THU brief 5.12.22
Welcome to another brief. Sign up if this email was forwarded to you (hint: here’s the button).
GREG ABBOTT’s alleged support for school choice comes with a catch. We’re shocked (in the Captain Renault sense).
In the same speech where he claimed to support parental control over education dollars, Abbott pledged to “fully fund” government schools. In other words, no choice without a massive spend-a-palooza.
“No governor has devoted more resources to public education than I have,” said Abbott. “In 2019, we increased public education funding by more than $5 billion per biennium, and in 2021 we added even more. It is imperative that we continue to fully fund Texas public schools. We can fully fund schools while also giving parents a choice about which school is best for their child.”
“Fully fund” is an old Ted Kennedy trope. It’s a sleight of hand that means any money you spend is never good enough. As long as bureaucrats can devise new ways to spend money, nothing is ever “fully funded.”
There is a case that can be made for additional state spending on education in the context of property tax relief. It wouldn’t be difficult to attach a voucher provision to such an effort. The Texas Senate floated this approach five years ago.
Does anyone think that’s what Abbott means here?
There’s also a likely political calculation: If we spend oodles of money on the government schools, surely recalcitrant legislators will vote for a choice component.
If this is the approach Abbott et al. take to this issue, we’ll see 100% of the spending along with a highly watered-down “choice” component. Then they’ll gaslight us and tell us to “wait until the next session.”
Typical Abbott. (AC)
GLENN HEGAR, the Texas Comptroller, is pursuing 19 financial companies to determine if they’re boycotting the oil and gas industry. This is the latest salvo in the economic cold war between Texas and woke Wall St.
Suppose Hegar determines the companies in question are engaging in this activity. In that case, they will face restrictions on their ability to conduct lucrative business with various governmental funds in Texas (e.g., Public pension fund and/or municipal debt underwriting).
While this should have happened long ago, better late than never. (AC)
CHIP ROY speaks for all of us.
Speaking of the Ukraine vote, only nine (out of 24) Republicans in the Texas delegation voted “nay.”
TEXAS COMPETES, a far-left LGBT organization masquerading as a business group, is going to have new leadership. So much LOL.
Founded seven years ago, the group provided window dressing for Texas House leadership to kill the conservative social priorities that they were already planning to kill. Their premise is that basic biology/common sense (e.g., being male/female is a matter of chromosomes) would hurt Texas’ “economic competitiveness.”
Truthfully, the group’s influence peaked in 2017. Since then, they’ve largely faded into irrelevance. While some of their policy objectives were still achieved, it wasn’t because of their efforts.
But what makes this development amusing has less to do with policy and more to do with personalities.
Jessica Shorthall, the group’s founder, brought an acute narcissistic, solipsistic personality into Texas politics replete with both. Humorless and thin-skinned, she was prone to emotional meltdowns whenever her advocacy for radical hormone/surgical procedures was questioned. Anyone familiar with her Twitter feed will recognize this as accurate. Except as comic relief, she will not be missed.
The more significant news, however, is Shorthall’s replacement.
Angela Hale is a garden variety resident of the Austin sewer. With a background in PR, she’s worked with any number of the usual suspects. However, one line from her bio stands out: “Angela previously served as Director of Communications and Senior Advisor to Attorney General Greg Abbott during his first two terms as AG.
Angela Hale ought not be begrudged for working where she could get hired, but doesn’t it tell you everything you need to know about Greg Abbott that he felt comfortable having her as a senior staffer for nearly a decade.
Speaking of collusion between big business and woke lunacy, see next item. (AC)
POLLING suggests Republican voters in Texas support revoking special privileges for Disney following the latter’s embrace of transgender lunacy in Florida. This puts them in line with Dan Patrick and opposition to Dade Phelan.
Hit the Links
Thanks for reading
Push Junction grows through word of mouth. Please consider sharing this post with someone who might appreciate it.