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At the conclusion of the 82nd Legislative Session three Republican House members found themselves with voting records that abjectly failed Texas taxpayers. Reps. John Davis, Allan Ritter, and Dee Margo were the bottom of the barrel – all scoring a failing “F” on the Fiscal Responsibility Index.

While there certainly were some Taxpayer Champions in the House this legislative session, some legislators fell far short of the mark (to put it kindly).

When you look at the votes, one can clearly see why Republicans John Davis, Dee Margo, and Allan Ritter all earned an “F” on the Fiscal Responsibility Index. These representatives consistently took votes that read like a laundry list of what conservatives have spent all session fighting against.

All three “republicans” voted to:

  • Weaken private property rights
  • Create new regulations and bureaucracy
  • Further regulate and interfere in the marketplace
  • Limit transparency of the budgeting process
  • Irresponsibly spend the state’s rainy day fund
  • Require businesses to pre-pay sales taxes (effectively compelling the private sector to issue the state an interest free loan)

(All of these votes can be found on the Fiscal Responsibility Index)

It’s especially disappointing because all three of these legislators told us all they were true conservatives while on the campaign trail. Mr. Davis and Mr. Margo certainly talked a good talk, so much so that they each garnered an electoral endorsement from this organization in 2010. Their actions, however, have brought out their true political colors and taxpayers now know they cannot trust either of them.

Mr. Ritter, on the other hand, is a different case. Two years ago, Rep. Ritter was an actual Democrat. Having sensed the political winds changing and motivated by the instinct for survival, Mr. Ritter switched parties at the beginning of the legislative session. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, he fell back on old habits, voting more like a Democrat than a conservative Republican.

The performances from Republican Representatives John Davis (Houston), Allan Ritter (Nederland), and Dee Margo (El Paso) were the stuff that makes Texans proud that the legislature only meets 140 days every 2 years — Lord knows what our state would look like if Mr. Davis, Mr. Ritter and Mr. Margo were working on the “people’s business” year round.

Andrew Kerr is the Executive Director of Empower Texans / Texans for Fiscal Responsibility

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