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November 16, 2023      5:35 PM

HK: Are the parliamentarians destabilizing the Texas House?

Speaker Phelan and the House face major incoming fire from the masters of disinformation. Republicans need the Speaker to protect the House but that’s not possible if the process is unreliable

On May 18, I wrote a column raising a red flag about what appeared to be a major abuse of the Texas House rules. It seems to still be happening.

Speakerships rise and fall based on even handed applications of the rules and member buy-in.

In 2007, Parliamentarians Denise Davis and Chris Griesel were ordered off the dais and escorted out of the building by the order of then-Speaker Tom Craddick because they refused to acquiesce on bending the rules to his satisfaction. Two hours later, they were replaced by former State Reps Terry Keel and Ron Wilson, who were there specifically to torque the rules on the Speaker’s behalf.

Two years later, a Republican Chairman revolt engineered replacing Speaker Craddick with Joe Straus.

The current issues may not be the same order of magnitude, but silencing your own team or any member who is participating in good faith goes against every tradition of the House and will not serve the Speaker well.

By Harvey Kronberg

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