► Should Rep. Joe Strauss be replaced as Speaker of the Texas House by Larry Taylor? Print E-mail
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Should Rep. Joe Strauss be replaced as Speaker of the Texas House by Larry Taylor?

It appears that some ultra-conservative members of the Texas State House of Representatives are looking to oust Rep. Joe Strauss of San Antonio as Speaker of the House.
Seemingly, Rep. Joe Strauss has failed to satisfy the Darjeeling Tea aficionados running amuck at the Texas Statehouse in Austin. A cursory review of Rep. Strauss’ campaign records shows that he has not received any contributions from Lipton or Celestial Seasonings in the past.
It is rumored that Rep. Larry Taylor from the Galveston County area has his sights on replacing Rep. Strauss.
I don’t personally know Rep. Strauss; however, a cursory review of his campaign expenditures and reimbursements from the State clearly indicates a high degree of ethics. In fact, a comparison of Joe’s conduct verses that of Rep. Taylor for 2009 is quite revealing.
Rep. Joe Strauss is one of the few legislators that did not pocket state per diem payments to cover apartment/condo costs In stark contrast, Rep. Taylor’s campaign paid almost $18,000 in 2009 for apartment rental at Gables at the Terrace for 12 months along with utility costs.
In 2009 Rep. Taylor was paid $30,970 by the state in per diem payments. The IRS considers per diem as costs incurred for lodging and/meals. Taylor’s campaign records prove that he never reimbursed his campaign for the $18,000 it paid for his lodging costs in 2009.
In my humble opinion it would be a monumental mistake if the Texas legislators voted to remove Rep. Joe Strauss. It would in fact be an even more monumental mistake if they were to elect Rep. Larry Taylor as the next Speaker of the House.
It would be frivolous to the nth degree for anyone to suggest that of the 150 state representatives in the legislature that Larry Taylor is the most qualified to assume the office of Speaker.
For those who would so argue would be akin to them supporting Nancy Pelosi as the speaker of the Texas State Senate! If that’s not good enough for y’all, then why not elect Rep. Joe Driver as the next Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives?
I’m hopeful that the legislators will do the right thing and retain Rep. Joe Strauss as speaker of the house given his unblemished record as an ethical public servant.

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