by Cahnman’s Musings
“A false witness will not go unpunished,
And he who speaks lies shall perish.”
Since that New Yorker article came out Monday, there’s been one sensationalistic quote from Joe Straus that’s been making the rounds:
On the Friday before the end of the session, Straus told me, Patrick sent two emissaries from the Senate to visit him at his office. (Patrick’s spokeswoman says that this is “not accurate.”) One of the senators carried an envelope that apparently contained the language of a bathroom bill that Patrick would accept. The senator, whose name Straus would not disclose, was a lawyer, and told Straus that the language had been carefully crafted to insure that the bill would override any local antidiscrimination ordinances. The senator started to open the envelope, but Straus said not to bother. “I’m not a lawyer, but I am a Texan,” he said. “I’m disgusted by all this. Tell the lieutenant governor I don’t want the suicide of a single Texan on my hands.”
As seen above, Patrick disputed the account in the article: Patrick also offered a longer dispute in a press statement released yesterday:
Republican Lt Gov. Dan Patrick has spearheaded the push for a North Carolina-style “bathroom bill” in Texas, and a spokeswoman said Monday he did not send any senators to Straus’ office. She said the bill has never been about discrimination and that if Straus’ comments were accurate, it would be “the latest of his reasons” for opposing the bill.
“The Lt. Governor hopes the Speaker did not make these comments. Obviously no one wants to see harm to anyone as a result of any legislation that is passed,” Patrick spokeswoman Sherry Sylvester said in an email to The Associated Press.
Obviously, none of us were in the room when this alleged exchange took place. So this is a he said/he said dispute with no witnesses. But consider this: Straus needs to shore up his Democrat support.
Consider this quote from Rafael Anchia following the passage of the Sanctuary cities bill:
Anchia didn’t name Straus, but he noted, “It’s the record of the House leadership.
Consider Anchia again discussing Team Straus’ failure on the sunset bill:
I don’t know. All I can tell you is that when I was on Sunset, every sunset was on Major State (Calendar). Period. Full stop. Even lowly little sunset bills that wouldn’t have impacted a lot of folks if they had gone away were on Major State.
You will recall Abel Herrero (D-Robstown) went to the back microphone making parliamentary inquiries, and he asked the speaker point-blank when the speaker was in the chair, “Why was this on Page 8 and not on Major State, and the Speaker simply pointed to the back of the hall and said, “You must ask the chairman of Calendars.”
And I don’t know if any of you had a chance to talk to the chairman of Calendars.
Furthermore, towards the end of the regular session, we had a few conversations with Democrat sources and they were none too happy with the performance of the Speaker’s team; in a chamber where it takes 76 signatures to vacate the chair, 5 to 7 Democrats defecting could be a game-changer.
But now Straus makes this hysterical comment about suicide, and all of a sudden the Democrats (both inside and outside the legislature) are back on board.
Bottom Line: We’ll never know, but Straus’ comments are awfully consistent with a politician looking to secure his left flank.
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