Summary of this week's report:
The Dallas Morning News took issue with Morrison using the concept of Paxton and Chisum being Christians (link). Excerpt follows...
AUSTIN – Some conservative Republican activists working to unseat House Speaker Joe Straus are circulating e-mails that emphasize his Judaism.
Several e-mails have surfaced in recent days that mention Straus' rabbi and underscore the Christian faith of his leading critics in the House Republican Caucus.
"Straus is going down in Jesus' name," said one, whose origins were unclear.
Straus, R-San Antonio , "clearly lacks the moral compass to be speaker," said another, written by Southeast Texas conservative activist Peter Morrison.
"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," Morrison wrote in his newsletter last Thursday, referring to two Republicans who are running against Straus for speaker.
Morrison, asked Tuesday if he intended to signal that Straus is unfit because he is Jewish, replied in an e-mail, "I was simply making factual statements about Rep. Chisum and Rep. Paxton."
Morrison said his opposition to Straus is driven by issues, not religion.
The Quorum Report, an online newsletter, reported extensively late Monday on e-mails that mentioned Straus' Judaism, his rabbi and the Christian faith of his House critics, who include Rep. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola.
Kaufman County Tea Party Chairman Ray Myers, a homebuilder and retired high school principal, sent an e-mail last week praising Hughes as "a Christian Conservative who decided not to be pushed around by the Joe Straus thugs."
On Tuesday, Myers said that "it never crossed my mind" that Straus is Jewish when he wrote the e-mail. Myers said many tea party supporters consider Straus a Republican in name only, or RINO.
"We're going after the RINOs," he said.
I think if people are injecting religion in this race they are just giving newspapers something to write about and help people rally around Straus... and I think looking at the actual email the Morrison Report probably did in fact mean to inject Straus' Jewish faith as a negative... and I reject and denounce him and his attempt to be divisive there... but is the Morrison Report really that influential? If anything the Morrison report is so strident about so many things that he doesn't really have a lot of allies... he sort of alienates his own "friends" and "allies" by attacking first and asking questons later... I never hear people talking about the Morrison Report... oh no... the Morrison Report said something... we should react... nope... nobody does that...
As for Ray Myers, he did nothing wrong as I see it, and people are really stretching if they are trying to see anti-semitism in his comments... it is just a fact that Bryan Hughes is a well known Christian Conservative. Like a brand. Both capitalized... I would just guess that Myers didn't even know Straus was Jewish until he was contacted by the reporter...
Reiterating... I do agree that Peter Morrison crossed the line and did it intentionally... and I condemn that... but I still don't really see real evidence of an actual anti semitic campaign the way Harvey Kronberg and others have said exists... one crank who is trying to make a name for himself should not be seen as speaking for the opposition to Straus... certainly there are other Jewish Republicans who aren't fans of Straus... paging Leo Berman...