In a Sunday, June 16 interview with Jason Whitely of WFAA-Dallas, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said he does not know why there’s criticism coming from some conservative groups in Texas over the results of the 86th regular legislative session.
“I don’t know why they’re disappointed,” Patrick said on WFAA’s Inside Texas Politics. “That’s for them to answer. We consider it a very successful session.”
Well, this is tiresome. From the governor, lieutenant governor, and most Republican legislators, it’s as if a collective amnesia has set in, or a case of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
Speaker Bonnen is the exception. He doesn’t even pretend not to understand. Bonnen declared he doesn’t give a tinker’s about conservatives, warned Republicans not to challenge each other or Democrats for House seats, and openly supports Democrat Joe Moody for speaker next session should Democrats take the nine seats they need to take control. Meanwhile, Republican Party of Texas Chairman James Dickey has nothing to say about the Republican speaker’s open support of Democrats.
Governor Abbott and Lt. Dan know exactly why conservative leaders and activists are not happy with the results of the session. They simply do not care. They worked very hard with Speaker Bonnen to make sure Republican legislators stopped caring about the conservatives back home. Getting along with Democrats and divesting themselves of conservative principles were far more important.
There is no Republican Plan for Legislative Success or for Fiscal Sanity. None. As a result, Texas Republicans are following the path of their counterparts in Washington, D.C. The only difference is geography. Just like D.C. Republicans, Texas Republican legislators repeatedly squander legislative sessions, not using their majority to get long-promised reforms passed. Many of these issues have been talked about for at least the last FIVE legislative sessions (and have appeared longer than that as TX GOP Platform planks), which leads us to conclude that Republican leadership no longer values the grassroots or the values they claimed when running for office. They will continue to lose seats because they fail to do what they promise.
We had a purple legislative session because too many Republican elected officials have turned purple. Now, they are putting Texas at risk in 2020.
For those who cannot seem to grasp the reason behind our discontent, conservative grassroots leaders and activists across Texas are not happy because…
- State Government – run by Republicans – is on an unsustainable spending spree. AGAIN – failed to pass spending limits on state government. Republicans grew state spending 12 percent, spending a $10 billion surplus above and beyond Hurricane Harvey disaster funds. Democrats cheered.
- State Government – run by Republicans – supports election fraud. AGAIN – failed to pass paper ballot backup audit trails so that electronic voting can be verified in an election contest. Republicans have controlled all branches of state government since 2003; yet, voter rolls have NEVER been verified! According to numerous news reports and AG cases, illegal aliens, felons, and dead people can and do vote. 2020 is around the corner. Republican leaders are doing nothing to protect legal voters.
- State Government – run by Republicans – supports public labor unions. AGAIN – failed to stop state assistance in the collection of union dues by automatically deducting them from government employee paychecks. This colossally stupid failure means union dues will once again show up in 2020 campaigns against Republicans.
- State Government – run by Republicans – supports taxpayer-funded lobbying. AGAIN – failed to stop the use of tax dollars to fund lobbyists hired by local governments to fight pro-taxpayer reforms. This failure helps drown out the voice of the people – the unheard little guys.
- State Government – run by Republicans – refuses to recognize the right of law-abiding citizens to carry handguns without a government permission slip. AGAIN – failed to return gun rights that are recognized in 16 other states (Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming). This once again proves Texas does not lead on liberty.
- State Government – run by Republicans – failed to advance legislation to save the life of pre-born babies. Meanwhile, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Missouri, and Ohio passed heartbeat bills. Kentucky and Mississippi heartbeat laws, temporarily blocked by a federal court injunction, are headed to a U.S. Appeals Court. Protecting lemonade stands is a noble gesture, but how about fighting for human life? It is shameful that Texas does not lead on life.
- State Government – run by Republicans – supports the Left’s attacks on historic monuments. They failed to do anything to protect the Alamo, the Alamo Cenotaph, and other historical monuments from being “reimagined” or removed. We now understand that Gov. Abbott, Lt. Gov. Patrick, and Speaker Bonnen – along with 95 percent of the GOP legislators – do not care one thing about these monuments. They like to invoke the names of our Heroes for Texas Independence as they draw rhetorical lines in the sand, but when it came down to honoring the bravery and sacrifice of our heroes, Republican leaders wouldn’t lift a finger to protect monuments from the rabid Left.
- State Government – run by Republicans – passed a Democratic Party Platform initiative – taxpayer funded, all day pre-K (day care) for low income children, including those here illegally. Never mind that multiple studies show no lasting academic results for such programs. Texas Republicans were always opposed to growing government at the expense of parental responsibility – until they weren’t. Democrats cheered.
- State Government – run by Republicans – passed another Democratic Party Platform item – Big Nanny-State Mental Health legislation. A $100 million psychiatric consortium with connections to the pharmaceutical industry deployed to our community schools puts Texas children at risk of dangerous psychotropic drugging, data mining, and profiling based on family values, religious beliefs, and economic circumstances. Perfectly normal children will be at risk for subjective mental health labels or viewed as potential threats, which can destroy their rights and the rights of their parents. Too much liberty is being risked in the name of preventing school shootings. In the hands of Democrats who hate gun rights, we fear this is the camel’s nose under the tent.
While we wish these legislative results were not true, ignoring the failures changes nothing and endangers Texas. Republicans have energized the Democrats and given them wins to run on!
While Republicans passed some “good intention” bills, far too many bills important to preserving and advancing Texas-style liberty were either killed by Republicans or not filed at all this session. That is how we ended up with a purple session. That is why conservatives are not happy, Lt. Dan and Company.
“What you permit, you promote.
What you allow, you encourage.
What you condone, you own.
What you tolerate, you deserve.”
Grassroots America has never supported purple, progressive Republicans who love Big Government if they can be in charge of it. We don’t intend to start now. Texas is at stake.
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 [email protected].