Perhaps her score of 64.8 on the 2013 Fiscal Responsibility Index is a sign that State Rep. Linda Harper-Brown has been in the Legislature one-term too long?
A former Taxpayer Champion, she underperformed and underwhelmed this session, in what can only be described (and reflected in her score) as a failure of conservative leadership.
Her unwillingness to stand up for conservative principles was arguably no better seen than when the House took up the state budget for the first time. Among the bad votes she cast:
- Support for the crusade against UT Board of regents and interfering in their ability to exercise independent oversight authority (SB 1, RV 146)
- Support for the crony capitalist Texas Enterprise Fund over teachers (SB 1, RV 158)
- Support taxpayer-subsidized handouts to Hollywood rather than addressing a $25 billion unfunded liability from the Teacher Retirement System (SB 1, RV 162)
- Opposition to eliminating funding for Regional Education Service Centers, the administrative arm of CSCOPE (SB 1, RV 166)
- Opposition to funding for implementing parental choice programs (SB 1, RV 169)
- Support for spending money on government art projects over volunteer fire-fighters (SB 1, RV 175)
And those are just votes cast in only one day!
Naturally, she supported the budget when it came back from committee, as well as an irresponsible draw from the Economic Stabilization Fund for ongoing water infrastructure projects, which committed the state to spending $22 billion more during this session than it did during the 82nd Legislature. That’s a 24 percent increase in just two years!
The Wall Street Journal described that style of binge spending not unlike the spending sprees seen in California, questioning whether Texas was drifting in the same direction as Sacramento. Rep. Harper-Brown voted for it (and an increase to her and her fellow legislator’s pensions too).
The full breakdown of her voting record can be found here.
Taxpayers in HD 105 wondering what happened to her usually solid voting record should be happy to know that Mrs. Harper-Brown will have a primary challenger this election cycle. Former State Rep. and Taxpayer Champion Rodney Anderson was drawn into the district and will seek to unseat her in the next primary. It will be the first contested primary for Rep. Harper-Brown since she sought the position in 2002.
It comes not a moment too soon.