Category Archives: Texas House of Representatives

Attorney General Greg Abbott Endorses Rep. Wayne Christian

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott recently endorsed conservative East Texas State Representative Wayne Christian for reelection to Texas House District 9.  AG Abbott stated that “Wayne is a proven conservative leader in the Texas House and he has always provided a clear, principled voice for the citizens of House District 9.  The Texas Legislature would not be the same without Wayne and I fully endorse him and his re-election campaign. Texas truly needs rural, conservative leaders like Wayne.”

Rep. Christian stated that “To have the endorsement of a true conservative champion who is currently leading the charge against ObamaCare and pushing back against Washington’s overreach is both humbling and encouraging.”

AG Abbott joins Comptroller Susan Combs as statewide Republican leaders who have officially thrown their support behind Rep. Christian.

AG Abbott also has endorsed Reps. J.M. Lozano, Bryan Hughes and Jim Landtroop.

More Republican SD & HD Primary Shakeups

Not to be out done by yesterdays news… more Republican primary election news breaks today.  Following Senator Shapiro’s announcement yesterday that she will not be running for reelection State Representative Ken Paxton and veteran Scott O’Grady announced they will seek the open Senate District 8 seat.

SD 8 makes up parts of Dallas and Collin Counties and is one of the fastest growing areas of the state.  Now the question is who will run for Paxton’s House Seat, HD 70, and who will jump into the open Texas House District 33 race that O’Grady is leaving to run for the Texas Senate.  HD 33 makes up all of Rockwall County and parts of Collin County

In Central Texas 15 year incumbent State Senator Steve Ogden announced that he will not be seeking reelection and freshman State Representative Larry Gonzales immediately announced that he will not be seeking Senator Ogden’s open seat and will be seeking reelection to his Texas House Seat in HD 52.

“I am blessed to represent Williamson County in House District 52, and my focus remains on serving our area in the Texas House while being the best father and husband I can be in my own house. I am making it clear that I will seek re-election in the new HD 52, and will serve the values of Williamson County voters as long as they allow me to represent them.”

While Gonzales closed the door to a Texas Senate bid, his fellow freshman Texas House colleague from the other side of Williamson County, Dr. Charles Schwertner jumped into the race with a large cash advantage over any potential challengers.

Campaign spokesman Keats Norfleet noted that Schwertner’s recent reelection kickoff for the Texas House was a resounding success, with over 500 attendees from around the district and over $100,000 raised for his campaign. “Rep. Schwertner will kick‐off this State Senate campaign with a broad base of popular support and over $300,000 cash on hand,” added Norfleet.

Will former State Representative Dan Gattis jump into the race like he was rumored to be planning on doing in 2010 when Senator Ogden was first expected to not run for reelection?

Rep. Gattis did not run for reelection in 2010 in HD 20 to prepare for his race for Senator Ogden’s soon to be open seat.  This allowed Dr. Schwertner to run for the open seat in HD 20 created by Rep. Gattis not running for reelection.  Now Schwertner maybe facing off with his predecessor for the open SD 5 seat.  You got to love local politics.

Senate District 5 includes Brazos, Freestone, Grimes, Leon, Limestone, Madison, Milam, Robertson, Walker and Williamson Counties.

Following Dr. Schwertner’s announcement freshman State Board of Education Member Marsha Farney announced she will enter the now open HD-20 race along with former Texas House candidate Jeff Fleece.

All in a days news in Texas politics, what dominoes will fall next?

Conservative Coalition President Endorses Governor Perry

Texas Conservative Coalition President State Rep. Wayne Christian has endorsed Governor Rick Perry for President.  Rep. Christian is one of the most conservative members of the Texas Legislature and has consistently been ranked as such by outside groups over his years in office.  This is no easy accomplishment in Texas.

In fact, this past legislative session, Rep. Christian was ranked the most conservative House member by the Texas Eagle Forum in their 2011 Conservative Legislator Rankings, receiving a score of 100%.

Below is the jump is Rep. Christian’s letter endorsing Governor Rick Perry, focusing in on Governor Perry’s character and leadership.

Continue reading

82nd #TxLege Fiscal Responsibility Index to Be Released Soon

Michael Quinn Sullivan’s Empower Texans will be releasing their 82nd Texas Legislative Session Fiscal Responsibility Index tonight.  Love it, or hate it, the Empower Texan’s score card along with other conservative group ratings like the Young Conservatives of Texas can make or break a close primary reelection campaign.

Overall the legislature as a whole received a 61.2% on the Fiscal Responsibility Index, Republicans averaged 81% while Democrats average 22.6%.  Stay tuned for the individual rankings.


Texas Tribune Tries to One Up Paul Burka’s Best and Worst Legislators List

Yesterday the Texas Tribune tried to one up Paul Burka’s infamous 10 Best and Worst Legislators List with their own version of it, “Inside Intelligence: The Best and Worst Were…

Texas Tribune’s attempt to one up Burka appears to have hit a nerve, Burka posted on his blog the following statement.

The main comment I would make about the Texas Tribune‘s Insiders’ list is that it doesn’t have any criteria. And I realize that’s not its purpose. This is really more like a vote for eighth grade president. The only criteria is who do we like and who don’t we like?

This was a pretty bold move by Texas Tribune considering that Texas Monthly teamed up with the Texas Tribune to join their series of “Trib Live” conversations to discuss Burka’s 10 Best and Worst Legislators list on Thursday morning follow the official release of the list Wedensday morning.

Love Burka and his list, or hate him and his list, the list will be for better or worse the talk of the capitol for the next week.  Burka will unveil his 10 Best and Worst Legislators list live on Texas Monthly’s twitter account, @texasmonthly,tomorrow, Wednesday, starting at 11:30 AM.  Don’t forget to follow the twitter hashtag #tmbestworst to join the conversation.

School Finance Plan Killed by Point of Order, Next Steps

Representative Wayne Christian released the following statement explaining how the school finance bill, SB 1581, was killed tonight and what the next steps are to make sure our public schools are adequately and equally funded.

Now that a budget agreement has been reached between the House and the Senate this is the last piece of the puzzle, to decided how the money that has been appropriated gets distributed to the schools.  This is not a Republican vs Democrat issue, more so a rural vs suburban vs urban, or rich vs poor issue that cuts across party lines.

Rep. Yvonne Davis called a point of order that killed SB 1581, the school finance vehicle.  A point of order is a technical violation of the House rules that the bill violates.

Now SB 1811 will become the new vehicle for the school finance plan.  SB 1811 has been passed out of the House and Senate and it is going to conference committee for both the chambers to work out the differences between the bills.  The conference committee members will ask their respective chambers to “go outside the bounds” in their conference committee report and add in a school finance plan.  This will require both chambers to vote on this request to go outside the bounds and approve the request.

This limits the input of members of the House and Senate who are not on the conference committee.  The House has not appointed its conference committee members yet, the Senate’s are below.  The House sponsor of SB 1811, Appropriations Chairman Jim Pitts, will appoint the House conference members, he will for sure be one of them.

Senate Conferees: Appointed (05/21/2011) Duncan (Chair) | Deuell | Patrick | West | Williams

It is yet to be determined what school finance plan (Eissler or Hochberg) will be considered and adopted in the conference committee.  Who the House conferees are (Eissler, Hochberg, or both?) will have a big determination on what school finance plan gets taken up.

Once approval is given to go outside the bounds and the conference committee adopts a school finance plan each chamber will vote the bill up or down without the chance to offer any amendments.

Like always, the situation is very fluid and something may have changed by morning, stay tuned for additional updates as the situation develops.

Noodling Bill Passes #TxLege

Today the Texas Senate debated and passed the “noodling” bill, HB 2189, that legalizes and regulates hand fishing for catfish in Texas.  The bill has all ready passed the Texas House, next step is for Governor Perry to sign it into law.


Currently it is illegal to noodle, or to hand-fish for catfish, in Texas and if you are caught noodling you can be fined $500.  With the final passage of HB 2189 you can legally noodle if you purchase a Texas freshwater fishing licenses and stamp.

To noodle, one uses their hands as bait for the catfish while wadding in a freshwater lake or stream.  The fish bites the bait, your hand, and then you pull the fish up on your hand.

Noodling can be summarized as a type of sport fishing that requires the fisher, called a noodler, to catch a catfish using a very unconventional way of fishing. This may sound relatively easy, find the catfish, and make some sort of contraption to catch the catfish, voila! The method of noodling is not as easy as it sounds. The first issue arises when we find out that the flathead catfish we are preying on tend to live in holes or underbrush in rivers and lakes. This requires the noodler to swim out into the water, whether it is only a few feet deep, or up to twenty feet deep, and find a hole where the flathead catfish is residing. Once the noodler finds the hole, he or she then put his or her hands into the dark hole to try and lure out a catfish. Now, the ‘contraption’ used to obtain the catfish is the most primal of all tools; the noodler rams their entire hand and forearm into the catfish’s gullet and pulls it from the hole.

The quote of the day goes to Senator Bob Deuell, the Senate  sponsor for the bill, “I personally don’t noodle, but I would defend to the death your right to do so.”

Not to be out done by the noddlers, monster hunters claimed that the chupacabra was recently sited outside of San Antonio, seriously.

Cockfighitng Bill Passes Texas House

In honor of Representative Wayne Christian’s HB 1043, the cockfighting bill, passing the Texas House on a voice vote I present to you Tom Russell performing “Gallo del Cielo.”

Cockfighting has been illegal in Texas for over one hundred years, while the supporting support industry has been not.  This bill just updates the law to make the actions supporting this illegal activity illegal as well, like hosting a cockfight, profiting at one and being a spectator at one.

This bill does not target legitimate raisers of game birds for show purposes, it actually gives show bird raisers a strong affirmative defense in the law, so it actually protects them more then the existing law.

ESPN Goes Undercover to Investigate Illegal Cockfighting In Texas

On Tuesday, May 10th, 2011 at 6:00 PM on ESPN’s award-winning newsmagazine program E:60 reporter Tom Rinaldi goes undercover to investigate cockfighting in Texas.

Representative Wayne Christian hosted ESPN’s award winning news magazine program E:60 as they investigated illegal cockfighting in Texas.

ESPN interviewed Rep. Christian about why he filed HB 1043 that targets illegal cockfighting in Texas.  Rep. Christian explained that he filed HB 1043 on behalf of Nacogdoches County Attorney John Fleming who highlighted that local law enforcement officials are having trouble prosecuting suspects associated with cockfighting because of major loopholes in the existing laws.

HB 1043 will close those loopholes by making the following a crime, participating in the earnings of or operating a facility used for cockfighting, using or permitting another to use property for cockfighting, manufacturing, buying, selling, possessing cockfighting equipment, owning, possessing or training a cock with the intent that it be used for cockfighting and attending as a spectator an exhibition of cockfighting

County Attorney John Fleming stated, “Cockfighting is an extreme form of animal cruelty and goes hand in hand with other crimes. Law enforcement officials nationwide have documented the strong connection between cockfighting and the large-scale manufacture and distribution of illegal drugs as well as the connection with other illegal activities.  HB 1043 will give our local law enforcement officials the tools they need to effectively shut down cock fighting operations in Texas.”

The Texas Poultry Federation supports HB 1043 in an effort to help protect the $4 billion economic impact and over 18,000 jobs that the poultry industry directly and indirectly creates in the State of Texas. The Texas Poultry Federation states that, “It is vital we work hard to pass HB 1043, to prevent birds coming from Mexico bringing unsafe diseases and effecting the people and the poultry industry of East Texas.”

SBOE Member Charlie Garza: An American Success Story

State Board of Education Member Charlie Garza is a living example of the American success story.  Charlie was one of many children in a poor south Texas family.

He rose to success through his faith, love of his family and hard work.  In his military career he gave President Ronald Reagan his daily classified intelligence briefings.  After a successful career in the military what did Charlie do?  He did not “sell out” and cash in on his high level access to administration officials and military training.  He went back home to south Texas to give back to his community and teach at a school that serves an impoverish community.

Charlie Garza goes through his life story with State Representative Wayne Christian in his latest Texas Legislative update video.