TFN Insider has already reported about the religious campaign the far right has been waging against Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio. Now PolitiFact offers a clear example of how the religious right is also spreading distortions and falsehoods in the effort to replace Straus with another speaker far more likely to obey their commands on radical social policies. PolitiFact notes today that Texas Eagle Forum has claimed that Straus "was co-author of a bill that would have allowed Planned Parenthood to control public school sex education." But after looking at the public record, PolitiFact rates that claim as a "Pants on Fire" lie. Read More

That’s what one State Republican Executive Committee member says he — and, supposedly, other Texans — wants as the next Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives. The Texas Observer reports that SREC member John Cook said the following to another committee member in a Thursday (Nov. 30) e-mail:

“WE elected a house with Christian, conservative values. We now want a true Christian, conservative running it. This is not about Straus, this is about getting what the people want.”

The report about Cook’s e-mail comes as Christian-right pressure groups insist that they haven’t embarked on a religious crusade to replace current Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, a San Antonio Republican who is Jewish. (See here and here for more about that.)… Read More

by Dan Quinn

Has the religious right’s effort to topple Texas House Speaker Joe Straus become an anti-Semitic smear campaign? Quorum Report (subscription required) has now posted various e-mails from groups and individuals opposed to Straus, who is Jewish. Excerpts:

“Straus is going down in Jesus name.”

“[W]e finally found a Christian conservative who decided not to be pushed around by the Joe Straus thugs.”

Another e-mail calls for replacing Straus as House Speaker so

“…that our nation will again prosper and hold to values that the Christians and Republicans hold so dear in their souls.”

Peter Morrison, who writes a right-wing e-mail newsletter, has also joined the anti-Straus battalion in the increasingly vicious Republican civil war. As Kronberg reports, a Morrison e-mail last week said that Straus’ rabbi sits on a Planned Parenthood board and then pointed out that Straus’ opponents in the Speaker’s race “are Christians and true conservatives.”

Morrison’s e-mail didn’t surprise us. TFN Insider long ago reported about the race-baiting screeds found in “Morrison Report” e-mails. See here and here for samples. Kronberg reports that VDARE.com, which the Southern Poverty Law Center calls a “white nationalist” website, regularly posts… Read More

Harvey Kronberg of the Austin-based political news website Quorum Report says religious-right pressure groups are running a deceitful campaign in the contest among Republicans for Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives. Many religious-righters claim Speaker Joe Straus, a San Antonio Republican, hasn’t been conservative enough for them (a bogus charge, other Republicans say). And Kronberg reports that religious-right groups are using an especially offensive line of attack:

“Now, the so-called grassroots effort has crossed over the line with coordinated email and robocall [recorded phone messages] programs calling for a true Christian speaker. Straus is Jewish.

Republicans won an enormous victory on Election Day. How they govern themselves will tell us a lot about how they intend to govern the rest of us.”

Listen to Kronberg’s full commentary for Austin’s News 8 cable channel here.

Religious-right pressure groups want a speaker like Warren Chisum of Pampa or Ken Paxton of McKinney. Those two rigid ideologues are more likely to promote the right’s divisive “culture war” agenda — even if it distracts from the Legislature’s key task of closing a massive budget deficit that threatens to further damage the state’s economy.

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Battle lines are forming in the newest "culture war" flash point in Texas: the state House of Representatives. In fact, religious-right pressure groups are working furiously to replace Republican Joe Straus of San Antonio with a hard-right Speaker of the House. Each day brings a new attack in the far right's "scorched earth" strategy, with pressure groups denouncing Speaker Straus and his GOP supporters as "liberals" and "RINOs," or "Republicans in name only." Dave Welch, head of the far-right Texas Pastor Council, suggests that Straus stands in the way of "moral law." In an e-mail Monday, Welch even called on clergy to contact House members in opposition to Straus. On Tuesday the president of the anti-everything Texas Eagle Forum, Pat Carlson, sent an e-mail to far-right activists attacking Straus: "We must not allow him to be elected speaker again."…… Read More