After having stated multiple times that he had no plans to seek re-election in May, long-time consultant to moderate Joe Straus and friend of the Castro Administration Joe Krier pivoted and is running for the city council district 9 seat in May.
The reversal is concerning because a promise that the appointee would not run in May was an important consideration when the interim appointment to the seat vacated by Elisa Chan was being made. This was because the name recognition associated with the interim appointment would provide an unfair advantage in the May election.
A close ally of notorious moderate Joe Straus said one thing and is now doing the opposite when it benefits him? I know… color me shocked.
Flip-flopping aside, voters in the historically conservative District 9 should be very concerned for the future of San Antonio. In the vacuum left behind by the departure of the only fiscally conservative council members, Carlton Soules and Elisa Chan, a vacuum now partially filled by Krier, the San Antonio city council is now poised to be almost entirely dominated by tax-and-spenders.
While he has no voting record per se, Krier has served as President of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce for 20 years, where, according to his City Council bio, “he was a driving force behind every civic and economic development project in San Antonio and the South Texas Region.”
The label “economic development” is an intentionally vague and overused guise for cronyist projects. After all, it sounds a lot better than “taxpayer funded benefits for well-connected businesses.” The overwhelmingly unpopular VIA streetcar/light-rail/wastetrain boondoggle was called an “economic development” plan. Economic development for the businesses along the route, perhaps, and at massive taxpayer expense.
It probably bears mentioning that Krier has also served on multiple transportation related boards and commissions, and more importantly, that under his leadership back in 2000, the Chamber of Commerce embraced VIA’s original light-rail boondoggle plan, citing “economic growth” as one reason why a taxpayer funded train through the city’s already congested streets is such a wonderful idea.
That’s just one example of the kind of tax-and-spend representation District 9 can expect. The Chamber Krier presided over for two decades regularly publishes a legislative agenda rife with similar cronyist proposals. As the “pro-business” voice in San Antonio’s political discourse, it comes as little surprise that San Antonio boasts the highest per-capita debt out of the major metropolitan areas in Texas, at $7,100 (not counting school districts and other debt). Considering that Texas is second in the nation out of the top ten most populous states as far as local debt goes, and San Antonio leads the pack in per capita debt out of its major urban centers, such a commitment to spending is almost impressive. Almost.
Perhaps most alarming, however, is Krier’s perspective towards conservatism in general.
Not only has he historically worked closely with Julian Castro on cronyist initiatives, Krier also praised the known socialist, saying he “certainly reflects what’s going on in Texas in terms of demographic changes…” It would seem Krier is unfamiliar with voter turnout levels in San Antonio’s local elections.
Essentially saying that Texans are trending towards advocacy for big government, such a tacit admission of futility for the conservative movement is hardly indicative of the kind of backbone conservatives demand when they select someone to represent their values. Conservatives need to be winning the argument, and for that, they need someone willing to have it; not giving the other side miles of ground inches at a time.