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November 20, 2022      5:15 PM

SB: A symbolic speaker race signaling the 2024 Texas GOP legislative primaries are already underway

There’s always a plot to take down a speaker, no matter who it is. This time the barbarians at the gate include the Republican Party of Texas going up against Speaker Phelan, who spent $5.6 million defending and expanding the Texas House GOP majority

After Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan drew a challenge from Rep. Tony Tinderholt, the Capitol was immediately abuzz about all the personal problems the challenger has had over the years including multiple marriages and various accusations. But that kind of dirt was previously litigated in Tinderholt’s elections for the Arlington House district he represents. It is the kind of sniping that political professionals should expect when a candidate with personal baggage throws his or her hat in the ring.

So, let’s get real about what this is really about: The 2024 GOP primaries.

Allied organizations including the Republican Party of Texas, Defend Texas Liberty PAC, Grassroots America We the People, Texas Scorecard (it’s just Empower Texans under a different name), and others are putting GOP members on notice that “Any GOP Rep. voting for Speaker Phelan next session is voting for Democrats being chairman.” Those are the words of former Rep. Jonathan Stickland, who runs Defend Texas Liberty PAC’s operations on behalf of West Texas megadonors Tim Dunn and Farris Wilks. Stickland added that there will be “accountability.”

For incoming freshmen and even sophomore Republican members, this might sound pretty threatening coming from groups willing and able to deploy millions of dollars against them in primaries. But this has happened before and there are lessons to be learned from those who came before you.

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By Scott Braddock

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November 20, 2022      4:56 PM

Virginia Carter, wife of former Rep Bill Carter passed away at age 88.

Much beloved, Virginia Carter was her own presence at the Capitol. Graveside service, Texas State Cemetary, November 22, 1 PM

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November 18, 2022      12:20 PM

People on the Move

New lobby shops, power players, staffer moves, and more

It’s all winding down before it all ramps up again.

The pre-filing of bills is underway, the final interim hearings of the year are being held, and fundraisers at the Austin Club and elsewhere – but mainly the Austin Club – have included many of you bumping into each other for the last time before the holidays. It was nice to see many of you this week in Dallas and H-Town, where I spoke to the Greater Houston Pachyderm Club. And Mr. Kronberg enjoyed speaking with many of you this week during the Professional Advocacy Association of Texas meeting.

Meantime, career news in Austin picked up a bit this week as more of you reveal your plans for session. The way to let the entire Texas Capitol community know what’s up is to send the news to ksbraddock@gmail.com. Use POTM in the subject line. Thanks so much.

Here’s the latest edition of People on the Move.

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By Scott Braddock

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November 18, 2022      12:00 PM

Video: Legislative priorities coming into focus including property taxes, immigration, and potentially recall elections of District Attorneys

Editor Scott Braddock on KSAT television in San Antonio describes the latest chatter about what GOP leadership will tackle in 2023

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November 17, 2022      4:19 PM

Gardner Pate officially appointed Chief of Staff to Abbott

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November 17, 2022      11:30 AM

Former Gov. Perry joins the push for legalized sports betting in Texas

Perry will be a spokesman for the Texas Sports Betting Alliance heading into the next legislative session, he announced this morning

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November 17, 2022      10:41 AM

GOP led State Board of Education votes to oppose school vouchers in upcoming session

In an 8 to 3 vote, the board “calls on the Texas Legislature to reject all attempts to divert public dollars away from public schools in the form of vouchers”

In a preliminary vote this week, the Republican led Texas State Board of Education of Education took the position that the Legislature should not approve a school voucher system in the 2023 session.

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By Scott Braddock

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November 16, 2022      3:53 PM

Representatives John Bucy, Gina Hinojosa, and Trey Martinez Fisher have filed to run for Texas House Democratic Caucus Chair

Rep. Gene Wu has filed for First Vice Chair, Rep. Nicole Collier for Second Vice Chair, and Rep. Lina Ortega for Treasurer

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November 15, 2022      4:38 PM

Full obituary for Harold Cook

The full obituary penned by veteran journalist Joe Holley can be downloaded here.

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November 15, 2022      10:57 AM

Following the lead of conservative activists and unsuccessful GOP primary challengers, Abbott declares invasion at the border

His executive order is here.

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November 14, 2022      5:06 PM

Let the games begin: Pre-filing of bills starts in Texas Legislature

Nearly 1,000 bills filed on first day ranging from property tax relief to gun reform laws

‘On the first day of pre-filing of bills for the 88h legislative session, legislators filed approximately 920 bills by 5 p.m.

While leadership priorities have not been set, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick set the first 30 bills aside and Speaker of the House Dade Phelan set 20 bills aside.

Based on both public announcements and chatter around the Capitol, priorities include announcements and conversations include property tax relief, immigration and border security and the creation of recall elections for district attorneys and judges.

Democrats dominated the first day of pre-filing, with election-year themes and previous pursuits dominating the list.

Here are some of the pre-filed bills promoted by legislators this afternoon.

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