With his campaign letterhead front and center, Mr. Jones addressed - wait for it - the lobby, which he affectionately referred to in his letter as “the third house”. Jones was asking for money from lobbyists to beat stalwart commonsense conservative Charles Perry in District 83.
The lobby, for those readers lucky enough not to know, are the well-paid representatives of special interests in Austin who woo, cajole, and otherwise recruit legislators to vote for their bosses' latest friendly legislation effort.
After opening the letter with two paragraphs praising the “third house” (Jones’s pandering word choice, suggesting the lobby is as powerful as the House or Senate), Jones went on to ask for any money and endorsements that the lobby can spare to send Rep. Perry home.
In case you were wondering, the lobby doesn’t give campaign money as charity. Every one of them works for a special interest that pays them to win over legislators to vote for their latest friendly legislation. Delwin Jones indiscriminately asking the whole lot for cash helps you to know how tough a date he would be for the lobbyists during the legislature.
As has been said before, there are two sources of power in politics that every candidate and elected official must contend with: voters and the special interests.
Prioritize Texas voters and you’re a conservative. You promote life and freedom, dislike laws that give special advantages to monied interests, and are proud of the traditional Texas values that keep our state stable and strong.
You’ll be the beloved outsider running shoestring campaigns against well-funded special interest-owned opponents. You’ll be significantly more believable in person than your opponent because you speak with the unmistakable freedom and ease of a truth teller. The sound and feel of it resonates, is almost impossible to fake, and is the secret to why you get votes so cheap.
Plus, you’ll sleep much better at night and be in decidedly better shape on Judgment Day.
However, you’ll have fewer ads and mailers than your opponent, and nearly all of the media help will go to your special interest opponent. The liberal media prefers the moderates for two reasons 1) both liberals and moderates want to raise taxes, while conservatives do not, and 2)moderates are either social liberals or social agnostics, which means they’ll be allies at best, and bystanders at worst, in the liberal culture war that is the beating heart of liberal politics.
This is the plight of the conservative. If you last past the primary you'll get enough big money to win, since the other side wants badly to raise taxes, demonize corporations, and wants a tort environment that turns job creators into exotic wild game and gives every Texas resident a hunting license and an elephant gun.
On the other hand, prioritize the special interests and you’re a special interest Republican, known in Texas as “moderates”. You’ll walk around Austin like you own the place and be mostly right, since the special interests do dominate Austin socially. The smarmy elitism in the downtown Austin air will be your smarmy elitism; enjoy it.
You’ll have access to the high society parties and you’ll meet important people. You’ll share with your new “friends” the self-arrogated delusion that the simple folk need you to run their state.
You’ll be able to outspend your opponent, probably by several multiples, and the media will keep you respectable, while doing what they can to make your opponent seem trivial.
On the downside, you’ll need all of your extra money to compete since liars have to pay a premium for votes. You'll speak much more carefully than people not telling lies do, consequently voters will need a lot more convincing to vote for you.
Also, you’ll periodically remember that you are a sellout who is getting the fullness of his reward in this life.
Those of us who know Texas politics already knew where Delwin Jones stood. Thanks to his letterhead, his words, and his signature, now the people of District 83 can know too.