18 November 2010
Joe Straus, the Republican speaker of the Texan House of Representatives who is seeking re-election next January, has come under attack for being Jewish. Conservatives want to see Straus, who represents San Antonio, replaced by a “true conservative” and a “Christian” for the top legislative job in Texas. A report by the Texan businessman Peter Morrison, which is circulated by conservative activists, condemns Straus’ bipartisan record and attacks him as “the liberal, pro-abortion speaker of the House.” It accuses Straus of engaging in “bullying tactics” and brands him a “traitor” and “a man who would hurt conservatives in order to hold on to power.”
The report urges support for the two Republican challengers for the speaker’s job, Warren Chisum and Ken Paxton. It asks readers to sign a petition calling for conservative leadership “from the Office of the Speaker to every committee chairmanship.”
The Morrison Report, in two instances, refers twice to Straus’ Jewishness. “Joe Straus is pro-abortion. In fact, his rabbi sits on the board of San Antonio Planned Parenthood,” the report states. “Both Rep. Warren Chisum and Rep. Ken Paxton, who are Christians and true conservatives, have risen to the occasion to challenge Joe Straus for leadership,” it later states.
Straus declared: “Our country was founded on the rock of religious freedom and the Judeo-Christian values of the dignity and worth of every individual. At its core, America believes in the freedom of every individual to worship as his or her conscience dictates, and it would be most unfortunate for anyone to suggest someone is more or less qualified for public office based on his or her faith.”
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