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Saturday, January 27th 2007

What's The Point In Having Power If You Can't Use It To Crush Your Enemies?!

Tom Delay’s former man in Texas, is apparently laying the smack down. Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick, is seeking revenge on those who tried to deny him a new term as Speaker following in this new session (after November’s elections).

His main challenger as speaker, Waxahachie Republican Jim Pitts, was ousted from his chairmanship of the budget-writing Appropriations Committee and removed entirely from the powerful panel.

“In spite of his repeated assurances to members of the House and the public that there would be no retribution, it appears that the speaker has chosen retaliation over reconciliation,” Pitts said in a statement.

Since I’m sure you’re so up on Texas politics,

Craddick beat back a challenge from Pitts, his former lieutenant, on Jan. 9 as the legislative session opened. The long day of infighting ended with Pitts’ capitulating, having lost a decisive procedural vote. Craddick, R-Midland, was re-elected to a third term.

The procedural vote which was lost? A move to make the vote for Speaker by secret ballot, so that Craddick could not retaliate against those who voted against him.

In anycase, why would I post this (beyond just interest in my state’s politics) because Craddick, as Speaker, was instrumental in the famous Texas redistricting in 2003. The redistricting constructed the state’s congressional districts so that they strongly favored Republicans.

Of course Delay/Craddick’s redistricting efforts did not save my old representative, Henry Bonilla (R), as his district was the only one ruled to violate the Voting Rights Act by the Supreme Court. See the Election 2006 Open Thread.