Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Angie Chen Button Draws a Primary Challenge

My state representative, Angie Chen Button (HD 112) has drawn a challenger in the 2014 GOP primary. It's Jared Patterson, a former Sachse city council member.

When I say Button is my representative, I use the word loosely. I can't recall any position she's taken where she represents me, but I don't hold that against her. I have that problem with most politicians.

Maybe Jared Patterson will be different. After the jump, I give him a look-see.

Why Jared Patterson is running, in his own words:
I am running for State Representative because I love my state and am concerned about the future. I realize that America is still that "shining city on a hill." But that light is powered by and relies on a strong Texas. We are blessed to live in the greatest state in the country -- a state that is doing a lot of things right. But with a strong Texas economy and soaring oil and gas sector, why are we depleting our savings account to pay for the basic essentials like water and transportation?

As a father of two young boys I am extremely motivated to ensure that Texas’ future remains bright. To do so, it means that we must curtail the dramatic rise in government spending and get back to the fundamental responsibilities like protecting family values, empowering school districts and parents with choices rather than mandates and investing in water and transportation infrastructure with the dollars in our budget, not your savings account. We must continue to focus on strengthening economic development by ending the business income tax and standing firmly against those who want to develop new taxes or increase fees.

In Austin, there will be two special interest groups I fight for daily -- your family and mine. Join me in fighting for our future and for the future of our children. It is our obligation as Texans and our responsibility to the next generation.
He loves his state. Check.

He's concerned about the future. Check.

America is that "shining city on a hill." A nod to Reagan. That's always good in Texas.

Texas is "the greatest state in the country." Check.

He doesn't say that District 112 is the greatest district in the greatest state. Bad. Because it is. D'oh. By far. Except maybe for Garland.

Looking closely, I see nothing unique to District 112 anywhere in Patterson's campaign pitch. Double bad. That could be a sign he's more of a movement conservative than someone who is going to put the needs of his district above his ideological leanings. But let's not jump to conclusions.

We shouldn't be "depleting our savings account" to pay for "water and transportation." Good, right? Depleting out savings account sounds bad even if it's for good things. Surely Patterson has a better way to pay for water and transportation. Maybe we should raise existing taxes to do that? No, we should "end the business income tax." Maybe we should raise some other tax? No, we should "stand firmly against those who want to develop new taxes or increase fees." Borrow the money? I don't think so. Even that would still require government spending. And Patterson assures us "we must curtail the dramatic rise in government spending." I give up. Patterson sounds like he means it when he says we should be "investing in water and transportation infrastructure" but he closes every possibility to do that. Maybe he thinks water comes out of our taps by magic. And highways are built by Cintra for free.

Patterson wants to "fight for our future and for the future of our children." Good, right? Who wants a representative who wouldn't fight for the children? Apparently he would do it by "empowering our school districts" and not by, you know, actually spending money on public education. His promise to "curtail the dramatic rise in government spending" sounds like he thinks the legislature's recent cuts to public school funding actually aren't deep enough. He also promises "to get back to the fundamental responsibilities like protecting family values" so maybe reading, writing, and arithmetic are not what it's all about when it comes to public schools and money really isn't necessary after all.

"In Austin, there will be two special interest groups I fight for daily -- your family and mine." I don't know about Patterson's family, but I'm pretty sure my family cares about public education, water, and transportation (and health care, too, an issue that seems to have slipped Patterson's mind, maybe because his family can afford health insurance). I'm pretty sure my family understands that you have to pay for the things you want to be there in your future. Those things may be in Patterson's vision of the future, but they aren't in his budget.

I understand that Patterson probably isn't aiming to win the votes of people like me. But I can't see how Patterson is going to win over any Angie Chen Button voters either with this pitch. Line for line, it reads like something that the Button campaign could have put out. Patterson is going to have to do better in order to have a shot at unseating her.

1 comment:

Mark Steger said...

For a report on a candidate forum in January, 2014, that included Button and Patterson, look HERE.