State representative David Simpson (R-Longview) is a politician who is hard to categorize. He is totally independent and doesn’t care what others think of him. Nor does he shrink from conflict with the likes of TPPF and Michael Quinn Sullivan.

From the Longview News-Journal:

Longview’s state lawmaker said Tuesday that he is not in favor of a voucher system for public schools.

Republican Rep. David Simpson was questioned repeatedly by Longview school board members about his stance on a voucher system that could pull students from public schools and see them in private institutions.

Trustee Troy Simmons was the most pointed in his questioning during Monday night’s meeting.

“Would you and the group (of newly-elected legislators) publicly state that you aren’t in favor of vouchers and privatizing public education?” Simmons asked.

“I’m opposed to vouchers,” Simpson said to the school board for about the third time Monday night. “I’m in favor of public money going to public purposes.”

Vouchers are expected to be a key issue before state legislators during the 83rd legislative session that starts in January.

Simpson would be a formidable opponent if a voucher bill were to reach the House floor. He is a tenacious adversary, as Senfronia Thompson learned last session, when he opposed her puppy-mill bill, and he has a following in the House, especially among younger members. Simpson also opposes tax credits for home schoolers, even though Simpson and his wife home school their own children.

Readers will no doubt remember the epic battles last session over Simpson’s bill to halt intrusive searches by TSA personnel at airports. It precipitated a showdown between Simpson and the U.S. attorney in San Antonio, who threatened to shut down air travel in Texas if Simpson tried to pass his bill. I thought the bill was looney, but today’s Huffington Post carries an AP story that begins, “The federal government is quietly removing full-body X-ray scanners from seven major airports and replacing them with a different type of machine that produces a cartoon-like outline instead of the naked images that have been compared to a virtual strip search.”