Attorney General Greg Abbott’s latest revelation of his campaign platform represents a continuation of his tea-party oriented campaign. There’s a lot of don’t-tread-on-me proposals.
For instance, Abbott wants to allow local communities to be able to vote to repeal red light camera ordinances. OK, let ’em vote. The fate of the republic does not rise and fall on red light cameras. He wants to create a personal property privacy right for an individual’s DNA. Is this really a burning issue? He proposes prohibiting school districts from hiring lobbyists to approach lawmakers about increasing funding for schools. (We certainly wouldn’t want to give schools more money, perish the thought!) He wants to do away with CSCOPE, the controversial curriculum developed by education service centers, but he has no proposal about what should replace it. (Local school districts, and in particular small rural districts, do not have the expertise to develop their own curriculum.) He is concerned about identity theft and privacy rights. He calls for ethics reform, primarily conflicts of interests involving elected officials interacting with any state agency or governmental body. I have no quarrel with that. Open carry will no doubt be added to the list of his proposals in due course.
The Abbott proposals do not build one highway, they do not educate one child, they do not improve the health of one community. Abbott is doubling down on the tea party agenda. I have asked this question before, and I’m going to ask it again: Is the tea party agenda the majority viewpoint in Texas these days? Or is it a fringe agenda? The tea party is loud, that’s for sure. But do the majority of Texans embrace it?