Monday, December 10, 2012

Texas House Speaker Race

Rumble in the Capitol.  At first it was Bryan Hughes vs. Joe Straus.  Now it's David Simpson vs. Joe Straus.  Republican on Republican.  There can be only one.

Today State Rep. David Simpson (R-Longview) officially became a challenger to Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio).  First elected in 2010, he has been around for 1 Legislative Session, but has learned enough during that time to know how to be Speaker.

Who is David Simpson?  He was one of those Republicans who rode the 2010 Tea Party wave into elected office.  According to Simpson he got elected on the controversial platform of, "defending the Constitution, preserving our East Texas family values, and restoring government to its proper, limited role."  Somehow, that platform worked for him in a conservative, East Texas district.  Who would have thought?

He even includes a Statement of Faith on his website, because as you know, Christians are under such attack here in the State of Texas.  Since Republicans hold every statewide office, control the state legislature, and control the state courts, I'm not sure where the attack is coming from, but I'm sure there are some godless atheists somewhere that are hampering his ability to practice his faith.

He also has a habit of signing everything "For Texas and Liberty, David Simpson".  I guess just to remind everyone, if they hadn't already figured it out, that he really likes Texas and Liberty.  Personally I like to think Texas and Liberty were just what he named his 2 dogs.  This being East Texas, Texas and Liberty could be the names of his 2 six shooters.

When he filed, Simpson wrote an open letter to his fellow State Reps asking for their support.  Let's go through it, shall we.  My take in bold:

My fellow Representatives and Representatives-Elect,
(Gotta remember that them new yet not-sworn-in representatives get to vote)

For some time, I have been prompted and encouraged to run for Speaker. After much prayer, consideration, and counsel, I made the decision to enter the race and filed the requisite paperwork.
(God told me to run for President Speaker)

This is an invitation to transform the way the House is led and the spirit of its operations. I respect Speaker Straus as a fellow legislator who loves Texas and her people; however, we differ on the way the House should be led. And I am not alone in that opinion.
(Straus is a moderate/establishment Republican.  We need a crazy Tea Party Republican in charge)

The culture of ‘go along to get along’ politics, where members face intimidation and retribution should they disagree with a leadership decision, stifles representative government.
(We need the Tea Party way of doing things: My may or the underfunded highway)
This race centers on the principles by which we govern and serve the House. If given the responsibilities of this office, I will preside according to the first principles of integrity and I will honor the process.
(I will honor the integrity of the Tea Party)

The rules must be applied without disparity and not give way to the convenience of an individual political agenda. For some, the outcome justifies any means by which it is accomplished — even trampling the rights of others.
(It's not fair that a Republican Speaker is in charge with Democratic help.  We need a Republican Speaker who only listens to Republicans and tramples the rights of the Democrats.)

But, I believe that it is not enough to just do the right thing. We must do the right thing in the right way.We should enforce the rules for everyone without regard to party, personality, or seniority. Texas is blessed with a legislative process designed to help ensure limited government and minority rights. We should honor that tradition.
(Second verse, same as the first.  We need to do things the Tea Party way, regardless of what Tea Party group you're a member of.)

Furthermore, public trust in our government depends upon a transparent, accountable system. We should not require of others what we are unwilling to do ourselves. We should lead by example in things great and small and put substance over mere symbolism. Government of, by, and for the people should not seek to concentrate power but provide checks and balances that protect all.
(We need to get rid of government all together, but make sure that the people get to continually elect me to public office)

This is a better way. I invite you to join me in transforming the operations of the House, honoring our oaths to our Constitutions and representing our constituents.
(I love oaths and pledges, but not much more)

As Speaker this means I will treat all members with respect, and, through honoring the process of the House, give all opportunity to promote the ideas and legislation important to their districts and the state. I will endeavor to maintain good communication with members and their staff and assist in the legislative process. I will appoint members to committees and leadership positions based on knowledge, experience, skill, and desire — not partisanship or payback. I also will expect commitment to the golden rule, liberty, and the process.
(Joe Straus appointed too many Democrats to positions.  I will only appoint Tea Party Republicans in the leadership and as committee chairs regardless of whether they were elected in 2010 or 2012)

My own policy views are no secret to you; I believe in and will always work for limited government and the protection of civil liberties. But, this does not necessitate a strong-arm approach to leadership. In fact, it requires the opposite.
(If it isn't already clear, I'm a Tea Party Republican)

We seek the “free government” espoused in the Preamble of our Texas Constitution. So as I earnestly advocate for fiscal responsibility, limited government, and liberty, understand that I do so by employing reason, leading by example, and maintaining a fair administration of the rules.
(I only read the Preamble of the Texas Constitution.  Have you seen that thing? It's huge.  The Preamble is only 1 sentence and easy to get through)

Iron sharpens iron; we forge the best policy through vigorous debate. Therefore, I will listen to and learn from those with whom I disagree or who stand in opposition to my leadership. At the same time, I will insist upon the House’s constitutional role, rights, and privileges.
(We need a return to the days of Tom Craddick: iron-fisted rule)

We must seek solutions that make everyone better off and make tough choices to protect Texans and seek the higher ground of liberty and opportunity, which unites us.
(Just listen to me and we'll get along fine)

I invite you to join me in transforming the way the House operates. Now is the time to put the principles of liberty and open government above the politics of intimidation. This is the decision that we as Representatives can make.
(The Tea Party is quickly fading, we have to make sure we consolidate power now)

With these thoughts in mind, I respectfully request your consideration and prayers, and I ask for your support in the race for Speaker.
(Vote for me)

For Texas and Liberty,
(I love my dogs)

David Simpson

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