Friday, March 22, 2019

#TXLEGE: About Dan Patrick....

"Yes, if you cry out for discernment,
And lift up your voice for understanding,"
Proverbs 2:3

Some of the gripes about Dan Patrick have made it into the DMN:
AUSTIN — Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick prides himself on being thought of as one of the most conservative leaders in Texas.

He's certainly earned the title. Patrick has championed school vouchers. He’s proposed cutting college financial aid. And during the last legislative session, he led the push for a bathroom bill.

But now some of his allies are criticizing him for being too moderate.

The lieutenant governor has abandoned some of his red-meat priorities, they allege, and supplanted them with middle-of-the-road proposals popular with more moderate and even liberal voters. While restricting abortion still tops Patrick's list, priorities like giving every teacher a pay bump and raising the smoking age have small-government types scratching their heads.


“The lieutenant governor’s list of priorities is not quite what we've come to expect from Dan Patrick,” Julie McCarty, president of the NE Tarrant Tea Party, told The Dallas Morning News. “And, yes, we are disappointed to see him moving to the middle of the road.”
The article goes on to discuss the Senate's priorities and why folks are upset.  Lauren McGaughy does a good job discussing them.  You really should read the whole thing.

Here's the thing: People have every right to be concerned, but it's still way too early to draw conclusions.

Historically, Dan Patrick has been pretty conservative...but he has always operated under the constraints imposed on him be reality.  Dan Patrick does not tilt at windmills.  Unfortunately, reality is imposing new constraints this session (ie. one fewer vote with which to work).

Dan Patrick is also a political horse trader, and the trades he makes are usually net positives for conservatives.

There are several example of this we can't discuss, but we will give one that's public: Last session, no one was more upset than this author about the Senate giving Abbott his UT Regents.  But, by giving Abbott what he wanted on Regents, he brought Abbott on board for everything else that session.  In hindsight, it was a good trade.

That's not to say we approve of everything we're seeing in the Senate.  They certainly seem determined to spend an astronomical amount of money.  But it is to say that we've been doing this long enough to withhold judgement until sine die.

If SB's 2, 9, 15, and 29 get signed by the Governor (without being watered down), and they keep the spending somewhat in check, it will be difficult to walk away from this session upset.

Bottom Line: We'll know in two months.

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