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Inside Texas Politics hands out annual 'Turkey awards'

For those officials who have had a successful year politically, they get a turkey leg. Those who have not - they get the gizzard.
Credit: WFAA

This week, Inside Texas Politics presents its annual Turkey Awards. We do this every year on the program where we celebrate the great work - and not so great work - our legislators and leaders have done through the year. 

Here's how it works: for those officials who have had a successful year politically, they get a turkey leg. Those who have not - they get the gizzard.

Members of the Inside Texas Politics Reporters Roundtable present the awards. Ross Ramsey is the co-founder and executive editor of the Texas Tribune. Bud Kennedy is a columnist at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Berna Dean Steptoe is the political producer at WFAA in Dallas.

Without further ado: 

Republican House Speaker Dade Phelan - Turkey Leg

Awarded by Jason Whitely

  • First-time speaker
  • Navigated three special sessions
  • Dealt with Democrats breaking quorum

Power grid and actors - Gizzard

Awarded by Ross Ramsey

The actors: electric utilities, natural gas companies, regulars (ERCOT, PUC, RRC) and lawmakers

  • Affected everybody
  • Texas was out of power for 4 days

Democratic Sen. Carol Alvarado - Turkey leg

Awarded by Berna Dean Steptoe

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz - Gizzard

Awarded by Bud Kennedy

Rep. Ryan Guillen - Gizzard

Awarded by Jason Whitely

  • Switched parties - from Democrat to Republican - after redistricting turned his district from Democrat to Republican
  • Timing of the switch "suspect"

Tethered dogs - Turkey leg

Awarded by Ross Ramsey

  • Bill passed in regular session, but governor vetoed
  • Bill later passed in a special session
  • Advocates pushed hard for protections

Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton - Gizzard

Awarded by Berna Dean Steptoe

  • Appeared during Jan. 6 rally that preceded Capitol Riots

Voters who helped elect San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg, Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker - Turkey Leg

Awarded by Bud Kennedy

  • Voters came "thundering" back to the polls
  • Strong turnout for the elections in May
  • Voters are "tuned in"

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott - Gizzard

Awarded by Jason Whitely

Texas Republican legislators - Both a turkey leg and a gizzard

Awarded by Ross Ramsey, Berna Dean Steptoe 

  • Passed a lot of issues-based bills on abortion, guns, etc. 
  • Funding for border wall
  • Passed a major elections bill

El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser - Tukey Leg

Awarded by Bud Kennedy

  • Helped lead the border region from being hardest hit by COVID in Texas, to one of the most vaccinated regions

President Joe Biden - Turkey leg

Awarded by Jason Whitely

  • His signature campaign promise, a bipartisan infrastructure bill, passed and was signed into law

Texas Democrats - Gizzard

Awarded by Ross Ramsey

State Sen. Jane Nelson - Turkey Leg

Awarded by Berna Dean Steptoe

  • Chaired financed committee
  • Played a major role in last session

Alex Jones - Gizzard

Awarded by Bud Kennedy

  • Major presence at Jan. 6 rally
  • Sued by Sandy Hook parents
  • Being subpoenaed to testify in his alleged role in Capital riots

Watch the full episode of Inside Texas Politics below

   




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