With so many members switching their votes in favor of keeping the Lottery Commission after first voting to abolish it, many suspect games were being played with the voting process. State Rep. Lyle Larson (R–San Antonio) left no doubt, telling his constituents: “No one anticipated the bill would actually fail.”

It makes you wonder who, and how often, members work behind the scenes to ensure bad legislation will advance (or worse, to make sure good legislation will fail), only to “go on record” supporting the correct policy position in order to score points with their constituents.

You may recall, this practice isn’t new on the House floor. State Rep. Joe Pickett (D–El Paso) was rather candid early this session when he publicly admitted being asked by several of his colleagues to kill their own bills in his committee, so they could be on the right side politically without their legislation actually becoming law.

So this time around, Rep. Lyle Larson’s frank admission, while startling, shouldn’t be surprising. According to the Texas Tribune, Mr. Larson emailed his constituents about it explaining why he changed his vote in favor of keeping the Lottery Commission alive:

“No one anticipated the bill would actually fail.”

At least he was honest about it.

Thanks to Mr. Larson’s motion to reconsider the previous vote of 65-81, effectively killing the Lottery, the House reversed its position in favor of keeping the Commission, 110-37.

What other votes has he taken, or plan to take, in order to game the system—just so he can tell voters he was on the right side? That’s a great question for constituents in HD 122 to be asking themselves, and of Mr. Larson, throughout the rest of session and into election season.

 

Image courtesy of DallasNews.com

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.

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