July 01, 2007
Keel to stay on as parliamentarian

Former State Rep. Terry Keel, who came in as a late-session replacement parliamentarian/rules enforcer for House Speaker Tom Craddick, will return to that post next session.

Terry Keel, whose work as stand-in parliamentarian was key to Tom Craddick's survival as speaker last month, received the job on a full-time basis Friday.

Keel, a former state representative, and former lawmaker Ron Wilson stepped in on May 25 after the regular parliamentarian, Denise Davis, and her assistant, Chris Griesel, abruptly resigned. Davis and Griesel left in the middle of a heated debate after Craddick refused to recognize members who wanted to call for a vote on removing him as speaker.

Keel supported Craddick's interpretation of House rules that the only way to unseat a speaker would be through impeachment. That ruling precipitated a tumultuous scene on the House floor, replete with jeers and an attempt by some members to take over the podium after Craddick called a recess.

The ill will continued during the remaining days of the legislative session.

For some reason, the song The Cat Came Back is going through my head about now. I suppose the fact that it's not a twofer with Ron Wilson belongs in the blessings-to-be-counted pile. Better to hope for a new Speaker and a clean slate, if you ask me. Postcards from the Lege and Capitol Letters have more.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on July 01, 2007 to That's our Lege