Monday, January 10, 2011

Gonzales Supporting Warren Chisum for Texas House Speaker

House District 52 Representative-elect Larry Gonzales has announced his support for Rep. Warren Chisum of Pampa for Texas House Speaker. (see the text of his statement below.) Republican House members will caucus today to try to come to an agreement on a Speaker, and hopefully either Chisum or Paxton will come out on top. If not, we will have another two years with Moderate Republican Joe Straus at the helm.

As of this morning, it still appears that Straus has enough votes to retain the Speaker's gavel; and many of his supporters continue to denigrate the challengers. They are actually suggesting that Straus opponents have spread 'lies' about Straus and have violated Reagan's 11th Commandment: "Thou shalt not speak ill of any Republican."

As usual, the so-called Reagan's Eleventh is taken out of context to try to shut down the discussion. Reagan did not actually formulate the commandment (California GOP Chair Gaylord Parkinson did,) and Reagan quoted it to stave off attacks on Conservatives from liberal Republicans. Now however, it is typically used to try to stop the Conservatives, Tea Partiers and Libertarians from daring to question incumbent moderate Republicans. Reagan of course did not always apply the Eleventh, and was more than happy to debate policy differences with fellow Republicans.

Despite some inappropriate rhetoric on both sides, I assert that this discussion has been a good thing. We are not mindless party robots, but citizens who care very much about the future of our state and country. We need to engage in discussions about what it means to be Republican and what it means to be Conservative. If re-elected Joe Straus will have heard loud and clear that the grassroots are informed and watching to see if these guys are serious about the issues important to the people.

Thank you for contacting me about the race for Texas’ Speaker of the House. It has been about 9 weeks since Election Day and many, many events have transpired in that time.

As you know, my colleagues and I are scheduled to meet in a House Caucus tomorrow afternoon to discuss the Speaker’s race. I voted for a caucus because I wanted to hear every candidate for Speaker of the House to give me their best sell as to why they should be the one to lead us into the 2011 Legislative Session. I have made it known that I am also OK with that vote being public.

That said, there are a lot of questions surrounding tomorrow’s caucus procedures. It is unprecedented and the rules governing the caucus vote for Speaker do not exist. I agree there may be legal problems as we proceed in caucus; however, I want to caucus – even if a vote is non-biding - because I think as Republicans we should have this very important conversation.

Once in caucus, I intend to vote for my good friend and mentor, and EASILY the most proven, qualified, experienced, and conservative member running for Speaker, Rep. Warren Chisum from Pampa, Texas.

Warren is a true, proven conservative. He has been our champion of conservative ideals and principles in the Texas House since 1989. There is nobody with a better voting record of conservatism than Warren. He is proven on the very important issues of life, family, and issues fiscally and socially conservative.

Warren is experienced. In his 21 years, he has been trusted to serve as Chairman of multiple House committees, leading a strong, solidly conservative agenda. He has ALREADY done what so many others say they WILL do.

Warren is a leader. When the House gets in a bind, or an important piece of legislation is in a precarious position, we conservatives look to Warren for help and guidance. His leadership is so important to us on the House floor – and has been for over two decades.

Warren is respected. No matter who you ask, people will tell you they respect Warren Chisum. His passion and enthusiasm and commitment to the issues he (we) feels are important are admirable. Members may disagree with Warren, but they all respect him. He’s honest, trustworthy, and treats people with the upmost respect, and in return, they treat him the very same way.

There is not a doubt in my mind that Rep. Warren Chisum is the best person to lead us into the 2011 Legislative Session. He is someone we can rally behind and we can feel confident our conservative agenda will have his full attention.

For those who have asked about Rep. Ken Paxton, I offer you this – I know Ken, and he’s a nice guy who votes correctly, I’ll proudly give him that, but that’s all he brings to the table.

Again, thank you for the email. I look forward to serving you in the Texas Legislature.


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