"He who walks with wise men will be wise,
But the companion of fools will be destroyed."
[Author's Note: Current state reps Ken King and Chris Paddie also received assistance from Planned Parenthood during the 2012 cycle, but they have been far superior on pro-Life issues since taking office than Sheffield.]
J.D. Sheffield was first elected to the Texas House in 2012. He defeated former state rep. (and current Agriculture Commissioner) Sid Miller. Over the weekend, we learned something fascinating about that race we'd missed at the time:
Planned Parenthood May Have Played Supporting Part in Primary Races that End in Defeat for House GOP TrioRead the whole thing here.
Family Planning Group that's Been Under Siege at Capitol Worked Behind Scenes to Inform GOP Women on Conservative Male Lawmakers Who'd Been Top Enemies
By Mike Hailey
Capitol Inside Editor
Landtroop, who was ousted from the House in this week's primary runoff election by GOP rival Ken King of Canadian, had joined Republican State Reps. Wayne Christian of Center and Sid Miller of Stephenville on the list of lawmakers who Planned Parenthood considered to be its three biggest enemies in the Texas Legislature.
But the family planning organization sensed that GOP legislators who'd been attacking it relentlessly in Austin were out of touch with a majority of Republican women voters back in their districts. So Planned Parenthood launched an informal but vigorous networking effort with telephone calls and emails in hopes that it could help give Landtroop, Miller and Christian the boot from the Legislature in the 2012 primary election.
Despite the fact that a variety of different factors appeared to contributed to the outcome of the races involving the GOP legislators that Planned Parenthood targeted, the group may deserve some of the credit even though it didn't pump money directly into the campaign coffers for the challengers who won.
In the eyes of Planned Parenthood, the incumbent House trio in question had been at the forefrtont of a war that the Republican supermajority in the lower chamber declared on the group under the banner of the pro-life crusade. With more Republicans than ever on both sides of the rotunda, the House took the lead last year on legislation that had the effect of excluding Planned Parenthood from the Women's Health Program, which provides health care services to low-income women. While state law already prohibited tax dollars from being used for abortions, the law that emerged from the Legislature last year took the additional step of banning facilities that are affiliated with abortion providers from the women's health initiative.
Texas legislators had already slashed funding on women's health clinics by more than 50 percent in a move that experts said would cut off family planning services for 300,000 poor women. The Landtroop amendment was designed to choke off the flow of state money to Planned Parenthood by severing it from the women's health program.
Miller, an 11-year House veteran who'd emerged as a member of Speaker Joe Straus' leadership team at the start of the session last year, sponsored landmark legislation last year that requires women to have sonograms before obtaining an abortion. Miller touted touted the role that he had in a move in the state budget battle that cut more than $20 million in funding that had been going to Planned Parenthood.
The state's largest physician group contributed $35,000 to Sheffield in the final week of the runoff fight with Miller. TMA's political arm TEXPAC donated a smaller amount to King, who already amassed as a larger war chest than any House candidate on the runoff ballot. But the TMA has steered clear of the abortion debate even though it turned out to be on the same page with Planned Parenthood in the races that pit challengers against Landtroop, Miller and Christian.
Bottom Line: J.D. Sheffield is the most duplicitous Republican in the entire #TXLEGE on life issues; this explains why.