After making it clear they support tax-raisers in the GOP Primary, the Dallas Morning News is again shilling against conservatives – expressing their approval of Straus-friendly business interests preparing to keep the TEA Party from “running the show” during the 2013 legislative session.

The desire to make the TEA Party seem weak ineffective has been a tempting narrative for the media to play since the 2010 election. After all, a movement powerful enough to put 101 Republicans in the Texas House in a non-presidential election cycle is enough to make any liberal cringe.

So it’s really no surprise the Dallas Morning News is joining the effort to downplay the potential power of the TEA Party in Texas’ 2012 election cycle.

DMN editorial columnist William McKenzie wrote yesterday about the business-focused special interest groups rallying to support Joe Straus and keep him as Speaker of the House – preparing not to let the “tea party run the show.”

McKenzie is apparently unhappy with TEA Party candidates’ desire to get rid of the franchise tax – one that hurts small businesses — and replace it with a more equitable system. Instead, he and Straus’ special interest cronies want to keep the franchise tax essentially the way it is now – limiting the growth of small businesses while providing more revenue to continue inefficiently funding our public school system.

As he put it, “I’m glad to see the business community getting ahead of this debate,”

In other words, he and the Dallas Morning News are glad someone is pushing back against the gains the TEA Party made during the 2010 election.

That’s certainly not breaking news, as taxpayers could see weeks ago the DMN was shilling against conservatives when they made anti-compact, pro-tax endorsements – picking tax-hikers like Todd Smith over Kelly Hancock in SD 9, David Lowerwald over Ron Simmons in HD 65, or Jim Pruitt over Scott Turner in HD 33.

All this really boils down to is an effort to begin shaping the narrative of a weak, ineffective, and unmotivated TEA Party, hoping taxpayers will be a little less vocal and a little less motivated to go out and support conservatives this election.

It isn’t working.

In fact, the TEA Party is brewing stronger than ever. Just ask recently defeated moderate Senator Dick Lugar (R – Indiana) what he thinks about the TEA Party’s effectiveness in replacing him with Richard Murdock.

Speaker Joe Straus campaigning at the same polling place as his primary challenger Matt Beebe

The TEA Party’s efforts in Indiana were no fluke. Just like here in Texas, it’s no fluke that establishment Republicans are in seriously hot water – some of which decided they couldn’t take it anymore and chose not to run for re-election. Others, such as Straus Committee Chairmen Vicki Truitt and Rob Eissler, are facing serious challenges in the primary. Straus’ favorite freshmen – like Barbara Nash and Lance Gooden – are being challenged as well.

Even Straus himself is facing a serious primary challenge – unheard of for any Texas Speaker in at least the last 20 years!

The results of the primary election in two weeks will come to show that the TEA Party is still a force to be reckoned with, no matter how hard the Dallas Morning News and other media outlets attempt to suppress it.

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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