How can voters tell campaign season is underway? By the amount of rebranding moderates are investing in ahead of the March primaries.

Look no further than the establishment’s biggest anti-conservative enforcer, State Rep. Charlie Geren of Ft. Worth.

Mr. Geren is proudly launching a re-vamp of his campaign site today, declaring himself to be HD 99’s “conservative voice in Austin.”

No seriously. Stop laughing.

This is the same guy who scored a 37 on the 2013 Fiscal Responsibility Index. Yes, that’s out of 100. His biggest legislative victory this session was taking the lead on passing SB 346 of the Texas House, an unconstitutional bill explicitly designed to silence the voices of conservatives whom Mr. Geren and his Austin cronies can’t control.

But campaign season is in full swing now, and Mr. Geren’s campaign team surely recognizes that running as Joe Straus’s right-hand man will go over like a lead balloon in a Republican primary.

So what’s a moderate to do? Rebrand!

But taxpayers beware: no amount of web design and Facebook ads will make up for such terrible voting records.

Just ask Speaker Joe Straus, who attempted the same type of re-branding effort in 2011 when then-State Rep. Ken Paxton (now a State Senator) challenged him for the speakership. Mr. Straus, who once told Evan Smith of the Texas Tribune how much he disliked labels, was never successful in getting the “conservative” label to stick to him.

Mssrs. Geren and Straus aren’t the only moderates turning to rebranding themselves as their campaign strategy.

State Rep. Linda Harper-Brown, a disappointing D- on the 2013 Index, comically decided to give herself an A+ in a campaign email for her legislative performance this session.

Yes, that’s right. Moderates are now resorting to grading themselves in order to whitewash their record. (If only we could have given ourselves grades to take home to our parents while we were in school!)

And lest we forget State Rep. Dan Branch’s rollout of “conservative” endorsements from his fellow House colleagues for his run for Attorney General.

A list that includes Straus lieutenants like Reps. Byron Cook, Drew Darby, Sarah Davis, Charlie Geren, Patricia Harless, Todd Hunter, Jim Keffer, Jim Pitts and John Zerwas reads more like a “Who’s who among moderate lackeys” than a list of principled conservative leaders. (It’s funny how all their failing scores weren’t mentioned in the press release.)

Yes, expect to see a lot more of these types of efforts as we get closer to the primary. Try not to laugh too hard when you see it too.

Dustin Matocha

Dustin Matocha is the CFO and COO of Texas Scorecard. Dustin graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a BBA in Management, a BA in Government, and a minor in Marketing. He’s a self-described Corvette enthusiast, baseball purist, tech geek and growing connoisseur of local craft beer.


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