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September 14, 2019      10:42 PM

Amid concerns it was not really a secret ballot, Texas House GOP Caucus Chair Klick defends voting process for Vice Chair

Chair Klick pushes back against the idea that House leadership may have been watching how members voted and then pressured them to change their votes: “we cannot see how each member voted”

After complaints from some Republican Texas House members and staffers that the election of the GOP Caucus Vice Chair was not fair and may not have even featured anonymous voting – as required by the group’s bylaws – Chair Stephanie Klick on Saturday defended the process as secure and anonymous.

Speaker Dennis Bonnen’s preferred candidate, Rep. Jim Murphy, R-Houston, was announced as the winner Friday evening. He defeated Rep. Andy Murr, R-Kerrville, who had announced earlier in the week he had secured sufficient support to win.

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By Scott Braddock

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September 14, 2019      3:25 PM

SREC narrowly votes to reject calling on the Texas House GOP Caucus to endorse a new Republican speaker candidate

The key vote was 31 to 29

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September 13, 2019      6:37 PM

People on the Move

Appointments, staffer moves, and award winners

Hello from the road. Great to see you all at the Texas REALTORS® event in Fort Worth this afternoon. Tomorrow, it's the State Republican Executive Committee meeting back in Austin.

No rest for the weary around here.

Meantime, keep those career moves coming to ksbraddock@gmail.com and use POTM in the subject line. No gig is too big or too small to mention and it’s okay to brag when you win an award or are recognized in some other way. We’re all proud of you.

Here’s the latest edition of People on the Move:

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By Scott Braddock

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September 13, 2019      9:39 AM

Sen. Jose Rodriguez will not seek reelection

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September 12, 2019      6:40 PM

As candidate recruitment begins against at least one of the 10 X-Men, the Texas GOP set to consider asking Speaker Bonnen to resign

Some in West Texas suspect Chair Burrows is behind efforts to recruit a candidate against Rep. Lambert, but the operative who made the call denies Burrows’ involvement

Among those that have debated it, the only county GOP executive committee so far to reject calling on Speaker Dennis Bonnen to resign was the one in his own backyard. As the Brazoria County GOP was rejecting that very resolution Monday evening, the Wise County Republican Party was doing the opposite, joining the Denton, Polk, Nueces, and Montgomery County GOPs in declaring the scandal enveloping Speaker Bonnen and former House GOP Caucus Chairman Dustin Burrows is reason for them to step down.

Having lost the trust of the members, Rep. Burrows has resigned his leadership role and now some in West Texas believe he is behind efforts to forge ahead with the alleged plot by working through allies to recruit challengers for incumbents who voted “no” on the watered down “taxpayer-funded lobbying” ban that failed on the floor of the House this past session.

More on that in a moment.

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By Scott Braddock

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September 12, 2019      6:25 PM

Term limited out, Sen. Rodriguez to step down as Chair of Texas Senate Democratic Caucus at the end of the year

In January Sen. Alvarado will serve as Chair, Sen. Nathan Johnson will serve as the Vice Chair

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September 12, 2019      4:08 PM

Abbott finally picks up firearm measures in latest safety commission report

Includes prohibiting straw purchases, reporting of stolen firearms, and bolstering voluntary background checks when guns are sold to strangers

Universal background checks and red flag laws are missing, but it can finally be said: Gov. Greg Abbott has included firearms measures in a commission plan to address gun violence.

Firearms were missing from Abbott’s plan in the wake of the Santa Fe High School shooting. This post-Odessa and post-El Paso document – labeled the Texas Safety Action Plan – includes additional executive actions, as well as suggestions to strengthen communication and coordination.

"We must act with resolve in response to the despicable acts of violence we have witnessed in Texas," said Gov. Abbott.

Democrats, meanwhile, said the report included some good ideas but was also disappointing and does not go far enough.

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By Kimberly Reeves

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September 11, 2019      12:02 PM

Rep. Andy Murr confirms he has received enough votes to become Texas House GOP Caucus Vice Chair

Murr said he wouldn't comment further, other than confirming he has been in contact with a majority of the Caucus who said they had voted for him. The voting officially closes Friday. It would not be surprising if Speaker Bonnen congratulates Murr, but his preferred candidate is Rep. Jim Murphy, who defended the speaker after hearing the audio of the June 12 meeting with MQ Sullivan. Developing....

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September 11, 2019      11:16 AM

Dr. Harrison Keller appointed next commissioner of higher education

Per Kimberly Reeves: "Long-timers remember Harrison from his years as a K12 adviser at the Capitol"

Full announcement

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September 11, 2019      10:24 AM

Quinnipiac poll shows Trump underwater in Texas, Biden leading Dem field ahead of Houston debate

Warren closing the gap with the former VP, Beto at 16%, Castro at 3

Here are the results.

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September 11, 2019      10:07 AM

Braddock on radio: Lt. Gov. Patrick may be floating trial balloon for Trump on gun policy

Editor Scott Braddock and Chad Hasty discuss that and more on KFYO radio

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September 10, 2019      9:51 PM

Texas House officially kicks off redistricting work for the 2021 session

the state had grown 14 percent over the past decade, leading all states’ growth. Ultimately, Texas House members should be representing an average of 197,000 people

Chairman Phil King, R-Weatherford, kicked off the first 28 interim hearings for the Texas House Redistricting Committee this afternoon in Austin, noting that interim hearings were intended to get ahead of the data that won’t arrive in the state until late February or early March.

King and the committee were joined by a slew of Central Texas Democrats – plus Rep. Mary Gonzalez, D-El Paso -- on the dais. It remains to be seen whether that turnout from Democrats – plus 65 Austin-area speakers – is a foreshadowing of what may be ahead as Texas both adds three Congressional seats and heads toward majority-Hispanic status.

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By Kimberly Reeves

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September 10, 2019      4:58 PM

Five takeaways from county leaders

A quartet of county judges closed out the Texas Association of Counties legislative conference this past week with words of wisdom on tax caps, tax rates and more.

Here are five takeaways from Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales, DeWitt County Judge Daryl Fowler, Polk County Judge Sydney Murphy and Pecos County Judge Joe Schuster.

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By Kimberly Reeves

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September 9, 2019      10:34 PM

Strong at home: Brazoria County GOP rejects resolution condemning Speaker Bonnen

Vote was 23 to 9 as the GOP executive committee in Bonnen’s home county agreed with the argument that MQ Sullivan and Empower Texas should have to “do their own dirty work.”

ANGLETON – “Pray for Dennis Bonnen. That’s the best thing you can do,” said Brazoria County GOP Chairman Shayne Green after the executive committee he leads voted down a resolution calling on the scandal plagued Speaker of the Texas House to resign.

After a debate that was at times tense in a small unairconditioned room in the county courthouse annex, the Brazoria County GOP Executive Committee voted 23 to 9 to reject the resolution that read, in part, "Corruption and bribery within our state government shall not be condoned.” The rejected language then reads “we call for the immediate resignation of Speaker Dennis Bonnen.”

The debate was limited to about 20 minutes after Chairman Green said it would be possible for him to allow it to run as long as midnight.

Local Republicans were not in the mood for that.

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By Scott Braddock

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September 9, 2019      6:40 PM

Confirmed: Sen. Pat Fallon considering primary challenge of Sen. Cornyn

"It's not about me. We need a viable choice in November," Fallon said. As we understand it, Lt. Gov. Patrick called Fallon urging him not to run. Patrick reiterated his support of Sen. Cornyn, who also has the endorsement of President Trump.

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September 9, 2019      12:00 PM

ICYMI: This weekend, Chair Huberty said he will announce for reelection

"I’ll be announcing my campaign for re-election for TX #HD127 soon," Huberty tweeted on Saturday

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September 9, 2019      11:59 AM

Facing possible backlash in his home county, Brazoria Republicans to consider asking Speaker Bonnen to resign

“The Brazoria County GOP isn’t one of those ‘RINO hunting’ Republican parties….but this is a unique situation.” Some point to the fact that Empower Texans’ whole business model is based on violating Reagan’s 11th commandment

ANGLETON – One of the understood requirements for a presiding officer of the Texas House of Representatives is that they be politically rock solid in their district.

That’s been true for Speaker Dennis Bonnen, who for 18 years did not even face a primary challenge then defeated a GOP challenger handily in 2018. But now some local Republicans have serious questions about his June 12 meeting with Empower Texans spokesman Michael Quinn Sullivan, culminating in a debate set for tonight about whether to formally ask Bonnen to step down.

If that happens, the Brazoria County Republican Party would be following the lead of several other county GOP executive committees. But the result here could prove more significant given this is the community that’s been sending Bonnen to the Texas House for more than two decades.

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By Scott Braddock

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