Reading over the editorial endorsements of the last several days, the Dallas Morning News has a very focused criteria for their candidates: opposition to the Texas Budget Compact, and a disturbing “flexibility” on raising taxes.
In endorsing moderate lackey Todd Smith for the state senate (district 9), as well as former judge Jim Pruitt and David Loerwald for the Texas House, the DMN praised them opposing (to varying degrees) the Texas Budget Compact. (Gov. Rick Perry introduced the Compact last week.)
This alone should be of interest to Republicans, because each of the five points of the Compact are long-standing planks in the Republican party Platform. So here you have candidates in the Republican Primary pledging opposition to core Republican principles: spending limits, truth in budgeting, small-business tax relief, no new taxes and the like.
But it runs deeper. For example, 90 percent of Republican Primary voters have supported ballot questions on spending limits on the last three GOP ballots.
This means Messers. Smith, Pruitt and Loerwald are campaigning – in the DMN editorial board meetings, at least — in direct opposition to what 90 percent of their primary voters want in terms of public policy.
Not very representative. If these three cannot commit to the general principles outlined in the Texas Budget Compact during a campaign, then they will most likely be working against them in a legislative session.
According to the DMN, Mr. Loerwald (running in HD65) says he plans to keep the much-despised Gross Margins Tax – which they say he would “apply more evenly.” That’s moderate-speak for “increase.”
Likewise, Mr. Pruitt (running in HD33) isn’t too keen on making any changes to the business tax. He wants more money, not reform.
We all know Todd Smith, who has been a vehement opponent of sensible public policy for years. Between ranting voicemails to conservative activists, opposition to tort reform, to his double-down cheerleading for hiking gasoline taxes, little separates him from the rank-and-file of the Democrats in Austin.
In the House District 67 race, the editorial board backed moderate Roger Burns and then specifically cited conservative leader Jeff Leach’s support for the fiscally responsible Texas Budget Compact as a reason not to endorse his candidacy.
Interestingly, the House District 70 endorsement write-up exuded a palatable frustration from the ed-board that neither candidate would commit to seeking new revenues. So they went with stronger candidate, Scott Sanford. The DMN is capable of making a decent pick… but only when they don’t have a high-tax, anti-Compact candidate. Mr. Sanford is an outlier for the DMN, not the rule.
Endorsements are useful tools for voters to consider in determining the positions of candidates based on who stands beside them. The Dallas Morning News editorial board is clearly beholden to a failed, grow-government ideology harmful to Texas and threatening to the economic security of all Texans.
Yes, the DMN’s endorsements are useful — if only in demonstrating which “conservatives” may not be what they are claiming.