Friday, April 8, 2016

The Increasingly Indefensible Campaign of David Simpson

Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”
1 Corinthians 15:33

Earlier this cycle, we endorsed David Simpson.  We've donated money.  Unfortunately, since the race moved to the runoff, David's behavior has given us serious misgivings.

When the race began, it made sense.  Both David Simpson and Bryan Hughes are pro-Life.  Both are strong fiscal conservatives, but David historically has been a little better on corporate welfare.  It was a close call, but we were comfortable that we liked David just a little bit more.

But the past few weeks have severely tested that assessment, specifically on education.

About a month ago, Empower Texans noted:
And in an email to supporters on March 10, Simpson wrote that school choice plans that would “substantially alter public education is not in the best interest of our children, their parents, or the school districts in Senate District 1.”
Then, on Wednesday, David announced an endorsement:
Mount Pleasant – Today, former Lt. Governor Bill Ratliff endorsed Representative David Simpson in his May 25th runoff bid to replace retiring Senator Kevin Eltife.

"While we don't agree on every issue, we agree that Northeast Texas needs a Senator who represents us and is not beholden to anyone or any special interests,” said Ratliff.

“Senator Ratliff’s tenure in public office was a hallmark of political courage. He served with integrity and honor. He frequently took stands on difficult issues in face of withering criticism and did so for one reason only – it was the right thing to do for Senate District 1. I am honored to have his support,” said Simpson.

“In the words of Winston Churchill, “You have enemies? Good, that means you've stood up for something." I'm sure some will attempt to twist and diminish this endorsement against me, but that's okay. Senator Ratliff and I have stood on principle and what we believe is right, not what is popular. I will continue to stand on principle,” Simpson concluded.

Ratliff served in the Texas Senate from 1988 to 2004. When Governor George W. Bush was elected to the presidency in 2000, a vacancy occurred in the lieutenant governor’s office as Rick Perry ascended to the governor’s mansion. Upon Perry’s ascension, Ratliff was elected by his Senate colleagues to serve as lieutenant governor.
So David Simpson is crawling into bed with the Ratliff family....


Now you might be asking yourself "who is the Ratliff family"?!?  If you've never heard of Bill Ratliff, there's a good chance you've heard of his sons.  One is named Bennett and the other is Thomas.

Bennett Ratliff is a  liberal former state representative who has run against Matt Rinaldi the last several election cycles.  Most recently, Bennett Ratliff was seen accusing Matt Rinaldi of being friends with Bill Cosby.  Real winner there....

Thomas Ratliff, Bill's son and Bennett's brother, is a pro-Common Core lobbyist for Microsoft.  For the past 6 years, he has also been serving illegally on the state board of education while a registered lobbyist.  You can read our archive on Thomas Ratliff here.

Bill Ratliff, the father, sponsored George W. Bush's signature education bill as a member of the Texas Senate in 1995.  During his time in the legislature (both as a Senator and Lite Guv), he was a well known ally of the education lobby.  Since leaving office, Ratliff has continued to align himself with the education lobby.

You get the picture.


The worst part is that, while there's no moral or substantive reason to get anywhere near the Ratliff family, it does make a certain amount of perverse political sense.

Unfortunately, Senate district 1 is a rural district where, in many communities, the school district is the largest employer.  And those educrats vote!  So if you're looking to win a low turnout runoff, and most of the grassroots organizations in the district are supporting the other guy, pandering to the educrats is a logical strategy.

Bottom Line: We're not ready to withdraw our support...yet, but the type of support David Simpson has cultivated since this race moved to the runoff is raising major red flags and is rapidly approaching the point of becoming a deal-breaker.

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