If voters in HD 7 had any question how Tommy Merritt would legislate if he were re-elected, his frank admission of wanting to recklessly spend the Rainy Day Fund removed all doubt.

Former State Rep. and "Prince of Pork" Tommy Merritt

Recently at a candidate forum for House District 7, Tommy Merritt re-assured voters why they made the right choice by throwing him out of office in 2010. Merritt (sounding well-versed in the Educrat/Liberal playbook) went on record advocating for drawing down the Rainy Day Fund this coming session to pay for the “enrollment growth” allegedly not funded by the 82nd Legislature.

In other words, Tommy Merritt is already committing himself to draining the state’s savings account (six months before the 83rd Session even starts) without even so much as considering to look for more efficiencies or to cut out wasteful spending in other areas of state government.

Remember, the supposed “enrollment growth” that wasn’t funded in the 82nd Session has been overfunded by nearly five times the rate of population plus inflation over the past ten years – a topic we’ve covered extensively over the past year.

It would be interesting to know if the “Caucus of One” is also joining with his liberal brethren to claim the state “cut” funding to public education this biennium (which we all know was actually an increase).

It would also be interesting to know if the former “Prince of Pork” is aware that Longview ISD, the largest school district in HD 7, has a pathetic instructional spending rate of less than 30% – spending over $15,000 per student! Does it sound like they really need more money than what the state has already appropriated them over the last decade? Sadly, this isn’t a problem isolated only in East Texas.

Regardless, Merritt’s admission to wanting to do exactly the same thing he did the last time he was in Austin (spend all your money) is helpful. Taxpayers in HD 7 have a stark contrast between him and conservative champion David Simpson.

Simpson, who was named “Rookie of the Year” by Young Conservatives of Texas, responsibly voted against draining down the Rainy Day Fund last session to pay for recurring expenses. His display of commonsense policymaking (a breath of fresh air for HD 7!) is why he earned the distinction of Taxpayer Champion.

If you live in East Texas, this is really an easy choice to make. If you want a true conservative leader dedicated to protecting taxpayers, David Simpson is your man. Otherwise, Democrats like Senfronia Thompson would love to be re-united with their former colleague.

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.