How appropriate: a legislative candidate named Austin tells an audience in Odessa he won’t promise not to raise their taxes. Which translates to: he’ll vote to raise taxes.

Let me back up. At a candidate forum last night in Odessa for the two candidates seeking to replace the retiring Tryon Lewis in HD81 apparently agreed on most things.

Here is how the Odessa American described the  point of contention between Austin Keith and his opponent:

In fact, the only contentious part of the conversation seemed to be over the longstanding Republican Party line of not raising taxes.

Liquor-store owner Keith said he wouldn’t commit to opposing tax hikes.

“I can’t go into Austin as your candidate and be alienated out there by saying ‘no, no, no’ to everything.”

Funny, because it sounds like the question only had to do with raising taxes…

His opponent, attorney Brooks Landgraf, told attendees raising taxes wasn’t an option. “I think the government needs to step back and realize that it is sometimes the problem.”

While TFR hasn’t yet endorsed in the race, it’s fair to say that Austin Keith’s establishment-approach to tax and spending policy should be avoided.

Michael Quinn Sullivan

A graduate of Texas A&M, former newspaper reporter, one-time Capitol Hill staffer, think tank vice president, and an Eagle Scout, Michael Quinn Sullivan and his wife have three children. He is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. Check out his podcast, “Reflections on Life and Liberty.”


Analysis: Real People Are Hurting

Refusing to address property tax burdens in a real and meaningful way gives politicians ongoing talking points and a “problem” to solve, but it does nothing to help struggling Texans.