Why We Cannot Support Warren Chisum nor David Dewhurst

May 31, 2012 by

by Donna Garner




Someone has asked me why we have chosen not to support Warren Chisum for Texas Railroad Commissioner (full term). He and Christi Craddick (our choice) are in a run-off on July 29, 2012.


The reason that we cannot support Warren Chisum is that at a critical time when we Texas conservatives were relying upon Chisum to stand firm, he not only caved but chose to support left-leaning Rep. Joe Straus, probably for personal gain.


Here is the story:



Because of the conservative tsunami in the elections of Nov. 2010, we Texans felt we deserved a conservative Speaker of the House. Rep. Joe Straus is not a conservative and never has been one in spite of his abilities to fool some conservative organizations.


In the summer of 2010, a well-respected and long-time conservative, Rep. Leo Berman, threw his hat in the ring early on to become the conservative Speaker of the Texas House.


Rep. Warren Chisum and Rep. Leo Berman had been long-time friends and had worked on bills together. When Chisum said that he wanted to be Speaker, Berman stepped aside.


On 11.3.10, Warren Chisum threw his hat in the ring for the Speakership:





Because we conservatives remembered Chisum’s courage in 1993 when he helped to pass the anti-sodomy laws in Texas making it illegal to engage in deviate sexual intercourse [anal and oral sex] with another individual of the same sex, we gladly supported Chisum for Speaker of the House.


We conservatives then set about building public support across the state and in the legislature to oust Joe Straus as Speaker and to replace him with Warren Chisum.


On Nov. 10, 2010, Rep. Ken Paxton, a particular favorite of the tea partiers, announced for the Speakership; suddenly we had two conservatives running for the position: Chisum and Paxton. The two legislators agreed that the House Republicans needed to caucus and choose the person who could best defeat Straus.


Rep. Joe Straus had given his fellow legislators tens of thousands of dollars in campaign donations in return for their signatures on a pledge card to support him as Speaker. For signing the card, the legislators were promised key seats as chairmen and as members of House committees.


Rep. Bryan Hughes courageously stepped forward and revealed that one of Joe Straus’ “lieutenants” had tried to intimidate Hughes by telling him that he would be redistricted out of a seat unless he supported Straus as Speaker.


[Update: Rep. Hughes chose not to support Straus as Speaker for the 82nd Legislative Session; and thankfully, Hughes won in this week’s primaries, 77.65%. He announced yesterday that he wants to unseat Straus as Speaker in the 83 Legislative Session.]


Meanwhile conservative support to oust Straus grew to the extent that he had to hire consultants Karen Hughes (who is now lobbying for the Turkish Gulen-Harmony Schools) and Gordon Johnson (a lobbyist for the Straus’ family-owned gambling interests in Retama Park and a person who is known for his strong-armed, political tactics).



Hughes and Johnson’s job was to silence through vilification those who were trying to oust Straus as Speaker and to intimidate the legislators who had signed Straus’ pledge card (for which they had received campaign funding from Straus).


I started building a “dump Straus as Speaker” list. Almost immediately an assault to vilify me was instigated, and misleading articles began appearing in the Austin American-Statesman.


To hurt my credibility in the area of Texas closer to our home, anti-Donna Garner articles started popping up in the Waco Tribune-Herald, and Rep. Sid Miller and Rep. Doc Anderson (both from this area) also sent their diatribes statewide. The widely circulated article signed by Rep. Doc Anderson was undoubtedly composed by his campaign consultant who was tied to Straus.



During that election cycle, Doc Anderson had taken almost $300,000 from Straus in exchange for signing the pledge card; and for that, Anderson did whatever Straus instructed him to do.


None of these unscrupulous tactics deterred me and the other conservatives who were determined to build support to oust Straus as Speaker.


On 12.10.10, Warren Chisum was interviewed and seemed to indicate that he was throwing his support to Ken Paxton; but then that story was retracted. Warren quickly published an article on 12.11.10 in which he said he was still in the race for the Speakership.


On 12.21.10, Chisum announced that he had the 10 signatures required to force Rep. Larry Taylor to call a Republican caucus to select a Speaker on Jan. 5, 2011.


Then came a time of intense efforts by conservatives to try to get each Republican House member to sign the “oust Straus as Speaker” list. The list grew. Leading up to the Jan. 5 caucus, we organized a large, vociferous, well-planned, grassroots rally of conservatives.


During this period of time, it looked as if Straus might even be indicted by the Travis County D. A.’s office because Rep. Leo Berman had filed criminal charges against Straus for allegedly using his money to buy votes; this is illegal. Such money is often referred to as “Title 15” money. Title 15 refers to the Election Code of the Texas Ethics Commission. If Straus had been convicted, he and all of the legislators who took the money could have been charged with a Class A misdemeanor. This would not have looked good to Texas voters.


Of course, nothing ever came of the indictments because Straus as a left-leaner himself is probably fairly closely aligned with the Democrat-heavy Travis County D. A.’s office.


Next is the saddest part of this story because it showed Rep. Warren Chisum’s lack of conservative principles. When Texans went to sleep on the night of 1.10.11, Warren Chisum was one of the candidates to be considered by the Republican Caucus as the new Speaker of the House. When we woke up the next day, Warren Chisum not only had pulled his name out of running for the Speakership but also had thrown his support behind Joe Straus!


What happened during that night from midnight until the next morning, only Warren Chisum and Joe Straus know for sure; but I would surmise that probably Straus said he would throw his support behind Warren Chisum to become the future Railroad Commissioner.


It is for this reason that we cannot find it in our hearts to support Rep. Warren Chisum in his run for the Railroad Commissioner (full term) and why we have been supporting Christi Craddick instead. Both Chisum and Craddick are now in a run-off for July 29, 2012.




To learn more details about Straus’s vindictive actions and those of the president of the Texas Senate, David Dewhurst, during the 82nd Legislative Session, please read my article entitled “Dilemma for Texas Voters” – written on 8.8.11 right after the 82nd Legislative Session ended and then republished on 4.27.12: http://libertylinked.com/posts/9808/dilemma-for-texas-voters—/View.aspx


My careful chronicling of the 82nd Legislative Session should be even more pertinent now since left-leaning (“moderate” as described by Texas newspapers) David Dewhurst is locked in a run-off with the authentic conservative in this U. S. Senate race, Ted Cruz.




Ted Cruz was mentored by highly respected Tex. Attorney General Gregg Abbott, and the two have successfully defended Texas values in landmark cases at the national level.


Cruz is an authority on U. S. Supreme Court litigation and is skilled in knowing how legally to defeat Obama and the overreaching laws that have been passed under his administration.


Cruz is exactly the type of skilled, conservative attorney whom it is going to take in the U. S. Senate to undo the wrongs that have been set in place under the Obama regime.


David Dewhurst is an arrogant, wealthy, left-leaning, self-seeking politician who, if allowed to go to Washington, D. C., would quickly become one of the elitist Beltway crowd; he is already “measuring the curtains” for his high-rolling plans. Dewhurst is just the type of politician who would sell out Texas conservative principles in a heartbeat.


Ted Cruz exemplifies the “hope and change” that Texans expect to see in our U. S. Senator. Think what a breath of fresh air (after Kay Bailey Hutchison) it would be to have a Texas Senator who is genuinely pro-life.


One of the best “recommendations” about Ted Cruz has come from NARAL who bitterly calls him “anti-choice.” This is what Ted Cruz boldly proclaimed when asked, “Are you pro-life?”


Absolutely and I have a proven record of fighting for Life. As the Solicitor General of Texas I led a coalition of states before the US Supreme Court defending the federal partial birth abortion ban act and we won 5-4.


I led another coalition of States before the Supreme Court defending the state of New Hampshire’s parental notification act and we won unanimously.


In Texas the state legislature passed a bill called the Rider 8 which prohibited tax payer funds from going to organizations that provide abortions. A federal district court struck that down, we appealed it to the US Court of Appeals. I personally argued the case before the US Court of Appeals and we won unanimously reinstating that law.

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