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March 8, 2023      3:01 PM

SB: On social media, but apparently not in person, Lt. Gov. Patrick vents about Speaker Phelan while Abbott largely avoids the Texas Capitol

To outsiders, Lt. Gov. Patrick’s demand for multiple special sessions may sound like strength. But in reality, it speaks to the weakness of working relationships among the state’s top leadership

Okay, it’s probably time to clear the air about something that’s kind of important.

As bill filing deadline approaches, the relationships between Texas’ top GOP leaders seems almost as nonexistent as ever.

Gov. Greg Abbott, still not at the Texas Capitol very much, continues his school voucher roadshow in Bryan-College Station and Tyler this week while Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick vented about Speaker Dade Phelan on Twitter and Phelan unveiled more House priorities via a news release.

Usually, when someone in a leadership position resorts to Twitter for their critique, it’s safe to say there’s almost no working relationship even if one previously existed.

It appears that Abbott, Patrick, and Phelan didn’t even start the session by having weekly leadership breakfasts. Then-Speaker Dennis Bonnen in 2019, taking a swipe at his predecessor Speaker Joe Straus, said he was proud of the fact that the Big 3 had enjoyed a weekly breakfast meeting throughout the entire session. Straus had grown tired of the meetings as they became less productive during his last term in office.

An old joke around here is that the first couple months of session are a time for relationships to be built so that they can later be burned to the ground. Now among top leadership, it seems there wouldn’t be much to set ablaze.

By Scott Braddock

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