On August 31, 2012 I posted a blog about David Simpson running for Speaker. I believe I was one of the first people to make this observation. And I was right. (you can read the post here).
Today, almost a year later I am making another prediction on the Speaker’s position. I believe that Representative John Smithee is going to challenge Speaker Joe Straus for the position in the next legislative session.
Smithee was very vocal this past legislative session, or at least more so than he has been in the past, culminating in a speech on abortion in the final days of the second special session. Abortion has not been an issue you typically associate with Rep. Smithee but one that provokes emotion among Republican primary voters. Furthermore, Smithee represents Amarillo in the panhandle of Texas, which happens to be close to Tim Dunn’s hometown of Midland, Texas. As you know Mr. Dunn does not believe Joe Straus should be Speaker of the House and has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to defeat him.
And earlier this week I received an invitation to a fundraiser for Rep. Matt Schaefer, who is believed to have a credible opponent in the March primary (his local paper has savaged Matt for his inability to get anything done). The emcee of Matt’s fundraiser is none other than John Smithee of Amarillo. Also in attendance is Senator Ken Paxton who ran against Straus for the Speaker’s gavel and used that race as a springboard to his Senate position. (Ken is now running for Texas Attorney General having served less half of his Senate term). Paxton and Smithee will be joined by some of the most conservative Members of the House, who happen to hate Joe Straus and his leadership team.
Why would a State Rep from Amarillo go all the way to Tyler for a fundraiser with an unremarkable member such as Matt Schaefer? Politically it is a terrible idea, Matt voted against Joe Straus for Speaker and any hint of helping Matt will put you in the dog house with the Speaker and potentially hurt your fundraising ability. And Smithee brings nothing to the table for Matt, it is unlikely anyone from Tyler is going to come to the fundraiser just to see Smithee. As a matter of fact I suspect Smithee’s name ID in Tyler is less than .001%. So the only reason to attend it is to meet Jo Ann Flemming and the rest of the kooks in and around East Texas. (These are the same people trying to recruit Congressman Louie Gohmer to run against Senator John Cornyn. If you don’t know who Louie is look him up on Utube)
Mark my words – Smithee is at least contemplating a run for Speaker and has probably already made up his mind. Either that or he has lost all of his political instincts in his old age.
Text of Matt's Invitation:
An extraordinary number of Texas Legislators will gather in Tyler to affirm conservative principles and support my re-election effort.
Why? Liberty is being renewed in Texas, and these leaders are standing together. September 9th is an opportunity to join them.
The emcee will be Rep. John Smithee of Amarillo, who delivered an unforgettable pro-life speech during the debate on abortion legislation. He will lead the discussion among a powerful line-up of freshman and veteran Representatives, along with State Senator Ken Paxton.
Confirmed members of the Texas House of Representatives attending:
Brandon Creighton – Conroe Giovanni Capriglione - Southlake
Pat Fallon - Frisco James Frank - Wichita Falls
Craig Goldman - Ft. Worth Stephanie Klick - Ft. Worth
Matt Krause - Ft. Worth Jeff Leach - Plano
Rick Miller - Sugar Land Charles Perry - Lubbock
Scott Sanford - McKinney Ron Simmons - Carrollton
David Simpson - Longview John Smithee - Amarillo
Drew Springer - Muenster Jonathan Stickland - Bedford
Van Taylor - Plano Ed Thompson - Pearland
Steve Toth - The Woodlands
Tentative members of the Texas House of Representatives attending:
Dr. Greg Bonnen – Friendswood Scott Turner - Frisco
This is about more than money for campaign signs.This is about a larger role for Texans, and a smaller role for government. Come meet these God-fearing patriots with whom I am honored to serve!
* For more information about hosting a table please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Political Advertising Paid for by the Matt Schaefer Campaign