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Floor vote bluster

By Weston Hicks | 2 days ago

In case anyone has been thrown off by the “we want a floor vote so we can write down names” bluster coming from leadership, they want nothing to do with a floor vote. Their minions in the press doth protest too much.

On cue, Charlie Geren has offered a hilarious example of this dynamic.

Scott Turner yesterday wrote a letter to Straus and Geren propositioning them to write the Secretary of State together to declare intent to have a contested speaker vote. The Texas Constitution allows for a vote if three members make a request. The main thing to note about this move by Turner is that it is confident and progressive (in the good sense), what the kids call “baller”.

Looking, and probably feeling, shown up by Turner’s initiative, Geren claims to have already walked his own letter of intent over to the Secretary of State just that day. What a coincidence! The convenient thing about not having sent an email or snail mail is that there is no time stamp to test Geren’s claim.

This does not pass the smell test. It is a little like the party that just got dumped in a relationship claiming he had already decided to do the same thing. That kind of claim is always a little pathetic.

It highlights the insecurity of this leadership’s floor vote bluster. Why not just say yes to Turner’s request, whether or not Geren had already sent his own letter? Why scramble to make sure you look tough?

It is probably because leadership is acting tough with nothing to threaten with. They’ve shut previous opponents out of the session and primaried them, albeit unsuccessfully (while losing allies to primaries).

They are now, essentially, threatening to do the same thing while pretending to like the speaker vote they know is coming.

The speaker race floor vote has a history of hamstringing leadership in the session and sending a group of them home in the next primary. They want nothing more than to avoid it. Scott Turner has publicly committed to it, so this is how they have to sound now. Well done, Rep. Turner.