In a recent interview with the Austin insider publication Quorum Report, Andy Cargile spilled the beans on his intentions if he wins elected office. He made it clear that he would like to emulate Todd Smith, the former representative for District 92, who earned a cumulative D+ on the Fiscal Responsibility Index. Even more specifically, Cargile came out as considering a 50 percent hike in state’s gas tax, a plan Smith championed while in office.

Cargile told Quorum Report:

“I supported Todd Smith for 14 years on his mailer. … I believed in him. He was good for education. He was good for our community.”

This is the same Todd Smith who infamously called Republican women “too stupid” to know what’s best for them in an angry voicemail left with now-Representative Stephanie Klick.

This is the same Todd Smith for whom the North East Tarrant TEA Party assembled a three page record of his “classic hits to the Texas taxpayer.”

Most glaringly, though, this is the same Todd Smith who earned the endorsement of the liberal Dallas Morning News editorial board because he would “not rule out an increase in the state’s gasoline tax.” This is the same Todd Smith who voted for the gas-tax-raising “TLOTA” legislation in 2009.

To dispel any doubt of whether Andy Cargile fully embraces Big-Tax Todd’s gasoline tax increase, he made his support clear when speaking to Quorum Report. When asked by Quorum Report’s Scott Braddock about the concept of a “mileage tax” which is being floated by a liberal candidate in a Dallas house district, Cargile not only didn’t reject the idea, he volunteered that he was weighing it against a 50 percent increase in the gasoline tax.

“You have to look at the data for ALL the suggestions that are out there. Whether it’s a consumption tax or a gas tax. I was talking to TXDOT and NTTA … [a]nd she said to me, ‘Well, what has the gas been in the last month?’ I said, “Well it’s been as high as $3.25 and as low as $3.01.” And she said ‘Well, that’s 19 cents and we don’t hesitate and we just go on.’ She said ‘To raise the gas tax ten cents would go a long way towards getting rid of our toll roads and it hasn’t made a difference in the last month or two the price of gas going up 20 cents so what would ten cents make.’… It’s real easy to say I want a consumption tax. I think you jump on the poor people and it hurts them more than it does the middle class and upper class. Just saying one thing or the other, I can’t say.”

So Cargile not only is considering a gas tax increase, but he’s also shown that he failed to protect the taxpayers’ interests in his first meeting with a lobbyist or bureaucrat looking for more dough.

Cargile has called himself a conservative in his campaign challenging Taxpayer Champion Jonathan Stickland, but, unlike Stickland, he has refused to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. We now know why.

The conservative veneer is coming off of Andy Cargile’s campaign. Just last week Cargile’s supporters were caught coaxing “life-long Democrats” to cross over and vote for him in the Republican primary. The North East Tarrant TEA Party even caught one supporter who had placed duct tape over the word “Republican” on an Andy Cargile sign that was in their yard. In addition, Cargile was caught accepting a $5000 campaign contribution from an educrat PAC that is also backing an income tax promoting Democrat against a Republican in an Austin special election.

The Democrats must have known early that Cargile was a secret tax-raiser. Now he has spilled the beans for all the voters to see.

Tony McDonald

Tony McDonald serves as General Counsel to Texas Scorecard. A licensed and practicing attorney, Tony specializes in the areas of civil litigation, legislative lawyering, and non-profit regulatory compliance. Tony resides in Austin with his wife and daughter and attends St. Paul Lutheran Church.


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