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Texas House Speaker Refuses to Surrender Powerful Post Amid Plot to Replace Him

Despite a bipartisan plot to oust House Speaker Tom Craddick from his post, the powerful Texan refuses to call it quits.

Craddick, under seige by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, refused to recognize a motion to consider throwing him out of office Friday night, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Parliamentarians resigned. Lawmakers rushed the speaker's post. Extra security was called in to brace for chaos.

State Rep. Fred Hill of Richardson, Texas, brought a motion to vacate the chair to throw Craddick out of office. Hill, seeking to replace Craddick, then asked the House Speaker to recognize him to make the motion. His request was denied.

Hill asked Craddick for a vote to override his decision. Again, his request was denied.

When another effort to suspend House rules failed, Craddick said, "You're not recognized for that motion," and declared his ruling final.

Click here to read the story in the Houston Chronicle.

A Texas group alerted members that a "coup d'etat" was in the works on the House floor. Texas Department of Public Safety officers prepared for chaos.

"This was a scene out of Lord of the Flies," Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, told the Chronicle.

The Texas House speaker faces criticism from lawmakers who question his leadership and refusal to make rulings that follow House rules. His term expires in January 2009.

The House adjourned at about 1:30 a.m. after security had to physically restrain lawmakers who tried to challenge Craddick at his podium.

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