Difference between revisions of "Joe Straus"

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|Name =Joe Straus
 
|Name =Joe Straus
 
|Profile picture = Joe Straus, TX Rep.jpg
 
|Profile picture = Joe Straus, TX Rep.jpg
|Position = Texas State House, District 121
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|Position = Texas House of Representatives, District 121
 
|Status = Incumbent  
 
|Status = Incumbent  
 
|Tenure = 2005 - Present
 
|Tenure = 2005 - Present
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|Per diem = $150/day
 
|Per diem = $150/day
 
|Pension =
 
|Pension =
|Last election = November 6, 2012
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|Last election = November 4, 2014
 
|Appointed =
 
|Appointed =
 
|Appointed by =
 
|Appointed by =
 
|First elected = 2004
 
|First elected = 2004
 
|Term limits =
 
|Term limits =
|Next election = November 4, 2014
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|Next election =  
 
|Prior office =
 
|Prior office =
 
|Prior office years =
 
|Prior office years =
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|High school =  
 
|High school =  
 
|Associate's =  
 
|Associate's =  
|Bachelor's =  
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|Bachelor's = Vanderbilt University
 
|Master's =
 
|Master's =
 
|J.D. =  
 
|J.D. =  
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|Years of service 2  =  
 
|Years of service 2  =  
 
|Citations =
 
|Citations =
|Birthday =
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|Birthday = 09/01/1959
 
|Place of birth =
 
|Place of birth =
 
|Profession =
 
|Profession =
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|Personal website =
 
|Personal website =
 
|Campaign website = http://joestraus.org/
 
|Campaign website = http://joestraus.org/
}}{{tnr}}'''Joe Straus''' is a [[Republican]] member of the [[Texas House of Representatives]], representing District 121 since winning a special election in February 2005.  He is the current [[Speaker of the House]].
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}}{{tnr}}'''Joe Straus''' is a [[Republican]] member of the [[Texas House of Representatives]], representing [[Texas House of Representatives District 121|District 121]]. He was first elected to the chamber in a special election in February 2005.  He is the current [[Speaker of the House]].
  
Straus has worked as Deputy Director of Business Liaison and Assistant to the Commissioner of Customs for the United States Department of Commerce.   
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==Biography==
 +
Straus earned his B.A. in political science from Vanderbilt University.  He has worked as Deputy Director of Business Liaison and Assistant to the Commissioner of Customs for the United States Department of Commerce.   
  
He is a member of the Cancer Therapy and Research Center Advisory Board, San Antonio Zoological Society Board of Directors, Southwest School of Art and Craft Advisory Board, South Texas Blood & Tissue Center Advisory Board, Texas Nature Conservancy Board of Directors, Winston School Board of Directors, and member of National Financial Partners.<ref>[http://votesmart.org/bio.php?can_id=49917 Project Vote Smart - Rep. Straus]</ref>
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He is a member of the Cancer Therapy and Research Center Advisory Board, San Antonio Zoological Society Board of Directors, Southwest School of Art and Craft Advisory Board, South Texas Blood & Tissue Center Advisory Board, Texas Nature Conservancy Board of Directors, Winston School Board of Directors, and member of National Financial Partners.<ref>[http://votesmart.org/bio.php?can_id=49917 Project Vote Smart - Rep. Straus]</ref><ref name=PVS>[https://votesmart.org/candidate/biography/49917/joe-straus#.Uwy3UUJdU78 ''Project Vote Smart'', "Biography," accessed February 25, 2014]</ref>
 +
 
 +
==Committee assignments==
 +
===2013-2014===
 +
At the beginning of the 2013 legislative session, Straus served on the following committees:
 +
 
 +
{{Committee Assignments
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|Collapse=
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|State = Texas
 +
|year = 2013
 +
|Chamber = House of Representatives
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|Committee1 =
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|Committee2 =
 +
|Committee3 =
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|Committee4 =
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|Committee5 =
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}}
  
 
==Issues==
 
==Issues==
===Campaign themes===
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===2011 speaker race===
Straus' website highlights the following campaign themes:<ref>[http://joestraus.org/issues/ ''joestraus.org'' - Issues]</ref>
+
Straus was elected Speaker of the [[Texas House of Representatives]] for a second term at the start of the 82nd legislative session on January 11, 2010 in a 132-15 vote. The lead up to the speaker vote was a hot and heavily covered political issue in Texas, but finished anticlimactically. [[Ken Paxton]] of District 70 and [[Warren Chisum]] of District 88 challenged Straus for the speaker seat by calling his conservative principles into question and promising leadership that more closely reflected the conservative Republican majority. While the rhetoric remained high amongst conservative activists and a handful of representatives right until the vote, both Chisum and Paxton dropped out of the race prior to the formal vote after it was overwhelmingly apparent Straus would keep his speaker seat.<ref>[http://www.texastribune.org/texas-house-of-representatives/2011-house-speakers-race/straus-formally-voted-speaker/ ''Texas Tribune'', "Straus formally voted speaker," January 11, 2010]</ref>
  
'''Respectful Leadership
+
A showdown between Republican conservatives and moderates had been brewing since the day Joe Straus grabbed the gavel from [[Tom Craddick]] in 2009 in a move that soured conservatives across Texas. Straus had long been accused of being a RINO (Republican In Name Only). This perception amongst many Texas conservatives was at the heart of the tensions in the 2011 Speaker race. As evidence for their case Straus' opponents pointed to the fact the he became Speaker with just 11 moderate Republican votes and 65 Democrats.<ref name='chron'>[http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/7339562.html '''Houston Chronicle'', "2 Texas House members jump to GOP," December 14, 2010]</ref> Opponents also placed blame with Straus for the failure of pet conservative legislation during his first term as Speaker, such as voter identification and requiring women to view a sonogram before receiving an abortion.<ref name='national'>[http://www.statesman.com/news/texas-politics/non-texans-take-interest-in-house-speakers-race-1163787.html ''The Statesman'', "Non-Texans take interest in House speaker's race" January 4th, 2011]</ref>
*Excerpt:"At a time when the most divisive voices seem to dominate politics, Joe Straus sets a different, respectful tone. He works to bring people together and get things done. He’s a principled, effective leader who gets results, and we can all be proud to have him representing us."
+
 
'''Fiscal Conservative
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In response to these claims Straus pointed out that the makeup of the House was much different in 2009 when Republicans held only a slight 76-74 majority over Democrats. Straus, and his supporters contended that such across the aisle cooperation was required to effectively lead in the political environment of the time. Straus maintained that his commitment to conservative principles was unwavering. Supporters pointed to his work with conservative groups and donations to conservative causes in response to the repeated RINO allegations.<ref>[http://www.texasinsider.org/?p=38539 ''Texas Insider'', "Speaker's race update," December 1, 2010]</ref>
*Excerpt:"Joe Straus is a strong fiscal conservative who most recently led the Texas House of Representatives to balance the State budget by cutting more than $14 billion in spending instead of raising taxes. He’s one of the few Legislators ever to lead efforts to abolish a tax, saving taxpayers roughly $200 million a year thanks to his passage of legislation that abolished the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund tax once it had served its purpose."
+
 
'''Education First
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===Water infrastructure reform===
*Excerpt:"At a time when other areas of the budget were getting fewer dollars, Joe made public schools a top priority. Although legislators were not able to fully fund the existing formulas for enrollment growth, they did provide additional funds to our public schools at a time when many other areas lost dollars."
+
Straus expressed strong support for the referendum issue [[Texas Proposition 6 (2013), Full Text of Constitutional Changes|Proposition 6]]. The measure was approved overwhelmingly, 73.4 to 26.6 percent. Proposition 6 will withdraw $2 billion out of the state's rainy day fund, which is growing by roughly $2 billion per year due to oil and gas industry growth, and invest those $2 billion in the state's water infrastructure. At a "State of Water" event rallying support for Proposition 6, Straus noted that, "Water is essential for life. Nothing’s as important as water, fundamentally."<ref>[http://www.yourhoustonnews.com/west_university/news/speaker-straus-ghp-discuss-state-of-water-in-texas/article_85d4ff47-b398-55a7-a1ad-dcd227752b44.html ''YourHoustonNews.com'', "Speaker Straus, GHP discuss ‘State of Water’ in Texas," September 30, 2013]</ref><ref>[http://www.texastribune.org/2013/11/06/election-results-headline/ ''Texas Tribune'', "Texas Voters Approve Nine Constitutional Amendments," November 6, 2013]</ref>
'''Jobs & Economy
+
 
*Excerpt:"Joe Straus is a champion of policies that encourage job creation and economic growth. He knows that it’s the small business owners, entrepreneurs and private sector that create jobs – not government – so he works to keep the tax burden low and state laws and regulations fair and reasonable. He’s focused on improving statewide economic development efforts and attracting more high-paying manufacturing jobs to Texas."
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===University of Texas investigations===
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{{Wallace hall vnt}}
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::''See also: [[Wallace Hall impeachment trial]], [[Forgivable loans program at the University of Texas Law School]] and [[Political favoritism in admissions to the University of Texas]]''
 +
After he was appointed in 2011, [[University of Texas System Board of Regents|University of Texas Regent]] [[Wallace Hall]] began looking into what he believed to be clout scandals within the University of Texas system. Hall investigated the university's [[Forgivable loans program at the University of Texas Law School|forgivable-loans program]] and admissions policies and preferential treatment to politically-connected individuals.<ref>[https://web.archive.org/web/2/http://spectator.org/archives/2013/10/25/transparency-for-thee ''American Spectator'', "Transparency for Thee," October 25, 2013]</ref> Hall, as an individual citizen, filed FOIA requests with the University system after his inquiries via his role as a Regent were rebuffed.<ref>[http://www.dailytexanonline.com/news/2013/09/28/regent-wallace-hall-sen-kirk-watson-debate-regents-role-impeachment ''Daily Texas Online'', "Facing impeachment, Regent Wallace Hall defends actions in debate with Sen. Kirk Watson," September 28, 2013]</ref> According to his accusers, Hall filed requests of more than 800,000 pages, which some Texas administrators called an unnecessary burden.<ref>[http://www.dailytexanonline.com/news/2013/10/24/former-ut-system-vice-chancellor-alleges-regent-wallace-hall%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%98clear-intent-to-get ''Daily Texas Online'', "Former UT System vice chancellor alleges Regent Wallace Hall’s ‘clear intent to get rid of Bill Powers’," October 24, 2013]</ref><ref>[http://www.dallasnews.com/news/politics/headlines/20131022-ut-regent-sought-800000-documents-official-says-in-impeachment-hearing.ece ''Dallas Morning News'', "UT regent sought 800,000 documents, official says in impeachment hearing," October 22, 2013]</ref> However, a letter from University chancellor [[Francisco Cigarroa]] in February 2014 said that Hall likely requested fewer than 100,000 pages.<ref>[http://watchdog.org/127349/witch-hunt-records/ ''Watchdog'', "‘Witch hunt’ fallout: Speaker calls for narrower public records law," February 5, 2014]</ref><ref>[http://www.texastribune.org/2014/02/03/ut-system-responds-transparency-committee-directiv/ ''Texas Tribune'', "UT System Responds to Transparency Committee Directives," February 3, 2014]</ref> In addition, Cigarroa wrote: "During testimony before the Select Committee, some early witnesses implied that the U.T. System has not protected the privacy rights of students, staff, and patients. This is simply not true."<ref>[http://s3.amazonaws.com/static.texastribune.org/media/documents/02-01-2014_HSC_on_Transparency_Committee_response_letter_-_Final_PDF.pdf ''Texas Tribune'', "Cigarroa letter to the Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations," February 1, 2014]</ref>
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An effort was begun in June 2013 to try and impeach Hall from his position as regent. On June 24, 2013, [[Texas House of Representatives|State House representative]] [[Jim Pitts]] (R) filed a [http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/history.aspx?LegSess=831&Bill=HR230 resolution] to advance along impeachment proceedings of Hall by the select committee.<ref>[http://alcalde.texasexes.org/2013/06/pitts-files-resolution-to-impeach-ut-regent-wallace-hall/ ''Alcalde'', "Pitts Files Resolution to Impeach UT Regent Wallace Hall," June 24, 2013]</ref> However, Straus issued a proclamation that expanded the jurisdiction of the [[Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations (Select), Texas House of Representatives|Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations]], allowing it to investigate a possible [[Impeachments in Texas|impeachment]]. Some legislators are justifying the impeachment on the grounds that Hall did not disclose several lawsuits that he was involved in when he originally completed his Regent background check. Hall updated [[Governor of Texas|Governor]] [[Rick Perry|Rick Perry's]] office in April 2013 with the full list.<ref>[http://www.texastribune.org/2013/04/30/wallace-hall-updates-lawsuit-disclosures/ ''Texas Tribune'', "UT Regent Wallace Hall Updates Lawsuit Disclosures," April 30, 2013]</ref><ref>[http://www.realclearpolicy.com/articles/2013/08/15/the_campaign_against_wallace_hall_611.html ''Real Clear Policy'', "The Campaign Against Wallace Hall," August 15, 2013]</ref> No unelected official in Texas has ever been successfully impeached or removed from office.<ref>[http://www.news-journal.com/news/state/university-of-texas-regent-not-worried-by-impeachment-inquiry/article_0f6d751e-90c8-57b2-9515-304e25541a12.html ''News-Journal'', "University of Texas regent not worried by impeachment inquiry," September 9, 2013]</ref> [[Governor of Texas]] [[Rick Perry]]'s spokesperson said the investigations send a "chilling message" to gubernatorial appointees.<ref>[http://www.texastribune.org/2013/06/25/transparency-committee-mull-impeachment-ut-regent/ ''Texas Tribune'', "Transparency Committee to Mull Impeachment of UT Regent," June 25, 2013]</ref> He added that the investigation was "extraordinary political theater."<ref>[http://www.texastribune.org/2013/10/30/perry-blasts-impeachment-probe-wallace-hall/ ''Texas Tribune'', "Perry Blasts Impeachment Probe of Wallace Hall," October 30, 2013]</ref> Texas state legislators have never previously tried to remove an appointed official. Only two elected officials in the history of Texas have ever been successfully [[Impeachments in Texas|impeached]].<ref>[http://tpr.org/post/ut-regent-wallace-hall-will-testify-impeachment-hearing ''Texas Public Radio'', "UT Regent Wallace Hall Will Testify In Impeachment Hearing," November 13, 2013]</ref><ref>[http://www.house.state.tx.us/committees/committee/?committee=465&session=83 ''Texas State House Committees'', "Transparency in State Agency Operations Committee Members," accessed October 31, 2013]</ref>
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In November 2013, committee member [[Trey Martinez Fischer]] submitted a request indicating a desire to look at Hall's personal computers, iPads and smartphones as part of the investigation. "we must consider forensic examination of the personal or professional electronic communications of the regents in order to ensure compliance with the law," Fischer wrote in a letter to committee attorney Rusty Hardin.<ref>[http://www.texastribune.org/2013/11/04/lawmaker-eyes-access-ut-regents-personal-computers/ ''Texas Tribune'', "Lawmaker Eyes Access to UT Regents' Computers," November 4, 2013]</ref>
 +
 
 +
At a November 12, 2013 meeting, the committee issued a subpoena for [[Wallace Hall|Hall]] to appear on December 10. However, legislators quickly rescinded the subpoena, since no meeting was scheduled until December 18. Legislators also voted to issue subpoenas to University of Texas Chancellor [[Francisco Cigarroa]] and University of Texas, Austin President [[Bill Powers]] to appear at the December 18, 2013 meeting.<ref>[http://www.sfgate.com/news/texas/article/Texas-House-committee-subpoenas-Hall-for-Dec-10-4977771.php ''San Francisco Chronicle'', "Texas House subpoenas Hall, but then recalls it," November 12, 2013]</ref><ref>[http://www.texastribune.org/2013/11/12/ut-system-lawyer-hall-may-have-shared-private-info/ ''Texas Tribune'', "UT System Lawyer: Hall May Have Shared Private Info," November 12, 2013]</ref><ref>[http://www.statesman.com/news/news/state-regional-govt-politics/ut-regent-wallace-hall-might-have-broken-privacy-l/nbqkP/ ''Austin American Statesman'', "UT Regent Wallace Hall might have broken privacy laws, panel members suggest," November 12, 2013]</ref><ref>[http://www.texastribune.org/2013/11/12/demands-subpoenas-create-early-tension-hearing/ ''Texas Tribune'', "Committee Recalls Subpoena for UT Regent Hall," November 12, 2013]</ref>
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In late November 2013, [[Governor of Texas|Governor]] [[Rick Perry]] and Straus sent letters to gubernatorial appointees to address the impeachment trial. Perry's letter explained the importance of oversight of state agencies by gubernatorial appointees. In his letter, Straus agreed with Perry and wrote, "both board members and the Legislature need to ask difficult questions."<ref>[http://www.texastribune.org/2013/12/21/perry-straus-reach-out-appointees-light-probe/ ''Texas Tribune'', "Perry, Straus reach out to appointees amid Hall inquiry," December 21, 2013]</ref><ref>[http://dailycaller.com/2013/11/21/texas-tries-to-topple-higher-ed-transparency/ ''Daily Caller'', "Texas tries to topple higher-ed transparency," November 21, 2013]</ref><ref>[http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/10/30/5291735/perry-calls-regent-impeachment.html ''Fort Worth Star-Telegram'', "Perry calls regent impeachment “political theater”," October 30, 2013]</ref><ref>[http://lubbockonline.com/texas/2013-12-22/perry-straus-reach-out-appointees-amid-hall-inquiry#.Urg2vVWzKpg ''Lubbock Online'', "Perry, Straus Reach Out to Appointees Amid Hall Inquiry," December 22, 2013]</ref><ref>[http://s3.amazonaws.com/static.texastribune.org/media/documents/document2013-12-20-101051.pdf ''Texas Tribune'', "Letter from Rick Perry to Appointees," November 22, 2013]</ref>
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 +
In a July 2014 op-ed, the ''Wall Street Journal'' commented that [[Bill Powers|Powers' resignation]] would bring more attention and scrutiny to the [[Political favoritism in admissions to the University of Texas|political favoritism]] scandals at the University of Texas. According to a University of Texas investigation, Straus wrote seven letters to Powers seeking special attention for applicants.<ref>[http://online.wsj.com/articles/texas-admissions-brawl-1404947400 ''Wall Street Journal'', "Texas Admissions Brawl," July 9, 2014]</ref>
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====Censure vote====
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Although the committee left open the possibility of revisiting impeachment, an [[Wallace Hall impeachment trial#August 11, 2014|August 11, 2014]] vote passed 6-1 to censure Hall, possibly bringing a close to the more than year-long process.<ref>[http://www.dallasnews.com/news/state/headlines/20140811-panel-censures-but-doesnt-impeach-ut-regent-wallace-hall.ece ''Dallas Morning News'', "Panel censures but doesn’t impeach UT Regent Wallace Hall," August 11, 2014]</ref><ref>[http://www.statesman.com/news/news/state-regional-govt-politics/house-panel-to-consider-fate-of-ut-regent-wallace-/ngy9s/ ''Austin American-Statesman'', "Panel censures UT Regent Wallace L. Hall Jr.," August 11, 2014]</ref> In response to the censure vote, [[Governor of Texas]] [[Rick Perry]] issued a statement defending Hall's actions, saying the regent acted in the best interest of Texas "in the face of withering personal attacks."<ref>[http://www.yourhoustonnews.com/friendswood/opinion/statement-by-gov-perry-on-ut-regent-wallace-hall/article_2a0931ec-a194-5344-8326-52e45e97bfda.html ''Your Houston News'', "Statement by Gov. Perry on UT Regent Wallace Hall," August 11, 2014]</ref>
  
 
===Sponsored legislation===
 
===Sponsored legislation===
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*HR 4 - In memory of Dulcenea Maria "Nellie" Munoz of Georgetown.
 
*HR 4 - In memory of Dulcenea Maria "Nellie" Munoz of Georgetown.
 
*HR 498 - Congratulating Alan W. Dreeben of San Antonio on his receipt of the Chairman's Award from the Texas State University System.
 
*HR 498 - Congratulating Alan W. Dreeben of San Antonio on his receipt of the Chairman's Award from the Texas State University System.
*HR 1139 - Congratulating Dr. Lee E. Henderson on the occasion of his retirement from Prairie View A&M University.
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*HR 1139 - Congratulating Dr. Lee E. Henderson on the occasion of his retirement from Prairie View A&M University.
*HR 1279 - Commemorating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Louis Braille and recognizing the Braille Revival League of Texas.
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*HR 1279 - Commemorating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Louis Braille and recognizing the Braille Revival League of Texas.
 
*HR 2261 - Congratulating Representative Norma Chavez on her graduation from The University of Texas at Austin in May 2009.
 
*HR 2261 - Congratulating Representative Norma Chavez on her graduation from The University of Texas at Austin in May 2009.
*HR 2416 - Commemorating the baptism of Ella Rachel Drai of Houston. <ref>[http://www.legis.state.tx.us/Reports/Report.aspx?ID=author&LegSess=81R&Code=A4565 Texas Legislature - Bills Authored/Joint Authored by Rep. Straus]</ref>
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*HR 2416 - Commemorating the baptism of Ella Rachel Drai of Houston.<ref>[http://www.legis.state.tx.us/Reports/Report.aspx?ID=author&LegSess=81R&Code=A4565 ''Texas Legislature'', "Bills Authored/Joint Authored by Rep. Straus," accessed May 27, 2014]</ref>
  
===Presidential preference===
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===Campaign themes===
{{presendorse|2012|Mitt Romney}}<ref>[http://www.ketknbc.com/news/decision-2012/texas-speaker-of-the-house-joe-straus-endorses-romney ''KETK,'' "Texas Speaker of the House Joe Straus endorses Romney," February 21, 2012]</ref>
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====2014====
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Straus's website highlighted the following campaign themes:<ref>[http://joestraus.org/issues/ ''jostraus.org'', "Issues," accessed February 12, 2014]</ref>
  
==Committee assignments==
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'''Respectful Leadership
===2013-2014===
+
* Excerpt: "At a time when the most divisive voices seem to dominate politics, Joe Straus sets a different, respectful tone. He works to bring people together and get things done. He’s a principled, effective leader who gets results, and we can all be proud to have him representing us."
At the beginning of the 2013 legislative session, Straus served on the following committees:
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'''Fiscal Conservative
 +
* Excerpt: "Joe Straus is a strong fiscal conservative who has repeatedly led the Texas House to approve balanced budgets, reduce taxes and protect a healthy Rainy Day Fund. He’s one of the few legislators ever to lead efforts to abolish a tax, saving taxpayers roughly $200 million a year thanks to his passage of legislation that abolished the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund tax once it had served its purpose."
 +
'''Education First
 +
* Excerpt: "As a legislator and a father, Joe knows that the education of the next generation is critical to Texas’ future. He has repeatedly led the House to prioritize public education and higher education in the state budget. Joe also understands that improving education is about more than money. Under his leadership in 2013, the House reduced the burden of excessive testing in public schools, giving educators more flexibility to meet their students’ individual needs."
 +
'''Jobs & Economy
 +
* Excerpt: "Joe Straus is a champion of policies that encourage job creation and economic growth. He knows that it’s the small business owners, entrepreneurs and private sector that create jobs – not government – so he works to keep the tax burden low and state laws and regulations fair and reasonable. He’s focused on improving statewide economic development efforts and attracting more high-paying manufacturing jobs to Texas."
  
{{Committee Assignments
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====2012====
|Collapse=  
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Straus' website highlighted the following campaign themes:
|State = Texas
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|year = 2013
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'''Respectful Leadership
|Chamber = House of Representatives
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* Excerpt: "At a time when the most divisive voices seem to dominate politics, Joe Straus sets a different, respectful tone. He works to bring people together and get things done. He’s a principled, effective leader who gets results, and we can all be proud to have him representing us."
|Committee1 =
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'''Fiscal Conservative
|Committee2 =
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* Excerpt: "Joe Straus is a strong fiscal conservative who most recently led the Texas House of Representatives to balance the State budget by cutting more than $14 billion in spending instead of raising taxes. He’s one of the few Legislators ever to lead efforts to abolish a tax, saving taxpayers roughly $200 million a year thanks to his passage of legislation that abolished the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund tax once it had served its purpose."
|Committee3 =
+
'''Education First
|Committee4 =
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* Excerpt: "At a time when other areas of the budget were getting fewer dollars, Joe made public schools a top priority. Although legislators were not able to fully fund the existing formulas for enrollment growth, they did provide additional funds to our public schools at a time when many other areas lost dollars."
|Committee5 =
+
'''Jobs & Economy
}}
+
* Excerpt: "Joe Straus is a champion of policies that encourage job creation and economic growth. He knows that it’s the small business owners, entrepreneurs and private sector that create jobs – not government – so he works to keep the tax burden low and state laws and regulations fair and reasonable. He’s focused on improving statewide economic development efforts and attracting more high-paying manufacturing jobs to Texas."
 +
 
 +
===Endorsements===
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====Presidential preference====
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{{presendorse|2012|Mitt Romney}}<ref>[http://www.ketknbc.com/news/decision-2012/texas-speaker-of-the-house-joe-straus-endorses-romney ''KETK,'' "Texas Speaker of the House Joe Straus endorses Romney," February 21, 2012]</ref>
  
 
==Elections==
 
==Elections==
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===2014===
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{{TX HD121 2014}}
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===2012===
 
===2012===
 
:: ''See also: [[Texas House of Representatives elections, 2012]]''
 
:: ''See also: [[Texas House of Representatives elections, 2012]]''
  
Straus won re-election in the [[State legislative elections, 2012|2012 election]] for [[Texas House of Representatives elections, 2012|Texas House of Representatives]], District 121. Straus defeated [[Matt Beebe]] in the May 29 primary election and defeated [[Arthur M. Thomas, IV]] (L) in the general election which took place on November 6, 2012.<ref>[http://candidates.texasgop.org/downloads Texas GOP list of candidates for 2012 Elections]</ref><ref>[http://elections.sos.state.tx.us/elchist.exe Office of the (Texas) Secretary of State, "Race Summary Report," accessed July 12, 2012]</ref>
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Straus won re-election in the [[State legislative elections, 2012|2012 election]] for [[Texas House of Representatives elections, 2012|Texas House of Representatives]], District 121. Straus defeated [[Matt Beebe]] in the May 29 primary election and defeated [[Arthur M. Thomas, IV]] (L) in the general election, which took place on November 6, 2012.<ref name=elections>[http://elections.sos.state.tx.us/elchist.exe ''Texas Secretary of State'', "1992 - Current Election History," accessed February 17, 2014]</ref>
  
 
{{Election box 2012
 
{{Election box 2012
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|votes3 =  
 
|votes3 =  
 
}}
 
}}
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{{Primary election box 2012
 
{{Primary election box 2012
 
|Chamber= Texas House of Representatives District 121
 
|Chamber= Texas House of Representatives District 121
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:: ''See also: [[Texas House of Representatives elections, 2010]]''
 
:: ''See also: [[Texas House of Representatives elections, 2010]]''
  
Straus won re-election in District 121.  He was unopposed in the March 2 Republican primary and defeated Libertarian [[Barry Allison]] in the November 2 general election.<ref>[http://enr.sos.state.tx.us/enr/results/nov02_154_state.htm?x=0&y=28884&id=477 Official Texas Election Results]</ref>{{Votepercentbox |
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Straus won re-election in District 121.  He was unopposed in the March 2 Republican primary and defeated Libertarian [[Barry Allison]] in the November 2 general election.<ref name=elections/>
 +
{{Votepercentbox |
 
   office = Texas House of Representatives, District 121 <br> 2010 General election results
 
   office = Texas House of Representatives, District 121 <br> 2010 General election results
  
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===2008===
 
===2008===
  
On November 4, 2008, Straus won re-election to the [[Texas House of Representatives]] from the 121st District, receiving 44,472 votes ahead of Libertarian Arthur Thomas IV (11,380).<ref>[http://elections.sos.state.tx.us/elchist.exe Texas House official election results for 2008]</ref>  He raised $378,593 for his campaign.<ref>[http://www.followthemoney.org/database/StateGlance/candidate.phtml?c=112113 District 121 Texas House candidate funds, 2008]</ref>   
+
On November 4, 2008, Straus won re-election to the [[Texas House of Representatives]] from the 121st District, receiving 44,472 votes ahead of Libertarian Arthur Thomas IV (11,380).<ref name=elections/>  He raised $378,593 for his campaign.<ref>[http://www.followthemoney.org/database/StateGlance/candidate.phtml?c=112113 ''Follow the Money'', "2008 Candidate funds," accessed May 24, 2014]</ref>   
  
 
{{Votepercentbox |
 
{{Votepercentbox |
Line 183: Line 230:
  
 
==Campaign donors==
 
==Campaign donors==
 +
{{Comprehensive donor history
 +
|Name=Straus
 +
|Full name=Joe Straus
 +
|year=2006
 +
|Editdate= August 15, 2013
 +
|link=<ref>[http://www.followthemoney.org/database/uniquecandidate.phtml?uc=7064 ''Follow the Money'', "Straus, Joe," accessed August 15, 2013]</ref>
 +
|party=Republican
 +
|totalraised2012=6551013
 +
|result2012= Won
 +
|office2012= [[Texas House of Representatives elections, 2012|Texas State House, District 121]]
 +
|totalraised2010=5265357
 +
|result2010= Won
 +
|office2010= [[Texas House of Representatives elections, 2010|Texas State House, District 121]]
 +
|totalraised2008=378593
 +
|result2008= Won
 +
|office2008= [[Texas House of Representatives elections, 2008|Texas State House, District 121]]
 +
|totalraised2006=678478
 +
|result2006= Won
 +
|office2006= [[Texas House of Representatives elections, 2006|Texas State House, District 121]]
 +
|totalraised2004=
 +
|result2004=
 +
|office2004=
 +
|totalraised2002=
 +
|result2002=
 +
|office2002=
 +
|totalraised2000=
 +
|result2000=
 +
|office2000=
 +
|totalraised1998=
 +
|result1998=
 +
|office1998=
 +
}}
 +
 
===2012===
 
===2012===
{{State leg donor}}
+
{{SLP donor box 2012
 +
|name = Straus
 +
|full Name = Joe Straus
 +
|reference = http://www.followthemoney.org/database/StateGlance/candidate.phtml?c=141928
 +
|office= Texas House of Representatives
 +
|new =no
 +
|party = Republican
 +
|total raised = 6551013
 +
|org1 = Texans For Joe Straus
 +
|org2 = Perry, Bob J
 +
|org3 = Rees-Jones, Trevor D
 +
|org4 = AT&T
 +
|org5 = Texas Association Of Business
 +
|orgamount1 = 500000
 +
|orgamount2 = 110000
 +
|orgamount3 =100000
 +
|orgamount4 = 95500
 +
|orgamount5 = 89847
 +
|}}
  
 
===2010===
 
===2010===
In 2010, Straus received $5,265,357 in campaign donations.  The top contributors are listed below.<ref>[http://www.followthemoney.org/database/StateGlance/state_candidates.phtml?s=TX&y=2010&f=H&so=O#sorttable Follow the Money - 2010 Contributions]</ref>
+
{{SLP donor box 2010
 
+
|name = Straus
{{slp donor box 2010
+
|full Name = Joe Straus
|Chamber = Texas House of Representatives
+
|reference = http://www.followthemoney.org/database/StateGlance/candidate.phtml?c=117758
 +
|office= Texas House of Representatives
 +
|new =no
 
|party = Republican
 
|party = Republican
|total raised = $5,265,357
+
|total raised = 5265357
 
|org1 = AT&T
 
|org1 = AT&T
 
|org2 = Perry, Bob J
 
|org2 = Perry, Bob J
Line 198: Line 298:
 
|org4 = Pitcock Jr, James Douglass
 
|org4 = Pitcock Jr, James Douglass
 
|org5 = Border Health
 
|org5 = Border Health
|orgdonor1 = $95,000
+
|orgamount1 = 95000
|orgdonor2 = $77,500
+
|orgamount2 = 77500
|orgdonor3 = $75,000
+
|orgamount3 =75000
|orgdonor4 = $50,000
+
|orgamount4 = 50000
|orgdonor5 = $50,000
+
|orgamount5 = 50000
 
|}}
 
|}}
  
 
===2008===
 
===2008===
Straus raised $378,593 in 2008.  His top 5 campaign contributors are listed below.<ref>[http://www.followthemoney.org/database/StateGlance/candidate.phtml?c=112113 Follow the Money - 2008 Campaign contributions]</ref>
+
{{SLP donor box 2008
{| class="wikitable"
+
|name = Straus
|-
+
|full Name = Joe Straus
! valign="bottom" style="background-color:#00008B; color: white;" | Contributor
+
|reference = http://www.followthemoney.org/database/StateGlance/candidate.phtml?c=112113
! valign="bottom" style="background-color:#00008B; color: white;" | 2008 total
+
|office= Texas House of Representatives
|-
+
|new =no
|Charles C Butt
+
|party = Republican
|$15,000
+
|total raised = 378593
|-
+
|org1 = Butt, Charles C
|AIM Investment Services
+
|org2 = Aim Investment Services
|$13,896
+
|org3 = AT&T
|-
+
|org4 = Frost National Bank
|AT&T
+
|org5 = Valero Energy
|$12,000
+
|orgamount1 = 15000
|-
+
|orgamount2 = 13896
|Frost National Bank
+
|orgamount3 =12000
|$9,915
+
|orgamount4 = 9915
|-
+
|orgamount5 = 7500
|Valero Energy
+
|}}
|$7,500
+
|-
+
|}
+
  
==Legislative sessions==
+
===2006===
===82nd (2011-2012)===
+
{{SLP donor box 2006
====2011 speaker race====
+
|name = Straus
Straus was elected Speaker of the [[Texas House of Representatives]] for a second term at the start of the 82nd legislative session on January 11, 2010 in a 132-15 vote. The lead up to the speaker vote was a hot and heavily covered political issue in Texas, but finished anticlimactically. [[Ken Paxton]] of District 70 and [[Warren Chisum]] of District 88 challenged Straus for the speaker seat by calling his conservative principles into question and promising leadership that more closely reflected the conservative Republican majority. While the rhetoric remained high amongst conservative activists and a handful of representatives right until the vote, both Chisum and Paxton dropped out of the race prior to the formal vote after it was overwhelmingly apparent Straus would keep his speaker seat.<ref>[http://www.texastribune.org/texas-house-of-representatives/2011-house-speakers-race/straus-formally-voted-speaker/ ''Texas Tribune'', "Straus formally voted speaker", January 11, 2010]</ref>
+
|full Name = Joe Straus  
 +
|reference = http://www.followthemoney.org/database/StateGlance/candidate.phtml?c=81207
 +
|office= Texas House of Representatives
 +
|new =no
 +
|party = Republican
 +
|total raised = 678478
 +
|org1 = Holt, Peter M
 +
|org2 = Union Pacific Railroad
 +
|org3 = Straus Jr, Joe
 +
|org4 = Straus, Joe
 +
|org5 = Associated Republicans Of Texas
 +
|orgamount1 = 9500
 +
|orgamount2 = 7500
 +
|orgamount3 =7101
 +
|orgamount4 = 6179
 +
|orgamount5 = 5000
 +
|}}
  
A showdown between Republican conservatives and moderates had been brewing since the day Joe Straus grabbed the gavel from [[Tom Craddick]] in 2009 in a move that soured conservatives across Texas. Straus had long been accused of being a RINO (Republican In Name Only). This perception amongst many Texas conservatives was at the heart of the tensions in the 2011 Speaker race. As evidence for their case Straus' opponents pointed to the fact the he became Speaker with just 11 moderate Republican votes and 65 Democrats.<ref name='chron'>[http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/7339562.html '''Houston Chronicle'', "2 Texas House members jump to GOP", December 14, 2010]</ref> Opponents also placed blame with Straus for the failure of pet conservative legislation during his first term as Speaker, such as voter identification and requiring women to view a sonogram before receiving an abortion.<ref name='national'>[http://www.statesman.com/news/texas-politics/non-texans-take-interest-in-house-speakers-race-1163787.html ''The Statesman'', "Non-Texans take interest in House speaker's race" January 4th, 2011]</ref>  
+
==Scorecards==
 +
{{Texas legislature scorecards|Begin=2011|End=2020}}
 +
===2014===
 +
In 2014, Straus's endorsements included the following:<ref>[http://joestraus.org/2014/02/joe-straus-endorsed-by-diverse-coalition-of-business-industry-and-law-enforcement-organizations/ ''Joe Straus Republican State Representative,'' "Joe Straus Endorsed by Diverse Coalition of Business, Industry and Law Enforcement Organizations," accessed February 25, 2014]</ref>
 +
* American Council of Engineering Companies of Texas
 +
* Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas
 +
* Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (PAC)
 +
* Texas Association of Business
 +
* Texas Association of REALTORS®
  
In response to these claims Straus pointed out that the makeup of the House was much different in 2009 when Republicans held only a slight 76-74 majority over Democrats. Straus, and his supporters contended that such across the aisle cooperation was required to effectively lead in the political environment of the time. Straus maintained that his commitment to conservative principles was unwavering. Supporters pointed to his work with conservative groups and donations to conservative causes in response to the repeated RINO allegations.<ref>[http://www.texasinsider.org/?p=38539 ''Texas Insider'', "Speaker's race update", December 1, 2010]</ref>
+
==Personal==
 +
Straus and his wife, Julie, have two children.<ref name=PVS/>
 +
 
 +
==Recent news==
 +
{{submit a bio}}
 +
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "'''Joe + Straus + Texas + House'''"
 +
:''All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.''
 +
{{RSS|feed=http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&gl=us&q=Joe+Straus+Texas+House&um=1&ie=UTF-8&output=rss|template=slpfeed|max=10|title= Joe Straus News Feed}}
 +
==See also==
 +
*[[Texas State Legislature]]
 +
*[[Texas House of Representatives]]
 +
*[[Texas House of Representatives#Standing committees|Texas House of Representatives Committees]]
 +
*[[Texas State Legislature#Joint Committees|Texas Joint Committees]]
 +
*[[Texas state legislative districts]]
  
 
==External links==
 
==External links==
 
{{submit a leg link}}
 
{{submit a leg link}}
*[http://www.joestraus.org/ Joe Straus's campaign website]
+
*[http://www.joestraus.org/ Official campaign website]
*[http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/dist121/welcome.htm Texas House of Representatives - Rep. Straus]  
+
*[http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/member-page/?district=121 Texas House of Representatives - Rep. Straus]
 +
*[http://openstates.org/tx/legislators/TXL000347/joe-straus/ Profile from Open States]
 
*[http://votesmart.org/bio.php?can_id=49917 Biography from Project Vote Smart]
 
*[http://votesmart.org/bio.php?can_id=49917 Biography from Project Vote Smart]
 
*[http://votesmart.org/summary.php?can_id=49917 Legislative profile from Project Vote Smart]
 
*[http://votesmart.org/summary.php?can_id=49917 Legislative profile from Project Vote Smart]
* Campaign Contributions: [http://www.followthemoney.org/database/StateGlance/candidate.phtml?c=112113 2008], [http://www.followthemoney.org/database/StateGlance/candidate.phtml?c=81207&PHPSESSID=8cd77a6760e17bf36541cff2d41c9852 2006]
+
* Campaign Contributions: [http://www.followthemoney.org/database/StateGlance/candidate.phtml?c=141928 2012], [http://www.followthemoney.org/database/StateGlance/candidate.phtml?c=117758 2010], [http://www.followthemoney.org/database/StateGlance/candidate.phtml?c=112113 2008], [http://www.followthemoney.org/database/StateGlance/candidate.phtml?c=81207&PHPSESSID=8cd77a6760e17bf36541cff2d41c9852 2006]
*[http://www.freedomspeaks.com/official/71613/texas-(tx)-state-representative-joe-straus-%5Btx-house-of-representatives%5D Freedom Speaks profile]
+
*[http://web.archive.org/web/20090926065515/http://www.freedomspeaks.com/official/71613/texas-%28tx%29-state-representative-joe-straus-%5Btx-house-of-representatives%5D Freedom Speaks profile] (Archive)
*[http://twitter.com/SpeakerStraus Joe Straus on Twitter]
+
*[http://www.txdirectory.com/online/person/?id=25522 Texas State Directory profile]
+
*[http://www.gregsopinion.com/pedia/index.php?title=HD121 Texas Political Almanac HD 121 page]
+
*[http://www.texastribune.org/directory/joe-straus/ ''Texas Tribune'' profile & bio]
+
*[http://vote-tx.org/Intro.aspx?State=TX&Id=TXStrausJoe Vote-TX.org profile]
+
*[http://www.statesurge.com/members/joe-straus-texas-208506 State Surge profile]
+
 
*[http://twitter.com/SpeakerStraus Joe Straus on Twitter]
 
*[http://twitter.com/SpeakerStraus Joe Straus on Twitter]
 +
*[http://www.txdirectory.com/online/person/?id=25522 Profile from Texas State Directory]
 +
*[http://www.gregsopinion.com/pedia/index.php?title=HD121 Texas Political Almanac HD 121]
 +
*[http://www.texastribune.org/directory/joe-straus/ Biography from Texas Tribune]
 +
*[http://vote-tx.org/Intro.aspx?State=TX&Id=TXStrausJoe Profile from Vote-TX.org]
 +
*[http://www.statesurge.com/members/joe-straus-texas-208506 Profile from State Surge] ''([[timed out]])''
  
 
==References==
 
==References==
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{{end box}}
 
{{end box}}
 
{{Speakers of the House}}
 
{{Speakers of the House}}
 +
{{Wallace Hall hnt}}
 
{{Texas House of Representatives}}
 
{{Texas House of Representatives}}
 
{{Texas}}
 
{{Texas}}
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{{Slpcandidate|Year=2012|Status=incumbent|Chamber=House of Representatives|Primary=W|General=W|Open=}}
 
{{Slpcandidate|Year=2012|Status=incumbent|Chamber=House of Representatives|Primary=W|General=W|Open=}}
 +
{{Slpcandidate|Year=2014|Status=incumbent|Chamber=State House|Primary=W|General=W|Unopposed=Y}}

Latest revision as of 15:39, 6 November 2014

Joe Straus
Joe Straus, TX Rep.jpg
Texas House of Representatives, District 121
Incumbent
In office
2005 - Present
Term ends
January 13, 2015
Years in position 9
PartyRepublican
Compensation
Base salary$7,200/year
Per diem$150/day
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
First elected2004
Term limitsN/A
Education
Bachelor'sVanderbilt University
Personal
Birthday09/01/1959
Websites
Office website
Campaign website
CandidateVerification
Joe Straus is a Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives, representing District 121. He was first elected to the chamber in a special election in February 2005. He is the current Speaker of the House.

Biography

Straus earned his B.A. in political science from Vanderbilt University. He has worked as Deputy Director of Business Liaison and Assistant to the Commissioner of Customs for the United States Department of Commerce.

He is a member of the Cancer Therapy and Research Center Advisory Board, San Antonio Zoological Society Board of Directors, Southwest School of Art and Craft Advisory Board, South Texas Blood & Tissue Center Advisory Board, Texas Nature Conservancy Board of Directors, Winston School Board of Directors, and member of National Financial Partners.[1][2]

Committee assignments

2013-2014

At the beginning of the 2013 legislative session, Straus served on the following committees:

Texas Committee Assignments, 2013

Issues

2011 speaker race

Straus was elected Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives for a second term at the start of the 82nd legislative session on January 11, 2010 in a 132-15 vote. The lead up to the speaker vote was a hot and heavily covered political issue in Texas, but finished anticlimactically. Ken Paxton of District 70 and Warren Chisum of District 88 challenged Straus for the speaker seat by calling his conservative principles into question and promising leadership that more closely reflected the conservative Republican majority. While the rhetoric remained high amongst conservative activists and a handful of representatives right until the vote, both Chisum and Paxton dropped out of the race prior to the formal vote after it was overwhelmingly apparent Straus would keep his speaker seat.[3]

A showdown between Republican conservatives and moderates had been brewing since the day Joe Straus grabbed the gavel from Tom Craddick in 2009 in a move that soured conservatives across Texas. Straus had long been accused of being a RINO (Republican In Name Only). This perception amongst many Texas conservatives was at the heart of the tensions in the 2011 Speaker race. As evidence for their case Straus' opponents pointed to the fact the he became Speaker with just 11 moderate Republican votes and 65 Democrats.[4] Opponents also placed blame with Straus for the failure of pet conservative legislation during his first term as Speaker, such as voter identification and requiring women to view a sonogram before receiving an abortion.[5]

In response to these claims Straus pointed out that the makeup of the House was much different in 2009 when Republicans held only a slight 76-74 majority over Democrats. Straus, and his supporters contended that such across the aisle cooperation was required to effectively lead in the political environment of the time. Straus maintained that his commitment to conservative principles was unwavering. Supporters pointed to his work with conservative groups and donations to conservative causes in response to the repeated RINO allegations.[6]

Water infrastructure reform

Straus expressed strong support for the referendum issue Proposition 6. The measure was approved overwhelmingly, 73.4 to 26.6 percent. Proposition 6 will withdraw $2 billion out of the state's rainy day fund, which is growing by roughly $2 billion per year due to oil and gas industry growth, and invest those $2 billion in the state's water infrastructure. At a "State of Water" event rallying support for Proposition 6, Straus noted that, "Water is essential for life. Nothing’s as important as water, fundamentally."[7][8]

University of Texas investigations


Seal of Texas.svg.png

University of Texas Investigations

Background
Wallace Hall impeachment trialPolitical favoritism in admissions to the University of TexasForgivable loans program at the University of Texas Law School House Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations (TSAO)Joint Committee on Oversight of Higher Ed Governance, Excellence & Transparency

UT Regents
Wallace HallPaul FosterEugene PowellSteven HicksErnest AlisedaJeffery HildebrandBrenda PejovichAlex CranbergRobert Stillwell

Elected Officials
Rick PerryJoe StrausCharles PerryTrey FischerDan FlynnNaomi GonzalezEric JohnsonLyle LarsonCarol AlvaradoFour PriceJim PittsDan Branch

UT Individuals
Bill PowersLarry SagerBarry BurgdorfKevin HegartyFrancisco CigarroaCarol Longoria
See also: Wallace Hall impeachment trial, Forgivable loans program at the University of Texas Law School and Political favoritism in admissions to the University of Texas

After he was appointed in 2011, University of Texas Regent Wallace Hall began looking into what he believed to be clout scandals within the University of Texas system. Hall investigated the university's forgivable-loans program and admissions policies and preferential treatment to politically-connected individuals.[9] Hall, as an individual citizen, filed FOIA requests with the University system after his inquiries via his role as a Regent were rebuffed.[10] According to his accusers, Hall filed requests of more than 800,000 pages, which some Texas administrators called an unnecessary burden.[11][12] However, a letter from University chancellor Francisco Cigarroa in February 2014 said that Hall likely requested fewer than 100,000 pages.[13][14] In addition, Cigarroa wrote: "During testimony before the Select Committee, some early witnesses implied that the U.T. System has not protected the privacy rights of students, staff, and patients. This is simply not true."[15]

An effort was begun in June 2013 to try and impeach Hall from his position as regent. On June 24, 2013, State House representative Jim Pitts (R) filed a resolution to advance along impeachment proceedings of Hall by the select committee.[16] However, Straus issued a proclamation that expanded the jurisdiction of the Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations, allowing it to investigate a possible impeachment. Some legislators are justifying the impeachment on the grounds that Hall did not disclose several lawsuits that he was involved in when he originally completed his Regent background check. Hall updated Governor Rick Perry's office in April 2013 with the full list.[17][18] No unelected official in Texas has ever been successfully impeached or removed from office.[19] Governor of Texas Rick Perry's spokesperson said the investigations send a "chilling message" to gubernatorial appointees.[20] He added that the investigation was "extraordinary political theater."[21] Texas state legislators have never previously tried to remove an appointed official. Only two elected officials in the history of Texas have ever been successfully impeached.[22][23]

In November 2013, committee member Trey Martinez Fischer submitted a request indicating a desire to look at Hall's personal computers, iPads and smartphones as part of the investigation. "we must consider forensic examination of the personal or professional electronic communications of the regents in order to ensure compliance with the law," Fischer wrote in a letter to committee attorney Rusty Hardin.[24]

At a November 12, 2013 meeting, the committee issued a subpoena for Hall to appear on December 10. However, legislators quickly rescinded the subpoena, since no meeting was scheduled until December 18. Legislators also voted to issue subpoenas to University of Texas Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa and University of Texas, Austin President Bill Powers to appear at the December 18, 2013 meeting.[25][26][27][28]

In late November 2013, Governor Rick Perry and Straus sent letters to gubernatorial appointees to address the impeachment trial. Perry's letter explained the importance of oversight of state agencies by gubernatorial appointees. In his letter, Straus agreed with Perry and wrote, "both board members and the Legislature need to ask difficult questions."[29][30][31][32][33]

In a July 2014 op-ed, the Wall Street Journal commented that Powers' resignation would bring more attention and scrutiny to the political favoritism scandals at the University of Texas. According to a University of Texas investigation, Straus wrote seven letters to Powers seeking special attention for applicants.[34]

Censure vote

Although the committee left open the possibility of revisiting impeachment, an August 11, 2014 vote passed 6-1 to censure Hall, possibly bringing a close to the more than year-long process.[35][36] In response to the censure vote, Governor of Texas Rick Perry issued a statement defending Hall's actions, saying the regent acted in the best interest of Texas "in the face of withering personal attacks."[37]

81st Legislature (2009-2010)

  • HB 122 - Relating to the use of certain court costs in a criminal case for municipal programs enhancing public safety and security.
  • HB 135 - Relating to the elimination of straight-party voting.
  • HB 346 - Relating to the refund of the sales taxes imposed on real property repair and remodeling services for certain energy efficient facilities.
  • HB 347 - Relating to the establishment of railroad quiet zones outside the boundaries of certain municipalities.
  • HCR 123 - Honoring the recipients of the 2009 Texas Medal of Arts Awards.
  • HR 4 - In memory of Dulcenea Maria "Nellie" Munoz of Georgetown.
  • HR 498 - Congratulating Alan W. Dreeben of San Antonio on his receipt of the Chairman's Award from the Texas State University System.
  • HR 1139 - Congratulating Dr. Lee E. Henderson on the occasion of his retirement from Prairie View A&M University.
  • HR 1279 - Commemorating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Louis Braille and recognizing the Braille Revival League of Texas.
  • HR 2261 - Congratulating Representative Norma Chavez on her graduation from The University of Texas at Austin in May 2009.
  • HR 2416 - Commemorating the baptism of Ella Rachel Drai of Houston.[38]

Campaign themes

2014

Straus's website highlighted the following campaign themes:[39]

Respectful Leadership

  • Excerpt: "At a time when the most divisive voices seem to dominate politics, Joe Straus sets a different, respectful tone. He works to bring people together and get things done. He’s a principled, effective leader who gets results, and we can all be proud to have him representing us."

Fiscal Conservative

  • Excerpt: "Joe Straus is a strong fiscal conservative who has repeatedly led the Texas House to approve balanced budgets, reduce taxes and protect a healthy Rainy Day Fund. He’s one of the few legislators ever to lead efforts to abolish a tax, saving taxpayers roughly $200 million a year thanks to his passage of legislation that abolished the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund tax once it had served its purpose."

Education First

  • Excerpt: "As a legislator and a father, Joe knows that the education of the next generation is critical to Texas’ future. He has repeatedly led the House to prioritize public education and higher education in the state budget. Joe also understands that improving education is about more than money. Under his leadership in 2013, the House reduced the burden of excessive testing in public schools, giving educators more flexibility to meet their students’ individual needs."

Jobs & Economy

  • Excerpt: "Joe Straus is a champion of policies that encourage job creation and economic growth. He knows that it’s the small business owners, entrepreneurs and private sector that create jobs – not government – so he works to keep the tax burden low and state laws and regulations fair and reasonable. He’s focused on improving statewide economic development efforts and attracting more high-paying manufacturing jobs to Texas."

2012

Straus' website highlighted the following campaign themes:

Respectful Leadership

  • Excerpt: "At a time when the most divisive voices seem to dominate politics, Joe Straus sets a different, respectful tone. He works to bring people together and get things done. He’s a principled, effective leader who gets results, and we can all be proud to have him representing us."

Fiscal Conservative

  • Excerpt: "Joe Straus is a strong fiscal conservative who most recently led the Texas House of Representatives to balance the State budget by cutting more than $14 billion in spending instead of raising taxes. He’s one of the few Legislators ever to lead efforts to abolish a tax, saving taxpayers roughly $200 million a year thanks to his passage of legislation that abolished the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund tax once it had served its purpose."

Education First

  • Excerpt: "At a time when other areas of the budget were getting fewer dollars, Joe made public schools a top priority. Although legislators were not able to fully fund the existing formulas for enrollment growth, they did provide additional funds to our public schools at a time when many other areas lost dollars."

Jobs & Economy

  • Excerpt: "Joe Straus is a champion of policies that encourage job creation and economic growth. He knows that it’s the small business owners, entrepreneurs and private sector that create jobs – not government – so he works to keep the tax burden low and state laws and regulations fair and reasonable. He’s focused on improving statewide economic development efforts and attracting more high-paying manufacturing jobs to Texas."

Endorsements

Presidential preference

2012

See also: Endorsements by state officials of presidential candidates in the 2012 election

Joe Straus endorsed Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. [40]

Elections

2014

See also: Texas House of Representatives elections, 2014

Elections for all 150 seats in the Texas House of Representatives took place in 2014. A primary election took place on March 4, 2014. Those candidates who did not receive 50% or more of the vote in their party primary on March 4 faced an additional May 27 primary runoff. The general election was held on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was December 9, 2013. Incumbent Joe Straus defeated Matt Beebe in the Republican primary. Straus defeated Jeff Carruthers (L) in the general election.[41][42][43]

2012

See also: Texas House of Representatives elections, 2012

Straus won re-election in the 2012 election for Texas House of Representatives, District 121. Straus defeated Matt Beebe in the May 29 primary election and defeated Arthur M. Thomas, IV (L) in the general election, which took place on November 6, 2012.[44]

Texas House of Representatives, District 121, General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJoe Straus Incumbent 80.2% 50,530
     Libertarian Arthur Thomas IV 19.8% 12,444
Total Votes 62,974
Texas House of Representatives District 121 Republican Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJoe Straus Incumbent 62.9% 10,366
Matt Beebe 37.1% 6,109
Total Votes 16,475

2010

See also: Texas House of Representatives elections, 2010

Straus won re-election in District 121. He was unopposed in the March 2 Republican primary and defeated Libertarian Barry Allison in the November 2 general election.[44]

Texas House of Representatives, District 121
2010 General election results
Candidates Votes Percent
Green check mark transparent.png Joe Straus (R) 32,713 100%

2008

On November 4, 2008, Straus won re-election to the Texas House of Representatives from the 121st District, receiving 44,472 votes ahead of Libertarian Arthur Thomas IV (11,380).[44] He raised $378,593 for his campaign.[45]

Texas House of Representatives, District 121
Candidates Votes Percent
Green check mark transparent.png Joe Straus (R) 44,472 79.62%
Arthur M. Thomas, IV 11,380 20.37%

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Straus is available dating back to 2006. Based on available campaign finance records, Straus raised a total of $12,873,441 during that time period. This information was last updated on August 15, 2013.[46]

Joe Straus's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Texas State House, District 121 Won $6,551,013
2010 Texas State House, District 121 Won $5,265,357
2008 Texas State House, District 121 Won $378,593
2006 Texas State House, District 121 Won $678,478
Grand Total Raised $12,873,441

2012

Straus won re-election to the Texas House of Representatives in 2012. During that election cycle, Straus raised a total of $6,551,013.
Texas House of Representatives 2012 election - Campaign Contributions
Top contributors to Joe Straus's campaign in 2012
Texans For Joe Straus$500,000
Perry, Bob J$110,000
Rees-Jones, Trevor D$100,000
AT&T$95,500
Texas Association Of Business$89,847
Total Raised in 2012$6,551,013
Source:Follow the Money

2010

Straus won re-election to the Texas House of Representatives in 2010. During that election cycle, Straus raised a total of $5,265,357.

2008

Straus won re-election to the Texas House of Representatives in 2008. During that election cycle, Straus raised a total of $378,593.

2006

Straus won re-election to the Texas House of Representatives in 2006. During that election cycle, Straus raised a total of $678,478.

Scorecards

See also: State legislative scorecards and State legislative scorecards in Texas

Legislative scorecards are used to evaluate elected public officials based on voting record. Some scorecards are created by political advocacy groups with a focus on specific issues, while others are developed by newspapers and are broad in scope. Scorecards are meant to be used as a tool for voters to have a quick picture of whether their views align with a particular legislator's record.

Because scorecards can be specific to particular issues or general to a state’s legislative term, for example, each report should be considered on its own merits. Each entity that publishes these reports uses different methodologies and definitions for the terms used.

An overview for scorecards in all 50 states can be found on this page. To contribute to the list of Texas scorecards, email suggestions to scorecards@ballotpedia.org.

Please see our writing guidelines if you would like to add results from an individual scorecard to this legislator's profile.

2013

In 2013, the Texas State Legislature was in its 83rd legislative session from January 8 through May 27. Thirty minutes after the regular session ended, Governor Rick Perry called legislators back for a special session starting that evening.[47] Two additional called sessions were held from July 1 through July 30 and July 30 through August 5.[48]

  • Legislators are scored on bills which relate to economic freedom, the size and scope of government and individual liberty.
  • Legislators are scored based on their votes on bills relating to the organizations principles, missions and goals of responsible, conservative solutions for Texas.
  • Legislators are scored based on their votes on bills relating to core budget and free enterprise issues.
  • Legislators are scored based on votes for bills with the greatest impact on Texas’ environment and public health.
  • Equality Texas - Equality Texas rankings for the Texas House during the 83rd regular legislative session
  • Legislators are assigned grades reflecting votes on LGBT issues.
  • Legislators are scored based on their votes on bills relating to taxes and property rights.
  • Legislators are scored based on issues critical to businesses, taxpayers and families.
  • Legislators are scored based on votes relating to conservative issues.
  • The 2013 TLCV scorecard covers a range of votes and issues, including: water, global warming, environmental regulation, clean energy, clean air, good government, oil and gas regulation and energy efficiency.
  • Legislators are scored based on votes for bills relating to this issue of abortion.
  • Mark P. Jones is the Chair of the Department of Political Science at Rice University. He builds a ranking of Texas state representatives each year based on their votes from the previous session. Jones then ranks legislators based on how liberal and conservative they are according to legislative history.
  • Legislators are scored on their votes on key conservative issues.
  • Legislators are scored based on votes for Amendments 2, 12, 51, 95 and 118.
  • Young Conservatives of Texas: Legislative Ratings for the 83rd Legislature
  • Legislators are scored based on votes for House Bill 2.
  • Legislators are scored on their votes on key small business issues.
  • Concerned Women for America of Texas: Legislative Scorecard for the 83rd session.

2011

In 2011, the Texas State Legislature was in its 82nd legislative session from January 11 through May 30. A special session was called for May 31 through June 29.[48]

  • Legislators are scored based on their votes on bills relating to the organizations principles, missions and goals of responsible, conservative solutions for Texas.
  • Legislators are scored based on their votes on bills relating to core budget and free enterprise issues.
  • Legislators are scored based on votes on social issues, economic issues and other issues.
  • The Humane Scorecard assesses support on a broad range of animal protection issues.
  • Legislators are scored based on votes relating to conservative issues.
  • Legislators are scored based on votes relating to environment and conservation issues.
  • Legislators are scored based on votes for bills relating to this issue of abortion.
  • Mark P. Jones is the Chair of the Department of Political Science at Rice University. He builds a ranking of Texas state representatives each year based on their votes from the previous session. Jones then ranks legislators based on how liberal and conservative they are according to legislative history.
  • Legislators are scored based on 56 House votes and 38 Senate votes that offer clear public policy choice.
  • Legislators are scored based on votes for bills with the greatest impact on Texas’ environment and public health.
  • Legislators are scored based on consumer-related bills.

2014

In 2014, Straus's endorsements included the following:[49]

  • American Council of Engineering Companies of Texas
  • Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas
  • Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (PAC)
  • Texas Association of Business
  • Texas Association of REALTORS®

Personal

Straus and his wife, Julie, have two children.[2]

Recent news

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See also

External links

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References

  1. Project Vote Smart - Rep. Straus
  2. 2.0 2.1 Project Vote Smart, "Biography," accessed February 25, 2014
  3. Texas Tribune, "Straus formally voted speaker," January 11, 2010
  4. 'Houston Chronicle, "2 Texas House members jump to GOP," December 14, 2010
  5. The Statesman, "Non-Texans take interest in House speaker's race" January 4th, 2011
  6. Texas Insider, "Speaker's race update," December 1, 2010
  7. YourHoustonNews.com, "Speaker Straus, GHP discuss ‘State of Water’ in Texas," September 30, 2013
  8. Texas Tribune, "Texas Voters Approve Nine Constitutional Amendments," November 6, 2013
  9. American Spectator, "Transparency for Thee," October 25, 2013
  10. Daily Texas Online, "Facing impeachment, Regent Wallace Hall defends actions in debate with Sen. Kirk Watson," September 28, 2013
  11. Daily Texas Online, "Former UT System vice chancellor alleges Regent Wallace Hall’s ‘clear intent to get rid of Bill Powers’," October 24, 2013
  12. Dallas Morning News, "UT regent sought 800,000 documents, official says in impeachment hearing," October 22, 2013
  13. Watchdog, "‘Witch hunt’ fallout: Speaker calls for narrower public records law," February 5, 2014
  14. Texas Tribune, "UT System Responds to Transparency Committee Directives," February 3, 2014
  15. Texas Tribune, "Cigarroa letter to the Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations," February 1, 2014
  16. Alcalde, "Pitts Files Resolution to Impeach UT Regent Wallace Hall," June 24, 2013
  17. Texas Tribune, "UT Regent Wallace Hall Updates Lawsuit Disclosures," April 30, 2013
  18. Real Clear Policy, "The Campaign Against Wallace Hall," August 15, 2013
  19. News-Journal, "University of Texas regent not worried by impeachment inquiry," September 9, 2013
  20. Texas Tribune, "Transparency Committee to Mull Impeachment of UT Regent," June 25, 2013
  21. Texas Tribune, "Perry Blasts Impeachment Probe of Wallace Hall," October 30, 2013
  22. Texas Public Radio, "UT Regent Wallace Hall Will Testify In Impeachment Hearing," November 13, 2013
  23. Texas State House Committees, "Transparency in State Agency Operations Committee Members," accessed October 31, 2013
  24. Texas Tribune, "Lawmaker Eyes Access to UT Regents' Computers," November 4, 2013
  25. San Francisco Chronicle, "Texas House subpoenas Hall, but then recalls it," November 12, 2013
  26. Texas Tribune, "UT System Lawyer: Hall May Have Shared Private Info," November 12, 2013
  27. Austin American Statesman, "UT Regent Wallace Hall might have broken privacy laws, panel members suggest," November 12, 2013
  28. Texas Tribune, "Committee Recalls Subpoena for UT Regent Hall," November 12, 2013
  29. Texas Tribune, "Perry, Straus reach out to appointees amid Hall inquiry," December 21, 2013
  30. Daily Caller, "Texas tries to topple higher-ed transparency," November 21, 2013
  31. Fort Worth Star-Telegram, "Perry calls regent impeachment “political theater”," October 30, 2013
  32. Lubbock Online, "Perry, Straus Reach Out to Appointees Amid Hall Inquiry," December 22, 2013
  33. Texas Tribune, "Letter from Rick Perry to Appointees," November 22, 2013
  34. Wall Street Journal, "Texas Admissions Brawl," July 9, 2014
  35. Dallas Morning News, "Panel censures but doesn’t impeach UT Regent Wallace Hall," August 11, 2014
  36. Austin American-Statesman, "Panel censures UT Regent Wallace L. Hall Jr.," August 11, 2014
  37. Your Houston News, "Statement by Gov. Perry on UT Regent Wallace Hall," August 11, 2014
  38. Texas Legislature, "Bills Authored/Joint Authored by Rep. Straus," accessed May 27, 2014
  39. jostraus.org, "Issues," accessed February 12, 2014
  40. KETK, "Texas Speaker of the House Joe Straus endorses Romney," February 21, 2012
  41. Texas Secretary of State, "1992 - Current ELECTION HISTORY," accessed July 30, 2014
  42. The Libertarian Party of Texas, "2014 Texas Representative Candidate List," accessed July 30, 2014
  43. Green Party of Texas, "Greens Release Candidate List," accessed July 30, 2014
  44. 44.0 44.1 44.2 Texas Secretary of State, "1992 - Current Election History," accessed February 17, 2014
  45. Follow the Money, "2008 Candidate funds," accessed May 24, 2014
  46. Follow the Money, "Straus, Joe," accessed August 15, 2013
  47. kten.com, "Texas Lawmakers To Tackle Redistricting In Special Session," May 29, 2013
  48. 48.0 48.1 Legislative reference Library of Texas, "Texas Legislative Sessions and Years," accessed June 13, 2014
  49. Joe Straus Republican State Representative, "Joe Straus Endorsed by Diverse Coalition of Business, Industry and Law Enforcement Organizations," accessed February 25, 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
'
Texas House District 121
2005–present
Succeeded by
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