There’s a saying, “to make policy, you have to win politically” – and that is what conservatives did with distinction on November 2nd of last year. What’s yet to be seen is if the platform of limited government, less spending, and no new taxes championed by so many of the electoral victors will indeed be fully acted on legislatively.

I don’t need to spend time here pontificating on why it’s important to do what what you say and say what you mean, but oftentimes we find that candidates say one thing during campaign season and do quite another while executing their duties as officials.

Regardless, as constituents the most fundamental thing we share with our elected officials is trust in their words. When it comes down to it there is little else a candidate is elected on other than their ability to develop a level of trust with their constituency.

This past election cycle, we saw just about everyone and their mother campaigning on the conservative principals of limiting government, less spending, and no new taxes (even several liberals). Several of those candidates distinguished themselves as true advocates for the taxpayer by signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.

By signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge and promising to oppose any effort to increase the state’s tax burden, these elected officials have demonstrated thier clear commitment to Texas’ taxpayers and to fiscal responsibility.

Now, the people of Texas are counting on them to follow through on that pledge!

Because this commitment is central to limiting government and promoting prosperity, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility is incorporating the Taxpayer Protection Pledge into scoring consideration for our 2011-2012 Fiscal Responsibility Index.

To highlight this commitment, yesterday TFR delivered letters to every legislator to either commend them of their pledge or encourage those who have not made an overt commitment to Texas’ taxpayers to take the opportunity to do so.

Ultimately though, it will be our job as constituents and active spectators of this legislative session to judge whether the trust cultivated on the campaign trail was fulfilled through service, and what to do if it’s violated.

“It is not the oath that makes us believe the man, but the man the oath.”

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

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