On Tuesday, Matt Beebe and Joe Straus met with the editorial board on the San Antonio Express-News; last year's water slush fund debate came up:
This was obvious to anyone who was paying attention, but it's good to see the orgy of lies used to sell the Water Slush fund last year exposed.
Update: The Express-News write up has more from the meeting....
SAN ANTONIO — They agreed on a few topics, but Texas House Speaker Joe Straus of San Antonio and his GOP re-election opponent in District 121 differed sharply on several key issues Tuesday in the first — and possibly last — joint appearance of their rematch campaign.
While Straus, R-San Antonio, praised the 83rd Legislature's actions to restore public school funding and to address long-term water and transportation needs, his tea party-backed opponent Matt Beebe said 2013 lawmaking sessions were a collection of missed opportunities to apply conservative principles to state spending and social issues.
Both candidates told the Express-News Editorial Board they oppose term limits for state officials, saying they put their trust in voters. Even so, Beebe, who lost to Straus in the 2012 GOP primary by a 63-37 percent vote, contends it's time for new leadership in the district that includes Alamo Heights, Olmos Park, Terrell Hills and a large part of city's North Side.
Straus, a House member since 2005 and speaker since 2009, said, “We had an enormously successful session in 2013” that included changes to the testing regimen in public schools and implementation of a state water plan that won overwhelming voter approval in November.
Beebe, who has an IT and computer security business, said he has the same reason for running that motivated him in 2012.
“We just weren't getting the kinds of conservative reforms that I thought were necessary. We're back at it again this time because most of that hasn't changed. A lot of good, solid reforms were killed, and the gentleman seated to the right of me had his hand in a lot of that,” Beebe claimed.
He said the House should have ended in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants and reduced state spending. Beebe was critical of what he called unfunded mandates for public schools, and he argued that the $2 billion voters authorized for water infrastructure projects would cause communities to add to their debt to access some of the state funds.
Straus countered, “His accusation that I 'punted' this to the voters is patently false.”
“I sit before you very proud of Proposition 6, a bold and responsible plan to address our water shortage,” Straus said. “We could have done nothing, which was the easy thing for the last 10 or 15 Legislatures,” he said.
The two candidates' second showdown is the March 4 GOP primary. Early voting starts Feb. 18.