Is it tougher for #txlege to lie to constituents?
Rice University's Mark Jones wrote a solid op-ed:
Opinion polls reveal that in recent years, a large majority of the Texans who vote in the GOP primary elections are very conservative. At the same time, many of the most conservative advocacy organizations have become increasingly sophisticated in monitoring and evaluating politicians and aggressive in backing candidates they support and in attacking those they oppose. For better or worse, the days of some elected officials being able to successfully maintain separate and distinct Austin and district personas appear to be numbered. (italics mine)
We'll see over the next few months. By and large the Joe Straus wing of the party has spent lots of time trying to blur the difference and appear to be less corporatist than it is actually is. There have been shadow groups created to try to confuse voters (eg, Texans for Fiscal Accountability) and scorecards that give left-wing Democrats more conservative marks than some right-wing Republicans.
Mark Jones has probably been one of the biggest reasons why it has been tougher to blur the differences. His scorecard is unimpeachable and lays bare the voting record of our representatives in Austin. This is a valuable public service.
Of course, in many races, to uncover these differences, you have to wipe away the near-identical "strong conservative" body paint the candidates have covered themselves with. But once you review each candidate's record, the individuals and groups supporting them and their platform, you will find in most instances that they are not all peas from the same pod.
Indeed they are not. But largely the ones trying to conceal their true beliefs are allied with Joe Straus. It is a shame that the Straus wing isn't a bit more honest in presenting their vision for Texas.
Given how the campaigns are playing out, their polling must show that to be a bad idea.
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