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Fikac: Straus speaks up

Excerpt

The following is from the June 28, 2011, edition of The Houston Chronicle. SMU Political Science Professor Cal Jillson provided expertise for this story.

July 9, 2011

By PEGGY FIKAC
Copyright 2011 Houston Chronicle

After working all year to shepherd the House through political and policy minefields, House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, unloaded last week about a high-voltage measure Perry added to the special session agenda — a bill to restrict invasive airport security pat-downs.

Straus called the bill "a publicity stunt," an unusual public airing of differences with the governor. "This is the guy we thought had been elected speaker of the House three years ago - somebody who would actually try to cut through the silliness and do serious business," said Cal Jillson, SMU professor of political science.

"He's been AWOL most of the session." Jillson added that Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst "could have done this a month ago, rather than bobbing and weaving and worrying about Houston Sen. (Dan) Patrick," who's pushing the measure in the Senate and has suggested he may run for U.S. Senate, as Dewhurst also may do. "He could simply have said, as Straus did ... 'This is silliness. We've got serious business to take care of. We're not going to spend time on this.' I think he would have been in far better shape even with regard to Patrick had he done that."

Read the full story.

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