It was revealed this week that four-term incumbent State Rep. Patrick Rose (D-San Marcos) has signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, which is a commitment to taxpayers to “oppose and vote against any all efforts to increase taxes.” Does this reflect a new attitude, or is it a clever political maneuver? And does it matter?

Texans for Fiscal Responsibility encourages candidates — regardless of party — running for office to sign the Taxpayer Pledge, and commends those that do at We’re honored to have updated the site to include Rep. Rose as a pledge signer.

While most candidates tend know they’re a taxpayer advocate prior to running for office, Rep. Rose decided to make this commitment in writing after nearly a decade in office.

Of course, the Hays County Democrat has found himself in a tough race for re-election against a solid fiscal conservative, Jason Issac (R-Dripping Springs). (Note: Mr. Issac signed the Taxpayer Pledge before Mr. Rose, and has been endorsed by Texans for Fiscal Responsibility.)

Regardless of reason, we are excited to see Rep. Rose may now realize that the fiscally irresponsible votes that earned him a failing grade on the Fiscal Responsibility Index are no longer politically acceptable. Taxpayers should welcome such a shift.

Further, if Rep. Rose were to remain as chairman of the House Human Services Committee next Session, Texas taxpayers may now have an advocate that will stand up and block expansion of government programs that demand higher taxes on all Texans.

Ultimately, for the Taxpayer Pledge to have meaning, it must be enforced by the voters.

Voters in HD-45 must decide if they trust Mr. Rose’s pledge despite his track record, or want to go in a new direction with a candidate who raised the issue of fiscal responsibility in the race.