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Tell us who you are, dammit!

So House Speaker wannabe Brian McCall says he has enough pledges to beat Tom Craddick next week. Which is great, even if by now most legislators have committed themselves multiple times. What really fascinated me in this article was the approach that Team Craddick has decided to take to woo back its wayward supporters:

Lawmakers who met with Craddick in a room off the House chamber are calling those on his list to ensure they’re sticking with the incumbent, said Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, one of the participants.

“You divide the names up and call and make sure everybody is still where they are,” said Chisum. “That’s what we’re doing.” He estimated there were 30 or more people in the meeting.

During the meeting, voices along with laughter and applause could be heard from behind the closed doors by tourists and others who wandered into the chamber.

Chisum — along with Republican Reps. Frank Corte of San Antonio and Phil King of Weatherford, and Democratic Rep. Norma Chavez of El Paso — said after the meeting that those who claim support should show their list of pledged backers.

“If you have support, then show me your list,” Chavez said.

The lawmakers also said there is a question of honor at stake in secretly pledging support to more than one candidate. They said lawmakers who change their minds about supporting Craddick should be upfront about it.

“Your word is all you have,” King said.

Corte said, “It’s about honor.”

Chavez said, “Veteran members know how important giving your word is in this process.”

Yes, publicly questioning people’s honor has always been an effective means of ensuring loyalty.

What an utter load of crap this is. “Veteran members” know fully well that pledge cards are meaningless. They’re no more bound to that than a respondent to a pollster is to vote for the candidate they claimed they support. This isn’t aimed at veteran members, who’ve been around the block and know the score. It’s aimed at freshmen – in particular, Republican freshmen – who as I said before have to make a choice without having as full an understanding of the consequences as everybody else will. This has all the sincerity of a daytime TV commercial selling some kind of dubious supplemental insurance to worried senior citizens.

McCall and Pitts have said they don’t want to put lawmakers in jeopardy with the incumbent by releasing names prematurely.

McCall voiced concern about “bullying and strong-arm tactics.” McCall also said he is trying to attract more supporters, not release an exclusive list. Pitts is seeking to be a consensus candidate.

Corte said, “There’s no fear and intimidation here.”

“We just want to know who all the dirty turncoat traitors are so the kneebreaking – I mean, the healing – can begin,” he did not add.

Truly, I am astonished at how tone deaf the Craddickites are. They have no idea what is driving this rebellion, so they have no viable response to it. Have none of them read a newspaper, or asked a non-Craddickite friend (assuming they still have any) what the hate is all about? The level of disengagement is positively Bushian.

On a related note, here’s a little blast from the past that saw this coming from quite a ways off. Extra kudos to The Red State for foreseeing the rise of Brian McCall.

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  1. Melinda Williams, RN says:

    Mr. Kuffner, my question has nothing to do with the topic you have posted today…I apologize in advance. I was trying to contact an attorney whom I met in the mid 90s by the name of Thomas R. Steinmeyer in order to ask him questions about appeals and so forth. I discovered that he died last April…WHAT?? If you know anything about this could you please contact me privately at [email protected]. I am still in shock and have been able to find no articles relating to his death. An article mentioning Mr. Steinmeyer appears in your 2004 archives (which is how I found you). Thanks.

  2. Marie says:

    They know exactly what is driving this “rebellion” but they just want to keep their committees. The Craddickcrats – Bailey, Giddings, Flores, Chavez, Turner, Dutton, Puente, Dukes, Pena, Rose and all the rest of them – could care less about their constituencies. Bailey, Dutton, Giddings and Chavez are chairs of committees that never have a quorum and thus hardly ever pass legislation.
    They know that they will be marginilized with a new Speaker and possibly replaced with Members who would actually get something accomplished.

  3. kevin whited says:

    What an utter load of crap tht this is. “Veteran members” know fully well that pledge cards are meaningless.

    What about veteran bloggers? I mean, you did write this in the “blast from the past” you linked:

    I don’t know how binding those pledges are; perhaps we’ll find out.

    I guess we now know they aren’t that binding. 🙂

  4. And if I can figure that out in the past year, so can they. It wasn’t that hard.