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Saturday, December 30, 2006

Craddick on the ropes as Texas House Speaker

Tom Craddick, (photo)
Texas Speaker of the House

By Lone Star Project

On the ropes as former allies turn away....

Reports that a coalition of Democratic and Republican State House members have been working behind the scenes to remove current Republican Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick (Quorum Report, December 23, 2006) are not surprising.

Upon his elevation to Speaker following the 2002 elections, Tom Craddick immediately charted a course characterized by brutal partisanship and mean spirited exchanges.

Now, four years later, key members of both parties in the Texas State House are looking for a replacement.

Craddick: Failed Political Leader Through a combination of blind partisanship best characterized by the DeLay-driven mid-decade redistricting and an inability to provide political cover - best illustrated by his allies regularly going down to defeat - Tom Craddick has proven to be a toxic political friend.

Craddick Allies Lose: Smart members don't get close to Tom Craddick. Since Craddick became Speaker in 2003, Republicans have lost a net seven seats in the State House. Even a number of Democrats who became part of Craddick’s team in return for Chairmanships or plum committee assignments have gone down to defeat in primary elections.

Craddick’s Majority Cut in Half: Even with George W. Bush on the ballot winning 60 percent of the popular vote in Texas, 3 GOP incumbent seats were lost in the 2004 elections. The 2004 election even saw Craddick's close ally Talmadge Heflin go down, giving the Democrats a net gain of one. (San Antonio Express-News, December 28, 2004)

In 2006, without Bush on the ballot, Craddick’s Republicans lost a net six seats and not a single Democratic seat was lost in the General Election.

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