Thursday, June 11, 2020

#TXLEGE: Abbott Endorses Candidate Who's (at best) SOFT on Multiple RPT Legislative Priorities

"Therefore by their fruits you will know them."
Matthew 7:20

AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott today endorsed Justin Berry for State Representative of House District 47. Berry is a small business owner and first responder who has served with the Austin Police Department for over a decade. Berry will work tirelessly to enact meaningful reforms that will keep our communities safe, strengthen the economy, and improve Texas’ education system.

“I am proud to endorse Justin Berry for the Texas House of Representatives, and I am confident that Justin will be an effective leader on behalf of the people of District 47,” said Governor Abbott. “Justin will work hard to protect public safety, strengthen our education system, and promote free markets. I urge the people of Travis County to send Justin to the Texas House so that he can defend Texas values and secure an even brighter future for our great state.”

Let's take a trip in the way back machine...all the way to February.

[W]ith regard to being able to care without a permit, I’m not opposed to that but there needs to be some screening process.
John Kerry, likewise, was for the $87 Billion before he was against it.

[Note: We can't prove it, but we very strongly suspect that part of the subtext of this endorsement is that Greg Abbott does not want that bill on his desk.]

I’m conflicted on that because I’ve seen firsthand that there are people that have information on issues that can advocate for them, for example, if a community needs a roadway system, or needs funding for a water treatment plant, then it’s not a bad thing, having the local government fighting and advocating for that to provide the services we need. The average citizen does not have the ability to be at the Capitol or at the city government every single day advocating, because they’re working or taking care of their kids.

On the other hand, you see governments that actually advocate for things that harm the community, or they focus on wants rather than needs, and they misuse our taxpayer dollars. I would look at requiring more transparency and accountability with it.
As we originally explained: This is a sneaky sleight of hand. Nobody's attempting to curtail local governments from fighting and advocating for anything. It's just not appropriate for them to use hired gun lobbyists.

Furthermore, let's not overlook the 800 pound gorilla in the room: Cop unions.

It's not a secret that Justin Berry is a vice president in the Austin Police Association.  It's also not a secret that, post George Floyd, cop unions are (very belatedly) coming in for the scrutiny they probably should have recieved decades ago.  Greg Abbott knows this.  For Greg Abbott to endorse a board member of the Austin Police Association, in the current climate, speaks volumes.

To be fair, the Austin Police Association has been very good on Austin's homelessness debacle.  To the degree that the Justin Berry endorsement means the lege is serious about that issue...right on.  Likewise, considering council's actions this week, odds are high that we'll have considerable overlap  with APA for the next little bit.  But, immediate crisis notwithstanding, does anyone believe that the Austin Police Association is going to be proactive about preventing the next round of incidents?!?

Because we don't.

Bottom Line:  Not encouraging....

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