The 82nd Session of the Texas Legislature was a disappointment to conservatives including the Tea Party. The overwhelming ratio of Republicans to Democrats (101 / 49) in the House, swept into office by conservative activists during the 2010 elections, should have resulted in a substantial conservative legislative result. It did not primarily because Speaker Joe Straus appointed Democrats and the most “moderate” Republicans to chair the committees. Here is a quote from the James A Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University “the least conservative Republicans in the Texas House are substantially over-represented in the Republican House leadership compared to their more conservative brethren. Every single one of the five most moderate Republicans occupies a committee chairmanship, as do seven of the10 most moderate Republicans.”
One of these liberal Republicans is Jim Pitts who by the above referenced report has only nine Republicans in the entire House that are more liberal than he is. Other conservative ranking organizations rank him in the low 60’s also putting him in the bottom 10% of Republicans. In the previous session he was ranked in the low 40s. How did this man get to chair the powerful House Appropriations Committee in an overwhelming Republican House that did not need Democratic support to pass any legislation? It could be because he was one of only eleven Republicans along with the Democrats that elected Joe Straus as the speaker of the 81st session thus betraying the other Republicans in the House and the state of Texas.
When the last session started, over the Governor’s objection Jim Pitts did not waste time in pleasing his liberal friends for he raided the Rainy Day Fund for $4B to pay off debts he and the speaker didn’t see coming during the previous session. Reducing spending to fix the problem is apparently not part of his ideology but legalizing casino gambling in Texas is. Throughout the 82nd session he proved to be an advocate for big government and over regulation of Texans and Texas businesses. He voted for new government regulations on sign apprentices, animal breeders, companies to satisfy Dodd-Frank, schools for anti-bullying, boaters, driving instructors, irrigation installers, and produce shippers to name a few. He voted to allow funding of planned parenthood, the use of rainy day funds for operational purposes, a mandatory vaccination program, and against allowing concealed hand guns on campuses. He did not support a bill providing private property protection and he blocked conservative reforms that would have limited government growth and would have provided for more accountability in State budgeting.
He discussed the Tea Party in an interesting video of an interview he had with The Texas Tribune prior to the 82nd session. In it he says that the Tea Party will forget about how bad he was in the 81st session and how hard they worked but failed to elect conservative leadership for the following session when they see all of the Tea Party agenda being passed by the 82nd session. Well it didn’t pass and we the Tea Party didn’t forget. We believe Mr. Pitts that you have had your 20 years and it is time for a real conservative to take your place.
And that true conservative is T J Fabby a candidate for Mr. Pitts seat in the Texas House. T J is in the top ten on the Texas Conservative Challengers list. He started the Ellis County Conservatives Tea Party and is a strong advocate for conservative and/or Tea Party principles of life, gun rights, property rights, state sovereignty, smaller government with more local control, and reduced government spending. The Tea Party urges all conservatives to join us in supporting this candidate.
Those like Mr. Pitts who probably think the Tea Party is on the decline and will have little influence in coming elections, should consider the following. Tea Party members and leaders across the state are stepping up to the plate to challenge these incumbents by running for office. In addition to Pitt’s challenger, T J Fabby, Texas State Senate candidates, Bob Hall and Tammy Blair are both Tea Party group founders for the Canton Tea Party and the Tyler Tea Party respectively. Rachel Delgado, head of the Galveston Area Tea Party is running for the Texas House in HD-23. Robert Gonzalez, board member of the Clear Lake Tea Party is running for the US House of Representative in district 14. Also from the Clear Lake Tea Party, Mary Huls and Heidi Thiess are running for the Texas House.
Tea Parties across the Nation are concentrating less on public rallies and more on organization and on the direct means of changing government by becoming part of it so as to change it from within. All of these Tea Party leaders and members mentioned above have traded in their protest signs for campaign signs with their names on them. Candidates like T J Fabby deserve our support for entering into the arena to fight for the future of our State and the people.