Our friends over at the Texas Association of Business this week released their scorecard for the legislative session. It’s interesting to compare the best and the worst between their business-oriented list to TFR’s Fiscal Responsibility Index. It shouldn’t come as any surprise that those who are bad on economic policy tend to be really bad for business.

(Read the Texas Association of Business scorecard here.)

But the politics of it are most surprising. There are five freshmen Democrats who beat Republicans — or who won in what are considered “Republican” leaning seats — in the 2008 election. Many could well be considered accidental victories, riding a wave of Obama-mania coupled with a unique set of voter circumstances. One might expect them to have voted more carefully to reflect the entrepreneurial spirit of their districts.

They did not.

Three of six are in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex: Chris Turner (who beat out incumbent Bill Zedler in Fort Worth), Robert Miklos (who won an open seat in Mesquite) and Carol Kent (who won out over Dallas’ Tony Goolsby). Others included Kristi Thibaut, who was elected in a race against Houston’s Jim Murphy, and Diana Maldonado won in a Williamson County open seat race. The sixth is Joe Moody of El Paso, who squeaked out an open-seat win.

Add in the four sophomore Democrats (elected in 2006), and their average score is in the mid-30s with TAB ranking.

Those same nine legislators have an average rating on our Index of a 30.8. They failed all the ratings. But, worse, they failed Texas’ taxpayers.

Jobs and the economy will remain a potent issue through 2010, thanks in no small part to the economy-killing proposals pushed by the Obama Administration.

It’s readily apparent that while each of these lawmakers, to varying degrees, tried to campaign as moderates or even fiscal conservatives, they have legislated like nothing of the sort.

Texas voters need to turn them out, if we are to preserve Texas’ still relatively-strong economic standing. But electing more lawmakers like these will be a disaster for Texas’ families, taxpayers and business environment.

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, and a dog. Check out his podcast, Reflections on Life and Liberty.

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