As a trial lawyer and politician, Todd Smith says whatever people want to hear. Too bad for them that he’s saying different things. The problem for Todd Smith is that folks are starting to compare notes about what he says… and none of it is good for Texas.

Who shows up: Campaign Todd or Austin Todd? Both will end up raising your taxes.

In editorial board meetings and in the safe confines of Austin’s backrooms, State Rep. Todd Smith is a reliable vote for the tax-hike crowd.

But if you’re in the 90 percent of Republicans who want to limit the reach of government? Todd Smith just doesn’t have the time for you.

In fact, Todd Smith apparently told the Dallas Morning News that if elected to the Texas Senate in District 9 he’d support raising gasoline taxes. No surprise; he has actually supported raising gasoline taxes for some time.

Speaking to conservative voters in the district, however, we hear from a different Todd Smith. The campaign Todd Smith says he’s a conservative who opposes raising taxes and will control the costs of government. (Where has this Todd Smith been during legislative sessions?)

So we have an Austin Todd, and a Campaign Todd. Unfortunately for the two Todd Smiths, the Fort Worth Star Telegram introduced them both to voters. Talk about an odd couple.

Caught between a Dallas Morning News endorsement praising him for being a tax-hiker, and a speech to the Mextroplex Republican Women claiming he opposes a tax increase, Mr. Smith nonsensically explained the disconnect to the FWST by claiming he just wants to keep his options open, in case the economy improves.

Translation: Todd Smith just wants to keep your pocketbook open to his special-interest friends. He is at-best unreliable on taxes, and a failure on spending.

Consistently failing conservative groups’ ratings, Todd Smith was an early supporter of moderate Joe Straus. But then Smith was unceremoniously dumped by the Straus leadership team; exactly why is a mystery, but observers note it came after he publicly mismanaged Voter ID legislation in 2009 and then foolishly denied his own culpability.

So on taxes — like so many issues — there appears to be several Todd Smiths. One who favors the DMN hike-taxes-now-for-boondoggles program, and one who claims he opposes a tax hike — for now, while campaigning. Depending on who else he talks to, a few more Todd Smiths may appear.

(The NE Tarrant County TEA Party has seen enough of Todd Smith. Not a single member of their steering committee is supporting him.)

Bottom-line: Todd Smith will say almost anything to get a seat in the Texas Senate. But he will most definitely vote to raise your taxes… if he’s given the opportunity.

So whoever the real Todd Smith is, Texas taxpayers are looking forward to sending you packing.

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."