First off, I must admit that it is disturbing to hear elected officials pushing all of these propositions on the people of the state of Texas. Particularly appalling is to hear self-described conservatives pushing measures that grow government. If you have a conservative philosophy towards government, it is essential to ask one question: Does this bill grow the size of government? If the answer is yes, then most likely you need to vote against it unless the answer to this follow-up question tells you otherwise: Is it well documented that there is no other solution to the problem that the bill addresses? By well documented, I mean well documented, not some blowhard radio personality telling you so.
With those simple questions in mind, here are my votes on the eleven propositions that are on the ballot this year.
- Prop 1 – AGAINST – the bill expands the power of cities and counties, rarely a good thing. Besides, the legislature didn’t think it was important enough to pass the enabling legislation. That should tell you how important this is NOT.
- Prop 2 – FOR – anything that limits property tax appraisals is good. It is a shame that the Texas state government has been dominated by Republicans since the 2003 session and we are still talking about the property tax appraisal system.
- Prop 3 – FOR – see Prop 2.
- Prop 4 – FOR – It does spend more taxpayer money. But I cannot find a better solution that will allow us to meet future educational needs of the state.
- Prop 5 – AGAINST – It actually consolidates power on a broader scale. Bad.
- Prop 6 – AGAINST – Nowadays, if a bill has “veteran” in it, it automatically passes. Sort of like “for the children”. The truth is that this bill expands government’s role in society. There is no reason to subsidize a veteran’s home purchase.
- Prop 7 – FOR – duh.
- Prop 8 – FOR – Yes, it spends taxpayer money. Sort of. But I cannot find another solution for spreading VA care around this large state.
- Prop 9 – AGAINST – this will pass easily because most people do not own beach front property and think that they should.
- Prop 10 – AGAINST – why in the heck anyone would want to EXTEND the terms of ANY elected official in this day and age is beyond me. Just look at the “benefit” cited by the supporters of this piece of garbage: “HJR 85 would promote stability and continuity on ESD boards and allow board members more time to acquire experience and provide emergency services to their communities.” – I’m still laughing at the thought of super duper conservative Dan Patrick sponsoring this bill but sponsor it he did.
- Prop 11 – AGAINST – on the surface, this is a good bill, attempting to close the loopholes left by the 2005 legislature regarding the Kelo decision. In truth, it is mostly show and could even provide cover for the state to seize property. What we need is the protection that Gov. Rick Perry VETOED after the 2007 session. So vote Rick Perry out and let the next governor and legislature fix this correctly.
There you have it, my two cents. Worth every penny you paid for it.
UPDATE: Wow. If I hadn’t heard it, I probably, maybe, wouldn’t have believed it. But I did hear it. And after hearing it, if I didn’t already support it based upon the facts, I might have changed my opinion.
On his radio show this afternoon, Sen. Dan Patrick was discussing Prop 4. He was talking with someone from UH. Incredibly, they were supporting Prop 4 because it was “free money”! Yeah, that’s right, super duper conservative Dan Patrick has totally gone to the dark side. He was saying that the money to fund Prop 4 was in a “dormant” account! Dormant freaking account?! You’ve gotta be kidding me! NO TAXPAYER MONEY should ever be considered to be in a a “dormant” account! Oh my goodness, what has happened to Sen. Patrick?!
I never would have thought he would go to the dark-side so quickly. That article in Texas Monthly after the 2007 session must have really freaked him out. After his successful 2007 session, he completely changed and guess what? He is no longer on the Texas Monthly Worst Legislator list! Unreal. First, he broke his promise to use any surplus money to reduce the budget, instead using debt from Obama to “balance” the budget. Then he voted for the largest budget in Texas history, claiming it was really lower because they didn’t raise taxes or use the surplus. Now, he is calling $500,000,000 of TAXPAYER money DORMANT because it wasn’t allocated! Holy cow, what next for this “conservative” senator?
I can’t wait to see what his protege Billy Allen Fletcher does now that he too was on the Texas Monthly Worst list. Cripes, can you imagine the legislation he is now going to introduce to get off of that list? Or what about his current project, Court Koenning? Think about what is going to happen if he actually does get his wish to replace Jerry Eversole as Harris County Commissioner! My goodness.
At some point, and trust me I’ve been avoiding it, we’re going to have to look at all of the relationships in the Patrick campaign finance network. Perhaps we should start with the Dain Rauscher connection and see where that leads. Remember the Merrill Center? Or his financing Terry Lowry’s despicable rumor attacks. Or his ties to Vision America? Who knows where that will lead but one thing is certain beyond a doubt: the Dan Patrick that is now Sen. Dan Patrick is NOT the same guy that went after Fred Hill. Or is he?