Friday, November 13, 2020

#TXLEGE/#atxcouncil: Hyberbole notwithstanding, Patick's substantive point about public safety was correct

"The wicked flee when no one pursues,
But the righteous are bold as a lion."
Proverbs 28:1

We meant to bring this up before the election, but a few weeks back controversy erupted when the Lite Guv remarked about Austin's crime rate: “The City of Austin is a disaster if you haven't been there a great city now one of the most dangerous cities in America and definitely in Texas.”

The Lt. Governor’s comment was met with disingenuous pearl clutching from Mayor Adler and Capitol sycophants. At issue were the precise details of Austin’s police budget cut and national rankings among Democrat-controlled cities with rising crime rates. Giving credit where due, the Lt. Governor’s critics caught him exaggerating.

To the degree that he made it easy for his political opponents to split statistical hairs, the Lt. Governor’s precise word choice was probably unhelpful.

Nevertheless, Austin’s rising crime rates and homelessness explosion aren’t hard to miss. Dan Patrick didn’t make the Austin City Council legalize tent cities while slashing the police budget. While it’s perhaps the case that other places have more violent crime, the 67% increase in Austin’s murder rate didn’t occur in a vacuum.

So, perhaps, it might have been more technically accurate for Patrick to say: “Under Democrat governance, Austin has become an open air homeless encampment that’s becoming one of the most dangerous cities in America and definitely in Texas.”

Also of note: The statistics used to fact check Patrick are from 2019. 2020 data won’t be out until next year. While it’s impossible to know in advance, there’s every reason to suspect last year’s trends have accelerated.

Bottom Line: That they attacked Patrick over verb tense rather than substance tells you what you need to know.

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