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The Austin establishment has a bunch of big ideas. Big-government ideas that is.

That’s what taxpayers have come to learn after listening to the candidates backed by the Austin lobby who are challenging conservative incumbents across the state. And those candidates leave much to be desired.

The most notable is arguably Steve Massengale — challenger to conservative State Rep. Charles Perry of Lubbock.

We’ve written extensively on the boondoggle tax-hike proposal Mr. Massengale and his Lubbock Chamber of Commerce backers are pushing for. If successful, Mr. Massengale and his puppeteers would make Lubbock’s sales-tax rate the highest in the state at 9.25% — all to fund vanity projects like a performing arts center, bike lanes, and even a monorail perhaps.

No, seriously. A monorail.

Massengale’s tax-hike-seeking backers are pushing to install a monorail system in Lubbock, TX, of all places. Taxpayers are still waiting to hear if Mr. Massengale is as supportive of their mass-transit ideas as he is of their tax-hike proposal.

Speaking of mass-transit boondoggles…

Skip Ogle, registered lobbyist and establishment-backed candidate, is attempting to knock Taxpayer Champion Matt Schaefer from his position as State Representative of Tyler.

In a recent debate between the two candidates, Mr. Ogle professed his desire to see the state get sucked into a high-speed rail boondoggle, calling it “a great idea.” Too bad nobody asked him how California’s high-speed rail is coming along.

Of course he didn’t stop there. Ogle also praised the idea of taxpayers subsidizing toll-road projects for private developers, saying “toll roads seem to be working.”

And then there’s Andy “Curfew” Cargile – challenger to the most conservative state representative in Texas, Jonathan Stickland of Bedford.

Now loaded up with campaign cash from a recent stop at the Austin Club, a popular lobbyist hangout near the Capitol, Cargile has resorted to arguably the nastiest attacks on any conservative incumbent in the state. Cargile recently issued a press release criticizing Stickland for getting his GED, calling Stickland a “high-school dropout.”

Cargile is no stranger to controversy when it comes to sharing his thoughts about education… or at least things semi-related to education.

In 2009, Cargile proposed a “daytime curfew” to the Bedford City Council, arguing that if public school kids were off the streets, they wouldn’t be out “stealing from mailboxes” or “running over homeschoolers.”

How would police determine whether they should stop and inquire why a kid wasn’t in school? Profiling of course! The Demographic? “Those who look around.”

Unfortunately, Cargile’s idea for a bigger police-state ultimately did make it into Bedford City Code. Voters in House District 92 have a chance to repudiate Cargile and his bad ideas by voting overwhelmingly to re-elect Jonathan Stickland as their state representative.

It’s not surprising to see the Austin establishment backing bad candidates pushing big-government ideas. It is surprising that this is the best they have to offer.