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Video: Joe Straus Press Conference


by: Matt Glazer

Mon Jan 05, 2009 at 04:00 PM CST


It was a sea of people.  Capitol staffers, reporters, dozens of elected officials from both sides of the aisle, and a few tourist all mixed under the rotunda today.

Every balcony was full with camera flashes and inquisitive pointing.

I sat front and center among TV cameras from across the city and state.  Constantly bumped by paper media, citizen journalist and the unfortunate souls simply at the wrong place at the right time.

Because of the size, I broke the press conference into two parts-- Straus and Straus supporters.

The reality of it was that Straus spoke, his supporters from both sides of the aisle spoke, and then he took nearly 5 minutes of questions.  The Q&A was particularly interesting because Craddick has avoided cameras since November 2008.  Already we see a huge departure of access and transparency in the Speakers office.

Here are the videos:

Rep. Joe Straus and his Q&A

Rep. Straus Supporters-- Rep. Brian McCall, Rep. Senfronia Thompson, Rep. Dan Branch, Rep. Joaquin Castro, Rep. Byron Cook (3 Republicans, 2 Democrats; 3 urban areas, 1 suburban, 1 rural).

Straus has already announced 96 Representatives pledged to support him or roughly 2/3 of the entire House of Representatives.  One of the few names surprisingly missing is Rep. Frank Corte who also represents San Antonio. It seems Representative Corte would want a Speaker from San Antonio in order to better serve his district.

Recently Corte told Statesman Reporter Gardner Selby, "[Corte] remains a free agent in the House speaker's race despite a call fielded this morning from Rep. Joe Straus".

Regardless, expect the list of supporters to grow in the upcoming hours as the Straus team continues to make calls.

Of course, Elise Hu has some great photos of the event.

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Frank Corte (3.00 / 2)
Frank Corte is a FAR right idealogue- the most anti-woman man I've ever met. He thinks he knows what is good for us, and that we should just let him make our decisions. It is no wonder he's not thrilled to have a potential speaker who knows women can be trusted with our own bodies.

Kathi Thomas, SD 25

Call Your Rep, try and move if you can (0.00 / 0)
I just called Larry Taylor (my rep). Office says he is 100% for Smithee, I urged him to switch for Straus.

Hey, y'know they won't listen to us, but it's worth a shot.


You missed Mike V. (0.00 / 0)
One of the key supporters of Straus is Mike Villarreal who was most likely the one that helped broker this together. He and Joe are good friends and work together a lot on legislation. If you look at the still of the video you will see him prominently to Straus' right.

Regarding Corte as head of the R caucus I'm sure he's having a hard time on this one. He's pretty much a conservative R and is beholding to Craddick. There's probably a ton of pressure to make sure he supports Smithee. But, as you mention, he should be supportive of a Bexar County Speaker. He's got a tough decision to make now.


Thompson for Speaker Pro Tem? (0.00 / 0)
I would think that the speaker pro-tem would be a Democrat, but the Democrats he is closest with are from San Antonio, and I don't see San Antonio getting QUITE that much power that quickly; it simply wouldn't look good.

And I don't foresee Sly Turner remaining in that post, either.

"Let us tenderly and kindly cherish therefore, the means of knowledge. Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write."  -  John Adams


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