The Lt. Governor position is the most powerful position in Texas politics – and requires the absolutely BEST occupant to hold that position and EFFECTIVELY carry through the principles of the Tea Party in the turbulent sea that is political Austin. Consequently, we set a very bar for this seat for TeaApproval. We have met with all four major contenders in the Republican primary for this position and found that, while ALL have their positive attributes, we feel that none of the candidates fully measured up to the bar we set.
*Therefore, no TeaApproval will be issued for this race.*
This high bar we have set is primarily due to the high standards we have grown accustomed to with our regional candidates. The more we delve into the statewide races, the more our appreciation grows for our fantastic officeholders in the region made up of Collin County, Northeast Tarrant County, as well as parts of Northern Dallas and Denton counties.
That is NOT to say, that an individual running for Lt. Governor did NOT have positive votes for TeaApproval; it is simply that none received a majority. As such, we will describe the attributes of each and let our members and other voters decide which candidate receives their support.
David Dewhurst – A very smart and knowledgeable guy; and very likable. He knows more of the details of governance than any of his opponents. He has encyclopedic knowledge of the Texas’ financial state and a clear vision of where he wants to go. However, we believe that his knowledge hasn’t translated into effectiveness in many areas. Frankly, he has had issues with personnel decisions and legislative strategy. We’ve seen this with the ineffectiveness and the financial scandals associated with his Senate race, the preemptive surrender to the Feds on the TSA anti-groping bill (82nd session), as well as problems in other areas. His handling of HB2 during the special sessions also provided Wendy Davis the chance to become a martyr for the left which has further opened up Texas politics to a concentrated attack by wealthy D.C. liberals (and earned him three primary opponents). Texas simply needs more effectiveness out of the Lt. Governor’s office. It MAY be possible to fix the senate by giving Dewhurst more aggressive conservative senators to work with or a new House Speaker, but it could also simply be beyond his skill set. The people around him in leadership have simply gotten too comfortable in NOT having the hard votes through the regular session. There IS some value to shaking that up.
Dan Patrick – Unquestionably, the most solid and consistent conservative record of the bunch. But, he has trouble in the debates and shows a lack of depth even in his area of expertise (education). There is no question; Dan is NOT a details-oriented individual. He would undoubtedly want to lead in the right direction, but can he? He is not one that ‘plays well with others’. Several other conservative groups we highly respect have endorsed Dan.
Jerry Patterson – No question, Jerry is one who would drive the office in the same manner as Bob Bullock; the Senate under his guidance would be a MUCH different place. But would it be a BETTER one in terms of getting conservative issues through? Patterson would be a great guy to have on your side in a legislative fight, but he’d be extremely tough to sway if he’s against you.
Todd Staples – He’s a nice guy, but he has some history of softness on illegal immigrant issues (what conservative would EVER think in-state tuition for illegal immigrant kids was a good idea?). Staples is an extremely efficient and detailed administrator- the TX department of agriculture has reaped the benefits of those qualities- but we worry that since he is so used to executing the ideas of others, he’ll treat the Lt Governor’s office the same way. When we look to those who craft legislation (the LG most of all), the first question we want asked is ‘why should this be controlled by the government?’ instead of ‘how can this be controlled cheaply?’. Our concern is that Todd will always look to shrink government through optimization instead of shrinking its scope.