In these closing days of 2013, we have the opportunity make sure 2014 is the year that the Lone Star State starts shining brighter!

When lawmakers gathered in January to begin the biennial legislative session, they had record-breaking revenue increases and a historic opportunity to implement significant fiscal reforms. Under the leadership of House Speaker Joe Straus and Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst… none of it was done.

Instead, lawmakers spent every single penny (and then some!) to expand government and grow programs. Speaker Straus’ lieutenants even tried (unsuccessfully) to impose ObamaCare on the Lone Star State.

Neither Straus nor Dewhurst even allowed a debate on strict, constitutional spending limits – a reform favored by 94 percent of Republican primary voters on the May 2012 ballot. (Mr. Straus killed spending limits through his committee appointments, while Mr. Dewhurst let it die in the back halls of the Senate.)

Why they killed spending limits is found in what they did with the budget. According to the Wall Street Journal editorial board, Texas lawmakers hiked state spending a whopping 25 percent. Yes, you read that correctly.

With a near super-majority of self-professed “conservatives” in both chambers, long-term, systemic reforms to state government should be a forgone conclusion. Yet commonsense reforms were un-attempted largely because too many of those folks who campaign as conservatives like to legislate and regulate as liberals.

That’s why I call the lead-up to the elections the people’s “Accountability Season.” Too often, we get sold on candidates who claim to be one thing, but who go to Austin and do something else.

We cannot forget: public policy outcomes are what every election should be about.

Thanks to support from friends like you, in 2013 we were able to…

  • Mail the Fiscal Responsibility Index report cards to tens of thousands of Texans
  • Expose legislative hypocrisy
  • Deliver thousands of letters from constituents to lawmakers
  • Organize the “Life, Liberty, & Property Tour”
  • Launch a Metroplex office

At the same time, we’ve been fighting back the speech regulators in the legislature and Ethics Commission. Through oppressive rules and misguided laws, some are trying to silence conservatives.

Won’t work – we’re just going to talk even louder in 2014! But only with your help, of course.

The next 12 months will define the future of Texas. With every statewide office “up for grabs,” you and I have the opportunity to sharpen the image of the state for a decade to come.

With that opportunity comes the responsibility of holding our officeholders accountable.

Such accountability only happens when citizens are informed and engaged.

Your end-of-year investment will allow us to communicate with more Texans than ever before during this critical Accountability Season. We must ensure Texans have the information they need to be effective citizen-leaders.

As 2013 comes to an end, and the excitement of 2014 builds, I know I can count on your support in the drive to make Texas the best it can be. Texans are ready to lead the nation, we just have to give them the tools necessary to engage.

Together, we will make the Lone Star State stronger than it has ever been. Let’s get started!

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and an Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, and think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, a son-in-law, and a dog. Michael is the author of three books, including "Reflections on Life and Liberty."


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