Recently I have been contacted by several people who have questioned some of our Association’s endorsements. That is not unusual, but this time we were being questioned about opposing elected officials who we had endorsed in the past. So I thought it would be beneficial to address this issue publicly.
This issue reminds me of a good friend of mine who says that she has made a lifetime commitment to her husband, but all elected officials must re-apply for her support each election cycle. I like that and it reflects my own political philosophy.
I understand that political party officials and elected officials have developed personal relationships with each other and, therefore, they like to support one another based on their friendship and relationships. In fact, that is one reason that I discount elected officials’ endorsements, because they tend to be based on things other than voting records and political philosophy.
THSC’s purpose is to empower parents to be able to direct the care, control, and upbringing of their children, and one of the ways we do that is to carefully review the records of incumbents and vett challengers with questionnaires and interviews.
The result of this process often brings us to a place where we must oppose people who we have supported in the past, because their record no longer reflects their assurance that they support home schooling and parental rights. Because it is our responsibility to protect home schooling and parental rights, we don’t have the luxury of endorsing people just because we like them or they are friends.
In light of that fact, we have opposed some friends who we have supported in the past like State Rep. Debbie Riddle (HD 150) and Cindy Burkett (HD 113). Riddle was responsible for killing our parental rights bill in committee, along with a number of other actions that earned our opposition. Burkett carried our parental rights legislation only to kill it by only taking action when we pressed her. In retrospect, we believe she carried the bill to kill it. In a CPS bill she carried, Burkett also refused to take an amendment to protect innocent families even though it had passed earlier with ⅔ vote of the House. A Rice University Study showed that Burkett voted more liberal this session than the previous one. In fact, 79 House Republicans were more conservative than her.
In some cases we continue to not only refuse to endorse, but also work to replace candidates with those who will protect the freedoms of Texas families. We have never supported officials like State Rep. Marsha Farney, and now she has a serious opponent. All three of the legislators I’ve talked about also supported the house version of S.B. 19, which would have regulated citizens’ and other organizations’ First Amendment rights, including preventing citizens from filming legislators in the capitol. That legislation was clearly linked to our ongoing litigation against the Texas Ethics Commision. We are working hard to elect opponents of all three of these legislators in the Texas House in our efforts to Keep Texas Families Free.
The bottom line is we don’t have a personal animus against any elected officials but as a wise sage told me decades ago, “If you are trying to affect public policy, there are no permanent friends.” To paraphrase my friend, I’m committed to my wife for life. Everyone else has to reapply every election.
Have you voted yet? Check out THSC’s endorsements in your area and don’t forget to share with your friends!