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“ov’t F”WP:WES5.PialletieteXCIS.0011111 POSIJIT GROWNUP GIFTS FOR KIDS OF ALL AGES NEW STORE NORTH SOUTH RESEARCH E. RIVERSIDE STASSNEY 832-8544 443-2292 502-9323 441-5555 707-9069 NEW STORE!! SAN MARCOS 512 392-4596 SAN ANTONIO NEW STORE EAST CENTRAL EVERS MILITARY WEST AVE 654-8536 822-7767 521-5213 333-3043 525-0708 NEW STORE! IN AUSTIN CESAR CRAM 31113. out OilIVII \(Eva 0 Mama Val* 247-2222 Ruin Hain International Headquarters Come Visit us for LUNCH! M addition to our organic coffee, pizzas, empanadas, pastries and pies, we now prepare made to order sandwiches, salads, and even black bean gazpacho. 3601 S. Congress off E. Alpine Penn Field under the water tower check our site for oleoth’y za endor li Craddick often talked about changing his governing style, but never actually altered his ways. It wouldn’t have required mucha gentler hand at certain times, delegating some power, listening to his colleaguesto remain speaker. The enduring question is, why didn’t he make those changes? watching Joe Straus being sworn in as his successor up on the speaker’s dais. Craddick had withdrawn from the speaker’s race in early January after a group of 70 Democrats and 15 rebellious Republicans announced their support for Straus, a San Antonio Republican, ensuring him enough votes to win. Straus is a young moderate who had pitched himself to colleagues as a bipartisan consensus-builder. In other words, the anti-Craddick. As a politician, Craddick is remarkably straightforward. There was never confusion about his strategy or his goalsno subterfuge or head fakes. He knew what he wanted. If you stood in the way, he would marshal his power and resources, lower his shoulder and plow straight ahead. No deals, no compromises. If you wanted to stop him, you had to respond with equal or greater force. It was a style that worked well in Craddick’s rise to power. He entered the House in 1969 at age 25 as one of just eight Republicans and, during the next three decades, helped lead the Texas GOP out of the political wilderness. In 2003, he became the first Republican speaker of the Texas House in more than 130 years. But there was a limit to how long Craddick could treat people in such an uncompromising way and maintain his hold on power. After alienating Democrats with his rejection of Gallego at the beginning of 2005, Craddick estranged moderate members of his own party a few months later. On May 23, 2005, he tried to force through the House a controversial proposal to launch a school voucher pilot program. Vouchers are the pet issue of Dr. James Leininger, a major Republican campaign contributor and Craddick benefactor. Many Democrats and rural Republicans opposed the voucher bill and didn’t even want to debate it. The speaker not only brought the bill to the floor anyway, but dragged uncooperative Republicans into his back office to twist their arms into voting his way. It didn’t work. That night, for the first time in his speakership, Craddick lost a major vote. In the next round of primary elections in 2006, Leiningerwith Craddick’s backingwent after the dissenters. They spent millions to defeat five incumbent Republicans who had opposed the voucher bill. Two lost their seats. “If you’re trying to build a House of collegiality and when you’re trying to minimize division, I don’t think it’s ever good to go after incumbents. When you do it, you also have to accept the risk when you fair says Rep. Sylvester Turner, a Houston Democrat who crossed over to support the speaker. The leader of the so-called Craddick Dsthe dozen or so Democrats on the leadership teamTurner served as the speaker pro-tem during Craddick’s six years in power. When the next Legislature convenedin January 2007the level of hostility in the chamber had only increased. Craddick had to fend off several opponents to barely win reelection as speaker. About a dozen Republicans were in open revolt. The challenges to his authority came almost daily. It culminated on the final weekend of the 2007 session when an effort to remove Craddick from the speaker’s chair paralyzed the House. Had it come to a vote, Craddick likely would have been stripped of the gavel. Instead, he asserted absolute control of the chamber and, in an effort to forestall a vote, refused to recognize anyone for parliamentary motions he didn’t approve of. By that point, the House had devolved into farce. It was becoming clear to even partisan Republicans that Craddick’s continued speakership might be untenable. In Turner’s view, one of Craddick’s mistakes was concentrating power in the speaker’s office. Unlike past speakers, who delegated power to their lieutenants, “Craddick pretty much called the shots, and so he became more the focal point:’ 22 THE TEXAS OBSERVER JANUARY 23, 2009