Friday, February 13, 2009

Chisum And Swinford Are Out

As most of you probably know, the Texas Panhandle is one of the reddest areas in the state (hell, it's one of the reddest areas in the nation). We don't just elect Republicans up here. We elect dyed-in-the-wool right-wing fundamentalist nutjobs. It's so bad, that at times I feel like the Panhandle owes the rest of Texas and the nation a huge apology.

Two of the worst of the wing-nuts are Rep. Warren Chisum (pictured) and Rep. David Swinford. Both were die-hard Craddick supporters, and under his dictatorial regime, they had important committee chairmanships. Chisum was chair of the powerful Appropriations Committee and Swinford chaired the State Affairs Committee.

But these Craddick loyalists backed the wrong horse this year, and now they must pay the price. Craddick lost the speakership to San Antonio's Joe Straus, and Chisum and Swinford have lost a lot of clout in Austin. Both men have lost their chairmen positions. They are no longer powerful chairs who can kill a bill at their whim.

This is a very good thing for Texas. It would be better still if Democrats could gain control of the Texas House, but it's going to take another couple of years to do that. Until then, I'll settle for Chisum and Swinford losing their political clout.

Good things happen a step at a time, and this was a pretty big step.

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