Do They Know Something We Don't Know?

Four representatives have now filed papers to challenge Speaker Tom Craddick. Can he last the five day to Sine Die?

With four challenges and counting filed, Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick has officially become a marked man. Long held as a king-maker with a near bottomless war chest, Craddick could now become simply a stepping stone to the speaker's chair.

First Eastland Republican Rep. Jim Keffer said he had his eye on that gavel. Then yesterday Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, who launched an all-or-nothing (mostly nothing) challenge against Craddick at the beginning of the session, filed new paperwork for his new challenge, and the floodgates opened.

Last night, the normally low-profile Rep. Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, became a folk hero to the politerati when he took the fight to Tom. He made a personal-privilege speech that, in no uncertain terms, asked for Craddick to stand down. Well, we presume that was what he meant when he talked about "the consolidation of money, power, and influence" under Craddick's rule and said he would not yield to "tyranny, bullying, or threats."

Now it's reported that Reps. Fred Hill, R-Richardson, and Brian McCall, R-Plano, have filed papers with the House Ethics Committee as well. This raises an interesting question: If every member of the House files against Craddick, do they even need to bother with a no-confidence vote?

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

State Government, Legislature, Tom Craddick, Jim Pitts, Fred Hill, Jim Keffer

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