2009 were “laden with liberals and moderates with conservatives left out in the cold.” Since then Straus has consistently prevented the passage of important, highly popular Republican legislation on voter ID, tax reform, and pro-life issues.

On November 2nd Speaker Joe Straus lost a number of his liberal committee chairs, but many still survived. “The twenty-two of his committee chairs who survived average a 54% on the Empower Texans Fiscal Responsibility Index for the 2009 session.” That’s even lower than the House average!

Shockingly, Joe Straus actually worked against a Republican victory this November. For example, he campaigned for Democrat Patrick Rose who was opposed by solid Republican candidate, Jason Isaac. Clearly Straus was more concerned about keeping his Democrat comrades in office than helping Republicans win! Whose side are you on, Mr. Straus?

Stefani’s Choice

It is clear—Joe Straus is not the kind of speaker Stefani promised to vote for. On almost every issue, Straus is on the wrong side. He is certainly unfit to lead the most conservative Texas House in history. If Stefani is going to stand by her conservative principles and keep her promises to us, she is going to have to vote against Joe Straus.

I was at the Dallas GOP election watch party when Stefani gave her acceptance speech, and I recall the passion on her face when she announced to the cheering crowd that she was going to Austin to represent our interests. Now she has a choice, will her first vote be cast for Joe Straus, or for us.

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