KVUE's Elise Hu has an excellent story on the renovation of the House Members' Lounge at the Capitol. I'm glad Elise is asking the questions, because, like most people, I miss many of the details. While getting her story, Elise ran into some access issues at the Capitol.
Apparently, Speaker Tom Craddick is concerned with "safety" and that is the reason no one is allowed in the hallway behind the House Chamber. At least that's what spokesperson Alexis DeLee told KVUE. Unless you're James Leininger, the hallway is off limits while the House is in Session, but why can't anyone go back there during the interim?
The Members' lounge is just that - for House members only, but lots of money is being infused to redecorate the place. Since that falls under women's work, it was a job that Nadine Craddick was happy to do. But I digress.
The Texas Capitol belongs to the people of Texas and not to the Craddicks. Notice that Elise was not asked to leave by either the DPS troopers or by the House Sergeant-At-Arms. It was Craddick's personal bodyguards - two guys, bigger & badder - who were sent to deal with the questions. This is what happened when a KVUE photographer went back to the Capitol to work on their story:
And there you have it.
Robert said he wanted to speak with security directly, and instead of security, Delee sent Terry Keel and Ron Wilson! Robert says Wilson came down the hallway wearing a big black shirt and sunglasses, even though they were indoors. But Keel (who is now House Parliamentarian) did the talking. He let Robert in to the lounge, to shoot what he wanted. We were thrilled to get what we could get, but would have loved anyone from the Speaker's office to go on camera. We were denied.