If you search the Texas Ethics Commission for “Texas Parent PAC ” over the last three election cycles, you’ll discover an extremely deep-pocketed contributor for Democrats and bad Republicans.
Just last cycle Texas Parent PAC funded the opponents of solid conservatives Van Taylor, Dan Flynn, Charles Perry, and others.
The primary agenda item of Texas Parent PAC is K-12 school funding. The primary giver to Texas Parent PAC, and he gives the lion’s share, is Charles Butt of HEB fame.
Public school funding can be a difficult issue for people to figure out. On the one hand, most people want schools sufficiently funded. On the other hand, people know K-12 education is a huge money trough that many piggies have sidled up to.
Looking at the entire agendas of people Texas Parent PAC has given to over the years provides clues about who is on the right side of this confusing battle.
Texas Parent PAC funds the “Big K-12” crowd in Austin. They desire more money for a broken system system that they will fight to keep unchanged. During the session, members of the “Big K-12” crowd consistently agitated for more taxation and more spending across the board, and not just for K-12 funding.
Also, had the Democrat contingent of the “Big K-12” crowd being in power conservative measures like the sonogram bill never would’ve had a chance. That’s because the Democrat contingent of the “Big K-12” crowd is pro-choice.
The same group never would have allowed tort reform, a huge reason Texas has so definitively outperformed the rest of the country during this recession.
The Republican contingent of the “Big K-12” crowd are the kind of Republicans who stay silent on the issue of life until forced to take a position. When forced out , as they occasionally are, the words “pro-life” quietly pass their lips, but only because you can’ t survive in Texas politics with an “R” next to your name and be pro-choice (pro-life Republican Donna Campbell will try to send home the only pro-choice Republican in the entire Senate, Jeff Wentworth, in the next Senate District 25 primary).
In the 2008 cycle, around $1 million was poured by Texas Parent PAC into the agendas of bad politicians. For state races this is a fortune.
If agenda items can be judged by the company they keep, and they can, the “more money for K-12” agenda item fails miserably. It doesn’t hang around with any of the nice agenda items, only the thugs and losers.
In truth, the “Big K-12″ crowd supports the status quo in K-12 public education. The system we have is broken, and you can’t pour enough water into a broken jar.
Teachers unions and associations love the status quo because it multiplies employees. The more members they have in their unions and associations the more membership dues they get, and union membership dues fast-tracked to the Democrat Party is their power source. In Texas, bad Republicans get much of this money because of the weakness of the Democratic Party here.
People who contract with the public school system want it to stay the same, too.
And then, lots of good folks have been convinced by slick political marketing that more money is the only answer. It’s not. In the real world, there is no efficiency without competition. We have neither in public schools.
Texas Parent PAC has, in its quest for more K-12 school funding, empowered the entire Democrat agenda and the moderate “business conservative” agenda (“business” means “crony” when you hear the term “business conservative”).
Conservatives, the legislators who desire fiscal sanity, traditional values, and meaningful reform in education, were the only ones who fought during the 82nd legislature for teachers. Conservatives pointed out that the non-teacher population has skyrocketed over the last 40 years for non-classroom reasons. Conservatives pushed for non-teacher cuts while moderate Republicans led with teacher cuts, knowing it was the best way to break the Texas resolve to limit spending.