The Texas state legislator is full of good and decent Conservatives. However, there is one that stands out from the rest for posing as a conservative, but in reality, is one of the greatest opponents to conservative policies. House Speaker Joe Straus is known for his leftist ideas and policies, as well as receiving overwhelming support from leftist groups like Planned Parenthood. Let’s dive in to his past policies. Much of this information will be coming from empowertexans.com
Straus has an abysmal record when it comes to abortion. After his election as House Speaker, he told Texas Monthly that he supported Roe v Wade and that the pro-life movement is “campaign fodder” and not a serious political position. Texas Right to Life gives him a 50% rating when it comes to his pro-life legislation. However, in 2007, Naral Pro-Choice gave him a 100% rating when it came to pro-choice legislation. This is followed by the fact that Jeffrey Hons, the CEO of Planned Parenthood South Texas, acknowledged and thanked Straus for “His Tireless Effort.”
This followed by the fact the Straus received a $1,000 donation from Planned Parenthood of San Antonio and South-Central Texas in 2008. Straus also voted to expand a bill that allowed women to get a 3rd trimester abortion if the women’s life was in danger to allowing women to get the same late-term abortion if their child has any kind of birth defect. Texans should have some serious moral qualms with this and read about why fetus’ and special children have an equally valuable life here.
Stifling Conservative Reforms
Republicans have had a large majority in the Texas legislature for a while. However, they have had trouble passing many Conservative bill because Straus has actively stiffened them while promoting leftist policies. He called the TSA Anti-Groping Bill “Nothing more than an ill-advised publicity stunt.” In 2013, he presided over a legislative session that increased total spending by 26% over the previous biennium, including taking 4 billion from the states savings account.
In 2013, Straus pushed for the state to expand Medicare under Obamacare. He also allowed an amendment to pass that banned funding for any type of school choice program. Many Democrats support Straus because of his leftist policies. Joaquin Castro said that “She can’t think of a better person to lead us.” Furthermore, Forbes Magazine describes him as “The Harry Reid of Texas.”
All of this is not surprising when Ralph Sheffield, Chief Lieutenant of Straus, bragged to constituents in 2011 that Straus punished Conservative GOP members. During that same time, Straus was overseeing a budget meant to help Democrats beat Republicans.
Straus is definitely a fake conservative and more so than some of the more well-known ones. Whereas people like Jeff Flake may attack conservatives, he at least still votes with Republicans most of the time. However, Straus has repeatedly struck down many important conservative bills and actively works to support leftist agendas. He sneers at Republicans for being too Conservative and doesn’t look at the pro-life as a valid political position.
However, all is not bad. During the 2014 primaries, Straus lost five of his loyalist including one committee chair and two vice committee chairs. Furthermore, his favorite candidates running for lost. To add insult to injury, several of his loyalists retired from the house. While Conservatives have made progress on outing Straus loyalist, Texas won’t be able to implement a truly Conservative agenda until Straus himself is gone.