The following letter was sent to Gov. Greg Abbott following the receipt of an invitation to an upcoming campaign fundraiser.
Dear Governor Abbott:
I received the attached invitation and it motivated me to let you know that I am very disappointed at your performance as Governor. While you claim this last legislative session was positive, I disagree.
I have voted for you twelve (12) times, 3 of which you ran unopposed:
1996 Texas Supreme Court
1998 Texas Supreme Court
2002 Texas Attorney General (primary, unopposed)
2002 Texas Attorney General (general)
2006 Texas Attorney General (primary, unopposed)
2006 Texas Attorney General (general)
2010 Texas Attorney General (primary, unopposed)
2010 Texas Attorney General (general)
2014 Governor (primary)
2014 Governor (general)
2018 Governor (primary)
2018 Governor (general)
I will never, ever, ever, ever, ever vote for you again—ever!
You claim that you implemented “meaningful property tax reform.”
The year you took office, my property tax bill was $10,300, and last year we paid $12,739.58, up 23.5%. The estimate for this year is $14,005.33, up over 35%.
The hard-working citizens of Texas fully funded the 2017-2018 budget (likely bloated) and, on top of that, generated over 10 billion dollars of surplus revenue. Was it your all-consuming passion to return every penny of that 10-billion-dollar surplus to the hard-working citizens of Texas, who were essentially overcharged to the tune of 10 billion dollars?
Only later, and begrudgingly, did you endorse property tax reforms, which, by the way, left plenty of room for jurisdictions to raise taxes before the bill’s effective date and are likely to be watered down as the years pass. More problematic was your gall in even suggesting raising the sales tax to offset property taxes, as if revenue (remember the 10 billion dollar surplus?) was the problem. That is the Democrats’ line: revenue is the issue when conservatives know that spending is the issue.
Where was your push for zero-based budgeting?
Where was your proposal to require revenue-neutral provisions whereby a rise in property values would be automatically matched by a reduction in rates so that the homeowner’s bill is the same as their tax bill for the previous year?
Where was your proposal to freeze appraisal district assessments for five years to further restrain the out of control spending of cities, counties, and school districts?
Where was your proposal to bar school districts from spending any money on anything other than education?
How is it that everything in the budget passed by the legislature, which far exceeded the rate of inflation and projected growth, was so sacrosanct that you did not veto a single item?
The population of school-aged children in Texas roughly equals that of Maryland; the public school population roughly equals that of South Carolina. It is hubris to think that public schools are the only answer and that parents should be shackled in their ability to choose the schooling that is best for their child. Many states have school choice programs.
Where is your leadership, Governor, in enacting school choice in Texas and breaking the education establishment’s strangulating hold on education in Texas?
Abortion started in Texas when Norma McCorvey fabricated her story of rape in order to get into court. Is Texas the leader in setting up the legal challenge to abortion?
That has been left to Mississippi, Alabama, Missouri, and others.
Where is your leadership in putting Texas in the forefront of the abortion debate and setting up a test case for the U.S. Supreme Court?
Governor, you claim to be a conservative, but your record this legislative session suggests that you are a tax (raise sales taxes) and spend (bloated budget) liberal masquerading as a conservative.
Accordingly, I do not now, and will not in the future, support you, and I thought you should know that and know why.
Thank you for your time and attention.
Very truly yours,
Michael L. Geller
This is a commentary submitted and published with the author’s permission. If you wish to submit a commentary to Texas Scorecard, please submit your article to firstname.lastname@example.org.