Last week I talked about Tax Payer Funded Lobbying, TPFL for short. I tried to explain what TPFL is and how it affects the tax payer. Though lobbying as an individual is protected under the First Amendment free speech, the use of public money to influence legislative action is not in my opinion. Constitutional rights belong to citizens and not entities such as cities, school districts and county government.
In keeping my promise, I’m naming the 25 Republicans who voted to continue this practice of allowing taxing agencies to use tax money to influence legislation often in direct opposition of the tax payers wishes. The names of those voting against ending TPFL were gathered from Legiscan.org, a website for tracking all facets of current and past legislation. The source of campaign donations to these legislators and the actual amounts were gathered from Followthemoney.org
Ending TPFL was the number one legislative priority of the Republican Party of Texas. It has yet to be determined why these 25 Republicans chose to vote against their own party.
The list includes the amount the representatives collected from lobby & lawyers, and government agencies.
Dist. 1 Rep. G VanDeaver, $14,957, $23,355; Dist. 2 Rep. D Flynn, $233,588, $39,788; Dist. 4 Rep. K Bell, $8,475, $0,000; Dist. 9 Rep. C Paddie, $85,725, $8,600; Dist. 11 Rep. T Clardy, $204,592, $37,300; Dist. 12 Rep. K Kacal, $84,811, $27,500; Dist. 14 Rep. J Raney, $81,237, $53,872; Dist. 18 Rep. E Bailes, $32,905, $14,850; Dist. 26 Rep. R Miller, $44,244, $19,600; Dist. 28 Rep. J Zerwas, $238,073, $184,225; Dist. 32 Rep. T Hunter, $800,482, $160,682; Dist. 44 Rep. J Kuempel, $133,233, $30,500; Dist. 56 Rep. C Anderson, $48,954, $13,250; Dist. 57 Rep. T Ashby, $114,234, $103,541; Dist. 63 Rep. T Parker, $126,919, $61,654; Dist. 64 Rep. L Stucky, $37,442, $5,000; Dist. 71 Rep. S Lambert, $13,591, $3,500; Dist. 72 Rep. D Darby, $189,304, $100,900; Dist. 85 Rep. P Stephenson, $24,827, $5,000; Dist. 86 Rep. J Smithee, $51,550, $23,775; Dist. 87 Rep. F Price, $218,947, $78,210; Dist. 88 Rep. K King, $94,205, $73,750; Dist. 112 Rep. A Button, $122,074, $90,643; Dist. 121 Rep. S Allison, $23,892, $100; Dist. 122 Rep. L Larson, $133,296, $43,195.
What conclusion can we make from these numbers? None really except that those that voted to continue TPFL all took tax dollars from Lobbyist, Lawyers and Government agencies which include cities, counties, school districts and all taxing agencies. In all fairness, almost every legislator took some amount of money from these groups though many took lesser amounts.
I do not make any accusations against any of these elected officials, after all there were also 60 Democrats who voted to continue this practice and they also took their fair share of campaign contributions from the same groups. Why all 85 voted in favor of the taxing agencies over the tax payers, I simply don’t know. My suggestion is for each of you to ask your elected official if they are in this group why they chose to vote as they did. I have always heard that “Money talks and BS walks” whatever that means.
I think we might just look at the Democrats next week, and discuss some of the ideas their presidential candidates are throwing out there. Most folks, I talked to would rather watch ice melt than endure the Democrat debate. Then again we might just share our thoughts on President Trump’s Fourth of July speech and all he is doing to Keep America Great.