In House District 112, the race is between Angie Chen Button, a three term representative from the district and Jared Patterson, the former councilman and Mayor pro-tem from Sachse. Each is running on their ability to foster economic growth and curb excess spending. Both candidates have strong socially conservative views, and so we were left to work through their fiscal records. Representative Button recently voted for both the budget passed by the house and the draw from the Economic Stabilization Fund (Rainy Day Fund). Patterson meanwhile, has voted for two tax increases as a councilman. We researched the backgrounds of both candidates- paying close attention to both the legislative record of Rep Button and the circumstances surrounding the tax increases in Sachse.
In true NTTP fashion, the first question we asked Councilman Patterson was: “You voted to raise taxes twice, and you want a Tea Party endorsement? TEA meaning ‘Taxed Enough Already’? Are you serious?”
He WAS serious; and he proceeded to teach us why- unusual in this case, we can assure you- that his vote was the fiscally responsible path. Fiscal responsibility ALSO involves paying off your bills previously accumulated as required. While he wasn’t in Sachse when the debt was accrued (a bond for 150% of the city’s annual revenue), he took every step that a fiscally-conservative person could ask for to manage the debt once he was in office. His record shows that he eliminated waste, rebuilt the city’s budget from the ground up and delayed tax increases for as long as possible by splitting the increase in two. And while his votes may look bad on a flier during election season, we feel confident that Councilman Patterson is a fiscal conservative to the core. (It also serves as a tale of warning about the dangers of excessive local borrowing, as clarified in this excellent article.) We TeaApprove Jared Patterson for HD 112.
In the case of Representative Button, we found it more difficult to justify portions of her voting record. Certainly she started off on the wrong foot in the 81st session, voting for Joe Straus over local conservative heavyweight Ken Paxton. She then scored in the mid to low 70’s on the YCT and Heritage Alliance score cards for that session. She also voted for a very legally-questionable redistricting plan: one that punitively punished the conservatives that went against the house leadership by drawing them out of their districts. In the 82nd session her ratings varied between the high 60’s and low 80’s depending on which organization compiled the data. In the 83rd, with a 26% increase in the budget, she voted for the budget and chose not to cast her vote with the north Texas conservative bloc. She also voted for the $2B raid on the ESF (proposition 6 on the Nov 5th ballot) for funding water- an item that should have been a part of the core budget, and should be subjected to the state’s spending cap. This is an item that the NTTP has publicly fought. While Representative Button has been a champion of small business (HB 500, 83rd), we feel that her fiscal choices have been hit and miss. It is for this reason that we have chosen not to Tea Approve Representative Button for 2014.