Saturday, May 11, 2019

#TXLEGE: Income Tax election is a GIFT to county GOP's (if they take it)

"But the former governors who were before me laid burdens on the people, and took from them bread and wine, besides forty shekels of silver. Yes, even their servants bore rule over the people, but I did not do so, because of the fear of God."
Nehemiah 5:15

We said our piece about the house's income tax prohibition amendment last fall:  There is a loophole in the Texas constitution the legislature should close.  The Democrats success in last year's election raised the level of urgency for closing said loophole.  Furthermore, from a political perspective, this is a vote you want to make the Democrats take.

Thus, good deal to the house's vote on Thursday; the Senate needs to follow suit.

But there's a funny thing about the Texas constitution: Voters have to ratify amendments.

Thus, if they were smart enough to take it, GOP county party organizations would have to opportunity to practice:

  • Identifying Supporters
    • Hint #1: This is the easiest possible issue on which to draw people in.
    • Hint #2: Data.
    • Hint #3: Once you've drawn them in on prohibiting a state income tax, they might be willing to listen to you on more difficult issues.
    • Hint #4: If you use your shared opposition to a state income tax as the basis to begin a relationship in 2019, they might be willing to listen to you about the presidency in 2020.
  • Disseminating a message/Engaging the community
    • Hint: It's impossible to know what this means in individual communities, but it's likely to include some combination of local media and informal social networks.
  • Forcing Local Democrats to take a position
    • Hint: Most Democrat elected officials secretly support a state income tax.  Most Democrat voters DON'T.  Thus, Democrat elected officials should be forced to take a public position.
Such an effort could yield tremendous dividends in (at least) the following counties: Travis, WillCo, Hays, Bexar, Dallas, Tarrant, Collin, Denton, Harris, Ft. Bend, Webb, Starr, Hidalgo, El Paso.

Some of those are areas that have historically been GOP strengths, but have recently softened.  Some of those have historically leaned GOP, but recently become swing territory.  Even in the deeper blue areas, however, there are intra-D tensions a more nimble GOP could exploit.

You will never have a friendlier issue on which to mount such an effort than opposition to a state income tax.

Bottom Line: The opportunity is there, but it's an open question whether or not anyone will take advantage....

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