One of the problems with assembling a voting guide is selecting the actual groups whose recommendations to include. The ones we have chosen (Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, Young Conservatives of Texas, Eagle Forum, Texas Values Action, and the Texas Homeschool Coalition) all have great records for focusing on fairly numerous issues for determining the ‘conservative character’ of various candidates. However, there are other fine groups that make endorsements, but simply for space concerns, could not be included in the formal voter guides. However, If people wish they, or fine local groups can be added to the last column as is appropriate. Their recommendations ARE included in the lists of group recommendations to the right
The first is Grassroots America, We The People (GAWTP) (http://www.gawtp.com) , the Texas branch of which is run out of Tyler by true fire-breathing, rock-ribbed conservative JoAnn Fleming. JoAnn has been giving ulcers to the Establishment and the Professional Political Class for a LONG time. She understands the field of play in Austin and in East Texas probably better than anyone, and applies the Marine motto, ‘No better friend, no worse enemy’ to principled conservatism. GAWTP’s recommendations ARE included in the Smith County Voters Guide, but really are suitable anywhere. Just not enough space.
The next is Texans Uniting for Reform & Freedom (TURF) ( http://www.texasturf.org/) This group is led by Terri Hall whose work capacity is positively terrifying! Mother of 10 kids, homeschools them and works as the premier expert in opposition to tollroads?? This group emphasizes transportation issues, heavily opposes tolling options for them and is a constant presence in Austin in testimony. The reluctantly weren’t included because their focus is a bit narrower than other groups, but they are extremely knowledgeable & effective, with GREAT recommendation for your ballots.
Last but far from least is Texans Right To Life (https://www.texasrighttolifepac.com), the absolutely BEST pro-life group. They are strong advocates not only for the unborn but for those nearing the end of life. Extremely effective and hard-working social conservative group. Again, their somewhat narrower focus is the only reason their recommendations are not included in the default guides, but, if Life issues are critical to you and those your work with, we have absolutely NO objection if people want to add them the to last available column.
However, there ARE groups that we would STRONGLY object anyone trying to associate all the work here with their work. One of those is the Texas Alliance for Life (https://www.texasallianceforlife.org/). TAL started out as a well-meaning group, but has found it more profitable to give misleading cover to Establishment figures by proclaiming them as pro-life. This last session literally saw TAL arguing AGAINST strong pro-life bills, making their ‘sellout’ complete.
Then there are laughably FALSE groups, tasked with putting sheep in sheepdog clothing. Proof of their fallacy is simple to come up with: by reviewing actual voting records of the people they claim to be conservative, not based on some advocacy groups rating, but based on the objective Rice University analysis of ALL contested votes for a given session. On of the most ludicrous (especially this year) is the Conservative Roundtable of Texas (http://conservativeroundtableoftexas.com). Who do they consider ‘Exemplary Conservatives’? Joe Straus, John Zerwas (81st ‘most conservative’ out of 94 non-Speaker GOP members), Chris Paddie (76th out of 94), Trent Ashby (74th out of 94), Four Price (71st out of 94), and Ken Seliger (20th out of 20 GOP Senators), among others. Oh, they always add in a few REAL conservatives, but always ones the Establishment really has no viable challenger trying to defeat them. Those conservatives are the sheepdog ‘cover’ to let the sheep pass themselves off as brave defenders of conservative principles. Their designation is positively hysterical to anyone who actually knows a thing about Austin.
In another posting, we’ll talk about the ‘Pay for Play’ problems of other groups, especially many in Houston.