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"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." - Nelson Mandela

Is Texas GOP Going Blue?

By Carole Hornsby Haynes, Ph.D. July 21, 2019

We knew it would happen. Now that the purple 2019 legislative session in Texas is over, Republican lawmakers are flooding our email and postal boxes with pleas to send money because they are afraid of losing to Democrat challengers. Those same candidates who sneered at us during the session and refused to pass key GOP legislative priorities now are whining for money to stay in office.

 Are you kidding me? These Progressive Republicans proved that we actually have one party flying under two false banners. Why would we want to return traitors to shaft us again??? They voted like Democrats and refused to uphold our U.S. Constitution yet expect us to give them our precious votes?

Governor Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick are hailing the 86th legislative session as a “very successful session” while professing not to understand why conservative leaders and activists are highly critical of the session. The truth is they do not care what conservatives think or about conservative principles. They marginalized and openly threatened those conservative legislators who balked at their progressive agenda.

During the session, most of the Republicans busied themselves by playing nice with Democrats and passing legislation that is fiscally insane, growing state spending by 12 percent. They failed to pass legislation that is highly important to conservative voters including the ending of taxpayer funded lobbying, gun rights as provided under the Constitution, paper ballot backup audit trails, and historical monument protection. Instead they passed legislation that will greatly increase education spending and expand big government -- full-day Pre-K (daycare) for low income (including illegal immigrant) children (Trojan horse for universal Pre-K daycare) and school-based mental health services financially benefiting the pharmaceutical and psychiatry industries.

Republican House Speaker Dennis Bonnen publicly warned Republicans against challenging each other or incumbent Democrats for house seats. He openly endorsed Democrat Joe Moody for speaker should Democrats gain the nine seats needed for house control. And nary a peep from the Texas GOP chairman, James Dickey, or spineless, wimpy Republicans.

Now Republican lawmakers are making the rounds to sell the public on the “great session.” Their euphoric claims are falling on deaf ears of conservatives who are not deceived and are just downright angry.

Recently I attended one such meeting to discuss the 86th legislative session with speakers Dallas County GOP chairman Rodney Anderson, Republican Senator Bob Hall, and Republican House Representative Morgan Meyer. The audience, though respectful, generally seemed very angry about the 2019 session and, specifically, Republican lawmakers.

Someone asked Chairman Anderson why conservatives should trust the same Republican legislators to vote any differently in the 2021 session. Anderson said we must forget about this year and move on. He did not even criticize the recent session or suggest consequences for those Progressive Republicans who went rogue.

Rep. Meyer praised the session and spoke of Bonnen in glowing terms. When someone stated that conservative groups could not get their bills filed in the House, Meyer emphatically denied that Bonnen ever stood in the way of bills. Yet the record shows that Bonnen did play the game of delay, including aiding in the defeat of SB 1663 for historical monument preservation.

Senator Hall, the most conservative member of the Texas Senate, was clearly not happy with the direction of the session and did not try to whitewash it.

When someone asked why Republicans should continue to vote for Republicans who vote like Democrats, Anderson replied, “Then vote for Democrats.” Minutes later, he regretted the remark and offered an apology.

His message was not lost on the audience. Texas establishment Republicans believe conservatives will be forced to return them to office, regardless of how they vote, rather than vote for a Democrat.

Anderson stated that, if Republicans legislators vote conservatively, they will risk losing an election to a Democrat. He used the example about Progressive Republican House Rep. Jason Villalba who lost the 2018 primary to conservative Republican candidate Lisa Luby Ryan, who then lost to Democrat John Turner in the general election.

The fact is that Republicans are supporting Democrats with fundraisers! One of the fundraisers for John Turner was held by Dallas ISD Board Trustees, Progressive Republicans Edwin Flores and Dustin Marshall, along with other Republicans. How can a Democrat lose with both Democrats and Progressive Republicans supporting him.

Only Hall seemed to understand the dangerous trajectory of the Republican Party establishment. He explained that, by moving in lockstep with the Democrats, the Republican Party risks losing its conservative base because people will simply not vote if their only choices are Republicans who mirror Democrats.

Dallas County Fiscal Responsibility Index

Texas Score Card (June 29, 2019) reports that,

“With one notable exception, Texas lawmakers representing Dallas County performed poorly on key taxpayer issues this legislative session, with most scoring worse than their peers on the 2019 Fiscal Responsibility Index….

“The exception: the county’s lone Republican senator, Sate Sen. Bob Hall of Edgewood. Hall was the highest-scoring member of the Texas Senate this session, earning a grade of 90 – well above Senate Republicans’ average rating of 72. The taxpayer champion earned a 97 in 2017.”

To find out how your Texas legislator scores on the Empower Texans Fiscal Responsibility Index, click here.


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