Texas Republicans in turmoil as party launches attack ad aimed at GOP House speaker

Texas Republicans in turmoil as party launches attack ad aimed at GOP House speaker
Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott and his Democratic challenger, Lupe Valdez, during their gubernatorial debate at the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, Texas, Friday evening, Sept. 28, 2018. // LBJ Library photo by Jay Godwin
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A civil war has broken out among Republicans in Texas after the state party paid for an attack ad aimed at the House speaker -- who is also a Republican.

At issue is House Speaker Dade Phelan's (R) refusal to kick Democrats out of key committee chairmanships as he also blocked a rules package from far-right members from being voted upon.

As WFAA is reporting, the Texas Republican Party is attempting to turn up the heat on Phelan, running an ad that asks conservative voters to "Tell him to be a Republican."

According to the report, "In the minute-long ad, a narrator says the speaker is 'teaming up with Democrats to kill our Republican priorities.' The spot started running Wednesday in Phelan’s Southeast Texas district, according to a tweet from Texas GOP Chair Matt Rinaldi," before adding the party has already spent $15,000 attacking their own -- so far.

Phelan ally Rep. Charlie Geren(R) fired back at the GOP chair, stating, "Rinaldi spending more attacking a conservative Republican speaker than he did to help elect Republicans.”

The report adds, "Supporters of ending Democratic committee chairs always faced long odds in finding enough support inside the House to change the rules, but they hoped to show their ranks had grown when the rules package came up for a vote last week. Instead, Phelan and his allies used points of order, or procedural challenges, to successfully prevent consideration of two amendments to restrict Democratic committee chairs. Banning Democratic committee chairs is one of the Texas GOP’s eight legislative priorities, and Rinaldi has been one of the most vocal advocates for it."

Rinaldifired back at Geren on Twitter, saying "... the money the state party spent on the ad 'pales in comparison to the millions we spent in support of Republicans this election cycle.' The party has claimed it spent over $6 million in the November election, though critics have claimed much of that sum was money funneled through the state party by national GOP groups and earmarked for certain efforts," the report continued with Rinaldi sniping at GOP colleague Geren by stating, "Geren doesn’t know what he’s talking about and it’s complete deflection."

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