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Joe Straus ~ “Abuse of Power” in the People’s House

Below is a “Letter to the Editor “– Abuse of Power in the People’s House was submitted by Billy Rowton on Temple , Texas.  The letter was created in collaboration with members of the Central Texas Tea Party. I was honored to speak to this group last week and I am so proud they are out fighting the good fight!! Thank you Central Texas Tea Party~ I have hope in Texas because of great patriots like you, I am honored to stand with you in this battle to save Texas!

The context of the video; prior to the 81st session, Rep. Ralph Sheffield made derogatory comments saying Straus did not represent the values of his Party Temple Daily Telegram. The video below was taken after the 82nd session and Sheffield states he mended the relationship with Straus during the 81nd session and pledged Straus at the end of the session. Then he inferred it resulted in the appointments of his choice for the 82nd session.

Couple that with his comments in Temple Daily Telegram July 31, 2011- quote: ‘ Sheffield said that those who voted against Straus didn’t get the committee placements they requested, but that such action by Straus, who assigns committee placements, isn’t punishment. “It’s just part of the process,” he said.  “You’re either going to be a player on the team or you’re going to be a renegade.” Conversely, Sheffield said that Straus “pretty much gave me exactly what I asked for in my committee picks…”


The peddling of influence to include giving campaign contributions and promises of power in return for support is not only disgraceful; it’s against the law in Texas.  So is the act of punishing legislators.  Speaking to civic groups, State Representative Ralph Sheffield has often talked about the inner workings of Austin not realizing he was confusing “abuse of power” for political savvy.  He told one group that Speaker Joe Straus punished “R’s” and “D’s”1 (Republicans and Democrats). Later he changed his story; “It’s not punishment; it’s just part of the process.”  

 This abuse of power stifles our ability to base legislation solely on merit.  The issue was significant enough for the Party Platform to call for representatives “to hold public town hall meetings in which the voters can express their wishes and thoughts about the leadership for the 83rd Session.”  This is in alignment with the “consent of the governed” appeal in our Declaration of Independence.  

 Recently, constituents in Ralph Sheffield’s district requested the town-hall meeting as specified by the platform, and they were met with an unconcerned politician beholden to Speaker Straus.  We shouldn’t be surprised by Sheffield’s rejection of his constituents.  Once money is accepted from the Speaker and choice committee assignments 3 have been received, one can only expect that cronyism would overpower principle.  

Abuse of power and unprincipled politicians are the greatest threat facing our nation and state.  The fast-approaching election of the next Texas Speaker of the House will speak volumes about how we stand in Texas.

Billy RowtonTemple, Texas 



Sec. 302.032.  LEGISLATIVE BRIBERY:  PROMISES OR THREATS.  A person commits an offense if, with the intent to influence a member of or candidate for the house of representatives in casting a vote for speaker of the house of representatives, the person:(1)  promises or agrees to cause:(A)  the appointment of a person to a chairmanship or vice-chairmanship of a house committee or subcommittee;(B)  the appointment of a person to a particular house committee or subcommittee, the Legislative Budget Board, the Texas Legislative Council, the Legislative Library Board, the Legislative Audit Committee, or any other position the speaker appoints;(C)  preferential treatment on any legislation or appropriation;(D)  the employment of a person;  or(E)  economic benefit to a person;  or(2)  threatens to cause:(A)  the failure to appoint a person to a chairmanship or vice-chairmanship of a house committee or subcommittee;(B)  the failure to appoint a person to a particular house committee or subcommittee, the Legislative Budget Board, the Texas Legislative Council, the Legislative Library Board, the Legislative Audit Committee, or any other position the speaker appoints;(C)  unfavorable treatment on any legislation or appropriation;(D)  the refusal of or removal from employment of a person;  or(E)  the withholding of economic benefit from a person.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

To all of those Freshman Conservatives who have been put in office by “We The People” ~ “Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.” 

Do not listen to weak Conservatives ~ STAND! 

Conservative Responsibility in Texas

To reinforce the message that electing a significant margin of conservative House representatives signals voter expectations of conservative House leadership, WomenOnTheWall.org has released Texas Speaker Showdown II – WE’RE BACK! video follow-up to the 2010 Speaker Showdown theme. “Conservative House Speaker Or Your Seat.”

If you are ready to take a stand call your State Representative today  Here is a list of them. Tell them to vote for the most Conservative Candidate in the Race for Speaker; David Simpson and then join us in Austin Jan. 7th and 8th.

Click Photo for more details.

Knowledge is Power and together we can make the difference!!

Alice Linahan

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2 Responses to “Joe Straus ~ “Abuse of Power” in the People’s House”

  1. The Opposition to Joe Straus Grows ~ Some Republicans are Caught~ | Voices Empower Says:

    […] The Central Texas Tea Party is taking action to expose the corruption in the Speakers race.   […]

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    […] Do you really know who your Texas State Rep really is or do you just know them by the rhetoric of… […]

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