The Texas Association of Business is showing it’s true colors, endorsing Democrat candidates over their pro-business Republican opponents.
TAB announced its endorsements on Tuesday. And while the list is generally inclusive of Republican and Democrat establishment lawmakers, the endorsements of two Democrat challengers for the Texas House in Dallas county are raising the eyebrows of conservatives who may have believed the organization still sought to “enhance the Texas business climate and make the state’s economy strong.”
Julie Johnson, who TAB endorsed over incumbent Republican State Rep. Matt Rinaldi (Irving), and trial lawyer John Turner, who they endorsed over small business owner Republican Lisa Luby Ryan, are both liberal Democrats.
Turner’s own campaign website exhibits his lean toward fiscal irresponsibility, with sections advocating for looting the state’s rainy-day fund, expanding Obamacare in Texas, and his opposition to proposed local spending caps, which would rein in out-of-control municipalities from racking up huge bills and passing them on to residents in the form of skyrocketing property taxes.
Johnson’s campaign has echoed more the same liberal talking points, as Texas Democrats have long fought meaningful efforts to improve the business climate in the Lone Star State.
Additionally, TAB passed over endorsing every member of the Texas Freedom Caucus, a group of the most conservative members of the legislature, including State Rep. Matt Shaheen (R–Plano), who faces a potentially contentious general election challenge.
Why would a group that calls itself the “voice of business” endorse liberal Democrats?
TAB has been at odds with conservatives for years, but the divide was never more clear than during the last legislative session. While conservatives rallied for tax reform, lessening burdensome regulations on businesses, and fiscal responsibility at the state level, TAB spent the last regular and special session battling against efforts like ending in-state tuition for illegal immigrants and banning sanctuary cities.
Most notably, TAB was seen leading the opposition against the Texas Privacy Act, a bill designed to prevent local governments from forcing businesses to allow men into women’s showers, locker rooms, and restrooms.
In fact, their own legislative scorecard, where they grade how “pro-business” lawmakers have performed, awards the highest score to liberal Democrat State Rep. Oscar Longoria (Mission).
Once again, TAB has shown that it currently exists as little more than another mouthpiece of the Austin establishment. Given TAB’s anti-conservative agenda, lawmakers who were shunned by the endorsements should be proud.