Tuesday, September 10, 2013

District 112: Race to the Right

The race for the GOP nomination for Texas House District 112 is heating up. The primary is still more than a half year away, but incumbent Angie Chen Button is already sending campaign mailers to constituents. Of course, Button is staking her claim to being a strong fiscal conservative, "100% Pro-Life" and a "defender of the 2nd Amendment." Her mailer is silent on funding for public schools and health care.

That's not conservative enough for Jared Patterson. Button's challenger is doggedly trying to get to her right. He lined up the support of Cathie Adams, who was voted out as state party chair in part for failure "to reach out to independents, disenchanted Republicans, and minority groups". Most recently, Adams was heard saying that Grover Norquist was "showing signs of becoming a Muslim" because he was growing a beard. Grover Norquist not pure enough for Adams? The author of the pledge against tax increases signed by 95% of GOP members of Congress? So much for the Muslim vote. (Or the bearded vote. Or both.) Adams also opposes immigration reform (so much for the Hispanic vote) in part because one proposed bill calls for biometric scanning of non-citizens at airports, which Adams says, "of course, we know in biblical prophecy that that is the End Times." So much for the non-evangelical vote. Most recently, Adams called protesters against Texas's recent anti-abortion, anti-women's health law "stinky stalking feminists" and "feminazis". So much for the women's vote.

That's Cathie Adams. That's the woman that Jared Patterson is proudly standing next to in his bid to represent Richardson and Garland in the state legislature. After the jump, Jared Patterson shows why Cathie Adams is in his camp.

Jared Patterson thinks the GOP-controlled Texas legislature just isn't conservative enough. In an article in the examiner.com that I'm pretty sure was meant to be flattering, Patterson criticizes the recent state legislature's record: "Moderate Republicans and Democrats teamed up to spend lavishly and to get the special interest groups everything they've ever asked for."

Does anyone else think that Texas "spends lavishly" on education? Texas ranks 48th in the nation in per-pupil education spending, so if that's "spending lavishly," we're going to need another adjective to describe the spending by the 47 states above Texas, like Mississippi. And what are those "special interest groups" Jared Patterson is talking about? Parents of children in public schools? And in what alternate reality is Patterson living that he thinks public schools got "everything they've ever asked for." Mostly they asked the legislature to make up for the cuts they suffered in the 2011 legislative session. Some of that was made up in 2013, but far from all. The Plano ISD is "facing a $20 million shortfall for this school year" and is asking voters to consider a property tax increase to make up the gap left by the state legislature. Does this sound to anyone like getting "everything they've asked for"? It does to Patterson.

Just when you think it's impossible for Texas politicians to get more out of touch with reality, candidates like Jared Patterson show you how it's done.


svh01973 said...

@Mark Steger, It's disingenuous of you to imply that Jared's complaint about the Legislature's spending was targeted at the school funding. If you had read the article on Examiner.com (that you linked to) you wouldn't find any criticism of school funding from Mr. Patterson. You deserve an award for making the purest straw-man argument I've seen in a long time.

Mark Steger said...

svh01973, thanks for commenting. First, we don't allow anonymity or aliases here. Second, if Jared Patterson has ever said Texas needs to spend more money on public schools, I missed it. It's not on his website or in his mailers.