After electing a super-majority of Republicans to the Texas Legislature in 2010, conservatives across the state expected them to enact bold reforms. Sadly, the results of the legislative session left far too many conservative reforms not only undone, but un-attempted.
It was a super-majority bereft of the super.
Voters have had highlighted for them one of the most important issues affecting the legislative process: leadership. While the spotlight conservatives put on the House and Senate leadership kept the legislature from spending more money irresponsibly, those same lawmakers did far too little to systematically reform spending in the Lone Star State.
In fact, the moderate leadership in the Texas House managed the Republican super-majority instead of empowering it. In the House, needed and expected systemic reforms to state government — such as zero-based budgeting, spending limits, and a law requiring a 2/3 vote to increase taxes — were all buried under Speaker Joe Straus’ appointed committee chairs and other lackeys.
In many ways, the post-2010 election focus on legislative leadership came too late – proving that constituents have the most influence with their elected officials when those officials are looking for votes, not after they’ve been given.
With that in mind, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility is heading up the Conservative Leaders Project. This campaign seeks to raise the issue profile of legislative leadership during the Texas House and Senate primaries in an effort to replace legislative lackeys with conservative leaders.
We are asking those who believe Texas needs more conservative legislative leadership to take action by going to www.ConservativeLeadersProject.com and signing the petition. Additionally, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, in partnership with conservatives across the state, will be energetically advocating to elect conservative candidates for House and Senate.
While in El Paso recently, Speaker Straus broadcast his legislative agenda, saying that the Texas Legislature has, “no choice …you can’t cut your way to prosperity.” He clarified himself in the Austin American Statesman, saying he “doesn’t know yet whether Texas needs more tax revenue.”
The Conservative Leaders Project is asking those seeking nomination for office not pledge to an agenda of government growth, but to support a shift in leadership towards limiting government, reforming spending, and empowering Texans.