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March 11, 2004

Tom Craddick on the Primary Results

By Byron LaMasters

Via the State House website:

It is well understood by members of this body that the leadership roles on legislative committees and boards must reflect the results of the elections. The rules that govern the House of Representatives were adopted to ensure that the work of these committees and boards is carried forward.

Filling these vacancies is a complicated process that involves balancing the already heavy workload of our members. We will be asking each of them to be prepared to make additional sacrifices and commitments as we fill these complex and important positions.

The reason for the vacancies are because of House rules that ban representatives from commitee memberships who have lost renomination. The Dallas Morning News reports:

Lame ducks are banned from committee memberships under House rules. Mr. Wilson was defeated by state Board of Education member Alma A. Allen.

His resulting, automatic removal from the chairmanship of the House Ways and Means committee – where all tax bills must originate – would normally have little impact, since the next regular session of the Legislature isn't until 2005, after he leaves office.

But with a special session on school finance expected, Mr. Craddick has lost the opportunity to have any tax rewrite he supports shepherded through a committee chaired by Mr. Wilson, a known, friendly Democrat.


Mr. Lewis, beaten by Marc Veasey, will lose his position as chairman of the County Affairs Committee, a high-profile post during regular legislative years.

The issue of lame-duck committee membership is not limited to Democrats. Rep. Arlene Wohlgemuth, R-Burleson, and Rep. Kenny Marchant, R-Coppell, are chairmen of key committees. They have opted to run for Congress and would have to be replaced in those seats, under the same House rule.

This certainly will add a twist to a special session if one occurs. In a twist of irony, however, it was Ron Wilson who made the lame-duck rule in the first place. The Austin American Statesman reports:

House Ways and Means Chairman Ron Wilson, long a master of House rules and how to use them, is about to fall victim to a new one he sponsored.

Tucked deep into the House rule book is a provision, adopted for the first time last year, that will force Wilson out as chairman of the committee that could play a crucial role in an anticipated spring special legislative session on public school finance.

The "vacancies on committees" section says a committee chair vacancy occurs if the chair "fails to be nominated or elected to the Legislature for the next term." The provision was approved at the behest of the House Conservative Coalition.

Wilson was the sponsor of the rules package.

What goes around, comes around.

Posted by Byron LaMasters at March 11, 2004 10:06 AM | TrackBack


In the words of Nelson Muntz, "Ha Ha!!"

Posted by: Matthew Saroff at March 11, 2004 01:59 PM

"What goes around, comes around."

I thought Republicans were the party of hate and vitriol. Guess you're all the same.

Posted by: Hate is Not a Family Value at March 11, 2004 02:00 PM

"What goes around comes around" - it wasn't meant as hateful, rather as ironic - that the man who sponsored a rule change for committee chairs ends up suffering from it. I don't hate Ron Wilson, or wish him any personal ill will, I just don't think that he deserves to call himself a Democrat after spending the entire session as a yes-man to Tom Craddick.

Posted by: Byron L at March 11, 2004 02:20 PM

So it would have been better if he had spent the entire session as a yes-man to Lloyd Doggett? Rodney Ellis? Garnet Coleman? I'm sure his soon-to-be former constituents are in a much better position with a new back bencher representing them instead of the Ways and Means Chairman. Then again, it's not about what's best for his constituents, it's about what's best for The Party.

Posted by: Hate is Not a Family Value at March 11, 2004 09:40 PM

The voters in Allen's district didn't live up to Hate...Value's standard of knowing what's best for them.

What a cruel world.

Posted by: citizen Able at March 12, 2004 03:21 PM
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