It’s sad to see State Rep. Warren Chisum ending his career in public service by supporting a self-admitted tax-raiser. But then, Mr. Chisum has spent too much of his time in public office cavorting with big-spenders and high-taxers.
Mr. Chisum chose not to seek re-election this year, trying instead to seek a place on the Texas Railroad Commission. His retirement from the House came at the same time the Panhandle was losing a seat due to redistricting, and months after backtracking on a promise to oppose Joe Straus’ speakership.
In recent days, Mr. Chisum announced his endorsement of Ken King against conservative State Rep. Jim Landtroop. This is the same Ken King who said he would be labeled as “the guy that raises taxes“… because, well, he voted to raise taxes while a member of the Canadian ISD school board!
Wildly, Mr. Chisum is apparently taking issue with Mr. King’s own words and record being discussed in the race.
While long recognized as a social conservative, Mr. Chisum is no stranger to voting for higher taxes and bigger government. He voted to impose a “granny tax” on nursing home residents and was in support of imposing the disastrous “gross margins tax” on Texas’ businesses. Back in 2005, he voted to unravel hard-fought welfare reforms.
Just this session, Mr. Chisum voted against important property rights protections, while also voting to create new rules and regulations in the marketplace. He also voted to let cities impose taxes for longer periods of time without voter approval, and he voted against efforts to stop budget gimmicks.
I was recently at an event talking about budget challenges and was surprised to hear Mr. Chisum parrot the educrat line about needing more money. He claimed – erroneously – that public-ed was cut; in fact, education now makes up 60 percent of the state’s general revenue budget.
In the run-off race for the Texas Railroad Commission, Mr. Chisum is being bested by Christie Craddick. Ms. Craddick is supported by stalwart conservatives like Michael Williams, and State Reps. Phil King, Jodie Laubenberg, Ken Paxton and Tan Parker, among others.
Mr. Chisum is known for somewhat dodgy endorsement behavior. In the lead up to the 2011 legislative session, Chisum stepped out as a candidate for the speakership of the Texas, essentially blocking any other conservatives from engaging in the race but doing little else. After promising to oppose the incumbent moderate Joe Straus, Chisum suddenly switched course at the last minute and endorsed Straus for re-election.
Perhaps worried that his state-level political career is over, Mr. Chisum is trying to stay oddly relevant by endorsing a tax-raising big-spender at home. Sad, indeed.