Sometimes, it was hard for voters to remember that Tommy Merritt was a Republican. The former state representative from Longview was one of the worst performing Republicans in the entire Texas Legislature, prompting his constituents to replace him with David Simpson, a true conservative leader.
Representative Merritt was given the nickname “Caucus of One” for his refusal to actually side with the GOP caucus on important issues like Voter ID.
He was truly a Republican in Name Only, scoring a 63 on the Fiscal Responsibility Index in 2009, and 38 in 2007. He also scored a 48 on the Young Conservatives of Texas ratings in the 81st Legislative session with an average score of 56.
In 2009, Merritt voted to create new taxing jurisdictions for existing services that were already funded through general revenues. He also supported growing cradle-to-grave entitlements by voting for an expansion of the state Pre-K program.
He voted for extending unemployment benefits and supported an amendment allowing drug users to qualify for them. He also supported an attempt to expand the Children’s Health Insurance Program to those making over 300% of poverty, equivalent to $66,000 per year for a family of four.
Merritt voted to continue allowing government to pick winners and losers in the marketplace by providing taxpayer-funded grants to film, television, and multimedia development projects. He also voted to give taxpayer-funded grants to the homeless to pay for voicemail services, and supported an attempt to pay state employees for volunteering to do community service.
He voted against allocating state funds for a school-voucher program that would have created more competition among schools and expanded parents’ options for their children’s’ education. Merritt also supported an attempt to subject the State Board of Education to sunset review, which would have taken power away from elected officials and placed into the hands of TEA bureaucrats.
With a voting record that looks more like a rap sheet, it’s easy to see why Longview taxpayers had enough of Merritt and replaced him with a principled conservative like David Simpson. Simpson earned the Taxpayer Champion Award in his freshman term, and was named Freshman of the Year by the Young Conservatives of Texas.
Now Tommy Merritt wants back into the lackey leadership circle and is running to take his seat back from Rep. Simpson. Taxpayers can’t afford to put Merritt back in office. Conservatives should be supporting David Simpson, now more than ever, if we want true conservative leadership in Austin.
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