A group that claims to advocate for conservative reforms is once again demonstrating they are more interested in access in Austin than advancing their legislative agenda.
With only days remaining in the Texas Republican Primary, Texans for Lawsuit Reform came off the sidelines in Texas House District 121 to endorse Steve Allison, an establishment candidate with close ties to disgraced, soon-to-be former House Speaker Joe Straus.
Allison is one of the leading contenders in what is currently a six-man Republican primary race that also includes Texans for Fiscal Responsibility-endorsed small business owner Matt Beebe, a two-time opponent of Straus; Carlton Soules, a former City Councilman; Adrian Spears, an attorney; Charlotte Williamson, an attorney; and Marc Whyte, a business lawyer who previously represented Empower Texans in a lawsuit.
The race currently appears to be headed to a runoff between Beebe and one of the other candidates, but with turnout so fickle and the field so crowded nothing can be guaranteed electorally.
What is known for sure? Allison is no conservative.
A San Antonio business attorney and former President of the Alamo Heights School Board and Vice Chairman of VIA (the city’s beleaguered transportation board), Allison is widely considered to be the establishment’s preferred candidate in the race. Voters know him for pushing a controversial street car project despite public outcry and referenda to the contrary.
At a recent candidate forum, Allison even praised Straus and told attendees that he “hoped to work with members of both parties like he did.” At another forum, Allison “described himself as a staunch advocate of public education and an opponent of vouchers.”
Allison has retained Murphy Nasica, a political consulting firm that works exclusively for establishment politicians and has been endorsed by Texas Alliance for Life, a fake pro-life group that has received hundreds of thousands from Straus and his allies.
Sadly, TLR’s decision to endorse Allison is not a surprise for those who have been following the organization. Despite Straus’ obstruction of tort reform measures during his tenure, TLR gushed over him when he decided not to return to the Texas House in October.
“Speaker Straus has been a steadfast champion for a fair, efficient and accessible legal system in Texas, and his support has been critical in helping Texas enact common-sense lawsuit reforms during every session in which he served as speaker,” said TLR President Richard J. Trabulsi Jr.
Given TLR’s refusal so far to engage against Republican State Reps. Ken King of Canadian and Travis Clardy of Nacodoches, both of whom voted against TLR’s highest priority during the last legislative session, it’s more transparent than ever the organization is more interested in access to politicians than it is with political outcomes.

Cary Cheshire

Cary Cheshire is the Vice President of Texans for Fiscal Responsibility. A 6th Generation Texan, Cary attended Texas A&M University was active in a number of conservative causes including Ted Cruz's Senate campaign. He has also worked on campaigns to elect conservatives to Congress and the Texas Legislature. Cary enjoys college football, genealogy research, and the occasional craft beer.

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