As most everyone in HD 10 knows, the last few weeks of the runoff campaign became extremely negative. It began with the primary newspaper in the district delivering a short but sharp jab at me and our campaign in their endorsement of Wray. That was followed by a litany of mailers which came out nearly every day attacking and maligning me. Many of these were particularly distasteful, and numerous voters told me I got their support simply because of the tactics the Wray campaign and its supporters were using, but the negative media, mail, and email campaign did work as many voters believed the distortions and lies. During the run-off election, my campaign and I made a conscious decision not to retaliate or rebut these negative claims for several reasons:
1) We were committed to a positive campaign based on the message of liberty and state sovereignty, and were not willing to let our opposition re-define the campaign to be about negative things.
2) It was highly likely any rebuttal we made would simply be met with another misrepresentation, and the expectation would then be set that we’d need to respond to that as well.
3) We simply did not have the funds John Wray had to engage in a constant back and forth he-said/he-said campaign, nor did we think the voters had any interest in seeing that.
Now that the campaign is over, however, I would like to set the record straight on a few things. I hope I can do this without expecting the winning campaign to feel the need to keep arguing. At the start of this campaign I met with John Wray in person. I told him I was committed to a positive campaign and hoped he would commit to the same. He gave me his word he would, and we shook hands on it. I don’t particularly believe he kept his word to me, and can only hope he will better keep it to the citizens of District 10 as our representative. To the record:
1) I am not a bigot, nor am I religiously intolerant. I can certainly see how some might draw that conclusion after reading the way I was selectively quoted by the Dallas Morning News after they decided to support my opponent. I offer my sincere apology to anyone who was hurt or insulted by those words. Those words do not reflect my heart or my love for liberty and my fellow man. What they didn’t quote in that article were my repeated statements that my concerns with a certain donor to my opponent have nothing to do with his religious beliefs or his money. I support religious freedom for ALL Texans. I believe that religious freedom is essential for any free republic and that we should guard against those who would threaten religious freedom. The donor in question is free to believe what he wants and to support those he believes will represent his interests. That is what liberty looks like. My concern is that he is one of several supporting John Wray who have repeatedly supported candidates and elected officials whose records are not those which support liberty, state sovereignty, or the best interests of all Texans. He’s free to support John Wray, but I believe this says more about the structure of the establishment than anything else. It has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with statist politics and big government politicians.
2) I do not advocate for people using marijuana or other drugs. The mailer suggesting I’d be in favor of school children selling drugs to each other was particularly disgusting. I believe drug use is a problem in this country, and I have no interest in seeing Texas take the route Colorado has taken. I also believe, however, that our current big government solution to this problem is not working. I do not believe it is useful or moral to arrest 18 and 19 year old kids who have made a stupid mistake and put them in prison with real criminals. I believe it’s foolish to do that and then be surprised when those kids come out as real criminals themselves and cost the tax-payers more money in the long run. I believe we need to have the courage to have an honest conversation about this issue and find a better way to help kids who have made mistakes without throwing their lives away or growing the police state beyond all reason.
3) I’ve NEVER wanted to reduce, alter, or get rid of teachers’ retirement. The Austin establishment plays political games with this issue all the time and I find it despicable. They fund every minor thing they can in the budget before they fund education or teachers’ retirement because then they can ask the people for more money to cover those critical things and we will comply. No one will agree to raid the rainy day fund or issue bonds to cover bingo machine inspectors or green school buses, but if those things are already funded we will agree to let them take more money to pay for teachers. That practice is what I am opposed to. Last session several legislators who endorsed my campaign attempted to move funding out of those other programs and put the money in teachers’ retirement first. They were stopped by Jim Pitts and others, several of whom now attack us claiming we oppose funding teachers’ retirement. These allegations are simply lies and a direct reversal of reality.
4) I have never stated that I want to eliminate or even alter the pledge of allegiance. I do have a personal problem with the word “indivisible”, however, and I believe that anyone who believes in the founding of our nation should have the same problem. Both our nation and our state were born from division. The 13 colonies divided themselves from England and Texas divided itself from Mexico. The time may come when Texas must do so again, but I do not advocate for secession at this time. I believe we must fully assert our state sovereignty before we ever consider secession. However, as I stated before, I have no intention or desire to change or alter the pledge, I just choose not to say “indivisible” when I recite it.
This election is over, but the day is coming when the voters in this district and others will open their eyes to the campaign tactics of deception and misrepresentation and finally understand the truth. When that day comes the statists will find no audience for their lies, and we will once again finally have government that represents the people and exists to protect our life, liberty, and property.