The takeaway from last week’s U.S. Supreme Court decisions and our leadership’s reactions to them show just how far Texas has slipped away from the mainstream. Same-sex marriage? Republicans are against it. Health care for everyone? Against it. Discrimination in housing projects? We’re on the wrong side of that too.
Reporting from the Texas Legislature, with investigation and analysis of the state's economy, public policy, education, and more.
Earlier today Konni Burton, the Republican senator from Fort Worth, took the capitol press corps to task on Twitter for its collective disinterest in the EmpowerTexans/Texans for Fiscal Responsibilty’s biennial “Fiscal Responsibility Index,” which was released yesterday. As is typically the case with that particular ranking, the legislators who earned the highest praise were self-declared “fiscal conservatives,” including Burton herself. She was one of three senators, along with Bob Hall and Van Taylor, to receive a perfect score, and the implication, at least, was that the media had ignored this achievement because it didn’t fit our narrative.
I can’t speak for all media, obviously. But I can explain to readers why I ignored this index. I agreed with some of its conclusions (Burton, for example, is clearly a fiscal conservative, and I thought she was the best of the Senate’s true freshmen.) Still, as I said yesterday, the Fiscal Responsibility Index is too garbled to be meaningful. The methodology is distorted, and—as with all scorecards—overly simplistic. That’s why its results are so erratic.
Just to make sure I’m clear: It’s true that I don’t respect EmpowerTexans as a group or take most of its “work” seriously. But I’m not dismissing the Fiscal Responsibility Index just because I don’t like Michael Quinn Sullivan or his fiscally subliterate belligerence. I’m dismissing the analysis because it’s not good analysis.
Governor Greg Abbott
Governor Greg Abbott
Charlie Geren is a thoroughbred politician, and like some of the most famous horses in history, he’s always at the center of the action, even if he doesn’t come in first. That’s fitting for the Bull of the Brazos, an award given to the lawmaker each session who blurs the distinction between saint and sinner the most. The honor is named for the late senator William T.
The term “furniture” is a designation for lawmakers whose level of participation in the legislative process was indistinguishable from that of their desks and chairs.
Representative Dawnna Dukes
Democrat - Austin
Senator Bob Hall
Republican - Edgewood
Representative Scott Turner
Republican - Rockwall
Senator Carlos Uresti
Democrat - San Antonio
Representative Terry Canales
Democrat - Edinburg
A rooster who loves the sound of his own crowing, Canales was at the back mike so often that even members of his own party tuned him out.
Senator Brandon Creighton
Republican - Conroe
Creighton had one of the few successes concerning property taxes, passing a “truth in taxation” bill that included a provision requiring local governments to justify the necessity of tax increases.
Freshmen are usually exempt from the Worst list, because we prefer to forgive rookies their mistakes. But every rule has an exception: we felt no reservation making one for Molly White.