Special Session--Abbott 'Keeping a List' of Opponents

Gov. Greg Abbott has a warning for any of the 181 members of the Texas Legislature who may decide to oppose him on the controversial measures he is placed on the agenda for the Special Session which begins today---he's taking names.

News Radio 1200 WOAI reports Abbott told a conservative think tank on Monday that he is making a list and checking it twice, and he is definitely not Santa Claus.

"Who is for this, who is against this, who has not taken a position yet," Abbott said.  "No one gets to hide, no one gets to play neutral, everybody has to be all in."

Members of the Texas Public Policy Foundation applauded his comments.

"We are going to make sure that you all know, that voters know, that Texans know, who stands for conservative positions which will advance the State of Texas and who is against those positions."

Name number one on Abbott's 'naughty list' is likely to be House Speaker Joe Straus (R-Alamo Heights).  Straus helped bury the bill limiting transgender use of public restrooms in the regular session, and has indicated he has plans to try to bury it again.

Straus recently referred to the initiatives on Abbott's Special Session call as 'manure.'

Conservatives are going to the wall for several measures they say would permanently reshape Texas in a conservative image for decades to come.

In addition to the controversial 'bathroom bill,' key conservative initiatives include a bill to limit the ability of cities and counties to raise property taxes, a bill to outlaw cities from annexing neighborhoods without the approval of people who live in those neighborhoods, and a bill to override local ordinances covering tree preservation and the use of cell phones while driving.

Abbott's 'naughty list' is especially expected to concern his fellow Republicans, who hold a strong majority in the Texas House, yet were unable to approve Abbott's conservative priorities in the regular session.

Abbott announced on Monday, probably not coincidentally, that he has more than $40 million in campaign money in the bank, and, at least so far, has no opponent in next year's elections.

Abbott could easily divert some of that money, and use his significant popularity among Republican voters, to support a challenge in the GOP primary to any lawmaker who is insufficiently supportive of his agenda.