Much to the chagrin of the liberal pundits and bloggers in Austin, Gov. Rick Perry isn’t going away quietly. If his effort to promote the Texas Budget Compact and string of recent endorsements are any indication, Perry is gearing to be the leader in the fight for conservative reforms this coming session.

The left is trying harder than ever to knock Governor Perry off his game, but it isn’t working. Thinking they smell political blood after Perry’s failed presidential campaign, liberals in Austin have been making themselves giddy thinking Perry is essentially a lame-duck governor.

Gov. Perry unveiling the Texas Budget Compact

Nothing could be further from the truth.

They can try all they want to paint that narrative for next session, but it isn’t working. Instead of planning to sit back and lick his wounds until the end of his term, like the left is deliriously wishing for, Governor Perry is making it known publicly the direction he plans to guide the Legislature towards when they re-convene in January.

Last week, Perry articulated his vision for next session, calling it the Texas Budget Compact – a five-point plan to ensure future economic prosperity:

  • Truth in budgeting
  • Constitutional spending limit
  • Opposition to new taxes
  • Preserve the Rainy Day Fund
  • Cut wasteful and unnecessary government

This week, Perry has started rolling-out endorsements of conservative candidates facing challenges across the state, including Wayne Christian, James White, and Kelly Hancock.

What about these endorsements should get taxpayers excited, other than they’re the most conservative candidates in their races? The fact that each one of these are indications on how the governor feels about Speaker Straus’ leadership.

Rep. Christian has been a vocal critic of Straus and was among the handful of legislators who officially voted in opposition to Speaker Straus at the beginning of the 82nd Session, despite no others running against him. Rep. Christian is now being challenged by a moderate – Marshall mayor Chris Paddie – in a district with mostly new territory.

Freshman State Rep. James White was also in opposition to Speaker Straus, and is now being challenged by Straus-lackey “Tuffy” Hamilton. This is a race all Texans should keep their eyes on, because Rep. Hamilton, a pro-gambling moderate, moved into White’s district instead of staying put to face former Democrat Allan Ritter in the primary.

Rep. Hancock is now running for state senate against another Straus-insider Todd Smith, a tax hike-supporting, Rainy Day Fund-Spending, Voter ID-killing, big-government guy.

It’s worth noting that Speaker Straus himself has refused to sign the Texas Budget Compact. Not surprising given Straus’ aversion to making any more cuts to state spending, saying “you can’t cut your way to prosperity.”

Perry will likely be rolling-out more endorsements in the coming days, and if recent history is any indication, he’ll be backing conservatives that are looking to enact meaningful reforms – not moderates tip-toeing around the status quo while government continues to grow at unsustainable levels.

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.