On Monday, the Republican Party of Texas came to the defense of HD 136 GOP candidate Tony Dale, after both his Democratic and Libertarian candidates have gone on record supporting higher gas taxes. While it comes as no surprise that the RPT would defend one of its own, it does beg the question: What does the party think about the handful of remaining Republican incumbents who actually cast a vote to consider raising the gas tax?
RPT sent out a press release Monday calling out Libertarian candidate Matt Whittington and Democratic candidate Matt Stillwell for supporting a hike to the existing state gas tax. Both candidates are running for HD 136 against GOP candidate Tony Dale, who opposes hiking the gas tax.
According to RPT spokesman Chris Elam, Texas can’t afford the “Matt Tax,” saying, “Electing either one of these tax-hiking candidates will only ensure that we have a representative who wants us to pay more.”
Conservatives rightly agree that raising the gas tax is a bad idea. With all the Fund 006 diversions, transportation dollars spent on parks and mass-transit boondoggles, and billions of dollars that disappear—and suddenly reappear—within TxDOT, the last thing the state should do is raise the gas tax (or vehicle registration fees for that matter).
But sadly, there are still handfuls of GOP legislators in both chambers that don’t share the view of their party.
Here are the incumbent legislators seeking to return in 2013 who voted to consider a gas tax hike in 2009, and have not explicitly stated their opposition to future gas tax increases:
|Duell, Bob||Fletcher, Allen|
|Duncan, Robert||Keffer, Jim|
|Eltife, Kevin||King, Susan|
|Estes, Craig||Lewis, Tryon|
|Nichols, Robert||Patrick, Diane|
It’s unlikely to see any of these legislators publicly scorned by their own party for holding positions that conflict with the party platform. But that doesn’t mean grassroots conservatives should remain silent on the issue.
If your representative is on this list, call them now and tell them you don’t support any increase in the gas tax. Not sure who it is? Visit our Who Represents Me page for more information.