In the HD 96 primary, challenger Mike Leyman is hoping the fact that Bill Zedler is an incumbent will be enough to make stick Leyman’s wacky message that Zedler represents the status quo.
Of course, for everyone who knows Texas politics, the idea that Zedler represents the status quo is 180 degrees from the truth. Zedler has shown as much courage to stand up to the establishment as anyone in the House.
For starters, Zedler voted against Speaker Joe Straus last session, easily the boldest anti-status quo move possible.
Leyman is packaging himself as a “breath of fresh air” challenger, but his campaign's "new solution" on education is more money for public ed, which is the oldest non-solution in the legislative playbook.
Make no mistake, people running on increasing public education money are running against new solutions. New solutions happen when an old, broken system is forced to innovate due to a wise electorate no longer letting politicians have more money whenever they ask for it.
There are no shortage of possible solutions to public ed. Cutting our embarrassingly bloated non-teacher staff, basing promotions and firing on performance instead of seniority, and getting rid of expensive and useless tests are a good start.
For more comprehensive measures, see Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, who is leading our neighbors to the east in bold public ed reform next session.
In fact, the only sure way for Texans to avoid “new solutions” in public ed is to throw more money at the system. Nevertheless, throwing money at our public ed problems is the working end of HD 96 challenger Mike Leyman’s policy platform.
Leyman is the candidate of costly, old non-solutions, but is running as the candidate of “new solutions”, and running against one of the most genuine “new solutions” incumbent in the Texas House of Representatives.