Texas House Speaker Joe Straus soundly won his bid for re-election by crushing his tea-approved opponent, Matt Bebee.
Straus garnered 67% of the vote, according to the Texas Secretary of State official totals.
Charges of anti-Semitism marred the contest. The political forum Liberty Linked poured its effort into the race. Cathy Bean, whose Facebook page has said that she works for Liberty Linked, sponsored block walks in Straus’ District 121. The district runs from the center of San Antonio up through the old suburb of Alamo Heights to northeast Bexar County. Meanwhile, the forum board sported symbols of Latinos being beaten by Anglo armies. One member and “friend” of the board was using the handle “Nathan Forrest” which brings up images of Ku Klux Klan founder Nathan Bedford Forrest.
Locally, a less extreme political group, Voices Empower, aligned with Liberty Linked to oppose Straus. Alice Linahan leads that group.
The Conservative Election Alliance on Liberty Linked on Wednesday still displayed an image of Texans fighting Latinos. Aligned with the Conservative Election Alliance (CEA) are:
- North Texas Tea Party
- Collin County Conservative Republicans
- Golden Corridor Republican Women
- Plano Republican Women
- Frisco Tea Party
- African-American Republican Club
A few weeks ago, the CEA listed Amigos de Patriots, a Latino tea party group. When this blogger asked the founder of that group if she was indeed aligned with the CEA, she said she was shocked. She asked that her group’s name be removed. It was removed.
The Straus-Bebee race drew international attention, mainly due to the charges of anti-Semitism involved. The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and British-based Reuters wrote many articles on the race. As a result, Texas in general and North Texas in particular was painted with the extremist label.
Straus will have no Democrat challenger. He has support from the House Democrats. He is sure to repeat as Speaker of the House.
One issue Straus is sure to pursue is casino gambling for Texas. Straus’ minions will bill gambling as the “panacea” to cure Texas’ revenue shortfall. This blogger predicts that the gambling interests will claim that casinos will generate enough revenue to make up for the shortfall. Will casinos mean instant revenue? You decide.
Will the casinos be concentrated in the resort areas of South Padre Island, Galveston, existing horse racing venues, or inside Texas municipalities? Another possibility for a gambling mecca is the Texas side of Lake Texoma.