The fruit that your soul longed for has gone from you, and all the things which are rich and splendid have gone from you, and you shall find them no more at all. The merchants of these things, who became rich by her, will stand at a distance for fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, and saying, ‘Alas, alas, that great city that was clothed in fine linen, purple, and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls! For in one hour such great riches came to nothing.’
Tuesday's San Antonio Express-News connects some fascinating, if unsurprising, dots:
AUSTIN — A political action committee led by House Speaker Joe Straus has pumped more than $300,000 into the coffers of incumbent Republicans in an attempt to fend off a wave of ultra-conservative candidates vying for control of the lower chamber.
For the past two legislative sessions, Straus, R-San Antonio, has wielded the Texas House Leadership Fund to bolster the campaign coffers of sitting GOP members who often have been challenged by tea party candidates funded by outside groups with big money.
But this primary season, Straus emptied his officeholder account and shuffled his largest donation to date to the leadership committee: a $500,000 injection. Now, that Straus money, along with donations from a variety of his allies in the House, is being used to assist about a dozen incumbents perceived as vulnerable in the March 4 primary.
Among the recipients of cash from the House Leadership PAC is Rep. Sarah Davis, the sole Republican in the House to vote against a sweeping package of abortion restrictions last session. Davis, R-West University Place, received $35,000 from Straus' leadership PAC in her primary bid against Bonnie Parker.
Several others, including GOP Reps. Angie Chen Button, Bennett Ratliff, J.D. Sheffield and Linda Harper-Brown, have each taken in a total of $50,000, state records show.
Aside from spreading money around, Straus is also hitting the stump with most of those he's trying to protect. That includes a Wednesday campaign pit stop with Sheffield in Gatesville, north of Austin.
This is a bad move on Straus' part. Even if Straus manages to save his own skin, a number of these incumbents will lose. With Scott Turner on the horizon, backing losers in the primary makes Straus damaged goods to the ass-kissing wing of the Republican conference.