After every session, a number of groups come out with “scorecards” grading how lawmakers performed in the Texas Legislature. And that’s a good thing.
By using tools like Texans for Fiscal Responsibility’s aptly-named Fiscal Responsibility Index, Texas Right to Life’s “Pro-Life Scorecard,” and Young Conservatives of Texas’ “Legislative Ratings,” voters can cut through the clutter and see if their lawmaker’s record in Austin matched his rhetoric on the campaign trail. And with the information in hand they can hold him accountable if it doesn’t.
But because the three aforementioned “scorecards” do a good job educating Texans, they’ve spawned imitators—some with dishonest intentions.
The most recent example of this is the recently released “For the Record” report by Texas’ ostensibly pro-business group, the Texas Association of Business.
For the record, the report is a thinly-veiled political hit-job intended to spread a farcical political narrative that conservative and mainstream Republicans are “anti-business” while Democrats are its champions.
Actually, it’s not so thinly-veiled. It’s ham-fisted, flagrant, and brazen.
How else would Oscar Longoria, a Democrat from the Rio Grande Valley who voted to fast-track a bill to increase the minimum wage, voted to allow school districts to raise taxes without voter approval, voted to kill the spending limits bill, and voted to raid the Economic Stabilization Fund, be considered “pro-business?”
According to the report, Longoria’s not just “pro-business,” he’s the most pro-business legislator in the state with a perfect score of 100%. Yet, if you look at the Fiscal Responsibility Index, Longoria’s one of the worst-rated lawmakers with a 30.
Meanwhile, conservative Republican lawmakers like State Sens. Konni Burton (Colleyville), Bob Hall (Edgewood), and Don Huffines (Dallas), all three of whom have made headlines for their commitment to cutting taxes and regulations on businesses, earned failing grades.
And it’s not just those three conservative lawmakers slighted by the “report.” In fact, Democrat members of the Texas Senate averaged higher scores than their Republican colleagues.
How could this be?
Because they voted for legislation like Senate Bill 4, the ban on sanctuary cities and they voted for legislation that preserves businesses’ rights to set their own bathroom policies free of government interference.
TAB rated both votes as “anti-business” and it’s not even a surprise.
Over the past several years, TAB has continued its march towards progressive causes – becoming little more than a coin operated lobby arm of the professional Left. Rather than champion pro-business policies, they’ve become paid stooges tasked with providing “business” window dressing for corporate welfare, amnesty, and leftist social policies.
And according to documents leaked in August, TAB received $130,000 of its $200,000 campaign budget to oppose the Texas Privacy Act from national LGBT groups, including the Gill Foundation and the Human Rights Campaign. The group also received funding, presumably courtesy of taxpayers, from the cities of Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio. No Texas business contributed more than $15,000 to the effort.
The good news is that voters don’t fall for this kind of chicanery. Indeed, they rejected it last year when the Dallas and Fort Worth Chambers of Commerce tried a similar strategy.