Saturday, March 24, 2018

RPT Convention: ABOLISHING Taxpayer Funded Lobbying needs to be Top Legislative Priority

"While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage."
2 Peter 2:19

With Senate District conventions happening today, it's as good a time as any to say something publicly that we've been saying privately for years: In order for anything else to change in the Texas Legislature, you have GOT to abolish taxpayer funded lobbying.

Taxpayer funded lobbying is a gatekeeper issue.  Whatever other issue you'd like to see the Texas Legislature solve, there's a taxpayer funded lobbyist standing in your way.  Usually, there are a lot of taxpayer funded lobbyists standing in your way.

Beyond the practical consideration, taxpayer funded lobbying is intrinsically immoral.  It would be wrong even if they were arguing in favor of positions we support.  But given that it's both wrong and a practical encumbrance, its abolition needs to be a priority.

Taxpayer funded lobbying is a form of compelled political speech that forces citizens to subsidize speech with which they disagree.  It's also, by definition, an abdication of the duty to which to which local officials are elected.  Keeping your local legislator informed about how proposed actions in the legislature would impact your community is a part of the job you accepted when you filed to run in the first place.

Taxpayer funded lobbying tips the scales in favor of big government.  The taxing entities that hire the lobbyists have unlimited budgets.  Meanwhile, citizens groups usually have a few volunteers (and, even in the few cases where a rich donor might be interested, they're typically still outgunned by an order of magnitude).

It's also worth pointing out that taxpayer funded lobbying needs be properly defined to include taxpayer funded "trade associations" like the so-called Texas Municipal League, and the Texas Association of School Administrators.

Bottom Line: Whatever change you want to see made in government in this state, there's an army of taxpayer funded lobbyists standing in your way.  They have no right to exist in the first place and they need to be removed from the field.  Whatever other pet issue you might hold dear, that's a lesson every single RPT delegate needs to get through their thick skull.

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